La Libre: Neither Clinton nor Obama Will Yield an Inch

The French-language Belgian newspaper La Libre Belgique (on-line it’s just La Libre) takes a look the US presidential race, Democratic side, in its article The Democrats Think About After 4 March. (Admittedly, it appears that the ultimate source for this report is the French news agency, Agence France-Presse.)

In the view of things propounded here, the situation doesn’t look particularly good for the Democratic Party: “[t]he Democratic claimants to the White House seem to be prepared for a terrible war of attrition beyond 4 March,” whereas on the Republican side John McCain can relax and look forward to Tuesday’s results mathematically making him the official Republican Party candidate.

The article goes on to savor how neither Clinton nor Obama show indication of backing down in the least as the important Ohio and Texas (and Rhode Island, and Vermont) primaries approach. Of course, there’s now that new Clinton TV ad out (and La Libre goes into detail: “It’s 3:00 AM and your children are asleep. But there’s a telephone at the White House and it’s ringing! Gasp! Etc.), to which the Obama campaign put up a quick counter-ad, with the same “3:00 AM” lead-in but then going on to question Senator Clinton’s judgment in voting for the Iraq War Resolution. Then there’s the obscure fact that both campaigns scheduled major voter rallies for last Friday evening (29 Feb.) in San Antonio, TX. Who knows which side’s rally was actually first to be scheduled; that apparently was not about to faze the other side if they also had their heart set on spending Friday evening in San Antonio, too. Naturally, given the preponderance around that city of military installations and therefore of both active-duty and retired military personnel, both candidates emphasized their national security credentials at their respective rallies. The article also makes mention of a report from the (Fort Worth, TX) Star-Telegram that the Clinton campaign is prepared to go to court to challenge the Texas primary results, given that the primary process there is a confused mixture of direct primary-voting and caucuses.

Interestingly, neither side has made public any official calendar of the respective candidates’ travels after 4 March – except that Clinton campaign staffers have given word that she plans a campaign stop to Wyoming. That is of a piece with the general tenor of this article: that the Clinton campaign ultimately does not intend to stop, no matter what may happen. You’ve got to wonder at all this, given all the other speculation that Clinton simply has to abandon her campaign if she achieves anything else on Tuesday other than strong wins in both Texas and Ohio – and given the intense pressure on her to do from other political figures. But it’s also true that sometimes those the closest to a story can be blinded to the reality of the forest by seeing too many of the trees. Perhaps La Libre/AFP knows something; anyway, “Time Will Tell.”

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