Now that Hillary Clinton has won the popular vote in Texas and Ohio, she has every reason to stay in the race. And every reason to keep the heat on Barack Obama. After all, going negative worked.

A lot of people have criticized Clinton for the now famous “3 a.m.” ad but it was a brilliant piece of messaging. For the last few months, she’s said over and over that her experience should trump Obama’s charisma. The voters didn’t seem to be getting the point. So she hit them over the head with it. The heavy handed approach played on people’s fears but it finally communicated what all the “ready on day one” talk never did. It’s not just that she’s more capable of passing a healthcare plan, it’s that she’s not a novice who might make a fatal mistake in a crisis.

Obama, of course, helped Clinton out enormously with his very novice-like NAFTA snafu. It made him look unaware of the complexities in dealing with foreign nations. Now, Clinton will attack him for anything he does that makes him or his advisors seem inexperienced. And the press, which is slowly emerging from the fogged windows of Obama love, is likely to give plenty of coverage to the Clinton version of the stories.

Whether or not you think the negative tactics are appropriate, they clearly work. Obama now has a choice, either shred his carefully crafted image as a post-partisan and go negative himself or figure out an extremely smart parry. Oh, and it would help if he didn’t tell any more foreign governments one thing while telling the voters another.

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