Clinton in it to spin it in South Carolina?
Hillary Clinton once said she was "in it to win it," but that may not be the case in South Carolina, where Democrats hold a presidential...
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Hillary Clinton once said she was "in it to win it," but that may not be the case in South Carolina, where Democrats hold a presidential primary Saturday.
After participating in Monday's debate in Myrtle Beach, the New York senator won't be back in the Palmetto State until Friday, campaigning instead in California, Arizona, New Mexico, New Jersey and New York, all of which vote Feb. 5.
Clinton was to attend a Martin Luther King Jr. Day march Monday morning to the state Capitol in Columbia, but her chartered flight arrived too late. Her principal rival, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, did march and received a rock-star reception from thousands of participants. Clinton spoke later at a statehouse rally, as did Obama and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards.
"Maybe she's pulling a Romney, pulling out and going where there's more ducks to hunt," said Don Aiesi, a political scientist at Furman University in South Carolina, referring to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's late decision not to compete heavily in the state's Republican primary.
Doing so would allow Clinton to try to minimize South Carolina's importance by downplaying Obama's win as that of a black candidate in a heavily black state, Aiesi said. "That's the only thing I can say that would explain why she wouldn't go full-stop here, because this is the race of the week. She knows something's happening that's not to her advantage."
Alternatively, Clinton may be trying to manipulate expectations, especially in the news media, as her campaign did in New Hampshire and Nevada. If she loses South Carolina, but narrowly, after having left the state for three days this week, she may be able to spin the media into proclaiming that she did better than expected.
The Clinton campaign says she isn't giving up on South Carolina.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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