Obama returns to campaign trail

He hits the campaign trail running in North Carolina, attacking both Senators Hillary Clinton and John McCain.

And once again, he is defending his relationship with his pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

Senator Obama again condemned controversial remarks made by Wright. But he added that some of the excerpts from Wright's sermons may have been taken out of context.

Obama's back on the campaign trail sporting a tan and a retooled stump speech that sharpens his attacks on Democratic rival Clinton.

"When she takes more money from lobbyists and special interests than any candidate including John McCain, that shows that she doesn't have a sense that we have to change how business is done in Washington," Obama said.

Obama's also calling on the Clinton campaign to dial down the rhetoric even though he understands where it's coming from.

"The status quo is not going to give up easily, not just the Republican status quo, the Democratic status quo. People have been in power a long time. They're used to being in power. They don't like change. They are going to resist it," Obama said.

Bill Clinton says stop the whining, telling an audience in West Virginia, "If a politician doesn't want to get beat up he shouldn't run for office. Let's just saddle up and have an argument. What's the matter with that? That's the American way."

Democratic super delegate Donna Brazile agreed.

"It's just a very competitive race, a very exciting race at this time. Perhaps it's the spaghetti strategy – throw everything up against the wall and see what sticks," she said.

But according to a new Gallup poll, the cost of the conflict may be higher than Democrats are willing to pay with 28 percent of Clinton supporters saying they'll vote for Republican John McCain over Obama, and 19 percent of Obama backers saying the same thing vis-à-vis McCain over Clinton.

"it piles up, I mean, all these trivia, stuff after a while keeps piling up and piling up and you get a lot of hurt feelings and you get a lot of antagonism especially among the candidates' supporters, die-hard supporters," said Professor Paul Green, political analyst.

The tone of the campaign is obviously worrying some Democrats. But others like Brazile point out that voter turnout and excitement is at an all-time high. And it'll continue once the party nominates Obama or Clinton. But one columnist describes Clinton's continuing fight against very long odds as the politics of hopelessness. And another calls it the Tonya Harding strategy, which means winning by knee-capping your opponent, a reference to a figure skating fracas more than a decade ago.
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