Heart-ache: "Major" poll shows Hillary and Obama tied ... in Texas; Update: WaPo/ABC

Not sure which one yet. Unless it’s ARG or Zogby, does it matter? The Clenis has already staked the campaign’s fortunes on winning the state so between this and McCain’s non-scandal scandal, we may yet see the Democratic race over before ours is.


Two links for you as we wait for tonight’s debate to see if the Glacier will, in fact, melt away quietly or whether she’s going to go for the throat (as 50% expect she will) before Obama puts her away. Remember, she’s pitching herself as the candidate whose well-honed managerial expertise he can’t hope to replicate. First, the NYT:

Even now, after a string of defeats, her advisers are divided over how to proceed as they head toward what could be her last stands, in Ohio and Texas on March 4.

Some — led by Mark Penn, her chief strategist — have been pushing Mrs. Clinton to draw sharper and deeper contrasts with Mr. Obama, arguing that she has no other option, campaign officials said.

Others, particularly Mandy Grunwald, her media adviser, have pushed for a less aggressive approach, arguing that attacks would not help Mrs. Clinton’s campaign in an environment in which she is increasingly appearing to struggle, aides said…

In a speech in New York on Wednesday, Mrs. Clinton said, in sometimes stark language, that Mr. Obama did not have the credentials to lead the world during a dangerous time. Yet rather than taking the scorched-earth approach that had been urged by some of her associates, much of what she said echoed the criticisms she has aimed at him throughout the campaign.


Unable to decide between her advisors, she sticks with the approach that’s guaranteed not to work. The LAT:

The internal friction over Clinton’s message was never fully resolved. A schism persists to this day. Some people close to the campaign’s inner circle believe Clinton should make more of an effort to show a warmer, softer side before the March 4 primaries. Her next opportunity to present herself to a national audience comes today with a debate against Obama in Austin, to be carried by CNN and Univision.

As they look for where the campaign went wrong, some people knowledgeable about it said that Hillary Clinton bore responsibility because she did not heed calls to limit the overarching power Penn wielded within the brain trust as both its pollster and message-maker.

Some campaign staff did not have access to complete polling data from Penn’s research, meaning it was difficult to challenge the messages he was crafting based on those polls, according to a person familiar with the campaign’s workings.

Aides went to Clinton repeatedly with these concerns, but she stuck by Penn and kept him in his dual roles, according to people familiar with the campaign.


She stuck by Patti Solis Doyle, too. How’d that work out? She’s a cronyist, just like Bush is, and like Bush she’s paying the price for letting her loyalty turn blind even in the face of disaster. If you want to see just how much of a disaster in numerical terms, read down a few paragraphs into this piece. You won’t need a calculator.

Oh, and those superdelegates she’s counting on? It’s payback time. Exit question: How nasty does she get tonight? Same old “experience” crap or is it Rezko/plagiarism/your-wife-hates-America time?

Update: Ambinder says it’s a WaPo/ABC poll.

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