CHICAGO--The Obama and Clinton campaigns are running hard on this Super Wednesday, each mounting arguments critical to the sucess of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).
Last night, Obama top strategist David Axelrod told me that Obama would be the underdog no matter that the results now show Clinton and Obama running even with Obama having a lot of momenteum.
On Wednesday morning, Obama said, "I'm always the underdog," then amended his assesstment to this:
"Here's a fair way to put it. I think we are less of an underdog than we were two weeks ago. All right? I mean I think that's fair. Two weeks ago, we were a big underdog. Now we are a slight underdog."
Highlights so far from Clinton campaign conference call and Obama press conference, in progress as I write this. Obama is at a Sheraton hotel near Midway Airport in Chicago.
*Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson predicted the battle for the nomination could do to the Democratic convention in Denver. He noted that the fight over the seating of the Michigan and Florida delegates could be criticial.
*Debates. Team Clinton wants a debate a week before now and March 4. Organization Obama is open to more debates, does not want Clinton to be his scheduler. Obama said there have been 18 debates so far. "Here's the good news. We will have more debates...I am sure we will accept at least one."
*Obama said that if Clinton is the nominee, the GOP has a "whole dump truck they can back up" with stuff on her.
*Superdelegates. You will be hearing more and more the Obama campaign talking about pledged delegates. The Obama campaign is mounting the argument that the superdelegates--governors, mayors, Democratic big shots who automatically go to the convention--should take their cue from delegates who had to be elected, not appointed.
*"Who matches up better in that debate about who cleans up Washington," Obama asks rhetorically talking about Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) poised to win the GOP nomination. The answer is Obama, Obama said.
The senators are headed to Washington today to vote on the Bush economic stimulus package.