The (London) Daily Telegraph has an interesting story, full of conjecture and unattributed rumor, concerning the enthralling Obama -Clinton race. With the usual caveat that most of the British papers are very pro-Obama, the Telegraph's lead is Hillary Clinton's advisers 'in a state of panic'
The Daily Telegraph may not have got all this correctly. I know we've been here before and the report refers to the Washington and Nebraska caucuses as primaries but there may be some versimilitude to the story that Hillary may be trying to call in the grandees to pull up Obama if he wins at least one of either the Ohio or Texas primaries on March 4th.
Hillary Clinton's most senior advisers are in a state of "panic" about her presidential prospects and are plotting to enlist Democrat leaders in Congress to thwart her rival Barack Obama's ambitions. The Clinton camp is braced for Mr Obama to win a series of primary elections over the next three weeks, (this was before the results of Washington, Nebraska and Louisiana were announced) which they fear could hand the Illinois senator unstoppable momentum in the race for the White House.
Mr Obama has begun calling those "super delegates" - 795 congressmen and senior party officials who could break a dead heat - who are committed to Mrs Clinton, asking them to change their minds and help him wrap up the nomination.
As of tonight, the two candidates were neck and neck but Mr Obama appeared to be gaining momentum
"He's saying: 'Hey, I won your state and I won your congressional district, why are you supporting her?'" a Democrat strategist revealed.
The Clinton camp hopes to stop the Obama bandwagon by winning Texas and Ohio primaries on March 4, after which Mrs Clinton is planning to call on party grandees including Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Harry Reid, the party's leader in the Senate, to persuade Mr Obama to stand down.
Clinton aides have privately admitted that Mr Obama would only consider such a move if offered the position of vice presidential running mate, something Mrs Clinton has always been reluctant to consider.
A senior Democrat who has discussed Clinton campaign thinking with a member of her inner circle said: "The Clintons are in a state of panic. She has to win both Texas and Ohio."
But he added that this might prove impossible if Mr Obama maintains his momentum and wins most, or all, of the nine contests which come before that.
Tonight it's Maine and its 24 delegates, which are up for grabs, plus 10 unpledged super delegates. There are no polls being conducted in Maine and in this state Hillary should definitely be competitive with Obama, based on her Massachusettes and New Hampshire performances. However, it was Obama pulling in the much larger crowd in Bangor yesterday and it's another caucus, a method of choosing delegates which he has done very well in, losing only in Nevada, so far as I remember.
Update: CNN is reporting Clinton shuffles campaign team
(CNN) -- Former Hillary Clinton chief of staff Maggie Williams will take over as campaign manager, Clinton staffers were told today. Current campaign manager and longtime friend Patti Solis Doyle will assume the role of senior adviser.
Update: Obama wins the Maine caucus vote by 59% to 40%. Two excellent CBS '60 Minute' interviews with both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were aired last night. Click on videos.
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