HRC 'More Determined Than Ever'

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CHARLESTON, W. Va - No headline speaks louder about Hillary Clinton's intentions now and for the remainder of the hard-fought, up-and-down battle for the Democratic nomination.

Clinton also declared herself the best nominee for the party and said she wants Michigan and Florida delegates seated and left no doubt that the Clinton threshold for the nomination is 2,209, the number that includes Michigan and Florida.

Clinton declared that "swing states elect presidents and we win the swing states."

"You know I never give up and I'll keep coming back," Clinton said with a timbre and gusto that drew lusty cheers here at the Charleston Civic Center.

No one knows that Clinton will "keep coming back" better than Obama's top strategists in Chicago.
Obama's tactical move to leave West Virginia to surrogates (Sen. Jay Rockefeller and Rep. Nick Rahall) blew up in his face.

As the putative nominee with an earned media deluge of "he's the nominee," Obama nevertheless saw Clinton roll up huge margins in West Virginia and give Clinton not a comeback but a credible argument to continue (and that's the best outcome she could have achieved).

West Virginia's Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin told me Clinton's end-to-end trek across the state earned her valuable respect and Obama's forfeit treatment may have backfired.

Manchin said the shattering turnout here - possibly more than 400,000 - is not only historic but indicative of a campaign that's motivated, energized and rallied voters to the Democratic cause.

Manchin said he will remain neutral in this race and announce his endorsement after all the contests conclude on June 3.

As for Clinton, Manchin said, "She's earned the right to stay in this race."

Manchin said he disagrees with Democratic strategists who believe the length of the campaign has hurt the party.

"We had three times the early vote (absentee) turnout and we know a lot of the new voters we saw today asked for Democratic ballots."

Clinton made a point of thanking Manchin for his hospitality in the Mountain State and reminded all in attendance they were together in Manchin's hometown of Fairmont (just in case anyone forgot).

Before the confetti cannons showered the happy hundreds below (unlike Indiana where after a dreary night of nail-biting the Indianapolis confetti cannons flopped), Clinton told the story of Florence Steen, 88, who lives in South Dakota and requested an absentee ballot to cast in the upcoming June 3rd South Dakota primary. The request came from Steen's hospice, where her daughter delivered the ballot that Steen filled out to vote for Clinton as an answer to the memory of being alive when women could not vote.

Clinton announced that Steen passed away recently but that her vote would count and her voice would be heard.

For anyone searching for motivation in Hillaryland, this story is a window into her perspective on the history-making dimensions of this race. Florence Steen doesn't explain everything and her vote can't alter the seemingly irreversible math behind Obama's equally historic quest for the presidency. But for a candidate given one hundred reasons to quit, Steen's vote - freighted with history - keeps Clinton's wheels turning and this campaign churning.