Friday, February 29, 2008

Clinton Shifts Expectations Again

Nothing surprises me anymore when it comes to the Clinton campaign. Whether she releases ads to play on the fears of voters, throws the kitchen sink at Obama full of negative attacks or changing expectations of her campaign, this is nothing new from a candidate that will do anything to win. Now she's playing down next Tuesday's contests and it seems that she'll be happy to go on as long as she wins one race out of four.

From The Politico:

At the start of the call, Plouffe read back predictions by Clinton campaign officials that they would be nearly tied – or even ahead – in the delegate count after March 4, an eventuality that now seems unlikely even if Clinton has a strong day.

“Those are their own benchmarks,” Plouffe said. “The Clinton campaign has to begin winning big states by big margins to have any hope of erasing this delegate deficit. … The most likely outcome Tuesday is not a huge delegate swing either way.”

The latest CBS News delegate count has Obama at 1,373 and Clinton at 1,265. That includes the party insiders known as super delegates. The count for pledged delegates – those allocated based on primaries and caucuses – is Obama at 1,192 and Clinton at 1,035.

Plouffe said that if the Ohio vote is close – say, less than 5 percent – the leader will only pick up three delegates. He referred to the press role as “referees” of how the results will be interpreted, and he sought to convince reporters that even if Clinton wins the popular vote in one of the states, she is likely to still face an insurmountable deficit in the delegate count.

After the call, the Clinton campaign e-mailed a memo entitled, "Obama Must-Wins": "The media has anointed Barack Obama the presumptive nominee and he's playing the part. With an eleven-state winning streak coming out of February, Senator Obama is riding a surge of momentum that has enabled him to pour unprecedented resources into Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont. ... Senator Obama has campaigned hard in these states. He has spent time meeting editorial boards, courting endorsers, holding rallies, and - of course - making speeches. If he cannot win all of these states with all this effort, there's a problem."

No Senator Clinton, the problem is with you and the assumption you will still be in this after Tuesday. Your campaign said winning Ohio and Texas were crucial. Many of your supporters agree. It would be embarrassing if you were to continue this race if you can't win Texas and Ohio in five days. You might find that all those friends are going to disappear very quickly.