CLINTON CONFIDENT DESPITE DEFEAT

WASHINGTON - Hillary Clinton is hitting back hard at Barack Obama after her latest drubbing in primaries and counting on a Texas showdown to put her faltering campaign to the White House back on track.

WASHINGTON - Hillary Clinton is hitting back hard at Barack Obama after her latest drubbing in primaries and counting on a Texas showdown to put her faltering campaign to the White House back on track.

Now the underdog in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, Clinton shrugged off Obama's eight straight wins in nominating contests over the last week and looked past two more he is expected to snatch next week, in Hawaii and Wisconsin.

"I'd like to congratulate Senator Obama on his recent victories, and just tell him to meet me in Texas," Clinton said on Wednesday.

The former first lady touched down in Texas even before the votes were fully tallied in the so-called Potomac primary on Tuesday that saw Obama sweep Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC.

Texas and Ohio will vote in Democratic primaries on March 4, and the two states have 400 delegates to the party's convention in August that will formally select the presidential nominee.

Obama leads the combined count of delegates by 1272 to 1231, according to Real Clear Politics. A total of 2025 is needed to win the nomination. - Sapa-AFP

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