Barack Obama's chief strategist grew up loving the political fight while holding to the ideals in the message.
He narrowed Clinton's lead to 13, picking up four after Tuesday's primaries.
By the next primary, April 22, the way to count Florida and Michigan may be settled.
The black vote was key to his decisive win Saturday. To be competitive in the Feb. 5 sweepstakes, he'll need a broader coalition of independents, young people, and affluent whites, analysts say.