Hillary Set to Cruise in West Virginia

Rick Moran
With all polls showing her comfortably ahead, the only questions remaining in the West Virginia primary contest is how big will Hillary Clinton's victory be and will it change anything at all in the Democratic race for the presidency?

It is a risky proposition. Mrs. Clinton is behind Senator Barack Obama in both the national popular vote and the delegate count, and she could appear to be a spoiler if she damages his candidacy in those two closely fought states, her advisers acknowledge.

But she and her chief political counselor, her husband, see the two coming primaries as crucial to strengthening her standing and, if it comes to it, to allowing her to leave the race on a high note, the advisers say.

Sizable victories - the Clinton camp believes it could win West Virginia by 25 points or more - might put pressure on Mr. Obama to agree to her demands to seat the disputed delegates from Michigan and Florida, some of her advisers say, which would let her claim a victory on a battle she has fought for months. Accumulating victories this late in the primary season - as Mr. Obama looks so strong - might also bolster a bid for the vice presidency, should she decide to seek it. (Whether Mr. Obama would ask her, however, is very much in doubt.)

Obama is now ahead in pledged delegates, Superdelegates, the popular vote, and does better against John McCain in general election polls than Clinton. She has no case to make save perhaps to herself. But with 64% of Democrats saying that want her to stay in, it seems unlikely that she will exit the race after tonight. It is more likely after next week's Kentucky primary where she is also expected to win big.

It is now widely believed that Hillary is going for the Vice President spot on an Obama ticket. Obama doesn't want her and even with huge victories today and next Tuesday, it is difficult to see how anything can change his mind. Only pressure from the highest levels of the party could alter that dynamic and that doesn't appear to be in the offing either.

Obama may help Hillary with her debt and perhaps even choose one of her supporters for the Vice President's slot. But chances are extremely remote that it will be Hillary as Veep. Obama doesn't need her to win. And that would be the bottom line in any decision involving his bitter rival.
With all polls showing her comfortably ahead, the only questions remaining in the West Virginia primary contest is how big will Hillary Clinton's victory be and will it change anything at all in the Democratic race for the presidency?

It is a risky proposition. Mrs. Clinton is behind Senator Barack Obama in both the national popular vote and the delegate count, and she could appear to be a spoiler if she damages his candidacy in those two closely fought states, her advisers acknowledge.

But she and her chief political counselor, her husband, see the two coming primaries as crucial to strengthening her standing and, if it comes to it, to allowing her to leave the race on a high note, the advisers say.

Sizable victories - the Clinton camp believes it could win West Virginia by 25 points or more - might put pressure on Mr. Obama to agree to her demands to seat the disputed delegates from Michigan and Florida, some of her advisers say, which would let her claim a victory on a battle she has fought for months. Accumulating victories this late in the primary season - as Mr. Obama looks so strong - might also bolster a bid for the vice presidency, should she decide to seek it. (Whether Mr. Obama would ask her, however, is very much in doubt.)

Obama is now ahead in pledged delegates, Superdelegates, the popular vote, and does better against John McCain in general election polls than Clinton. She has no case to make save perhaps to herself. But with 64% of Democrats saying that want her to stay in, it seems unlikely that she will exit the race after tonight. It is more likely after next week's Kentucky primary where she is also expected to win big.

It is now widely believed that Hillary is going for the Vice President spot on an Obama ticket. Obama doesn't want her and even with huge victories today and next Tuesday, it is difficult to see how anything can change his mind. Only pressure from the highest levels of the party could alter that dynamic and that doesn't appear to be in the offing either.

Obama may help Hillary with her debt and perhaps even choose one of her supporters for the Vice President's slot. But chances are extremely remote that it will be Hillary as Veep. Obama doesn't need her to win. And that would be the bottom line in any decision involving his bitter rival.