Hillary Rodham Clinton’s National Gallery portrait by Ginny Stanford
This morning, I was invited to a media call with Clinton campaign director Howard Wolfson and strategist Mark Penn.
It took forever for the call operator to get me on the call — more than 12 minutes waiting so missed the beginning of Wolfson’s statement.
But some of the general lines offered from Penn and Wolfson:
1. Hillary Clinton won more people who made their decisions on the very last day. Obama had momentum in the previous days — but then that broke towards Clinton in the final 24 hours, which is consistent with the Gallup Tracking Poll.
2. The Hallmark Channel “national town hall” and the Los Angeles debate seemed to matter. The Clinton campaign has called for more debates with Barack Obama — but Clinton’s team is unaware of any response thus far from the Obama camp.
3. Obama’s momentum was broken. Clinton bounced back to significant victory in places like California and Massachusetts.
4. Results in Missouri important. Hillary won 110 of 115 rural districts in Missouri — debunking the myth that she can’t win in rural areas.
5. She also showed that she is competitive in attracting youth. Clinton won the youth vote in California and Massachusetts.
6. There were very strong increases in turnout in groups that support Hillary — women and Latinos. Debunking the claim that only Obama is driving new voters to the polls, Clinton is driving increased numbers to the polls in these categories.
7. Economy is top issue. Clinton won on her concerns about America’s economic situation and her health care proposal.
8. Overall, people rejected the increasingly “establishment oriented” campaign of Barack Obama — and accepted her more “substantive campaign.” This comment was made by Mark Penn.
9. From a delegate perspective, the campaign’s goal was to be ahead in terms of super delegates and regular delegates. Currently, Clinton is in the lead in yesterday’s race by just 1 delegate. Both candidates will be within 5 or 6 delegates of each other when the counting is finished. Yesterday was a draw in terms of delegates. Hillary remains ahead in overall delegate count.
10. Ben Smith from Politico asked if the Clinton’s had loaned some of their own money to the campaign. Wolfson did not know and would be back to the media with a definitive answer.
11. Andrea Mitchell just jumped on the call — and like me was in conference call purgatory waiting a very long time to get on — and missing much of the prepared commentary from Wolfson and Penn.
12. In the next few days, the Clinton campaign expects Obama to do well in other states — but Clinton will also take a large delegate haul.
13. Mark Penn said that they will have sufficient funds to continue to compete with Obama in various political markets — even though they expect to be “outspent” like they were yesterday.
14. Hillary Clinton won a ton of districts in Missouri and nearly won the state — despite Senator Claire McCaskill’s endorsement of Obama. Clinton seems to be overcoming some of the slew of endorsements that Barack Obama had from leading personalities in Massachusetts, California, and nearly in Missouri.
15. Mark Penn made a comment (that I’m not sure I agree with) that Obama has in the past week been running on “establishment” positions — and Hillary Clinton in contrast has been running on change in economic policy and change in health care. (I think that this is a leap — but it is interesting that this is the kind of spin Mark Penn wants out there.)
More later. I hope to be invited to participate on an Obama conference call — but not sure at this point.
— Steve Clemons