So, after Pennsylvania, where are we?

I'm traveling this morning, so only could a quick post. Sorry in advance for any typos....

So, after Senator Clinton's impressive win last night, where are we?

In a post yesterday, I wondered whether Senator Clinton still had the power on her own to alter the dynamic of the race, a dynamic that currently has Senator Obama winning and her losing. There can be no question now that Senator Clinton had a big "win" last night, and initial fundraising numbers show her in the process of reloading her depleted coffers. So it is possible that last night was more than postponing the inevitable -- it was a new opening, a new opportunity for her to recast the race.

We will know more about that in the next few days. Things to look for are the national poll numbers (which have been trending heavily against her in recent days), both her fundraising and Senator Obama's, the polls in the next round of states and whether she can raise her own game up and start crafting a more positive vision for the country. Her recent spate of brutal attacks on Senator Obama have dramatically increased her own negatives. So while it may have kept him from getting too close in Pennsylvania, it has cost her in the rest of the country. She will have to take on the growing unhappiness with the tone of her campaign (an issue I discussed a while back) that is beginning to permeate the chattering classes, if she is to have any chance of winning the nomination and going on to win the Presidency.

As for Senator Obama, I offered some thoughts on the state of his campaign on Monday. His job is a different one from Senator Clinton's. Among the things I might suggest is that he needs to re-orient his campaign around the economy (his closing Pennsylvania ads did not directly address the economy, both the number one issue in the race and Senator Clinton's greatest strength), more adroitly indict - not attack - his opponent, dramatically improve the paid advertising of the campaign, which has yet to produce a single memorable piece of video or demonstrate that it can move numbers in key states and address his perceived weakness with Hispanics.

From my conversations with reporters yesterday, the idea that "he can't close" is taking hold in the media, and I think is a serious and important notion for his campaign to address. It speaks to many things - his inexperience, his toughness, his leadership skills and his ability to play the game.

Just as I wrote that the six weeks after March 4 would be tough for Senator Clinton, these next two weeks will be a truly important test for Senator Obama. He needs to prevent erosion, keep his supporters excited, address some long overdue weaknesses in his campaign and show that he has the kind of grit, toughness and wisdom to be an effective President.

So did last night alter the dynamic of the race? It is too early to tell. After March 4, Senator Clinton seemed to drift, lose focus. Senator Obama seemed to raise his game. So one never knows. But these next two weeks are going to be an extraordinary thing to watch, and very important in both picking the nominee and preparing that nominee for a tough battle in the fall.