The New York Times examines Clinton's never-say-die campaign. "In recent days, Mrs. Clinton has chided the experts for 'counting me out' and Senator Barack Obama for his inability to 'close the deal' and declared that no one was going to make her quit. 'She makes Rocky Balboa look like a pansy,' North Carolina's governor, Michael F. Easley, said in endorsing her, and a union leader in Portage, Ind., praised her 'testicular fortitude.'"
"This kind of language and pugilistic imagery, however, also evokes the baggage that makes Mrs. Clinton such a provocative political figure. For as much as a willingness to 'do what it takes' and 'die hard' are marketable commodities in politics, they can also yield to less flattering qualities, plenty of which have been ascribed to her over the years. Just as supporters praise her 'toughness' and 'tenacity,' critics also describe her as 'divisive,' 'a dirty fighter' or 'willing to do anything to win.'"
The Washington Post writes about Bill Clinton stumping in small-town America.
Per NBC/NJ's Carrie Dann, Bill Clinton rarely diverts from his stump speech nowadays, but yesterday he tacked on a new heartfelt plea at the end of an appearance in picturesque Marion, NC. At the conclusion of his remarks, the crowd started to cheer but was quickly shushed by the former president, who realized he had something to add. Recognizing the talented 13-year-old local singer, McLain Rose, who sang the Star Spangled Banner before he took the stage, Clinton lowered his voice with trademark emotionality.
"Here's what I want you to remember," he said. "In little towns like this, all over America, there are countless people like her. I just want you to think about that. If you had to hire somebody, to make the best possible future for her -- who would you hire? You think about that girl."
"That's a simple test," he continued. "You ask them that question. There's no good answer but Hillary."
NBC's Ron Allen notes how Evan Bayh did his best to play political diplomat at last night's Indiana J-J dinner, doing his best to avoid being booed (a la Mike Easley in North Carolina). Bayh made it clear that he was FOR Clinton, but not AGAINST Barack Obama. At one point, he asked the crowd to applaud Obama for running such a great campaign. The guests, who based on their response to the mention of the candidates names by a prior speaker seemed to favor Obama, were eager to applaud. All of that is of course good decorum in a banquet hall filled with finely dressed Democrats feasting on fine food and drink, while listening for the faint sound in the distance, as Clinton put it, of the moving van pulling up to ship President Bush and his possessions back to Texas.
And, a bit oddly, Bayh did not introduce Clinton, as he has countless times in countless events across the state. He finished his call for Democratic detente. Some of Clinton's stump music filled an awkward void. And then an anonymous announcer's voice brought Clinton to the stage.