Tuesday, February 19, 2008

McCain Wins Wisconsin!

Barack Obama and John McCain are tonight's big winners in Wisconsin, the New York Times reports:

Senator Barack Obama won the Wisconsin primary on Tuesday by a comfortable margin, extending his victory streak to nine states and forcing Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton into a must-win scenario on March 4 as the nominating fight heads to the crucial states of Ohio and Texas.

The victory reinforces Mr. Obama’s position as the front-runner in the Democratic race, even as the Clinton campaign hopes the New York senator can stage a comeback next month when a large haul of delegates are up for grabs in Ohio and Texas.

On the Republican side, Senator John McCain solidly defeated former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas. Mr. McCain, the presumptive nominee, is hoping a commanding victory in Wisconsin will help quash the rebellion within the party.

Freezing conditions did not stop thousands of Wisconsin residents from voting in the presidential primaries, and the votes were just beginning to be counted.

Mr. Obama’s victory was helped in part by support from groups that have traditionally tilted toward Mrs. Clinton, including female and middle-aged voters. Mr. Obama received more than half of the votes cast by white residents and he split the female vote with Mrs. Clinton, according to exit polls conducted by Edison/Mitofsky for the National Election Pool.

“The change we seek is still months and miles away and we need the good people of Texas to help us get there,” Mr. Obama said in a speech in Houston. “We’re here because we believe that change is possible and that we have never needed it more than we do right now!”

In Ohio, Mrs. Clinton appeared to reference Mr. Obama in her remarks. The election, she said, “is about picking a president who relies not just on words, but on work, on hard work to get America back to work.”

“We can’t just have speeches, we’ve got to have solutions, and we need those solutions for America,” she said. “Because while words matter, the best words in the world aren’t enough, unless you match them with action.” Mrs. Clinton added, “I will restore our leadership and moral authority in the world without delays, without on the job training, from day one.”

Mr. McCain, appearing before supporters in Ohio, claimed the Republican nomination and immediately launched into what seemed to be an aggressive broadside against Mr. Obama, dismissing “the peals of change that ignore the lessons of history and lack confidence in the intelligence and ideals of free people.”

“I will fight every moment of every day in this campaign to make sure Americans are not deceived by an eloquent but empty call for change,” Mr. McCain said.
Eloquent and empty?

Not that empty. Obama's been clear in his victory speeches that he'd ratify the antiwar left's surrender agenda. Indeed, Obama's been one of the biggest Democratic retreatists in the Senate majority over the last year, often denouncing the "failed" mission in Iraq.

There's increased attention to a likely McCain-Obama matchup in the fall, which is looking more and more likely given Hillary's complete collapse. Tonight's results clarify matters a bit - and I'm getting a kick out of McCain going after Obama's audacity of retreat!