- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 9, 2008


Sen. Barack Obama swept the Louisiana primary and caucuses in Nebraska and Washington state Saturday night, slicing into Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s slender delegate lead in their historic race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The Illinois senator also won caucuses in the Virgin Islands, completing his best night of the campaign.

“Today, voters from the West Coast to the Gulf Coast to the heart of America stood up to say ‘yes we can”’ Obama told a cheering audience of Democrats at a party dinner in Richmond, Va.

He jabbed simultaneously at Clinton and Arizona Sen. John McCain, saying the election was a choice between debating the Republican nominee-in-waiting “about who has the most experience in Washington, or debating him about who’s most likely to change Washington. Because that’s a debate we can win.”

Clinton preceded Obama to the podium. She did not refer to the night’s voting, instead turning against McCain. “We have tried it President Bush’s way,” she said, “and now the Republicans have chosen more of the same.”

She left quickly after her speech, departing before Obama’s arrival. But his supporters made their presence known, sending up chants of “Obama” from the audience as she made her way offstage.

Obama’s winning margins ranged from substantial to crushing.

He won roughly two-thirds of the vote in Washington state and Nebraska, and almost 90 percent in the Virgin Islands.

With returns counted from nearly two-thirds of the Louisiana precincts, he was gaining 53 percent of the vote, to 39 percent for the former first lady. As in his earlier Southern triumphs in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina, Obama, a black man, rode a wave of African-American support to victory in Louisiana.

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