Politics

Internal war threatens Clinton camp

Just as the up-and-down campaign of Sen. Hillary Clinton appears on the verge of regaining momentum, bickering and dissension among senior staff threatens to implode her quest for the Presidency.

Controversial pollster and self-styled “chief strategist” Mark Penn stands in the midst of mounting internal strife that blunts even the enthusiasm of Tuesday’s three-out-of-four wins in primaries.

Most of Clinton’s top advisors want Penn fired but the blunt-talking Penn still enjoys the ear of both Bill and Hillary Clinton and, for the moment at least, that’s all he needs.

Still, the internal warfare continues and hampers the campaign’s efforts to regoup and focus on the all-important primary in Pennsylvania in less than seven weeks.

Obama talks tough; Clinton basks

Hillary Rodham Clinton declared Wednesday that her primary victories in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island had reordered the Democratic presidential race in her favor. A resilient Barack Obama countered with fresh pledges of support from superdelegates and said his lead remained intact.

One day after his worst showing in a month, Obama blamed negative attacks by the former first lady for his defeats and quickly made good on a promise to sharpen his criticism of her.

Do-overs in Florida, Michigan?

Officials in Michigan and Florida are showing renewed interest in holding repeat presidential nominating contests so that their votes will count in the epic Democratic campaign.

The Michigan governor, along with top officials in Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign and Florida’s state party chair, are now saying they would consider holding a sort of do-over contest by June. That’s a change from their previous insistence that the primaries their states held in January should determine how the their delegates are allocated.

McCain scores while Democrats punt

After the smoke cleared, there were still three presidential candidates left standing — two who rose from the dead and one who came out of nowhere.

But Tuesday’s round of primaries that were supposed to settle the race settled it only for John McCain, who locked up the Republican nomination and then went to the White House for a laying-on of hands and an official blessing from President Bush. Given Bush’s popularity ratings, one has to wonder how many more of these joint appearances we’ll be seeing.

Clinton-Obama ticket? Or Obama-Clinton?

The likelihood of a brokered or negotiated compromise between Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama in which the two would run on the same ticket was until Tuesday’s Texas and Ohio primaries somewhere between slim and none. But the “morning after” her Texas and Ohio wins, Clinton went on the morning news shows and responded positively to interviewers’ suggestion of such a possibility.

OK Hillary. You won. Now what?

Congratulations, Hillary Rodham Clinton. You did what your husband said you had to do and won Ohio and Texas.

Now what?

“Tonight we won three out of four contests and began a new chapter in this historical campaign,” the victorious Clinton told reporters on her campaign plane.

Obama rebounds in Texas caucuses

Barack Obama regained lost ground in the fierce competition for Democratic convention delegates on Wednesday based on results from the Texas caucuses, partially negating the impact of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s string of comeback primary victories.

Late returns showed Clinton emerged from Rhode Island, Vermont, Texas and Ohio with a gain of 12 delegates on her rival for the night, with another dozen yet to be awarded in The Associated Press’ count.

Clinton wins 3 of 4; McCain clinches

Hillary Rodham Clinton scored three victories in a night of revival that denied Barack Obama a ripe opportunity to drive her from the Democratic presidential race. Clarity came only to the Republican side, where John McCain made the nomination his own.

Clinton won the big races in Ohio and Texas, as well as Rhode Island, to break her costly losing streak, and asserted, “This nation’s coming back and so is this campaign.” But Obama came away with a large share of delegates, too, in counting that continued Wednesday, meaning he’s got a lead that’s tough to overcome.

TV networks declare Clinton winner in Texas

The major television networks have declared Hillary Rodham Clinton the winner of the hotly-contested Texas Democratic primary but Barack Obama appeared headed to a win in the delegate rich caucus.

Even with a loss in the popular vote, Obama could leave Texas with the most delegates and hold on to his lead in overall delegate count.

Major networks made the call in Texas at 12:50 a.m. With 75 percent of the vote counted, Clinton had a 51-48 percent margin over Obama. The win gives Clinton wins in Texas, Ohio and Rhode Island while Obama won Vermont.

Obama says numbers still on his side

Barack Obama suffered a setback Tuesday in his efforts to drive rival Hillary Rodham Clinton out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, but claimed the delegate math still is on his side.

“We know this: No matter what happens tonight we have nearly the same delegate lead as we did this morning and we are on our way to winning this nomination,” Obama told supporters after Clinton broke the Illinois senator’s winning streak.