COMMENTS: Onward to Potomac

All three networks assigned a reporter to look at the state of the Democratic Presidential primary contest on the rest day between Barack Obama's "big winning margins this weekend," as NBC's Andrea Mitchell put it, in Washington State, Louisiana, Nebraska and Maine, and the so-called Potomac primaries--Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland--on Tuesday. CBS' Dean Reynolds saw Obama enjoying a "priceless supply of momentum" and a "cushion of African-American support." ABC's Jake Tapper warned us not to write off Hillary Rodham Clinton: "She is a tenacious candidate; runs a formidable political machine; and inspires the loyalty of key Democratic constituencies." Having said that, with funding troubles and staffing shakeups compounding defeats at the polls "she has had a very bad few days."

Rodham Clinton herself is hoping to rebound by persuading superdelegates to commit now "to slow Obama's momentum" and to obtain the endorsement of former rival John Edwards, NBC's Mitchell noted. ABC's Tapper suggested to the candidate that "this is not what a winning campaign looks like." "Well, to the contrary. I think it exactly is. We had a great night Super Tuesday." Tapper did not have to point out that her "great night" was nothing better than a dead heat. She is looking past Tuesday's contests to the big states of Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania in March and April, "states where she is ahead," Mitchell pointed out.


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