Dueling Spin: The Big Picture V. Clinton's Taxes

Dueling spin calls today, the first involving two senators and Harold Ickes and Mark Penn -- fun, fun, because Mr. Ickes and Mr. Penn are said not to get along.

"Too much is yet unknown about Sen. Obama," Mr. Ickes said. "There is not another shoe to drop about Sen. Clinton."

Ickes made a point of noting that even pledged delegates weren't bound, although he did not say that the campaign would go back on its "pledge" pledge -- that's the pledge not to lobby the pledge delegates.

Mr. Penn said that Obama broke under pressure. "After only a few days of questioning, Sen. Obama's vote significantly went down."

Ickes's made the case:

"What's really important, is not whether you won a state like Idaho, where there are a handful of Democrats, it's what electoral base do you bring to this enterprise in key, swing and purple states, which I include the likes of New Mexico, the likes of Tennessee, and the likes of Ohio,a and the likes of Florida?

On to the call by Obama's chief strategist, David Axelrod.

"What's good for the goose is good for the gander. The vetting of Hillary Clinton is just going to start," he said.

The buzzwords: Vin Gupta and taxes.

"We're going to ask your guys to your jobs."

About ten minutes after the call began, Howard Wolfson, Clinton's communications chief, e-mailed a statement:

Faced with many legitimate questions about Senator Obama's long-time relationship with indicted political fixer Tony Rezko, the Obama campaign has chosen to lash out at Senator Clinton.

Here are the facts:

Over 20 years of the Clintons' tax returns are in the public domain.

Their tax returns since they left the White House will be made available on or around April 15.

This information will be in addition to 15 years of uninterrupted public financial disclosure reports.

Instead of making false attacks, we urge Senator Obama to release all relevant financial and other information related to indicted political fixer Tony Rezko.



The reporter questions focused on delegate math. Said Axelrod: "It's increasingly clear that Sen. Obama is going to be the pledged delegate leader on the basis of the votes he's gotten across the country. The math has not changed as a result of yesterday."

Would the Obama campaign be open to a do-over in Florida and Michigan?

Axelrod: "Well, I don't know, and I'm not going to get into the modes of resolution to this. This is in the hands of the chairman of the party, of the DNC, and we will work with the whatever they work out."