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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Hillary's "Mission Accomplished"

Clinton protends to wins in Florida, but without any delegates.
Clinton did well among those who cast their votes early; among late deciders,
Mr. Obama matched her almost one for one, according to exit polls conducted by Edison/Mitofsky.

Much Ado About Not Much

By Dana Milbank, Washington Post

.....But in a political stunt worthy of the late Evel Knievel, the Clinton campaign decided to put on an ersatz victory party that, it hoped, would erase memories of Obama's actual victory Saturday night in South Carolina's Democratic primary. "Thank you, Florida Democrats!" Clinton shouted to the cheering throng. "I am thrilled to have this vote of confidence."

It was a perfect reproduction of an actual victory speech, delivered at a perfectly ersatz celebration at a perfectly pretend location: a faux Italianate palace with lion sculptures, indoor fountains and a commanding view of Interstate 595. The Signature Grand ("Elegant Weddings and Grand Social Occasions") was also holding receptions Tuesday night for a pediatric practice and for a group of optometry students, but the Clinton campaign was the biggest draw: It filled the Silver Palm Room, the Golden Palm Room and the Emerald Palm Room.

But even some of the faithful in the hall doubted that the big margin for Clinton, flashed on a projection screen, was an accurate gauge of the race here. "Probably not," said Eleanor Forte, on the outer rim of the celebration. "If they had campaigned here, it probably would have come out differently."

That was a nuance the Clinton campaign was hoping to overlook as it sought retroactively to give weight to the Florida primary. "I am a gutter-ball bowler," Clinton said as she campaigned Sunday night in the state in which she had pledged not to campaign. The remark, overheard by a Miami Herald reporter, was no doubt meant literally; she was standing outside Lucky Strike Lanes in Miami Beach. But in politics, too, Clinton has recently been putting some questionable rotation on the ball.....

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