No clear winner in Clinton-Obama tug-of-war

Democrat Barack Obama won more states than Hillary Clinton on Super Tuesday, although they split the delegates, effectively guaranteeing their battle will rage on for months.

Although Clinton took the two biggest prizes, California and New York, along with half a dozen other states, Obama won 13 contests on a day that Clinton once predicted would deliver her the presidential nomination.

Accordingly, Obama tucked several shots at Clinton into the customarily soaring rhetoric of his election-night speech. He said she has “taken more money from Washington lobbyists than either Republican in this race.”

“If I am your nominee, my opponent will not be able to say that I voted for the war in Iraq, because I didn’t, or that I gave George Bush the benefit of the doubt on Iran, because I haven’t, or that I support the Bush-Cheney doctrine of not talking to leaders we don’t like, because I profoundly disagree with that approach,” he told enraptured supporters in Chicago.

Clinton returned fire by subtly inferring that Obama is an inspirational show horse with insufficient experience to win the White House.

“What we need is someone ready on day one to solve our problems,” she said.

“Because when the bright lights are off and the cameras are gone, who can you count on to listen to you, to stand up for you, to deliver solutions for you?”

The prolonged nature of the campaign appears to be favoring Obama, who faces off against Clinton in a handful of contests on Saturday, followed by the Battle for the Potomac — Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. — on Tuesday.

Furthermore, exit polling indicates that Obama is beginning to chip away at Clinton’s traditional advantage among women and whites. Obama also won among men in general, although Clinton won Hispanics, an increasingly influential group of voters.

Obama won Illinois, Georgia, Delaware, Kansas, North Dakota, Alabama, Connecticut, Minnesota, Missouri, Idaho, Alaska, Colorado and Utah. In addition to California and New York, Clinton won Oklahoma, Tennessee, Arkansas, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Arizona.

bsammon@dcexaminer.com

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