Florida is a rather alluring place in the middle of January.

Compared to New Hampshire, where the snow is several feet high, the temperature rarely breaks freezing, and the north wind feels like bee stings on your face, Florida can indeed look like an oasis.

It is still September, but New Hampshire is already getting cold for Barack Obama. In the latest poll, Hillary Clinton has increased her lead, while his numbers keep shrinking. It is now Hillary leading Obama 43% to 20%.

 What’s worse, as Union Leader political reporter, John Distaso, explained it:

Geographically, it’s bad news for Obama as well. In the 1st congressional district, Clinton led 40 to 25 percent in July. Now, she leads, 49 to 20 percent.

In the more liberal 2nd District, where Obama trailed Clinton by only 33 to 29 percent in July, she now leads 38 to 21 percent.

The question for Obama becomes one of long-term strategy. He will not win New Hampshire. He will not come in second in New Hampshire. Our prediction is that Edwards will surge and replace Obama behind Hillary.

So what’s a presidential wannabe supposed to do, especially if he has a financial war chest as impressive as Obama’s?

Strategically, what makes sense is to keep a marginal presence in the Granite State and move south. . .as in Deep South. . .as in Florida.

Can’t campaign there, you say. He signed a pledge?

One rule of warfare is that there are no rules. Not when you are in danger of being blown out of the sky. And Obama is now in danger of being blown away. His best shot, literally, is to tear up his no-campaign pledge and claim Florida for himself. Hillary and Edwards would be loath to follow suit.

In marketing parlance, Obama would be following what’s called a “Blue Ocean Strategy” and claiming territory with practically no direct competition. Perhaps with no one to discuss his foreign policy gaffs, he’d have a real chance.

It could be his only chance.

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