CHICAGO--Clinton campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson is all but conceeding the remaining February states to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). "The states in play this month do favor Sen. Obama," Wolfson said in an expansive Friday conference call. In all, 25 journalists (counting one who went twice) asked questions. That is, for people who don't follow these things, a very high number. The Obama campaign has a conference call coming up later today and Obama himself is scheduled to be at a press conference in Seattle this morning.
Wolfson reported at the top of the call that Clinton raised $8 million on-line since the polls closed in California on Tuesday. "When people found out the money was needed, they responded," he said.
With Sen. John McCain (R-Az.) the presumptive GOP nominee, the stage is set for a fight over Independent voters.
Asked about Obama's appeal to Independent voters, Wolfson said, "Sen. Obama's weaknesses, his position on issues, in our opinion are not widely known by Independent voters. He has gotten the most favorable press, I think, in the history of American politics over the past several weeks. He got enormous, enormously favorable press around the Kennedy endorsement.
"And so it is not a surprise that in an early stage in the process where his positions on issues are unknown, his vunerabilities are unknown; that he might be running ahead of where he would ultimately wind up if he were the Democratic nominee. I think if he were the Democratic nominee that would change. The Republicans would begin mounting an attack on him and Independents would learn information about him that they don't currently have. I'm talking by the way about his issue positions here."
Saturday, Louisiana, Nebraska and Washington state vote.
Tuesday brings the Potomac primary--Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. Obama campaign manager David Plouffe in a conference call on Thursday said they will be waging a "fierce" battle in these Tuesday elections.
UPDATE: A photo gallery I ran last Sunday of a rally at UCLA for Obama featuring Maria Shriver, Caroline Kennedy, Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama neglected to identify another woman in the picture and many blog readers commented on the lapse. She is Maria Elena Durazo, secretary treasurer of the AFL-CIO in Los Angeles.