05/19/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

New Clinton Team Motivation: Stick It To Naysayers

There's a motivational shift afoot in Hillary nation.

The legions of Hillary Rodham Clinton backers still investing their cash, energy and emotion into her faltering bid for the Democratic presidential nomination seem driven not by the reasonable expectation that she can beat Barack Obama, but by the emotional desire to see her through to the end of voting and stick it to those who have already written her off.

Clinton's campaign is fanning the flames of that backlash -- against the media, against superdelegates who recently backed Obama and against Obama himself. Aides hope to convert the sentiments into protest votes that could deliver landslide victories in West Virginia and Kentucky, Clinton strongholds that are among the next three states to cast ballots.

No matter how big Clinton wins in West Virginia, which votes Tuesday, or Kentucky, which heads to the polls May 20 along with Oregon -- a likely Obama win -- she won't significantly cut into Obama's lead in pledged delegates or popular votes.

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