early and often

Happy Super Tuesday: The Candidates’ Last Words

Hillary Barack McCain Romney Huckabee

If you don’t know who these people are by now, God help us.Photo: Getty Images

Of course, tomorrow morning we’re probably not going to have learned anything definitive about this year’s presidential primary. But that doesn’t mean that each major candidate isn’t treating Super Tuesday as a do-or-die moment. Late last night and early this morning, each took the opportunity to make a final statement that would be circulated through the press throughout today as people gear up to head to the polls. Here’s what they’ve been saying:

• “In my White House, we will know who wears the pantsuits,” Hillary Clinton cracked on Letterman’s show last night. Sure, it was a joke response to a question from the host about whether husband Bill Clinton would be “going through stuff” while she was busy governing the nation, but it’s an important point. Since Bill got a little out-of-control campaigning on her behalf, and since she cried again yesterday, it was important for her to reiterate that she is tough and in charge. [Reuters]
• John McCain, meanwhile, stayed on message, saying that both Democratic candidates are clueless on Iraq. He also indicated that he’d set up “arrangements” to leave U.S. troops there permanently. “We’ve been in Kuwait right next door [to Iraq] for many years,” he pointed out. [NYDN]

• Mike Huckabee tried to solidify his eroding base by appealing to his southern brethren. “There’s only one of us who grew up in the South like you,” he said yesterday in Macon, Georgia. He also bristled at claims by Romney supporters that he should drop out and stop taking voters from the stronger candidate. “Why don’t you give it up and go back to Wall Street,” Huckabee said. “This ol’ Arkansas boy is not for sale.” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
• Romney focused on McCain’s perceived weaknesses (something that McCain has been battling openly in recent days). “On issue after issue, he is out of the mainstream of the Republican Party,” Romney said in Nashville. [USAT]
• Obama reemphasized his bi-partisan appeal yesterday, while subtly using the “presumptive nominee” approach. He said he could appeal across the table to Republicans in the general election, rather than fight them, as Hillary always says she will. He not only hopes to have Obama Democrats, he says, but also Obama Republicans, or “Obamicans!” [MTV]

Happy Super Tuesday: The Candidates’ Last Words