Clinton Gamble Rooted in Patience -- So was Rudy's

Washington Matters

Clinton Gamble Rooted in Patience -- So was Rudy's

Hillary Clinton's quest for the Democratic nomination is now, in essence, a waiting game, a dangerous gamble on three big-state primaries just as Barack Obama's train is picking up speed. Might Rudy Giuliani have some advice for her? 

The primary schedule is not looking so kind right now to Hillary Clinton. Her campaign strategy, which follows her staff shake-up, is based almost exclusively on waiting for large returns in a couple of big states to derail Barack Obama, or at least set him back a few strides.

She's essentially skipping smaller states and focusing her now limited financial resources on the blockbuster March 4 primaries in Texas and Ohio. She'll make only a moderate effort in Wisconsin, which has its primary Feb. 19. If she loses there, her campaign will say it's because they're really focused on March 4. Perhaps, but a loss in Wisconsin may take another toll on her as the Obama train gains speed. A win in Wisconsin coupled with a Feb. 19 sure win in Hawaii, will mean he's won 10 in a row since Super Tuesday. 

Clinton's idea to wait for a big payday is not all that different, in many respects, from Rudy Giuliani's fatal decision to skip the early states and bank everything on Florida, all the while becoming increasingly sidelined. Clinton can argue that there's a big differenence -- Rudy lost badly in Florida. She's confident of winning in Texas and Ohio. But in the meanime, Obama is chalking up wins and building momentum. 

Clinton also may be banking on campaign mistakes from the rookie Obama in the next few weeks. Untested  candidates always make mistakes, right? It's part of what she's figuring on. But that doesn't sound like a winning strategy.