Rumor du jour: Hillary thinking of skipping Nevada and SC, forming "Anybody But Obama" 527 group; Update: Worst idea evah?

The sourcing’s hazy (one Clinton aide is quoted arguing against the idea but no one’s cited as being in favor) and I’m suspicious of HuffPo hitting her from her left to Obama’s obvious advantage. But if she gets crushed tonight, what’s the sense in going on a national defeat tour? She’s guaranteed to win New York on Big Tuesday; if she turns that day into Hillary’s Last Stand, she can squeeze a little “comeback kid” magic out of the press and maybe get her fundraisers to go all in. The task at this point is simply to survive until then and pour whatever money she has into the other Big Tuesday states. Skipping Nevada and SC ensures that she can do that. Losing badly in them, maybe not.

The Clinton campaign has raised over $100 million, but has “only” $15 to $20 million left. It faces donor reluctance to give more in the face of the Iowa defeat and the prospect of a second loss in New Hampshire today. Even worse, the campaign fears defections among those fundraisers who want to be with a winner and who might be easily persuaded to support Barack Obama…

Both states look like probable defeats for Clinton. South Carolina has a large black electorate that is now likely to back Obama by wide margins, and the Democratic primary is open to all voters, including independents and Republicans, two other groups that in Iowa backed Obama decisively. Clinton had looked fully competitive in Nevada, but Obama’s victories have boosted his chances there and now he appears almost certain to get the endorsement of the powerful Culinary Workers Union.

Arguing against pulling out of South Carolina and Nevada are Clinton aides who say that bowing out now would guarantee four defeats in a row – Iowa, N.H. lost at the ballot box, and South Carolina. and Nevada given up by default – would be a disastrous precursor to the February 5 contests. “You’ve got to put some points on the board. You can’t just let the other guys run up the score and expect to come back in the fourth quarter,” one Clinton aide said.

The other nugget, in the “too bad to check” vein, is that her major fundraisers are supposedly thinking of starting a 527 they’re calling the … “Anybody But Obama Committee.” The guy who’s drawing record turnouts among Dems and independents is so dangerous and unqualified that we should elect anybody but him? Good luck, Hillary.

I don’t know how she turns this around. If Obama was in, say, Huck’s position vis-a-vis Mitt, where he’s got a victory or two but no money then she could try to outspend him. As it is, he’s got more cash on hand than she does and is likely to be swimming in it on Big Tuesday, especially if he doesn’t have to spend as much time campaigning in Nevada and South Carolina. Barring some sort of major scandal — which she’ll just be blamed for leaking anyway — it seems the air’s out of the balloon.

In the meantime, Karol’s drinking in the daytime again.

Update: Hotline says this would be suicide for Hillary. This point is especially sharp:

First, she’d be accused of alienating minority voters. The main reason the DNC voted to move up the votes in SC and NV was to give the two largest minority voting groups, hispanics and African-Americans, a larger voice in the race. Hispanics in NV and black voters in SC. Ignoring these states would easily be read as a decision to ignore those voters, who also happen to live in large numbers in 2/5 states like NY, NJ, IL and CA.