Obama rules the Pennsylvania airwaves

The Clinton camp complains he spent more on media in Pennsylvania than on all 20 Super Tuesday states. But will carping about Obama's fundraising prowess really make Clinton seem more electable? Stay tuned.

By Joan Walsh
Published April 23, 2008 2:48AM (UTC)
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We'll be bringing you coverage of the crucial Pennsylvania Democratic presidential primary all night long. About two hours before the polls closed, Hillary Clinton's campaign sent an e-mail announcing that Barack Obama spent a total of $11,246,573 on media in Pennsylvania, more than he spent on 20 states on Super Tuesday, and, amazingly, more than any Democrat spent in all their TV buys to win the nomination in 2004.

It hit my in box just after exit polls showed Clinton with a narrow lead over Obama, 52-48 –- a "win" that most analysts would spin as a loss, given her double-digit lead until a few weeks ago. (Warning, warning: Exit polls can be wrong, and Clinton typically does better than they predict.)


Is the campaign getting ready to spin even a small win into a bigger one? Probably. But I'm not sure pointing to Obama's huge fundraising advantage helps Clinton. Sure, he's got plenty of big corporate donors, but so does she. He got his war chest the old-fashioned way: He raised it, by inspiring more voters and donors that he can win than she has to date.

So: This is clearly going to be the Clinton message if she doesn't win big, but I'm not sure it'll be convincing. Reminding Democratic voters, donors and superdelegates of Obama's superior fundraising prowess doesn't make her seem like the most electable candidate.

But stay tuned! We'll have actual results, and more informed analysis, as soon as we can.

Joan Walsh

Joan Walsh is the author of "What's the Matter With White People: Finding Our Way in the Next America."

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2008 Elections