Obama visits the House floor

May 8, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
There is a growing sense that Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign is nearing an end. More superdelegates are supporting Barack Obama, pundits have all but ruled-out her chances at the nomination, and the cover of this week's Time Magazine has a picture of Obama with the headline "And the winner is."

It's not often a senator shows up on the House floor, home to many undecided superdelegates, but Senator Barack Obama made a very public appearance in the chamber Thursday.

"Did you pick up any superdelegate supporters?" a reporter asked.
"As I said, I wasn't campaigning, I was saying hello to everybody," said Obama.

This was Obama's first time back to Capitol Hill since his strong showing in Tuesday's primaries and it was a return many considered to be a victory lap of sorts.

On NBC, Obama exuded confidence, saying he could claim victory as early as May 20th, the day of the Oregon primary.

"If at that point we have the majority of pledged delegates, which is possible, then I think we can make a pretty strong claim that we've got the most runs and it's the ninth inning and we've won," said Obama.

Senator Hillary Clinton, however, is showing no signs of backing down. On Thursday, she made campaign appearances in West Virginia, South Dakota and recently, Oregon.

"People say to me all the time, 'Well, are you going to keep going?' Well, of course I'm going to keep going," said Clinton.

Clinton hopes Obama's weakness among white working class voters will be displayed again in the next primary, a vulnerability she believes could sway superdelegates.

"Senator Obama's support among working, hard working Americans, white Americans is weakening again," said Clinton.

Still, it's that kind of rhetoric that risks alienating some influential democrats. Former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta told ABC7 that if he were in Senator Clinton's inner circle, he would advise her to drop out.

"I think there does come a point where she has to be a gracious loser and be able to concede this race with honor. She's put up a good fight she's put on a good race, but I think there's a time now to concede and unify the party," said Panetta.

Clinton Campaign Chairman Terry McAuliffe predicts the democratic race will likely come to a conclusion soon after June 3rd, when the primaries are over.


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