Hillary Clinton's lost weekend: The Swamp
 
The Swamp
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Posted February 11, 2008 3:37 PM
The Swamp

by James Oliphant

Managing expectations is an art. And sometimes art is ugly.

Anybody who has spoken with the Clinton campaign recently knows how relentlessly it has tried to portray itself as a February underdog to Barack Obama.

Last week, after news broke about the campaign’s financial issues, the campaign took on the look of not just an underdog, but a wounded one. It worked. Money began pouring in from donors who were alarmed to find out that Hillary Clinton was running out of money.

At the same time, campaign officials were clear that they expected Obama to do well in every state contest leading up to the key battles March 4 in Ohio and Texas, repeatedly talking about his inherent advantages in states like Louisiana, Washington and Virginia, about how he had out-spent Clinton in every state. The conventional wisdom, the press was told last week, was that Clinton would stay close, try to win as many delegates as she could, and then work toward a big victory a month from now.

Except that the strategy looks increasingly similar to the one employed by Rudy Giuliani, who kept investing in a later payoff that never came. What happened? The media’s need to consistently sum up the race in real time. Thus, Giuliani's stategy, which might have made sense in a mathematical context, was reduced to rubble as he acquired the patina of a flop-sweaty loser.

It’s one thing if each caucus and primary is simply viewed as one game in a long season (which would allow candidates to play them “one game at a time” as the saying goes), but the national press doesn’t function like that. To the campaign correspondents and (especially) the headline writers, the campaign is a horse race, described breathlessly with each stride.

Making it worse was the timing of the news that Clinton had replaced her campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle with longtime aide Maggie Williams. It made for sort of a twin killing (we won’t use the term “perfect storm”), basically rendering any time spent lowering expectations last week useless.

Instead, today, here were some of the headlines in leading news outlets Monday:

“New head for Clinton campaign; In wake of losses, Chicago native ousted as key aide” – Tribune

“Clinton Replaces Top Aide Amid Losses” – Washington Post

“Obama. . . concludes weekend sweep of Clinton.” – Boston Globe

“4th Victory in a Row” – NY Times

“After Big Defeats, Clinton Replaces Campaign Manager” – Wall Street Journal

“Hillary’s Lost Weekend” – CNN

“Clinton, sliding, orders a change” – LA Times

"Clinton is bracing for a last stand" -- NY Sun

Loss. Defeats. Sliding. Bracing. Last Stand. Not good words. Clinton and Obama are essentially tied today as far as delegates go, but you would never know that from scanning the headlines. Perception is reality. And sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you can't control perception.

For the Clinton campaign, things likely will get worse before they get better -- if they ever get better. Obama is expected to win all three contests in the “Potomac Primary” Tuesday, bringing Clinton's losing streak since last Tuesday to an unlucky seven.

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Comments

It is absolutely astounding that the Tribune, NYTimes, and others would report on the shake-up with HRC's campaign and completely fail to mention that her new campaign chief, Maggie Williams, was caught-up in the Travel-Gate scandal that rocked the Clinton White House a little over 10 years ago. Williams had to defend herself to the tune of $300,000 in legal fees and testified before Congress about the scandal and the figure at the head of it, Johnny Chung, who racked up more than 51 "visits" to the White House, and who was considered a "suspicious" serial Democratic fundraiser.

Read the rest of the story here:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/who-is-maggie-williams_b_85909.html


"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait
for some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are
the change that we seek."-Obama, 2/5/08


It is absolutely astounding that the Tribune, NYTimes, and others would report on the shake-up with HRC's campaign and completely fail to mention that her new campaign chief, Maggie Williams, was caught-up in the Travel-Gate scandal that rocked the Clinton White House a little over 10 years ago. Williams had to defend herself to the tune of $300,000 in legal fees and testified before Congress about the scandal and the figure at the head of it, Johnny Chung, who racked up more than 51 "visits" to the White House, and who was considered a "suspicious" serial Democratic fundraiser.

Read the rest of the story here:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/who-is-maggie-williams_b_85909.html


"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait
for some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are
the change that we seek."-Obama, 2/5/08


Can anyone explain why the Clinton campaign and its supporters are now writing off the Wisconsin primary? Primary, small black population--is it some sort of cinnamon-latte-superhold? I'm genuinely curious.


Did Hillary hire some of Rudy's campaign advisors?


The Clinton campaign in practice has been drastically different than the myth surrounding it many moons ago. They've burned through a war chest, alienated the black vote completely, and managed to bungle the PR of a big campaign loan and a big staff change.


Hillary "loaned" herself $5 million but won't release her financial records so we know where the money came from.

Obama has released his records, why won't Hillary?

Maybe it's become Bill is making shady nuclear deals with third-world tyrants.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/31/us/politics/31donor.html?ex=1359435600&en=23a4d96223965ebf&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=all


dal,

Wisconsin is supposedly full of highly educated "latte liberals", and they supposedly prefer Obama. Also, remember that he does not need large black populations in the north, the white population up there are fine with him - remember Iowa, and even New Hampshire he only lost by a hair. It's only in the south he needs the large bloc of black voters because that's where all the white women come out to vote for Hillary.


I don't think the Clinton group knows what an underdog is. You don't go to a basketball game, rooting for the underdog, then get to have the other team be referred to as the underdog in the 2nd half. Getting the lead on the opponent mid-game doesn't change who the underdog is in a game.

Anyhows, pointless point, I know. In her win-at-all-costs campaign, I guess trying to steal the crown of Underdog is just par for the course.


Barack Obama for President of the UNITED States of America.


Thank you, Rebecca. Wisconsin seemed to become received wisdom without any explanation.
To me it's clear that Obama wins a lot of whites, even in states like Alabama and Georgia, but it's become one of the tales to explain away every victory he racks up. The actual numbers, while enough to swing an election, are not enough to justify the amount of handwringing--if you're in a group of 9, and 5 are for sprinkles and 4 against, you conclude that people are split, not that there's a huge sprinkle bias. Except in exit polls.


exactly. hillary is the underdog. obama is not the frontrunner, so if she wins - she will be the ulitmate comeback kid.


Is Hillary underdog or front runner? All depends if Fla. And Mich delegate will count or not. DNC may not count those delegates. Will that upset enough of those voters? Can Democrets win without winning those two states?


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