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February 26, 2008
Hillary Camp beginning to Implode
With a week before the crucial Texas and Ohio primaries, the Clinton campaign seems adrift and rudderless with no idea how to combat Barack Obama's growing inevitability as the Democratic candidate for president.
This has led to some recriminations and finger pointing - a sure sign that this once vaunted operation is coming apart at the seams:
Looking backward, interviews with a cross-section of campaign aides and sympathetic outsiders suggest a team consumed with frustration and finger-pointing about the apparent failure of several recent tactical moves against Barack Obama. Ultimately, there is only one person to blame - and that's the candidate herself.
Looking forward, it is clear Clinton’s team has only a faint and highly improvisational strategy about what to do over the next seven days.
Simply put, there is no secret weapon.
At Tuesday night’s debate in Ohio, aides are mapping plans for drawing persistent attention to Obama’s record without attempting any knock-out punch theatrics that could backfire.
Many recent decisions have done exactly that. This has left the campaign awash in anger over who is to blame.
But mostly the campaign has become a grim slog. Unable to make anything stick, the campaign is throwing out a dizzying array of potential storylines each day. That photo has turned into a godsend for Obama as he is using it to decry bigotry and dirty politics - two issues that have rallied a majority of Democrats to his side already.
A memo from Wolfson was headed: “Unanswered Questions by Obama on Outside Spending” by unions in Texas and Ohio. “Simply put, Obama's trying to have it both ways, decrying political loopholes two months ago and using them to his advantage now,” Wolfson wrote. “That's hardly change you can believe in.”
But this storyline got little traction on a day when frazzled staffers at the campaign’s Northern Virginia headquarters was consumed by the Drudge photo controversy.
The Clinton campaign has lost the support of its key constituencies over the last fortnight and appears to have no strategy to get them back. This leads one to believe that the March 4 primaries in Texas, Ohio, Vermont, and Rhode Island could very well be Clinton's swan song.