Alex Massie

The morning after

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So a good night for Hillary Clinton last night but a better one for John McCain. Here's what Obama had to say this morning:

"I hope people start asking is what exactly is this foreign experience she is claiming," he said. "Was she handling crises during this period of time? I haven’t seen any evidence that she is more equipped to handle a crisis.

"She made the experience argument and her ability to handle a crisis, so I think it is important to examine that claim and not just allow her to assert it," he added. "She has made the argument that she is thoroughly vetted. If the suggestion is somehow that on issue of ethics or disclosure or transparency that she is somehow going to have a better record than I have or could (better) withstand Republican attack, then that should be tested."

This is, I think, a tacit admission that the (absurd!) "3am" ad hurt Obama. For the first time he's really been hit and his chin isn't quite as strong as his supporters must have hoped. Now, however, is the time to strike back. And god knows there's no shortage of material. As a friend says "enough of the audacity of hope, I want to see if this guy can punch".

Overall, however, talk of Clinton as th e"Comeback Gal" is nonsense. As the Texas caucus results come in she's unlikely to have made a net gain of more than ten delegates. That's not nearly enough. Nor has she overhauled Obama's lead in the popular vote (including Florida). Unless she can somehow win either the popular vote or a majority of pledged delegates I still don't see how she can beat him, barring a collapse in Obamamania.

Also: when there's all this talk about a joint ticket, Obama needs to say that hes not sure Clinton would be happy to be Veep. At the moment it's being framed as though he should be the Number 2. He needs to stamp on that pronto.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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