- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton raised a stunning $3.5 million last night within hours of winning Pennsylvania, and her campaign says today’s total may reach $10 million, giving her run a needed boost as she tries to knock Sen. Barack Obama from his front-runner perch.

The two campaigns are up with their spin this morning, with each focusing on the next races and arguing they can win in November.

Mr. Obama won a new endorsement from Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry and may roll out a group of superdelegates who support him today.

But Team Clinton — fueled with new money after significantly trailing Mr. Obama in cash raised so far this year — insists “the tide is turning.” Campaign aides said her 9.7 point Pennsylvania victory is “fresh evidence” she’s the better candidate to beat Republican Sen. John McCain in the fall.

“Despite making an unprecedented financial investment in his Pennsylvania campaign, including millions on negative ads in the closing days of the race, Sen. Obama again failed to win a state that will be vital to a Democratic victory in November and spurred new questions about his ability to beat John McCain,” the Clinton campaign outlined in a memo today. “No candidate has ever had more resources or enjoyed the kind of momentum that Sen. Obama had in Pennsylvania.”

The campaign said both Democrats were “under the microscope at the same time for the first time” and Mrs. Clinton emerged the stronger candidate.

Video:Obama undaunted by loss, moves on to Ind.

Video:Analysis: How much will Clinton’s win help?

Video:Obama congratulates Clinton on Pa. primary win

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“Sen. Obama emerged weaker as voters learned more about him. The exit polls clearly show that Sen. Clinton gained strength in the final days when the campaign was most engaged,” the memo continued.

The Clinton campaign said the former first lady is “most likely to hold traditionally Democratic states and poised to expand the electoral map in the Southwest while also flipping a few traditionally GOP states like Arkansas.”

But Mr. Obama and his supporters argue the 2004 swing state rationale won’t matter in November because he’s likely to win the big blue states she captured — New York and California — and he can put new swing states such as Virginia and Colorado in play.

He also was raising money off the results.

“Votes are still being counted in Pennsylvania, but one thing is already clear. In a state where we trailed by more than 25 points just a couple weeks ago, you helped close the gap to a slimmer margin than most thought possible,” Mr. Obama told his supporters in a fundraising e-mail late last night.

He tells them to look forward to the May 6 contests in Indiana and North Carolina. “It’s clear the attacks are going to continue, and we’re going to continue fighting a two-front battle against John McCain and Hillary Clinton,” he wrote. “I need your support right now.”

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