The Incredibly Shrinking Democrats

As the race drags on, Obama and Clinton are diminishing each other, turning a big campaign into a small one

Diana Walker for TIME

U.S. Senator and Presidential Candidate Senator Hillary Clinton waiting to be announced the night of the Pennsyvlvania Primary on August 22, 2008. Seen with her from far left is her mother, Dorothy Rodham, her husband Bill Clinton and daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

"This election," Bill Clinton said in the hours before the Pennsylvania primary, "is too big to be small." It was a noble sentiment, succinctly stated, and the core of what Democrats believe — that George W. Bush has been a historic screwup as President, that there are huge issues to be confronted this year. But it was laughable as well. The Pennsylvania primary had been a six-week exercise in diminution, with both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama — and Bill Clinton too — losing altitude and esteem on an almost daily basis. Even as he spoke, the...

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