By Daniel Politi, Slate Magazine
The Washington Post and USA Today go big with the rescue efforts in China but devote their lead spots to Sen. Hillary Clinton’s overwhelming victory over Sen. Barack Obama in the West Virginia primary. Clinton trounced Obama by more than 40 percentage points in what everyone says was one of the most lopsided results of the primary season. But while Clinton’s camp insists yesterday’s results illustrate that she has a better chance of beating Sen. John McCain in November, it doesn’t seem like many are paying attention. (Case in point: Today marks the first time this year that the LAT doesn’t put the results of a Democratic primary on Page One.)
Even though Clinton’s resounding victory in West Virginia means she’ll get most of the state’s 28 pledged delegates, it’ll do little to change the overall math that will almost certainly crown Obama as the Democratic nominee. Slate‘s John Dickerson puts it in perspective and writes that unless the rules for Michigan and Florida delegates change, Clinton “must reverse the math by convincing more than 70 percent of the remaining superdelegates to initiate Party Armageddon by denying Obama the nomination.” Still, the results illustrated that Obama might have trouble getting West Virginia voters into his column in November, as more than half said they’d be dissatisfied if he wins the nomination. The NYT highlights that “racial considerations emerged as an unusually salient factor” yesterday as two in 10 white voters said race influenced their decision, and the overwhelming majority of them backed Clinton.
USAT and LAT take a look at the question of how Clinton could go about erasing her campaign’s $21 million debt, which includes more than $11 million that came from her own pockets. Experts note that Obama will probably have to step in to help, a move that has plenty of precedent. Obama wouldn’t be able to directly transfer money from his campaign to Clinton’s, but he could ask his supporters to donate money or headline a fundraiser. Clinton has about $22 million for the general election, and she could ask donors to send that money to Obama so his supporters would feel better about donating to her cause. Alternatively, she could transfer the debt to her Senate account and ask donors to send money in that direction. But she must act quickly if she hopes to get her personal loan back, because she can only recoup that money until the convention.
The Post fronts, and everyone mentions, news from a special congressional election in Mississippi, where a Democrat won a House seat that had been Republican since 1995. It was the third time this year that a Democrat won a special election for what had been a Republican-held seat, which everyone sees a sign of the troubles that the GOP will face in November. “There is no district that is safe for Republican candidates,” Rep. Chris Van Hollen said.