Everyone is trying to scramble to explain Hillary Clinton’s turnaround tonight. Negative campaigning. Aggressivness. Elbow grease. NAFTA. Rezko. Saturday Night Live. Lots of stuff.
But the bottom line is that Barack Obama’s campaign had some air let out of the balloon this week by a media that began to feel guilty for imbalanced coverage of the two. And Obama’s folks lost control of the agenda-setting function that a frontrunner usually has.
After the Wisconsin debate, I thought that Clinton had begun to acquiesce to Obama’s surge. Many on her campaign — at high levels — thought this was the case as well. And what I thought was taking place after was a “negotiation” for what the role of the Clinton franchise would be.
That is now a dead narrative. Clinton is back and wants to win. Obama still has a magic aura, but it is a bit more tarnished this week than last.
And the bottom line tonight — despite the fact that Obama won Vermont and that Texas is so close and the caucus process so mismanaged that it’s hard not to believe that a recount won’t be demanded — is that Hillary Clinton “did a McCain” tonight — and she’s back in the race. . .big time.
— Steve Clemons