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Clinton, Obama Camps Fight For Positioning

In a memo to "interested parties," Clinton Communications Director Howard Wolfson pushes back against the idea that Barack Obama will be able to claim a measure of victory following tomorrow's primaries in Kentucky and Oregon. Full text of the memo follows:
Senator Obama's plan to declare himself the Democratic nominee tomorrow night in Iowa [link] is a slap in the face to the millions of voters in the remaining primary states and to Senator Clinton's 17 million supporters.

There is no scenario under the rules of the Democratic National Committee by which Senator Obama will be able to claim the nomination tomorrow night. He will not have 2210 delegates, the number needed with Florida and Michigan included in the process, nor will he have 2025 delegates, the number needed to secure the nomination without Florida and Michigan.

Premature victory laps and false declarations of victory are unwarranted. Declaring mission accomplished does not make it so.

While Senator Obama inaccurately declares himself the nominee, Senator Clinton will continue to work hard, campaigning for every vote in the upcoming states and making the case that she will be the best nominee to take on John McCain and be our next President.

Obama will be in Iowa tomorrow night, the site of the caucus victory which launched his campaign. The symbolic move is a "terrific way to bring things full circle," Obama told reporters Sunday while shying away from declaring outright victory. But in an e-mail to supporters today, Obama manager David Plouffe argues differently. Partial text:
We're poised to reach a major milestone tomorrow.

When the votes are counted in Oregon and Kentucky, we could secure a majority of delegates elected by the voters.

A clear majority of elected delegates will send an unmistakable message -- the people have spoken, and they are ready for change.

As we near victory in one contest, the next challenge is already heating up. President Bush and Senator McCain have begun coordinating their attacks on Barack Obama in an effort to extend their failed policies for a third term.