- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton cashed in on her come-from-behind New Hampshire primary victory, raising more than $1 million in less than a day as her rejuvenated campaign vowed to capture the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.

The New York Democrat assumed the title “Comeback Kid” even though her slip in the polls after placing third in Iowa was brief, and her aides promised to aggressively campaign in the more than 20 states that vote over the next month.

“I think it’s over on February 5th,” Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe told major fundraisers on a conference call. “We’re going full throttle.”

Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, who came in first in Iowa and a close second in New Hampshire, was back out on the campaign trail yesterday morning telling voters in New Jersey his brand of politics is better for the Democratic Party’s future.

Mr. Obama, who raised $8 million and attracted 35,000 new donors in the first 8 days of the year, brought in at least $500,000 over the Internet in 24 hours after the primary.

Mrs. Clinton did not campaign yesterday but told supporters in a fundraising e-mail: “In New Hampshire, we stood together and showed them what we’re made of. We’ll have to do it again and again in the days and weeks ahead. Will you help me carry our winning message of change, opportunity and achievement to every corner of this country?”

Mr. Obama acknowledged disappointment yesterday but said he is confident the campaign can still win.

“We always knew was that this race was going to be hard,” Mr. Obama said on MSNBC during one of several interviews he did yesterday morning.

“But … because of our win in Iowa, I think that folks that started to anoint us in a way that they were anointing Senator Clinton back in the summer, and that’s always a dangerous place to be,” he said. “This is a victory we are going to have to earn, and the American people are not just going to hand over the keys to the White House without you really explaining to them how you’re going to provide them health care that works, how you’re going to make college affordable, how are you going to bring the troops from Iraq responsibly and keep America safe.”

A close nomination battle — with former Sen. John Edwards still in the mix and pledging to remain fighting through the convention — has led to excited and engaged Democrats who are donating and volunteering in record numbers.

Campaign volunteers said the close race will make everyone work harder for every vote.

“Eric from Cambodia” told his counterparts on Obama campaign’s blog that New Hampshire teaches them a lesson.

“It gives us a crucial warning: Overconfidence kills. Better now than on Super Tuesday,” he wrote. “Let’s be more determined than ever!!!”

The Clinton campaign is just as energetic.

“Anybody who bets against Hillary Clinton is making a big mistake,” said Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat.

More than 2,000 of the 2,025 delegates needed to win the nomination, are up for grabs between now and Feb. 5, when voters in California and New York head to the polls.

Iowa and New Hampshire are important, “but put in their perspective, not nearly as important as what is yet to come,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat who backs Mrs. Clinton.

Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said by the end of this week the campaign will have staff in each of the 22 states that vote on Super Tuesday, and stressed superior organization in the six states that hold a caucus that day.

“We believe we could not be better positioned,” he wrote in a memo. “Our goal is simple — to win as many states as we can in the next 28 days.”

Mr. McAuliffe said yesterday the Clinton campaign raised more than $24 million in the fourth quarter, beating Mr. Obama, who raised $23.5 million, all but $1 million of which can be used for the primary.

He told members of his finance team the campaign had secured $5 million in commitments over 48 hours and asked them to work hard to raise even more for Feb. 5 states, where television advertising is much more expensive than the first four voting states.

Mr. Obama took a different tactic in a campaign e-mail, asking his supporters for a specific donation of $25 and telling them, “When we challenge ourselves to reach for something better, there’s no problem we can’t solve — no destiny we cannot fulfill.”

Both candidates were boosted by endorsements yesterday — with Mr. Obama gaining the backing from Nevada’s largest labor union, the Culinary Workers.

Nevada holds a caucus Jan. 19, and South Carolina votes Jan. 26. Mr. Obama campaigns in Charleston today and Las Vegas tomorrow. Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson said his boss “absolutely” will compete in those two states.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson dropped out of the races last night.

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