Mississippi goes to the primary polls today, and the question will be whether Barack Obama can regain his momentum after three losses last week. He has already begun his effort to find his footing, accusing Hillary Clinton of the heinous crime of acting Republican. Republicans who have been on the receiving end of the Clinton machine will have a laugh at that assertion:

Barack Obama continued to go after Hillary Clinton this evening, accusing her of using “Republican tactics” against him.

“When in the midst of a campaign you decide to throw the kitchen sink at your opponent because you’re behind,” he said, “and your campaign starts leaking photographs of me when I’m traveling overseas wearing the native clothes of those folks to make people afraid, and then you run an ad talking about who’s going to answer the phone at three in the morning, an ad straight out of the Republican playbook, that’s not real change.”

Tonight’s comments were the most direct criticism from Obama regarding the distribution of the photo of him in traditional African garb. The Clinton campaign denied having anything to do with the photos when they were initially published, and the issue seemed to have faded until Obama brought it up tonight.

Sorry, Barack, but those aren’t Republican tactics. They’re Clintonian tactics, and we’ve seen them for sixteen years now. We understand your confusion, because we all know that the 3 AM ad plays right into John McCain’s strength, but still, it’s classic Clinton.

At one time, Democrats liked these tactics. They loved them in 1992, when Clinton campaign guru James Carville famously noted how difficult it was for opponents to respond when one kept one’s fist in their face. They loved it in 2004, when Democrats tried arguing for months that George Bush was a deserter. Maybe Obama was too young to remember the former, and too disinterested to notice the latter, but that only makes his case worse.

Obama should win Mississippi easily, however. Rasmussen has him up 14 points, 53%-39%. He needs to win big, however, just to meet expectations. If this turns into a single-digit race, Hillary could claim that even his strong states have begun questioning his readiness for the presidency. And since she now leads in Pennsylvania by 15, Obama cannot afford to give away any momentum at all.

My prediction: Obama by 12.