March 5, 2008


In the Weeks to Come, A Costly Battle on Two Fronts (Jonathan Weisman and Shailagh Murray, 3/05/08, Washington Post)

Even before the polls opened, campaign officials were dreading an outcome that would keep Clinton (D-N.Y.) in the race at least through the Pennsylvania primary on April 22. Those seven weeks will cost Obama at least $10 million, and possibly much more, campaign aides say, as he battles a rejuvenated Clinton who will have every incentive to try to force him into a major mistake.

Obama aides also expect to take concentrated fire from McCain (Ariz.) and his Republican allies, who have already begun raising questions about the 46-year-old Democratic senator's credibility, authenticity and even his patriotism.

For months before his victory in Iowa, doubters questioned whether Obama had the stomach to deliver the blows necessary to wear down Clinton's advantages. Now, the question is whether he can take a punch -- "and you know they will be coming," said former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack (D), a Clinton supporter.

Some Obama supporters are increasing pressure on him to shift tactics, frame more sharply his criticism of his opponents and begin inoculating himself from the GOP attacks, but Obama remains reluctant to change the approaches that he still thinks will secure him the nomination.

He's spent all this time, money and effort running as the Messiah, why not just suffer some public scourging? After all, if he stops turning the other cheek he's just another pol and not much of one.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 5, 2008 8:08 AM
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