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Hearing the News in South Bend

By Peter Slevin
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The West Side Democratic Club is officially agnostic in the presidential race. But the room was rocking tonight, and it rocked for Barack.

At an event billed as an unlikely joint celebration for Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton, the Obama fans had the Clinton crowd badly outnumbered. Even as the statewide race remained too close to call, the room thundered when word came that Obama had won St. Joseph County, where two strong organizations went head to head for weeks.

"O-bam-a! O-bam-a!"

When Obama appeared on the television screen, declaring victory in North Carolina, the 200 Obama partisans erupted again in cheers and applause.

"Yes We Can!" "Yes We Can!"

Standing in a clutch for solidarity, a half-dozen women in white Hillary T-shirts -- "Strength -- Vision -- Courage" -- kept their eyes on the screen and their hands at their sides, silently trying to summon a miracle finish to the primary season. Speech over, they pushed outdoors into the night air.

"At this point, I'm still for Hillary," said Chris Lim, of South Bend. "I always have been for Hillary and I always will be."

Across the way, her friend Pam Peck seemed to be looking ahead.

"I'm voting for the Democrat," Peck said. "Whoever gets it, that's who I'm voting for."

By Web Politics Editor  |  May 6, 2008; 10:39 PM ET
Categories:  Primaries  
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