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Since Iowa, parts of Hillary Clinton's campaign leadership have been in a state of suspended animation. One by one, the benchmarks the campaign has set for itself -- money, a Feb. 5 knock out, a lead in the popular vote, a superdelegate advantage -- have fallen to a superior effort by Barack Obama's campaign. Clinton aides, junior level to senior level, are exhausted.
Strategically, it is clear that Clinton campaign did not envision an elongated contest until fairly recently, even though senior adviser Harold Ickes had set out a memo laying out various delegate scenarios in December. Obama's campaign, by contrast, had for months projected a fight for delegates.
A lack of money is the main reason why the Clinton campaign failed to organize well enough in smaller caucus states like Minnesota, Colorado and Maine. It's not that the demographics of these states were favorable -- certainly they were not -- but donors, allies and the press have wondered by the campaign was simply not competitive enough to keep Obama's vote totals -- and thus his delegate totals -- in a standard orbit. This mistake has given Obama many extra delegates and with that, the argument that he has won more delegates than she was.
Clinton herself was not informed that the campaign was in dire financial straits until after Iowa, one adviser said. For two days, Bill Clinton camped out in the campaign's Ballston, VA headquarters and poured through the numbers with Williams and other aides. Aides and advisers say that Clinton's decision to lend herself money was not made by consulting members of the senior staff and was relayed to them after-the-fact.
The relationship between Maggie Williams and Patti Solis Doyle has been described as close but acrimonious, akin to two longtime friends who have the same goal in mind but argue about how to get there. They have argued in private, and increasingly, in public settings.
Two sources said that Williams last week threatened to leave the campaign -- she had only been on a 30-day consignment -- unless the chain of command was clarified -- what one person privy to the threat called "a mutiny."
Though Solis Doyle had been telling friends she intended to transition out of her role, they assumed that she would wait until after the potentially decisive contests of March 3rd. She told one she looked forward to assuming what's known in the campaign as a "white boy" boy -- a tongue in cheek reference to Bill Clinton advisers who have no line responsibility but plenty of opinions.
It's not clear whether staffers hired by Solis Doyle will follow her. After all, there are only three weeks left until the unquestionably decisive contests of Ohio and Texas, both must-wins.
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