Clinton Clings to Campaign


From CBS News' Fernando Suarez:

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.V. -- Hours after squeaking out a win in Indiana and getting trounced in the North Carolina primary, many in the national press were convinced it was the end of the line for Hillary Clinton.

In the wee hours of the morning (3:36 am, to be exact) the traveling press was alerted via email that Clinton had added an event in West Virginia. The campaign rally is being seen by some as a last ditch effort for Clinton to stay in the race. Originally, Clinton had only one event in Washington today, a fundraiser with her mother and daughter Chelsea.

It's clear that the hastily scheduled event in rural West Virginia is an attempt by the campaign to muzzle what would have been a full day of negative coverage laced with speculation on whether Clinton will call it quits. One of her supporters, former senator and presidential candidate George McGovern, has called on Clinton to drop out of the race. "We respectfully disagree with Sen. McGovern on this," said Clinton spokesman Jay Carson. "Millions and millions of voters agree that this contest should continue."

Some Democrats have also continued to float the idea of a joint ticket with Barack Obama. Clinton's Communications Director Howard Wolfson emphatically denied that there had been any discussions with the Obama campaign over a unity ticket.

Despite the double digit loss in North Carolina and the narrow 2 point win in Indiana, Clinton's staff remains resolute that she will be the nominee. Wolfson pointed out that they will need big wins in a couple of upcoming primary states, West Virginia and Kentucky, where she is expected to do well. He said that Florida and Michigan delegates must be seated, and that they will continue to make the case to superdelegates that Clinton is the most electable candidate against John McCain.

Just as the campaign seemed to be getting back on the right track after Clinton's big win in Pennsylvania, news surfaced that Clinton has loaned her campaign more of her own money. As of April, Clinton has loaned the campaign more than $6 million, not including the original $5 million she lent the campaign back in late January. That leaves Clinton's total contribution to her campaign at $11.42 million.