On Friday a longtime adviser to the Clintons, Paul Begala, was quoted as saying that Hillary should acknowledge herself as the underdog, that America loves underdogs, and move on. We all know she didn't take his advice, but is now engaged in a frantic push to change her fate in New Hampshire by trying to stop Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBiden's immigration plan has serious problems Hearing for Twitter hack suspect Zoom-bombed by porn, rap music Read: Sally Yates testimony MORE from winning there tomorrow. Her tactic has been "contrasts," and according to press accounts she has dropped advice from advisers, reversing the role as she takes control of strategy and they stand by listening.

At the ABC News debate Saturday night Clinton was in control for most of the night — no small feat considering she was sleep-deprived and behind in a race for the first time in her career. Yet in one moment, challenged strongly by Obama and Sen. John Edwards, Clinton lost her footing with a desperate, lecturing response delivered in a loud voice just shy of shouting. You could see the exasperation in her eyes, shock at Obama's surge in the face of her experience. She is right — she is more experienced. And like Hillary did, I thought it was the winning argument. It is staggering to see, in this scary new world, voters willing to take such a risk on someone as young and untested as Obama. But it is clear that voters in 2008 want to be moved, and not instructed.

Clinton's electability argument seemed to work all year, until the vote came around. With Obama in the clear lead in New Hampshire, with crushing crowds and the promise of the independent vote to give him the edge, it is hard to see Clinton winning there. She has altered her goals, promising to fight for Super Duper Tuesday delegates on Feb. 5, hoping she has more time to stop Obama fever and win the nomination in a mathematical battle as Rudy Giuliani is planning. Bloodied she would be, but it is still highly possible.

Finally, I have nothing to say about the possibility of Michael Bloomberg and Lou Dobbs entering the presidential race as independent candidates but I do have something to ask: If Obama and McCain beat the odds and became the nominees of their party could Bloomberg or Dobbs actually think they stand a chance?


Tell me what you think about a possible independent bid by Bloomberg or Dobbs. Let’s discuss on the first Ask A.B. of 2008, coming soon. Write to me at askab@thehill.com.