Hillary Vows to Press On in Face of North Carolina, Indiana Primary Setbacks

Raleigh, North Carolina, May 7, 2008 -- Hillary Clinton told a crowd of several enthusiastic supporters tonight, "damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead" after early results indicated she had lost the North Carolina primary election to Barack Obama in a landslide, and marginally squeaked by in the Indiana primary.

Bill and Hillary Clinton: (Photo: Daniella Zalcman)Bill and Hillary Clinton: (Photo: Daniella Zalcman)

"That should be 'arm the torpedoes', Mrs. Clinton clarified. "And by that I mean we'll torpedo anyone and anything that stands between me and the presidency, even if it means sinking the ship of the Democratic Party." Her remarks were greeted with a smattering of polite applause.

North Carolina primary results indicated Mrs. Clinton lost to Barack Obama by a margin of 56.2%-41.5%, or nearly 15%, a far worse result than they had been hoping for, according to Clinton campaign officials who asked not to be named.

Similarly, the results of the Indiana primary showed Hillary Clinton with a tiny lead of 50.9% – 49.8%, or roughly 1%, over Barack Obama, much less than the campaign and many pollsters had been expecting.

The enormity of Obama's victory in North Carolina and the infinitesimally small margin of Hillary's in Indiana are likely to further the accelerating tide of superdelegates who have been pouring into Obama's camp, making the steep Clinton climb to the Oval Office, which at the start seemed like a foregone conclusion, now a virtual sheer cliff of impossibility.

"We're undaunted, and also pretty resolute," Clinton campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson said. "Our main emergency backup plan now, which I think is pretty self-evident, is to get the Michigan and Florida delegates seated. That should help even things up a little."

The results of the Michigan and Florida primary elections, both of which Clinton won, are excluded from the overall contest due to the two states' violation of Democratic Party rules regarding the timetable of the primary elections. Barack Obama did not campaign in either contest, and his name was not even on the ballot in Michigan, which may have contributed to Hillary Clinton's large victory there.

"Yes, that's what makes the possible inclusion of Michigan so delectably spicy," Mr. Wolfson said. "You'd have to be a major loon—that's loon, L-O-O-N, a major loon—not to want to count the results of an invalid election where your own candidate ran unopposed."

In keeping with this strategy, the Clinton campaign said it will press the Democratic National Committee to also include the votes of other contests in which Barack Obama was not on the ballot, including contests only tangentially related to the Democratic Party.

"We think the DNC should count votes for Ron Paul as votes for Hillary Clinton, for example," Mr. Wolfson said. "After all, people who support Ron Paul are basically throwing away their vote to protest against McCain, Romney, Huckabee, and especially Giuliani, and Hillary doesn't like those guys either."

Other votes the Clinton campaign believe should go into Hillary's ballot box include telephone call-ins to American Idol, "because Hillary Clinton is a great American that a lot of people idolize," according to Mr. Wolfson; as well as the entire live audience of the David Letterman show, many of whom applauded when Mrs. Clinton read the Top Ten list during a recent appearance.

"Obviously, those people who clapped were showing their support for Hillary Clinton, and it stands to reason that Hillary should have their votes tabulated officially," Mr. Wolfson said. "That's what democracy is all about."

By Ion Zwitter, Avant News Editor

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