Hillary Clinton has had a long dry spell.
The drought is over. Tuesday night was her night.
From the Washington Post:
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton won critically important victories in Ohio and Texas last night, defying predictions of an imminent end to her presidential candidacy and extending the remarkable contest for the Democratic nomination to Pennsylvania's April primary and perhaps well into the summer.
Clinton also won in Rhode Island, while Sen. Barack Obama captured Vermont. Her victories snapped his winning streak at 12 consecutive contests, rejuvenated her struggling candidacy and jolted a Democratic Party establishment that was beginning to see Obama as the likely nominee.
Clinton still faces daunting odds in her bid for the nomination. Obama began the day with a lead in pledged delegates that will be hard for her to overcome in the 12 primaries and caucus remaining, despite the results from the four states voting yesterday. But her advisers said that the big win in Ohio alone would force a serious look at both candidates and that the race was far from over.
Yesterday's voting came after two weeks of intensive and increasingly acrimonious campaigning. Clinton, her back to the wall, played the role of aggressor, challenging Obama on his readiness to be commander in chief and chastising him on trade and health care. Obama attempted to fend off those attacks with the hope of scoring victories that his advisers were confident would drive Clinton from the race. But exit polls showed that, among late-deciding voters, Clinton had a clear edge.
Former president Bill Clinton had said earlier that she needed to win both big states to have a realistic chance of winning the nomination, and she delivered. But even before the Texas results were in, she made clear that she would continue.
"For everyone here in Ohio and across America who's ever been counted out but refused to be knocked out, and for everyone who has stumbled but stood right back up, and for everyone who works hard and never gives up, this one is for you," she said.
As the crowd chanted, "Yes, she will! Yes, she will!," Clinton said she is in the race to win. "You know what they say: 'As Ohio goes, so goes the nation,' " she said to cheers from supporters. "Well, this nation's coming back and so is this campaign," she continued. "We're going on. We're going strong and we're going all the way."
Obama, speaking in San Antonio before Texas was counted, congratulated Clinton on her victories in Ohio and Rhode Island, something she had never done during his winning streak, but he said her successes would not stop his march toward the nomination.
"We know this," he said. "No matter what happens tonight, we have nearly the same delegate lead as we had this morning, and we are on our way to winning this nomination."
As if to underscore his confidence about the nomination, Obama said he had called Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) to congratulate him on clinching the Republican nomination and said he looked forward to debating the future of the country. McCain, he said, "has fallen in line behind the very same policies that have ill-served America."
Later he criticized McCain and Clinton for dismissing his call for change as "eloquent but empty" and vowed to continue his campaign for change and a new politics in Washington.
Hillary had a great night.
She won Texas and Ohio and Rhode Island.
Barack Obama went to Super Tuesday Jr. and all he got was lousy Vermont.
Speaking last night, Obama showed that he's forgotten how to lose. He looked bad. He looked angry. If he was eloquent, it was an autopilot eloquence.
BARACK OBAMA: Well, we are in the middle of a very close race right now in Texas, and we may not even know the final results until morning. We do know that Senator Clinton has won Rhode Island, and while there are a lot of votes to be counted in Ohio, it looks like she did well there too, and so we congratulate her on those states. We also know that we have won the state of Vermont. And we know this – no matter what happens tonight, we have nearly the same delegate lead as we did this morning, and we are on our way to winning this nomination.
He was wrong about Texas. It wasn't that long after midnight that Hillary was projected the winner. Technically, it was morning, but when he said morning, I took him to mean dawn, morning with daylight.
All in all, it was a very disappointing night for Obama. He probably was the one doing the fainting.
Although Hillary did make up a little ground in the delegate count, Obama's lead there is secure.
So, now what?
Hillary vows not to give up.
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: For everyone here in Ohio and across America, who's ever been counted out but refused to be knocked out and...
... for everyone who has stumbled but stood right back up, and for everyone...
... who works hard and never gives up, this one is for you.
You know what they say: As Ohio goes, so goes the nation.
Well, this nation's coming back, and so is this campaign.
The people of Ohio have said it loudly and clearly. We're going on, we're going strong, and we're going all the way.
You know, they call Ohio a bellwether state. It's a battleground state. It's a state that knows how to pick a president.
And no candidate in recent history, Democrat or Republican, has won the White House without winning the Ohio primary.
AUDIENCE: Yes, she will! Yes, she will! Yes, she will! Yes, she will! Yes, she will! Yes, she will! Yes, she will! Yes, she will! Yes, she will! Yes, she will! Yes, she will! Yes, she will!
MRS. CLINTON: You all know that, if we want a Democratic president, we need a Democratic nominee who can win the battleground states, just like Ohio.
And that is what we've done. We've won Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Michigan, New Hampshire, Arkansas, California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
And today we won Rhode Island. And thanks to all my friends and supporters there.
This is a great night. But we all know that these are challenging times. We have two wars abroad; we have a recession looming here at home.
Voters faced a critical question: Who is tested and ready to be commander-in-chief on day one?
And who knows how to turn our economy around? Because we sure do need it.
Ohio has written a new chapter in the history of this campaign, and we're just getting started.
More and more people have joined this campaign, and millions of Americans haven't spoken yet. In states like Pennsylvania and so many others, people are watching this historic campaign, and they want their turn to help make history.
They want their voices to count, and they should. They should be heard. So, please, join us in this campaign. Go to www.HillaryClinton.com.
This is not a woman ready to give up on her presidential aspirations.
Is she willing to tear the Democrat Party apart in the process?
Should she step aside?
I don't think so. It's not right for her to forsake her supporters. Their voices deserve to be heard.
It's undeniable that Hillary picked up momentum in the last few days. I think maybe voters are beginning to understand that Obama is an empty suit.
It could be that we're seeing the impact of the media finally giving a bit of attention to the real Obama. Some of them have snapped out of drool mode.
Questions about Obama's ties with Tony Rezko are being raised. It's nuts that it took this long for the national media to catch on.
Then there's the SNL factor. Obama isn't used to being mocked. And maybe "bitch is the new black" is resonating.
Could it be that the photo of Obama in Somali dress mattered to voters?
As Seth Meyers of SNL's "Weekend Update" noted: "This week, pictures of Democratic frontrunner Barack Obama appeared on the Internet, in what was clearly an underhanded attempt to make him look like a sushi chef [on screen: Obama in a traditional Somali dress]."
I think the "Hussein" dust-up was a problem. Obama and spouse Michelle did not handle the truth well. That's never good. We've never had a president with an unmentionable middle name.
The NAFTA thing didn't help either. When Obama is put under more scrutiny, he falters. The facade crumbles. The eloquence seems canned.
Notice that Hillary includes Florida and Michigan among her victories. She wants those pledged delegates seated at the convention. That's a hornet's nest waiting to be disturbed.
Whatever happens, this cannot end well for the Democrats.
"Proud conservative liberal" John McCain is a real option. Disgruntled Dems may find him appealing.
I think Election 2008 is shaping up to be the season of our discontent for both Dems and Republicans.