Clinton Draws Ace in Texas

Formidable political strategist runs campaign in must-win state
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2008 3:20 PM CST
A supporters holds a sign as Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., speaks during a campaign stop at the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds in Robstown, Texas, Wednesday,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Hillary Clinton has called for her Ace. Facing a must-win situation in Texas, the candidate has put renowned political strategist Averell “Ace” Smith in charge of her campaign there, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Smith, who helped engineer Clinton's California win, is known as "Doctor Death" for his ability to dig up opposition research.

Rivals are "just terrified with his presence," said one strategist. Smith is a demographic expert and will target the key groups—Latinos and working women—that helped Clinton win California. Texas’ March 4 primary is a peculiar caucus/primary hybrid—but if there’s anyone who can “be targeted, and surgical,” said one watcher, it’s Smith.