Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama is bidding this week to reach a symbolically potent milestone in his nominating battle with Hillary Clinton and take the fight to Republican John McCain.
Obama is not planning to spend the election night in either state, heading instead to
And in recent days, the politician bidding to be
On Sunday, during a stop in
"Let me be clear: privatizing Social Security was a bad idea when (President) George W. Bush proposed it. Its a bad idea today," Obama said. "But in George Bush and John McCain’s Washington, the message to the middle class is: you’re on your own," he said, proposing to raise taxes for higher earners to guarantee future pension payments.
The McCain campaign responded: "With his lack of experience, it should be no surprise that Barack Obama’s response to the problems facing Social Security is to raise Social Security taxes, while making misinformed partisan attacks."
Polls show Obama leading in
Obama’s campaign says he needs just 17 more pledged delegates -- won through state contests -- to reach a majority of 1,627.
While that would represent a watershed in the Democratic race, that does not count "super delegates," party leaders who can vote for the nominee of their choice.
Including super delegates, the winning nomination line is 2,025. According to RealClearPolitics.com, Obama has 1,897 delegates in total to
On Saturday night Obama predicted that victory in the liberal state of
"There is no standard under which Senator Obama will have secured the nomination on Tuesday night," Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson said, pressing anew for disputed delegates from Florida and Michigan to be counted.
But according to a Washington Post report Sunday, some fundraisers for Obama and Clinton are tentatively joining forces to adopt a general election footing against McCain. The newspaper quoted Mark Aronchick, a Philadelphia lawyer and top fundraiser for
"Only if we do this right, and see this through in the right way, will there be a chance for a full, rapid and largely complete unification of the party," Aronchick said, while insisting he was not giving up on
Some analysts are asserting there is no path to victory for the
"The problem is, the math doesn’t add up. No matter how you do this, this race is fundamentally over," Democratic strategist Bob Shrum told NBC television. "She’s not going to be the Democratic nominee for president. Barack Obama is. And we need to go into a process of healing," he said.
As attention switched to the campaign for November, talk about vice presidential nominees intensified.
Senator Jim Webb, a highly decorated Marine veteran, is being touted to give national-security heft to the relatively inexperienced Obama. Webb’s state of
But the Democrat, a navy secretary in Ronald Reagan’s Republican administration of the 1980s, told NBC: "At this point, no ones asking, no ones talking, and I’m not that interested."