MANCHESTER, N.H. - It's back to the future at Hillary Clinton's campaign as some of the top advisers to former President Clinton are set to join to Hillary's faltering campaign as early as tomorrow.Senior Clinton sources tell Fox that Hillary intends to bring in as top day-to-day advisers James Carville and Paul Begala. The campaign could also add other strategists from Clinton's presidential years, but Carville and Begala are the biggest names and are set to join the campaign after a post-New Hampshire strategy meeting tomorrow.Carville and Begala will serve as top strategists on politics and communication and likely overshadow the current role of Mark Penn, Hillary's senior strategist, and Patty Solis Doyle, Hillary's current campaign manager. Top sources tell Fox Hillary won't fire anyone but will merely seek to "enlarge" her pool of advisers.One Democratic described it as "addition by subtraction." The subtraction won't come in the form of lost jobs, but lost influence, meaning Carville and Begala's strategic advise will now carry greater weight than that of the original team that devised a strategy that has led to a defeat in the Iowa caucuses and a likely defeat in tonight's New Hampshire primary.
The Clinton team fully expects to lose New Hampshire tonight and will attempt to argue that anything less than a 10-point loss will constitute a "moral victory." Hillary's surrogates will try to persuade the public that if Hillary loses by less than 10 points she will have withstood the affect of Obama's massive post-Iowa momentum -- momentum, by the way, the Clinton campaign asserted as recently as Saturday did not exist. Obviously, a loss is a loss and a loss in a state the Clinton campaign guaranteed it would wn less than four days ago, any defeat is a huge blow -- no matter the magnitude.
As for the future strategy, top Clinton advisers say Hillary will attempt to compete aggressively in Nevada's Jan. 19 caucus though she expects to lose the vital endorsement of the culinary union in Las Vegas, a vital cog in the state's Democratic machinery. Rory Reid, son of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, has urged Hillary not to give up on Nevada, arguing he can keep her competitive. Even so, Clinton's camp has begun to reconcile itself to defeat there too.
A crucial decision, therefore, awaits the campaign on the Jan. 26 South Carolina primary. Hillary may skip the state in order to save money for the Feb. 5 primaries in more than 20 states. In essence, Hillary now finds herself having to fight a rear-guard battle until the national prmary, even though less than two weeks ago she was regarded as a nearly unbeatable national front-runner.
Financially, top advisers say the campaign has enough to carry on, with staff in all states between now and February 5th paid in full and with at least $28 million in the bank. But Hllary's campaign hasn't purchased TV commercials in any of the Feb. 5th states, meaning resources could prove scarce as Hillary tries to move her TV message in expensive media markets in New York, California, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Mike Emanuel currently serves as chief congressional correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC). He joined FNC in 1997 as a Los Angeles-based correspondent.