Victorious Clinton vows to fight until 'everyone' is heard
Tuesday night, Barack Obama conceded West Virginia to Hillary Clinton in a cellphone voicemail from the runway in Cape Girardeau, Mo., to the phone of the New York senator's assistant, after an appearance aimed at the general election against the Republican dude from Arizona.
A little PR payback perhaps for the private concessions Clinton has delivered after her previous defeats to Obama that deny the victor any TV footage of the loser talking defeat?
So this morning the Clinton-Obama wrestling match continues unabated and the New Yorker gave no sign in her public remarks of relenting in her campaign, although the delegate math seems so fully stacked against her.
"I am," Clinton told the crowd of West Virginia supporters, although she was really warning a couple hundred uncommitted Democratic superdelegates not to jump yet, "more determined than ever to carry on this campaign until everyone has had their voices heard."
Let's see, "everyone" means then at least all the way through June 3 and Montana where, coincidentally, another Clinton, named Bill, was speaking outdoors at the same moment as a mountain spring rain began to fall. So, no quitting after another Clinton win next week in Kentucky? Until all the ...
...voices are heard could also mean until all the currently discounted Florida and Michigan votes are counted too. Could that mean Denver in late August?
It was a big win for Clinton, who got about 67% of the vote. And a real thumping for Obama, who got only 26 points, fewer even than his crummy bowling score a while back in Pennsylvania. His camp saw the L coming, given his token campaign appearance there Monday. With most of the West Virginia results in, the Illinois senator had not won one single county in a state that, since 1916, Democratic presidential candidates must win in order to reach the White House.
Clinton was clearly delighted in her nationally televised remarks when she delivered an early and urgent plea for money. "Tonight," she said, "I need your help to continue this journey. We are in the homestretch -- only three weeks left. Your support can make the difference between winning and losing."
Standing alone on the stage with the full focus on her, Clinton wanted to project an image of strength and fuel the doubts in the superdelegates' minds about Obama's ability to win crucial states. The absence of Obama on camera provided no video contradiction that evening.
"This race isn't over yet," Clinton said, reading her prepared remarks that called her win "an overwhelming victory." "Neither of us have the total delegates needed to win."
"I am in this race because I believe I am the strongest candidate to lead our party in November 2008," she said, plowing through even prolonged applause. "And the strongest president to lead our nation in 2009. I deeply admire Sen. Obama. But I believe our case is stronger."
"The White House is won in the swing states," Clinton claimed. "And I am winning the swing states."
"You know," she said, "I'll never give up and I'll stand with you as long as you stand with me."
During her remarks Clinton pointed to one supporter in the crowd waving a sign, "Until the last dog dies."
A reference, no doubt, to the Michael Vick dog-fighting scandal.
Photo: Hillary Clinton (Associated Press/Elise Amendola)