Clintons in Denial

Barack had the voters at his back against all the forces trying to bring him down. He held his lead in North Carolina, and only the Rush Limbaugh Republican vote stands between Barack and victory in Indiana.

Hillary needed two wins. She failed utterly. But she will not stop, not on her own.

The superdelegates should intervene and send Hillary a message. Out now.

If they don’t, the supporters of Obama should step up their persuasion on those still-undeclared superdelegates to recognize the inevitable and bring this campaign to an end.

Supporters of John Edwards should push their former candidate to release his pledged delegates now, a move that might make the difference as early as this week.

Progressives should intensify the counterattack against Clinton’s smear campaign against Barack’s character and bogus arguments for recognizing Michigan and Florida, sending the message that her campaign tactics risk a massive defection of the disillusioned in November.

It must be understood that at least not on their own. Left to their own repetitive patterns, they will step up the attempt to damage Barack Obama so that he is rendered unelectable in the minds of the superdelegates. At the very least, beginning this week, this may mean an assault on Bill Ayers, the Weather Underground, and a twisted depiction of Obama’s history of statements on the Palestinians. (On this latter point, they can run commercials of Clinton kissing Yasser Arafat’s wife, perhaps coupled with footage of her landing under “sniper fire” in Bosnia. Bloggers may have to carry these messages, since Obama won’t.)

The Obama forces cannot (and will not) coast to victory. In terms of issues, they should intensify the focus on the Clinton proposal for “massive retaliation” and “obliteration” against Iran on behalf of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. That was front-page news in Toronto yesterday while receiving zero attention in the New York Times and CNN. Barack should take up Robert Kennedy’s 1968 anti-poverty mission in West Virginia. Finally, his campaign needs to build firewalls in Oregon, Montana and South Dakota to maintain his lead.

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