Obama: Xerox. Hillary: Memorex?

It's not a very long run. It'll be over by February 5th. -- Hillary Clinton, 'This Week,' Dec. 30, 2007.

That was Hillary less than two months ago. Here she was on this morning's Today.

MEREDITH VIEIRA: So no matter what happens in Texas and Ohio, you will go on.

HILLARY CLINTON: Well Meredith, I don't make predictions. I never have, I never will. I just get up every day and, you know, do the best I can to, you know, let people know what I have done and what I am doing and what I will do.

If it's true, as Hillary Clinton claimed during last night's debate, that Barack Obama needs Xerox to copy other's rhetoric, maybe Clinton could use another piece of 20th-century technology: Memorex.

To gauge the enormity of Clinton's misrepresentation of her predilection for prognostication, let's recall that the prediction she made to George Stephanopoulos in December wasn't just some informal forecast. It reflected the fundaments of her campaign strategy. It explains why, after a February 5th that left her far short of wrapping things up, she was left flat-footed. Figuring she'd have the nomination in hand by then, she had neither the organization nor the money to compete in subsequent states.

That partially explains why an uncompetitive Clinton campaign proceeded to get its doors blown off with a string of 10 consecutive defeats with an average losing margin of 33%.

So if anything is seared, seared in Hillary's memory, it is her prediction, and the strategy based on it, that things would be ov-ah by February 5th.

For Clinton to go on Today this morning and claim with a straight [if understandably haggard] face that "I don't make predictions. I never have, I never will," is, is -- you fill in the blank.

Since the suddenly circumspect Hillary is unwilling to make predictions, permit me to make one for her: she will lose at least Texas on March 4th and be out of the race.

Note: You can view the video of Hillary's "It'll be over by February 5" prediction in Ben Smith Politico column Hillary's Miscalculation. It comes about 7:10 in.

Update | 9:30 AM ET: 'They Realize They're Really In Trouble'

Speaking on Morning Joe just after Hillary's Today appearance, Andrea Mitchell read between the lines of Hillary's reluctance to say what she would do after March 4th:

She's no longer saying "I'm in it all the way to the convention." I think something's going on. I think they realize they are really in trouble.

 

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.