Obama Supporters Boo Clinton Win
Updated 11:48 p.m.
By Shailagh Murray
EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- Sen. Barack Obama congratulated Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton on her win in Pennsylvania tonight, but gave himself some credit for what he described as a better-than-expected outcome.
"There were a lot of folks who didn't think we could make this a race when it started. They thought we were going to be blown out," Obama told an enthusiastic crowd of around 7,000, revved up by the candidate's warm-up act, singer and Hoosier native John Cougar Mellencamp.
"But we worked hard ... and now, six weeks later, we closed the gap," Obama said. "We rallied people of every age and race and background to the cause. And whether they were inspired for the first time or for the first time in a long time, we registered a record number of voters, and it is those new voters who will lead our party to victory in November."
Obama said Clinton's name only once in his speech -- at the beginning, in his remarks about the Pennsylvania primary. The crowd booed, and Obama hushed them. "No, no," he said. "She ran a terrific race." But he placed the burden of the nomination squarely in the hands of this crucial May 6 state. "Now it's up to you, Indiana," Obama said. "You can decide whether we're going to travel the same worn path, or whether we chart a new course that offers real hope for the future."
Later, the Obama campaign released a memo trying to make lemonade out of its Pennsylvania loss. "Tonight, Hillary Clinton lost her last, best chance to make significant inroads in the pledged delegate count," the campaign memo on the primary states.
Obama improved his standing with certain voter groups, the memo continues. Compared to Ohio, Obama moved up six points among white voters, according to exit polls cited by the campaign. And among voters over 60, he nearly cut the gap in half, from 41 points to 24 points, the memo states.
"As he has done in every state, Barack Obama campaigned hard to pick up as much support and as many delegates as possible and was able to stave off Clinton from achieving a significant pledged delegate gain from Pennsylvania," the campaign asserts. "The bottom line is that the Pennsylvania outcome does not change dynamic of this lengthy primary." While 158 delegates were at stake in Pennsylvania, there are 157 up for grabs in the next two big contests, the Indiana and North Carolina primaries on May 6.
Web Politics Editor
April 22, 2008; 11:18 PM ET
Categories: Barack Obama , Hillary Rodham Clinton , Primaries
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