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In Final Days, Clinton Maintains Grueling Campaign Schedule


From CBS News' Fernando Suarez:

INDIANAPOLIS – In the long sprint to the finish, Hillary Clinton is not leaving anything to chance, maintaining an exhausting schedule and promising to keep it up until the May 6th primaries in North Carolina and Indiana.

Today, she will hit three states, including campaign stops in Indiana, a flight into Kentucky with a drive to southern Indiana, and an evening trip to North Carolina. The schedule calls for a 17 hour day with a variety of campaign rallies, a local stop, and press interviews interlaced throughout the day. Over the past two days, Clinton campaigned for 18 hours Tuesday, followed by a 17 hour day yesterday.

Although Clinton has always kept a vigorous schedule throughout this campaign, never has she put so much effort into the days leading up to a contest. Barack Obama has also put in long days, with a slightly different emphasis on the types of events he does. Over the past few days, Obama has started his day at 8am and ended around midnight. Although that, too, is a long day, a brief look at his schedule over the past two days show that he favors local retail stops to large campaign rallies, splitting the day up with two rallies and two local stops each day. Local stops usually consist of visits to local eateries or popular gathering places, like bowling alleys.

Yesterday alone, Clinton did a retail stop at a gas station, a tour of a sheet metal factory, followed by brief remarks and a press conference. Later that day, she held a town hall event with union leaders, a rally in downtown Lafayette in the heart of Purdue University, followed by an hour and a half drive north to Kokomo for a final rally. Today, she will hold 3 rallies and one local stop before taking a late night flight to Greenville, North Carolina.

When asked why Clinton was maintaining such a full schedule and such long days, Clinton campaign spokesman Mo Elleithee joked, "to punish you." He then added, "It's crunch time. She's trying to reach as many voters as possible."

It is clear that for a variety of reasons, Clinton sees Indiana and North Carolina as though the end may be in sight. A big loss in one or both states could bolster support for Obama and add pressure from both the Democratic Party leaders and superdelegates for Clinton to drop out. But winning both – or even just one – will solidify for Clinton and her campaign that this contest is far from over, and that perhaps her strategy of going all day and all night may be working, much to the chagrin of the traveling press corps.