The Clinton campaign has been telling reporters for a while that February was going to be a tough month. They got that right, big time.
Barack Obama will officially move ahead in the delegate count tomorrow following expected wins in Virginia, Maryland and D.C. The Associated Press currently has Hillary in front of Barack by a nose, 1,127 to 1,087.
Howard Wolfson, Clinton’s communications director, had told the media that Obama enjoyed some advantages with the February schedule of votes.
Wolfson, however, could not have imagined that Clinton would be slaughtered by Obama in states like Washington and Maine, two places in which Camp Clinton thought it was competitive. Obama took 68 percent of the vote in Washington and 59 percent of the tally in Maine (“As Maine Goes, So Does the Nation”). A triple trouncing is on tap in the Feb. 12 “Potomac Primaries.”
Wisconsin (Feb. 19) is the next big state up for grabs. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel believes Obama is in for a big day as registered Independents can vote in the Dairy State’s Democratic primary.
The J-S, in fact, is more interested in whether Obama can grab more Independents than Republican John McCain. Poor Hillary is an after-thought.
The Clinton campaign has placed its hopes on the big March 4 primaries in Ohio and Texas and Pennsylvania on April 22. That plan may have made sense months ago, but “Big Mo” is now on the Obama Team. Or as Obama noted yesterday: “We have now won on the Atlantic coast, we won in the Gulf Coast, we won on the Pacific and we won in between the coasts.”
The Illinois Senator has beaten Clinton by more than 200K votes in the primaries and caucuses held so far. Ohio and Texas are far from "locks" for Clinton, and it could be all over by the time Pennsylvania steps to the plate.
The Clinton Camp has now installed Maggie Williams as campaign chief, replacing Patti Solis Doyle. It will be interesting to see how Williams interacts with Clinton’s chief strategist, Mark Penn.
Penn is a polling genius who is a master of the "microtrend." That’s a skill that may not be so relevant in `08 as the country hungers for broad change.
Penn is playing “small ball,” while Team Obama is knocking them out of the ballpark.