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It Will Be Decided In June

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Clinton's Campaign Chairman Says 
Contest Will Be Decided in June
By Scott Martelle and Bob Drogin
The Los Angeles Times

If she doesn't emerge as the presumptive nominee then, the 
New York senator would campaign for Obama, Terry McAuliffe 
says. In West Virginia, she modifies speech to make winning 
nomination an 'if.' 

Charleston, West Virginia - As talk swirled this morning 
over when Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton should end her quest 
for the Democratic presidential nomination, her campaign 
chairman predicted the party would have a presumptive 
nominee in June and, if it's not Clinton, she would 
campaign for Sen. Barack Obama. 

The comments by Terry McAuliffe seemed aimed at persuading 
superdelegates and Democratic Party leaders that Clinton 
would not hurt party unity by pressing her campaign through 
the final June 3 primaries in Montana and South Dakota. 

"She can win the states we need to win in the general 
election," McAuliffe said on NBC's "Today" show. "Until 
there is a nominee with the number of necessary delegates, 
why should she get out?" 

Here in Charleston, Clinton told several hundred supporters 
in the marble-lined dome of the state Capitol that pressure 
is growing from party leaders and pundits for her to drop 
out of the race. 

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"Some folks say, 'You've got end this before you get to 
West Virginia,' " she said. "I think we want to keep this 
going so the people of West Virginia's voices are heard." 

She argued that she came under similar pressure to quit 
after losing Iowa in January, after losing more states 
than Obama on Super Tuesday in February, and at other 
disappointing points in the long campaign. 

Clinton sounded almost wistful at times as she pleaded for 

"A lot of you have stuck with me," she said. "You've been 
there through the ups and downs, the toughest moments."

Clinton also modified her stump speech to acknowledge the 
overwhelming odds she now faces. She promised to help 
working Americans "if" she wins the White House, not when, 
as she has vowed in the past. 

"The delegate math may be complicated, but the electoral 
math is easy," Clinton said, arguing that presumptive 
Republican nominee John McCain is a "formidable opponent" 
and that she has won more "swing states" - such as Ohio, 
New Jersey and Pennsylvania - than Obama. 


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Obama, meanwhile, was spending the morning on Capitol Hill 
wooing superdelegates even as he picked up a significant 
new supporter - David Bonior, 2008 campaign manager for 
John Edwards, who has yet to endorse either of his rivals 
for the Democratic nomination. 

In a statement released through the Obama campaign, Bonior, 
a former congressman from Michigan, described Tuesday as 
"a critical moment in this race," with Obama winning North 
Carolina by a wide margin and narrowly falling to Clinton 
in Indiana. 

"Because Barack Obama continues to run a positive campaign 
that focuses on the issues that matter to ordinary 
Americans, he has won a commanding lead in this race, and 
I believe he can and will defeat John McCain in November," 
Bonior said. "Now is the time to unite behind Barack Obama 
so we can end business as usual in Washington and fulfill 
our moral obligation to America's hardworking families." 

In Washington, Obama made a surprise visit to the House 
chamber, zeroing in on the superdelegates - but drawing a 
fair share of Republican greeters too. Obama spoke briefly 
with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco and 
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland as well as some 
Clinton supporters, including Democratic Reps. Ellen O. 
Tauscher of Alamo and Alcee Hastings of Florida. 

Late Wednesday, former President Carter said Democratic 
superdelegates should back whichever candidate won the 
most states, votes and delegates - which right now is 

"I can't imagine that the superdelegates would go against 
them," said Carter, an uncommitted superdelegate who has 
indicated he leans toward Obama. "It would be a catastrophe 
for the party."

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But the Clinton campaign showed no signs of slowing down. 
The New York senator began the day with an appearance in 
Charleston, W. Va., then was to fly on to Sioux Falls, 
S.D., and finish the day with an event in Central Point, 
Ore. - all states still to hold nominating contests. 

And Bill Clinton planned five appearances in West Virginia, 
a state his wife is favored to win Tuesday. But analysts 
generally agree that barring a tidal shift in support away 
from Obama, Clinton has little chance of overtaking the 
Illinois senator's delegate lead, which would leave the 
decision in the hands of the party superdelegates. 

Clinton hopes that strong showings in the last few states 
will help her make the case to those uncommitted super-
delegates that she has momentum and is better able to 
compete against McCain in crucial swing states in the 

McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, is in the New 
York City area today, where his light schedule includes a 
fund-raiser and a planned appearance this evening at the 
gala for Time magazine's "Time 100" list of the world's 
most influential people. 

Obama and Clinton also made the list but were not scheduled 
to attend. 


Times staff writers Maeve Reston in New York and Richard 
Simon in Washington contributed to this report. 

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