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Clinton Looks Past Losses, to Texas

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Updated 10:02 p.m.
By Anne E. Kornblut
EL PASO -- As news of a triple loss in the Potomac primary became official, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton did what has become a new specialty of hers: She fled someplace else.

After flying from Virginia to Texas for a rally tonight, Clinton did not publicly acknowledge, even in passing, that three significant primaries had just taken place that day. Her campaign did not put out a statement.

Clinton has made a habit of dismissing contests that she has lost -- on Monday, she explained the Louisiana contest she lost as a result of the state's large African American population; at other times, her campaign has suggested that caucuses should be discounted.

But on Tuesday she did not even do that much.

"You know, there's a great saying in Texas -- you've all heard it, 'All hat and no cattle,'" Clinton told a massive audience here. "Well, after seven years of George Bush, we need a lot less hat, and a lot more cattle."

She continued, in an apparent swipe at both Bush and Sen. Barack Obama, the candidate gaining momenum in the Democratic race: "Texas needs a president who actually undersdtands what its going to take to turn the economy around, to get us universal health care."

When Clinton mentioned having differences with Obama over health care and the mortgage crisis, she drew boos from the audience. Her comments continued past 9:30 Eastern time, as the polls in Maryland closed and the race was called for Obama, but in the giant arena here it was as though the defeat had not happened.

"It's the first day of the Texas campaign," Doug Hattaway, a traveling campaign spokesman, said, when asked for comment.

Clinton is now staking her candidacy on Texas and Ohio, where contests will take place on March 4. She drew a sizable crowd here -- her campaign estimated as many as 12,000 -- and if ever she needed a pick-me-up, Clinton got the ultimate one here. She emerged into a darkened University of Texas stadium to a deafening roar from the crowd, cellphone cameras flashing. She was handed a large bouquet of flowers, joined onstage by a young boy in a black sombrero. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, who represents El Paso, then introduced her repeatedly as the next president of the United States.

Full Clinton remarks can be read here.

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 12, 2008; 10:02 PM ET
Categories:  Hillary Rodham Clinton , Primaries , The Democrats  
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