PHILADELPHIA -- With Barack Obama spending a reported $3.3 million this week on Pennsylvania TV ads, Hillary Clinton's campaign today, in the fine tradition of expectations-setting, sought to make sure everyone knows just how hard the Illinois senator is trying to win here on Tuesday.
"If Senator Obama fails to win Pennsylvania, despite outspending us massively, it will be another sign that he's unable to win in the large states that a candidate for president on the Democratic ticket needs to win," Clinton's communications director, Howard Wolfson, told reporters this morning. "It will be another sign that he is unable to close the deal in the latter part of this race."
Wolfson was also asked about the comments yesterday by Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell -- Clinton's top supporter here -- that the flap over Obama's remarks about "bitter" Pennsylvanians wasn't that big of a deal.
"Governor Rendell is the best surrogate that any candidate could ask for," Wolfson said. But, he said, "we believe that this is an important issue."
Wolfson also said that despite fears among Democrats about the tone of the Obama-Clinton race, it had been a "relatively mild primary campaign" in which "both candidate have focused on the issues." "It has been relatively civil, and I am quite confident that regardless of the outcome ... the party will come together and do everything it can to support the nominee against John McCain."
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.