Accessibility links

Clinton Presses On, Despite Calls to Abandon Presidential Campaign

Democratic Party presidential contender Hillary Clinton shows no signs of quitting the race, despite calls from some fellow Democrats that it is time to concede the nomination fight to rival Barack Obama. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has the latest on the presidential campaign from Washington.

Hillary Clinton campaigned in West Virginia in advance of next Tuesday's primary, and left little doubt it was full steam ahead, despite her disappointing showings this week in North Carolina and Indiana.

"I think we want to keep this going so that the people of West Virginia's voices are heard and their votes are counted! This is a little bit like deja vous all over again," Clinton said. "Some in Washington wanted us to end our campaign, and then I won New Hampshire. Then we had huge victories on Super Tuesday, then we won Ohio and Texas and Pennsylvania, and I was never supposed to win Indiana. Well, I am running to be president of all 50 states, and I want to be sure that we count all 50 states."

On Tuesday, Senator Obama scored a 14-point victory over Clinton in North Carolina and narrowly lost to her in Indiana.

Those results have spurred some Democrats to urge Senator Clinton to abandon her White House bid and throw her support to Obama to help the party retake the presidency in November.

Obama spent part of Thursday meeting with uncommitted superdelegates in Washington and asking for their support. Superdelegates are Democratic officeholders and party activists free to support either candidate at the party convention.

Among the latest prominent Democrats to declare for Obama is former Michigan Congressman David Bonior. He had managed John Edwards' presidential campaign this year and spoke about his decision to support Obama on MSNBC television.

"This is a watershed year, and he has the ability to deliver a message that unifies the country, he has the ability to deliver a message that supports working people in a way that we have not seen in a long, long time," Bonior said.

Bonior's decision came a day after former senator and 1972 Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern announced he was switching his support from Clinton to Obama.

West Virginia is one of six Democratic contests to be held between now and June 3 when the primary season will end.

Clinton campaign chairman, Terry McAuliffe, told NBC television that Senator Clinton will not fight Obama for the nomination all the way to the Democratic national convention in late August.

"I think the superdelegates are going to move very quickly within a week or two after June 3, and I think it will be all over," McAuliffe said. "I do not see it going to the convention. We will have a nominee in June. But with seven million people yet to vote, let us let them vote."

Most of the nearly 800 superdelegates have committed to either Obama or Clinton, and the remaining uncommitted superdelegates will provide the winning margin to one of the contenders to secure enough delegates to win the party nomination.

Some Democrats worry that the lengthy and bitter nomination contest will hurt the party's chances against the presumed Republican candidate, Senator John McCain, in November.

But Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the longer than expected campaign has helped the party by registering hundreds of thousands of new Democratic voters.

"Me, I like combat," Pelosi said. "You know, I think the best training for campaigning is campaigning, so I think that as they have campaigned, the support in our country has grown for our Democratic message. Look at, more than a million Democrats voted in Indiana. That was great, and a big, strong vote in North Carolina of Democrats turning out. So this is all very healthy."

Pelosi is a superdelegate to the national convention, but has not expressed a preference in the presidential race.