The Hill-O-Plane last night from Indiana had an odd feel to it. Just as we took off, leaving BlackBerry range, Obama was quickly closing the statewide margin in Lake County. The press corps was not convinced that Clinton had won the state, giving the whole flight a sort of deck-of-the-Titanic feel. Campaign staff never faltered in their conviction that they had won the state, but we could not be sure.
The highlight of the whole band-played-on experience came when Terry McAuliffe, the campaign chairman, came back to talk to the press with a glass of red wine in his hand. “We won Indiana,” he declared. “We shocked the world!” A few minutes later, a campaign staffer’s BlackBerry picked up news from the ground. Clinton had won after all. The cruise continues.
I have a story up here on the state of the Clinton race, based on my reporting with the campaign earlier this week. It’s called, Clinton’s Hard Road Gets Harder.
Also, tag teaming with Ana, here are some more highlights from the just completed Clinton conference call:
1. The $11-plus-million Hillary Clinton has loaned the campaign is slightly greater than the amount she made herself from book sales and senate salary, communications honcho Howard Wolfson admitted, suggesting that she is dipping into Bill Clinton’s earnings. But Wolfson said this fact is not significant. “I dispute the notion that there is a difference between her share of their joint assets and her money. . . . Her money is her share of their joint assets. . . . She is drawing upon their jointly owned assets. . . . She has made about 11 million from her senate salary and her book sales. . . . I don’t rule out that she will loan the campaign additional resources”
2. The campaign believes that the gas tax debate had a major impact on closing the gap among white working class. “We believe that we wouldn’t have made the movement we did in North Carolina without her having been willing to take on this issue,” said Clinton strategist Geoff Garin.
3. The campaign said there have been no discussions with the Obama campaign about a joint ticket. Wolfson admitted a brief IM exchange with Obama strategist David Axelrod yesterday. “We exchanged pleasantries.” Wouldn’t it be interesting to know what those look like.
4. Campaign admits that past Clinton camp references to 2025 delegates as target goal for clinching the nomination is no longer operative. “It is not the operative number,” said Wolfson. The Clinton campaign now wants Florida and Michigan to be fully seated, making 2209 the number of delegates needed to cinch the nomination.
5. Asked if Hillary needs to destroy the village to save the village, a Vietnam reference applied to the Democratic Party, and unnamed speaker, who I believe was Garin said, “I just reject that analogy out of hand. This is somebody who has spent her whole life in the village.” I thought that was funny.
6. Campaign rejects idea that Clinton would have trouble raising money in the general. Also predicts that both candidates can win over their opponent’s Democratic supporters after the primary.
7. Asked if the campaign has had any discussions about not going forward with the campaign, Wolfson said, “No. No discussions.”