Hillary Clinton visits Bay Area

April 2, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Hillary Clinton is spending the night in the Bay Area. She interrupted her crucial campaign sweep of Pennsylvania before the primary there to come here for a cash infusion.

Senator Clinton has vowed to stay in the race well beyond the Pennsylvania primary, but in order to do that, she needs to raise as much money as she possibly can. That's what brought Clinton to the peninsula this evening.

Senator Hillary Clinton arrived at the Quadrus Conference Center in Menlo Park, the first stop of her two-day California fundraising trip. Cheering her motorcade on was a small group of die-hard supporters.

"We believe she can do the job, she knows how to solve problems, so we wanted to be here to support her," said Christine Chatwell, a Clinton supporter.

For Clinton, every dollar raised is critical. Her campaign believes her opponent, Senator Barack Obama, is outspending her two-to-one in Pennsylvania, which holds its primary April 22nd.

According to the latest poll, Clinton is losing ground in the Keystone State. Clinton is now ahead of Obama by nine points, a dip from her previous double digit lead.

But Clinton is hoping a new ad will help her campaign; it's a version of the 3 a.m. spot she ran before the Texas primary. Only this time her target is Sen. John McCain.

"John McCain just said the government shouldn't take any real action on the housing crisis. He'd let the phone keep ringing," the Clinton ad says.

"You don't want Obama answering the phone, you don't want McCain answering the phone, let me answer the phone," said Melissa Michelson.

Melissa Michelson is a political science professor at Cal State East Bay. She says Clinton's ad is smart because it ends up attacking two candidates at the same time.

"She's not blatantly attacking Obama this time, she's saying 'no, this is an ad about McCain.' And yet, everyone is going to be reminded of the other ad because there are these similar components of the 3 a.m. phone call," said Michelson.

Whether the strategy works remains to be seen, but one thing is clear, Clinton plans to go the distance with Obama. She has even compared herself to Rocky Balboa, the fictitious underdog boxer from Philly who never gave up.

At a labor rally today, Obama had his something to say about that.

"We all love Rocky. We all love Rocky. And last time I checked, I was the underdog in this state," said Sen. Obama.

Senator Obama is scheduled to arrive in the Bay Area on Sunday and plans to attend fundraisers at the homes of four different financial backers.