After winning several big states on Super Tuesday, it's been a rough two weeks for Hillary Clinton, with ten consecutive losses and a handful of superdelegates switching their support to Barack Obama. (Even the struggling Washington Wizards have won a game in their last 10 outings.)
But just like basketball, a campaign can become a game of possessions. (Ask Mark Salter how well his alma mater has proven this concept).
Right now the Clinton campaign needs to figure out how to slow down Obama's momentum, manage the clock and come up with a game changing play to alter the dynamics of the race – and they have only two weeks to do it. That's either an eternity or a nanosecond, depending on how you look at this nomination race.
The next big events in the Democratic race are the March 4 open primary showdowns in Texas and Ohio, with 333 delegates at stake in just those two states.
Former President Bill Clinton drew a line in the sand today and went further than her campaign spokespeople by making March 4 a do-or-die situation for his wife's campaign, reports ABC News' Sarah Amos.
"If she wins Texas and Ohio I think she will be the nominee; if you don't deliver for her, then I don't think she can be. It's all on you," the former president said in Beaumont, TX.
Clinton's campaign may not be saying that Texas and Ohio are must-wins but they certainly aren't shying away from stressing their significance.
"I think that they are critically important…I'm not going to make any vast predictions but there is no question that they are critically, critically important," Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson said on a conference call with reporters today.
All that stands between now and March 4 is two debates (and perhaps several dozen campaign conference calls).
On Thursday night in Austin, Clinton will get her first crack at another one-on-one debate that she has been itching for since Super Tuesday. Obama is in the more comfortable position. He just has to not slip up. Clinton needs to cause him to make a mistake or draw fresh, sharp distinctions that would gain her headlines on Friday and possibly a little bit of mo.
That task is made more difficult with another big endorsement for Obama: ABC News' Teddy Davis and Sunlen Miller report that the Illinois senator has picked up the support of the Teamsters on Wednesday and he is poised to win the endorsement of "Change to Win" on Thursday. "Change to Win" is a coalition of seven labor unions which spun off from the AFL-CIO in 2005.
The labor coalition is scheduled to hold a 10:00 am ET conference call on Thursday to consider an endorsement of Obama. Since the Illinois Democrat now has endorsements from the four largest unions in the labor coalition, he is expected by those familiar with "Change to Win's" plans to win the group's endorsement, Davis and Miller report.
On the campaign trail. . .
-- 9:00 am ET: Meets with voters at event, Perrysburg, OH
-- 9:45 am ET: Holds media availability with voters, Toledo, OH
-- 1:00 pm ET: Tours Ford Motor Company Wayne Assembly Plant, Wayne, MI
-- 2:00 pm ET: Holds media availability with voters, Wayne, MI
-- 9:00 am ET: Attends rally with voters, Houston, TX
-- 1:00 pm ET: Attends fundraiser with supporter, Houston, TX
-- 5:00 pm ET: Visits the Alamo, San Antonio, TX
-- 8:30 pm ET: Attends rally with voters, San Antonio, TX
As for the Democrats. . .