If the meltdown doesn’t come this evening then it’s next week’s concession speech or bust. I fear the golden schadenfreudean moment may yet elude us, my friends.

Hey, I know. How about a last-ditch attack on Obama with the same crap that hasn’t worked for the past 11 months?

[A]t a fund-raiser Sunday night in Boston, Mrs. Clinton told supporters that in the coming days, she planned to highlight what she called “the experience gap” between her and Mr. Obama.

Indeed, her advisers said Monday that she planned to hit this theme during the candidates’ Tuesday debate, though they said she would try to avoid making harsh personal attacks on Mr. Obama, particularly since Mrs. Clinton drew widespread attention and praise at the debate last week for saying she was “honored” to be on the same stage with him.

She can’t club Bambi now or else she’ll look desperate, but she couldn’t club Bambi last year when she was ahead or else she would have looked mean and … Hillary-ish. This is why I fear Obama so much more than her in the general: There’s never a good time to club Bambi.

Read Stephen Hayes’s op-ed this morning in the Journal about the GOP preparing to repeat her mistakes. The experience contrast will serve McCain better than Her Majesty, but hammering the guy for being a lightweight with a knack for prose won’t work since it makes it that much easier for Obama to prove his heft by showing command of the details. It’s a stupid line of attack anyway: If you want to motivate the base and capitalize on Maverick’s appeal to the middle, you don’t argue that Obama has no ideas, you argue that he has lots of ideas, all of them quite dogmatically liberal. McCain is the real centrist, much to the chagrin of most conservatives.

A parting whiff of schadenfreude in case we don’t get any tonight. There’s an old post somewhere in our archives about how ruthless the Clintons’ people are with the media; I can’t find it now, but Tucker Carlson confirmed it again last night. If you want to know why the worm has turned in terms of coverage, think revenge. To wit:

“I find it interesting that in a room of such esteemed journalists that Mr. Drudge has become your respected assignment editor,” [Clinton advisor Phil] lectured. “I find it to be a reflection of one of the problems that’s gone on with the overall coverage of this campaign.” He went on to chide the journalists for their “woefully inadequate” coverage of Obama, “a point that has been certainly backed up by the ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit that opened the show this past Saturday evening, which I would refer you all to.”

The brief moment explained everything about the bitter relations between Clinton’s campaign and the media: Singer taunting the likes of Broder, who began covering presidential politics two decades before Singer was born, with a comedy sketch that showed debate moderators fawning over Obama.

“That’s your assignment editor?” responded Post columnist Ruth Marcus.

“That’s my assignment editor,” Singer affirmed.

Update: I confess to laughing out loud at this frontpage coverage coup for Team Hillary:

papers.jpg

Photos of Obama in a turban in every newspaper in America. As Ace would say: Well played, Hillary. Very well played.

Update: Politico hits the mother lode:

With a week to go before climactic tests in Texas and Ohio, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign team has slipped into full recriminations mode.

Looking backward, interviews with a cross-section of campaign aides and sympathetic outsiders suggest a team consumed with frustration and finger-pointing about the apparent failure of several recent tactical moves against Barack Obama.

Looking forward, it is clear Clinton’s team has only a faint and highly improvisational strategy about what to do over the next seven days. Simply put, there is no secret weapon…

Some Clintonites are disappointed with the candidate herself. Lines that were meant to be funny or show fighting spirit — “change you can Xerox” or “Shame on you, Barack Obama” — instead came off as peevish…

But mostly the campaign has become a grim slog. Unable to make anything stick, the campaign is throwing out a dizzying array of potential storylines each day.

Read down at the link for whining about — oh, the irony — the “Obama News Network.”