Obama's Feb 5 Strategy Develops....

So how does Barack Obama campaign after South Carolina?

The outlines of a strategy are becoming visible. Obama and his surrogates will operate under the assumption that the more aggressive Hillary Clinton campaigns, the more outbursts Bill Clinton has, the more voters in interior red and purple states will find the Clintons off-putting and that the negative feelings will obscure the Clinton mantra that only she (and he) can stand up and protect their interests.

Advisers believe that the more the Clintons poke at Obama, the more sympathetic he becomes, and the more she plays into his contention that she's a divisive, polarizing figure; Obama's polling shows and his campaign's strategists sense that it reminds Democrats in the interior of the country of the Clinton of yore: cold, unlikable, sarcastic -- and coastal. In states like Arizona, Kansas and Idaho and Missouri, Clinton will scare off independents and will lose support among younger women, in particular.

Also: Obama's brain trust believes that Clinton's decision to essentially cede South Carolina to him will backfire, as it will allow him to demonstrate that Iowa was not a fluke -- he can turnout young voters everywhere -- and, that African Americans will resent her refusal to participate in "their" primary.

The coastal prizes of California and New York will be tough, but Obama may well do better in enough congressional districts to keep the margins close -- better, Obama's team believes, than Clinton will do in the interior of the country.

Purple and Red-state surrogates abound: Gov. Janet Napolitano and Sen. Claire McCaskill will argue, in subtle terms, that only Obama can unify the country, which will be interpreted as a knock against Clinton's downward pull on other Demcorats on the ballot.

The concern is out there: one reason Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, carefully tended to by the Clinton world, has stayed neutral is that she fears that having Clinton on the ticket would hurt other Democrats in her state, a Clinton adviser who spoke to Sebelius said.

Once again, the campaign has one theory and the national political press corps has another.

The coverage so far has centered on the notion that Obama allowed Bill Clinton to break his stride and mess up his head, forcing him to spend half of his stump speech reciting and rebutting Clinton allegations. His unsurprising assumed victory South Carolina would reinforce the perception that Obama appeals only to young, rich, white people and to black voters.

Obama's campaign manager and surrogates are hosting a conference call later and will fill in some of the details.