Is Obama recovering?

Obama's new "minute" ads (see Travis' post) are a vast improvement over what I have felt has been his meandering and unfocused media campaign in recent months. These ads reintroduce Obama to voters, do not assume voters understand who he is, and do a much better job at showing he is in touch with the central issue of the race - the struggle of every day people.

What happens on Tuesday is anybody's guess. But the drama continues to be can Senator Clinton somehow change the dynamic of the race enough to forstall her inevitable defeat (see this New York Times piece for an excellent summary of the state of the race)? Can she get a big enough "win" on Tuesday to begin truly challenging the "Obama is winning this thing" narrative?

As of today, it seems that Obama's very bad week has begun to turn. He won Guam. He has continued to win important superdelegates, including NDN's Chairman Joe Andrew. The Gallup and Rasmussen daily tracks today suggest Obama's Wright-induced slide in the national polls has abated, and in both polls he has gained a little ground in the last two days. Reviews for his "Meet the Press" appearance have been strong. Obama's media is giving more help down the stretch than we've seen in sometime. It is now fair to say that this week the Obama campaign has demonstrated the kind of counterpunching capacity many believe has been lacking in the last few months, and will be requiired for him to become the President.

For Senator Clinton, this is yet again another make or break Tuesday. She has without doubt had a strong last couple of weeks. But I believe she will now have to win both Indiana and North Carolina to have any chance of changing the central dynamic of the race, which is still very much stacked against her. Her chance to win the race outright has increased a great deal in recent weeks, but with the remaining states likely to break 50/50 Obama/Clinton, this Tuesday night is shaping up to be another nailbiting night of cable TV news, and one that may be among the most important of a lot of important Tuesdays this year.