Will tonight be a "tiebreaker" or a "game changer?"

The candidates' "he said, she said" on the stakes in Indiana and North Carolina.

Katharine Mieszkowski
May 7, 2008 8:05AM (UTC)

With North Carolina in the bag for Barack Obama, and the Indiana contest still too close for most of the networks to call, both candidates riffed off what the other said about the significance of the contests before they occurred.

Back in early April, Barack Obama suggested that the outcome in Indiana could be a "tiebreaker," saying: "You know, Senator Clinton is more favored in Pennsylvania and I'm right now a little more favored in North Carolina, so Indiana right now may end up being the tie-breaker. So we want to work very hard in Indiana."


Meanwhile, just days ago, speaking in North Carolina, Clinton said that "this primary election on Tuesday is a 'game-changer.' This is going to make a huge difference in what happens going forward. The entire country, and probably a lot of the world, is looking to see what North Carolina decides." (See the video of her remarks here.)

On Tuesday night, both candidates attempted to appropriate the other's preprimary rhetoric. In his victory speech from North Carolina on Tuesday night, Obama referenced Clinton's game-changer line, saying, "You know, there are those who were saying that North Carolina would be a game changer in this election. But today what North Carolina decided is that the only game that needs changing is the one in Washington, D.C."

And in the very first lines of Clinton's speech from Indiana, she said: "Not too long ago, my opponent made a prediction. He said I would probably win Pennsylvania, he would win North Carolina, and Indiana would be the tiebreaker. Well, tonight we've come from behind, we've broken the tie, and, thanks to you, it's full speed on to the White House." The Clinton camp also sent out an e-mail to reporters bragging about Clinton's showing in Indiana. The subject line of that e-mail was "Tie-Breaker."


So, will Tuesday be a "game changer" or a "tiebreaker" in the Democratic primary? At this late hour, the game still goes on.

Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

MORE FROM Katharine Mieszkowski

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

2008 Elections Barack Obama Hillary Rodham Clinton War Room

Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •