News yesterday that Illinois Sen. Barack Obama has raked in $25 million in the first quarter of 2007--just $1 million less than New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and more than any other Democratic or Republican presidential candidate--does much more than solidify Obama as a formidable White House hopeful who is living up to the hype that has surrounded his candidacy. Perhaps just as important, it undermines one of the central pillars of Clinton's argument that she should be the Democrats' next presidential nominee: that she can give the GOP the best run for its money.
In addition to ending the Iraq war, the Clinton camp believes that the main priority for Democratic voters in the '08 presidential primaries will be who can win in November, particularly after the Democratic presidential defeats of the last two cycles. To that end, Clinton's message machine has been making the argument that she is the only Democratic contender with the experience and heft--including fundraising ability--who could defeat the GOP nominee. With Obama's fundraising keeping pace with hers, Clinton may have to retool her pitch.
By Dan Gilgoff