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Drunkblogging the Potomac Primaries

Bye Bye, Baby — The End of Hillary?

The state polls aren’t very reliable. It’s too early for exit polls. Final results won’t be known for hours. But it’s never too soon to speculate on the big question: Just how far has Hillary Clinton fallen?

Let’s look at a few stories from the last few days.

The first sign a campaign is failing is when a campaign insists it isn’t failing. And guess what — the AP says Clinton claims everything is hunky dory:

Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton denied Monday that her campaign is in trouble after losing to Sen. Barack Obama in four states this past weekend and replacing her campaign manager.

“I’m still ahead in the popular vote and in delegates,” Clinton said.

Of course, the numbers don’t exactly add up Clinton’s way. The story goes on to say that “an initial tabulation of the total popular vote showed Obama likely to pull ahead once the results of states that held caucuses are fully counted.”

And what’s the second sign of a girl in trouble? When she fires her campaign manager. Hillary did just that over the weekend. After relying on Patti Solis Doyle for the entire race, Hillary suddenly thinks that longtime aid Maggie Williams is the right woman for the job.

Does the MSM want to talk about policy or progress or even the polls? Nope. They want to see the Clinton’s tax returns:

Resisting calls from Barack Obama to release her income tax returns, Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday she would only do so if she secures the Democratic presidential nomination and contended her rival had been less than candid about his relationship with major campaign contributors.

In all fairness, Hillary and the MSM are responding to a question posed by Obama. But that only goes to show just how much power Obama now enjoys to define the debate.

All the way from South Africa, News24 reports that women, Hillary’s own natural constituency, are “falling for Obama.” The story is gushing — but telling, too. Read:

“He’s very charismatic. It was a ‘you-had-to-be-there’ kind of experience,” said Lolita Breckenridge, 37, after hearing Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama address a packed rally at the University of Maryland on Monday.

A dedicated supporter, she brought two of her friends to hear the Illinois senator deliver one of his much-talked-about speeches.

“Not too much of the speech was new to me,” she admitted. “But hearing him live…” she trailed off, shaking her head and grinning.

Now there’s a story you won’t read any time soon about Hillary’s supporters. They might be hardcore, but you just don’t see them swoon.

Those stories are all from the last three days. But who wrote Hillary’s first post-mortem? I did, two long days before Obama swept through four more wins last Saturday. He’ll probably rack up three more wins tonight — seven for seven in 96 hours.

Stay tuned right here for Primary Night news, cocktails, and maybe another “I told you so” or two.