The Race Goes On -- And Gets Uglier

The Race Goes On -- And Gets Uglier

"Now it could get ugly," McClatchy reports in its Tuesday night wrap-up.

Hillary Clinton's victories in Ohio and Rhode Island aren't enough to turn the tide and overtake Barack Obama, who still leads in delegates needed to win the Democratic presidential nomination.

But her victories were enough to stop his winning streak at 12 and break his momentum. Perhaps more important for the party, Tuesday's results likely ratified her scathing attacks on Obama as a dangerous neophyte who would endanger the country.

As long as Clinton thinks that works -- she could say she's found her voice again -- and suspects that other forces also might be starting to line up against Obama, she'll stay in the race and keep hitting him harder and harder.

"We're going on, we're going strong and we're going all the way," she told supporters in Columbus Tuesday night.

She almost certainly can't overtake him in the 11 states left to vote. However, she can stay in and hope that he falters under her attacks, tough new scrutiny from the news media and more Clinton wins in states such as Pennsylvania, which votes on April 22.

Seemingly confirming this take, senior Obama advisor David Axelrod told reporters on Tuesday that his candidate is ready to go toe-to-toe with Clinton:

"We have not hesitated to draw distinctions between the candidates," he said, "and we'll continue to do that. If Sen. Clinton wants to take the debate to various places, we'll join that debate. We'll do it on our terms and in our own way, but if she wants to make issues like ethics and disclosure and lawfirms and real estate deals and all that stuff issues, as I've said before I don't know why they'd want to go there, but I guess that's where they'll take the race."

But is Obama willing to go there?

"We're willing to draw distinctions that are honest and legitimate," Axelrod said before raising the issue of Clinton's tax returns and the records from the Clinton library.

It's going to be a long seven weeks to Pennsylvania....

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