Probably just an idle qualifier but so perfectly in keeping with her devious image that you can’t help but laugh. Are we going to lose her tomorrow, my friends? The long conservative love affair with the Clintons, over at the stroke of midnight? I can’t bear the thought. And neither can she:

Mrs. Clinton herself has privately told advisers that she has a hard time imagining ending her campaign if she wins Ohio and narrowly loses Texas, given that she has money in the bank and that she believes she would have an edge in the next big vote, Pennsylvania on April 22, because its demographics are similar to Ohio’s.

The good news: The only poll that has Obama ahead in Ohio is (giggle) Zogby. The bad news: Even respectable polls show him closing.

AmSpec’s putting on a brave face but the big A feels his Clinton-hatin’ heart starting to break just a little. Exit question: What will we do without her?

Update: The Glacier’s chief pollster and strategist prepares to abandon ship. Heart-ache.

As the campaign faces a make-or-break moment, some high-level officials are trying to play down their role in the campaign. Penn said in an e-mail over the weekend that he had “no direct authority in the campaign,” describing himself as merely “an outside message advisor with no campaign staff reporting to me.”

“I have had no say or involvement in four key areas — the financial budget and resource allocation, political or organizational sides. Those were the responsibility of Patti Solis Doyle, Harold Ickes and Mike Henry, and they met separately on all matters relating to those areas.”

Howard Wolfson, the campaign’s communications chief, answered that it was Penn who had top responsibility for both its strategy and message. Another aide said Penn spoke to Clinton routinely about the campaign’s message and ran daily meetings on the topic.