Obama is genuinely in the lead for the first time in this election. Before the Maryland prediction was announced, analysts have Obama leading Hillary Clinton by 8 delegates when counting both pledged and committed superdelegates.
His lead is razor thin, but it is a lead. He has momentum. She has changed parts of her campaign team — both Campaign Manager Patti Solis Doyle and her Deputy Mike Henry. People inside Hillaryland tell me that Doyle and Henry were the ones who designed the plans that failed to take Iowa and all other caucuses seriously. This has been a costly, huge mistake for the Clinton campaign.
For more about the inside shuffling in the Clinton campaign, read Joshua Green’s juicy piece in the Atlantic. I had to wrestle somewhat with the Clinton campaign a couple of days ago on whether Doyle was “fired” or “stepped down.” This is how Joshua Green calls it (now I wish I hadn’t changed my headline!):
For the many people in and around Washington who obsess over the latest machinations in Hillaryland, the firing of Solis Doyle — and she was fired, several insiders confirm — is a big deal, but for reasons somewhat different from what the media coverage has suggested. Her title of “campaign manager” implies a loftier role than the one she actually played. She is the furthest thing from a Rove-like strategic genius (Mark Penn inhabits that role for Hillary), so her leaving doesn’t signify an impending change of strategy, as some reports seem to assume.
Despite the evident momentum Obama has, I worry about the media beginning to slam him for an “absence of detail” that could be painful — we’ll see. Obama is the frontrunner now and leading. Hillary Clinton’s team can come back — but it’s going to be a tough, hard fought trip if they do.
— Steve Clemons