early and often

Big Window Opens for Clinton


Clinton stares off into a brighter future.Photo: Getty Images

Barack Obama started off the day with some good news: A Hillary Clinton–supporting superdelegate (and former DNC chair under Bill Clinton) named Joe Andrew has pulled a Judas and switched his allegiance to Obama. But while Obama is slowly closing the gap among superdelegates, the big picture for him is more ominous: While he continues his struggle to extricate himself from the Reverend Wright quagmire, Clinton has seen a recent upswing in support and confidence. Whether the recent momentum shift will really matter is difficult to figure; Clinton’s second wind may last only until the next primaries are decided or it may have come too late to change the end result of the race, no matter what happens on May 6. Either way, Clinton is walking with a little extra bounce in her step today. Now if only she could figure out that coffee machine.

• Patrick Healy writes that the Clinton campaign has been delighted at the toxicity of the Wright mess, even backing off their usual campaigning on the issue because superdelegates are bringing it up themselves. [NYT]

A.B. Stoddard thinks voters are noticing that Obama has become bored with the race nd says Obama needs to rediscover his “passion and purpose.” [Hill]

• Mike Allen and John F. Harris say that recent days have shown the ground shifting in Clinton’s favor and that the best sign of the changing psychology of the race has been the shift away from the defeatist outlook of Clinton’s staffers. [Politico]

• Marc Ambinder believes Clinton is helped “enormously” by the fact that a majority of Democrats polled expect the race to be decided at the convention and don’t want party leaders to step in and end the race early. [Atlantic]

• Matthew Mosk notes that, surprisingly, Clinton has been spending the same on TV ads in North Carolina and Indiana over the last week as Obama, despite his financial advantages. This may be due to a simple lack of airspace, due to other competitive campaigns in the state, but it’s fortunate for the Clinton campaign. [Trail/WP]

• Noam Schieber thinks it’s still possible for superdelegates to back Clinton, because the backlash from black voters may not be as strong as expected. For one thing, it was Reverend Wright, not Clinton, who sowed the doubts that would cause the superdelegates to turn on Obama. Furthermore, black Democrats are probably just as worried about the damage of Reverend Wright on Obama’s general-election prospects as white Democrats. [Stump/New Republic]

• Jennifer Rubin looks at some of the worsening poll numbers for Obama and wonders whether they’ll get even worse as voters continue to digest the flap with Reverend Wright. [Contentions/Commentary]

• Ed Morissey sees signs of big trouble for Obama in a poll showing Clinton actually up by two in North Carolina. If Obama ends up losing North Carolina, Clinton could go nearly undefeated through the rest of the primaries and make the case that Obama “peaked too early and has lost momentum and support.” [Hot Air]

• Vaughn Ververs says Obama’s support has eroded and that, given his troubles, Clinton may as well stick around all summer and remain viable until the convention. [Horserace/CBS News]

• Jim Geraghty actually feels that, given how he’s coming through “as rough a patch as he’s had in his political career,” Obama’s numbers could be a lot worse. [Campaign Spot/National Review] —Dan Amira

Related: Heilemann on Obama’s Sister Souljah Moment
Bill Clinton Versus Jeremiah Wright: Which Loose Cannon Is Louder?

For a complete and regularly updated guide to presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John McCain — from First Love to Most Embarrassing Gaffe — read the 2008 Electopedia.

Big Window Opens for Clinton