She rebounds with a narrow victory over Obama in New Hampshire
In an extraordinary display of political moxie, Senator Hillary Clinton proved that she definitely cannot be counted out. Displaying signs reminiscent of her husband’s “comeback kid” moniker, she won the New Hampshire primary with 39 percent of the votes and re-established herself as a main player in this young political race for the White House.
The momentum that carried Senator Barack Obama to victory in the Iowa caucuses on January 3 and propelled him into front-runner status was somewhat misleading since he finished second with 37 percent of the vote. However, the senator from Illinois still leads the overall race with 25 delegates won compared to 24 for Clinton.
With her victory, Clinton showed that she is a formidable candidate who has some of the most experienced and well-established political gurus in her camp, and the biggest “ace in the race:” a spouse who himself is an ex-president. So the race is far from being over and the senator from New York is back in the race.
According to the exit polls, the number one and two priorities for the voters in New Hampshire were the economy and the War in Iraq, respectively. Obama’s call for change seemed to have resonated among the rest of the Democratic candidates and even the Republican candidates. Now all the candidates are projecting themselves as agents of change—a real change in their positions—the Obama theme is alive and well.
In order to present a balanced view of the race, after Clinton won in New Hampshire, the Sentinel asked Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a Clinton supporter, for his comment. He said, “We are choosing among the deepest, most talented Democratic field in the single most important election of our lifetime, and I believe Hillary simply has the experience, the strength and the record of leadership that we need to turn around this great country.”
On Tuesday evening, Obama yielded gracefully to Clinton and congratulated her on winning the Democratic primary in New Hampshire. He outlined the difference in his campaign and how far it came from behind to get to “this point.” Projecting the future, he emphasized his theme of change and hope saying, “There is nothing false about hope. Yes we can, we are not as divided as our politics suggest,” he hammered home.
Prior to the final results being broadcasted, Councilwoman Jan Perry, another one of Clinton’s supporters was very guarded in her comments about the New Hampshire primary when she said, “New England voters are different from the voters in Iowa and the results seem to be different in New Hampshire, but who knows. Right now, let’s wait and see.”
When Clinton came before her supporters, she appeared relieved and gratified by the results in New Hampshire, and possessing renewed vigor to continue. She said, “Thank you, New Hampshire, over the last week, I listened to you and in the process, I found my own voice.”
With former Senator John Edwards a distant third with 17 percent of the vote, the Democrat race seems to be moving in the direction of a two-person race. Currently, the score is one for Obama and one for Clinton. On Tuesday, Michigan will be the next national primary and with South Carolina and Nevada just around the corner, a clearer picture of the possible nominee will begin to take shape for the Democrats in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, the Republicans still appear to have a large field of equally-qualified candidates from which their possible nominee will eventually surface. Senator John McCain won the New Hampshire primary with 37 percent of the vote. But the senator from Arizona has only 10 total delegates, third behind former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who has 24 after finishing second in both primaries, and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who has 18 after winning the Iowa caucus and finishing a distant third in New Hampshire.