Hillary campaign hits bottom… reaches for shovel

… not to dig herself in deeper, but hopefully to dig up dirt on Obama.

With Barack Obama having the Democratic presidential nomination all but wrapped up, Hillary Clinton backers are hoping that a devastating revelation about Obama could derail his candidacy — and they’re desperately seeking to find it.

That’s the inside story from veteran newsman Carl Bernstein, who writes in his CNN column:

“The Clinton campaign’s search for damaging information and its hope that such information exists continues, according to knowledgeable sources.”

Top Clinton adviser Harold Ickes warned on the eve of the North Carolina and Indian primaries that Obama could be vulnerable to an “October surprise” by the John McCain campaign, notes Bernstein, whose latest book is “A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

He adds: “Several Clinton associates say there is still a ray of hope among some in her campaign that a ‘catastrophic’ revelation about Obama might make it possible for her to win the presidential nomination.”

But there is also a strong chance that Clinton will try to maneuver her way into the vice presidential slot on the Obama ticket, according to Bernstein, even though Obama “won’t want to take her on the ticket.”

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