One of the most puzzling myths about the drawn-out Obama/Clinton battle is the notion that their bitter mudslinging will damage the Democrats’ chances of victory in November. While working on the Obama campaign in Pennsylvania, which holds its primary next Tuesday, I found the opposite to be the case.
Party elders may (very publicly) wring their hands about the ammunition the warring camps are supplying McCain—Obama the “elitist” snob, Clinton the amoral “monster” and so on—but few have admitted the enormous potential gains from the gripping contest.
No publicity is bad publicity, and throughout March and April the Democrats have dominated the headlines, while McCain’s agenda has slipped from the public eye. Last month alone, the two candidates raised a formidable $60m, and the ongoing campaigning means that armies of Clinton and Obama volunteers up and down Pennsylvania have been gathering reams of useful information about voters—no bad thing in a crucial swing state.
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