Democrats can be forgiven for panicking at reports that Team Obama is trying to figure out how to win in November without winning Florida. Or Ohio. Or even Pennsylvania.
Admittedly, it was an "alternative" scenario that Illinois Sen. Barack Obama's campaign manager David Plouffe discussed with activists Friday at the Capitol City brew pub in Washington.
"You have a lot of ways to get to 270," Plouffe said, according to the Associated Press. "Our goal is not to be reliant on one state on November 4th."
Plouffe's remark may have been nothing more than an expression of his candidate's "organize everywhere" philosophy.
Yet if it was more than that -- if his comments signaled a willingness of the Obama campaign to cede major battleground states to Arizona Sen. John McCain -- Democrats could be in for their third consecutive presidential disappointment this fall. ...
For Obama and his people, Clinton's bloody-minded persistence was unwelcome, yet another sign that she cared more about herself than the fate of the party this fall. But it also served, or should have served, as a blaring alarm about the scale of the challenge the presumptive nominee will confront in the general election.
"I certainly hope so," Clinton replies when I suggest this to her. . . .
It would be hard to overstate the private pessimism that Hillary and Bill Clinton feel about Obama's general-election prospects. Or the irritation they feel about the dismissive attitudes of some of his advisers toward her coalition, as evinced by the words of Obama's chief strategist, David Axelrod, after the Pennsylvania primary: "The white working class has gone to the Republican nominee for many elections … This is not new that Democratic candidates don't rely solely on those votes."
Hillary's ready to say "I told you so." Team Obama ignores her.