Clin­ton idol McGovern tells her to end pres­i­den­tial bid

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - By Christina Bellantoni

Sen. Barack Obama’s cam­paign on May 7 steered clear of calls for Sen. Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton to quit the Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial race, let­ting one of her po­lit­i­cal idols de­liver the mes­sage in­stead.

Mrs. Clin­ton vowed to forge ahead, ig­nor­ing Demo­cratic icon Ge­orge McGovern’s re­quest that she step aside for the good of the party.

Obama sup­port­ers and his camp high­lighted the math­e­mat­i­cal im­pos­si­bil­ity of Mrs. Clin­ton’s prospects and raised money off her in­sis­tence that the Demo­cratic race would pro­ceed.

“It would be in­ap­pro­pri­ate, awk­ward and wrong for any of us to tell Sen­a­tor Clin­ton when it is time for the race to be over,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill, Mis­souri Demo­crat. “This is her de­ci­sion and it is only her de­ci­sion, and we are con­fi­dent that she is go­ing to do the right thing for the Demo­cratic nom­i­nee.”

Mr. McGovern, a prom­i­nent Clin­ton sup­porter and one-time pres­i­den­tial con­tender, switched to the Obama col­umn and fur­ther pushed for the sen­a­tor from New York to step aside and bridge the party di­vide.

“It’s im­por­tant for Democrats to get united to win the gen­eral elec­tion,” said Mr. McGovern, whose 1972 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign in­spired Mrs. Clin­ton to her first in­volve­ment in pol­i­tics as an adult.

While Mr. Obama, now fewer than 170 del­e­gates from se­cur­ing the nom­i­na­tion ac­cord­ing to his cam­paign’s count, took the day off to rest, Mrs. Clin­ton got back onto the trail and scram­bled to pump funds into what has be­come a long-shot bid for the party nod.

Clin­ton aides an­nounced that she was forced to loan her­self $6.4 mil­lion over the past month to keep her cam­paign ads on television, which, cou­pled with the $5 mil­lion loan she made be­fore Su­per Tues­day in Feb- ru­ary, brings her own per­sonal in­vest­ment in the pres­i­den­tial run to $11.4 mil­lion. That’s more than the $10.4 mil­lion she earned from her best-sell­ing books.

Her aides also re­sisted calls for her to end her can­di­dacy and television news per­son­al­i­ties who de­clared Mr. Obama would be the nom­i­nee, say­ing those in “pun­di­toc­racy” don’t get to de­cide elec­tions.

“The re­al­ity is that many pun­dits have counted Sen­a­tor Clin­ton out many times dur­ing this con­test,” said spokesman Howard Wolf­son. “Vot­ers are more im­por­tant than pun­dits.”

Pep­pered with ques­tions about whether Mrs. Clin­ton would give up, Mr. Wolf­son said there had been “no dis­cus­sions at any point about not go­ing for­ward.”

Mrs. Clin­ton of New York said May 7 that she would re­main in the race “un­til there’s a nom­i­nee” and broad­cast ev­ery pos­si­ble sig­nal she will fight for the long haul. She sug­gested that the West Vir­ginia race May 13 “will be one of the most im­por­tant elec­tions in this en­tire process,” while her cam­paign said the con­test would “test” Mr. Obama’s abil­ity to win blue-col­lar work­ers.

Mrs. Clin­ton was fa­vored by 29 points in a Ras­mussen poll taken last week, while 17 per­cent were un­de­cided.

Her nar­row win in In­di­ana and huge loss in North Carolina crys­tal­lize the re­al­ity that she can­not math­e­mat­i­cally win the nom­i­na­tion, but Mrs. Clin­ton told sup­port­ers in an email that she is de­ter­mined to last the fi­nal 28 days of the race and mounted an ag­gres­sive cam­paign sched­ule tak­ing her through three states in two days. For­mer Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton had five West Vir­ginia events on May 8.

“It’s a new day, it’s a new state, it’s a new elec­tion,” the for­mer first lady told re­porters af­ter a rally in Shep­herd­stown, W.Va.

While the Clin­ton team boasted that they had shrunk Mr. Obama’s one-time lead in In­di­ana to a two­point vic­tory, Obama cam­paign man­ager David Plouffe told sup­port­ers in a memo that the party nod is “within sight.”

“Barack Obama is now just 169 del­e­gates away from win­ning the Demo­cratic nom­i­na­tion,” he said, also not­ing in the fundrais­ing memo that Mrs. Clin­ton loaned her­self money. The e-mail men­tioned that she and Mr. Clin­ton have earned $109 mil­lion since leav­ing the White House.

“Barack has al­ready won more votes, more del­e­gates, and more than twice as many states as Sen­a­tor Clin­ton, whose path to the nom­i­na­tion has grown ex­tremely nar­row. But th­ese loans show that her cam­paign will con­tinue to con­test the re­main­ing pri­maries vig­or­ously,” he wrote, urg­ing do­na­tions.

Mr. Wolf­son said Mrs. Clin­ton loaned her­self $5 mil­lion on April 11 be­fore the con­test in Penn­syl­va­nia, an­other $1 mil­lion May 1 and $420,000 on the eve of the pri­maries in In­di­ana and North Carolina. He char­ac­ter­ized them as “a sign of Sen­a­tor Clin­ton’s com­mit­ment to the race” and said he would not rule out con­tin­ued cash in­fu­sions through the re­main­ing con­tests.

Mr. Wolf­son said Mrs. Clin­ton had a good fundrais­ing month — in­clud­ing $10 mil­lion raised on­line af­ter her Penn­syl­va­nia vic­tory — but noted that Mr. Obama, who has reached the mile­stone of 1.5 mil­lion in­di­vid­ual donors, had a “bet­ter” month. Mrs. Clin­ton men­tioned her Web site — which has been trans­formed into a do­na­tion page — ev­ery time she ap­peared on television on May 6 and 7.

As­so­ci­ated Press

Sen. Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton au­to­graphs an Obama cam­paign sign af­ter a rally in Shep­herd­stown, W.Va. “It’s a new day, it’s a new state, it’s a new elec­tion,” she told sup­port­ers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.