Re: how Hilary lost it

aracari <spamtrap@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in

On 04 Jun 2008 15:38:34 GMT 'basho007'
wrote this on uk.politics.misc:

aracari <spamtrap@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in

On 04 Jun 2008 13:54:37 GMT 'basho007'
wrote this on uk.politics.misc:

aracari <spamtrap@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in

On 04 Jun 2008 12:15:00 GMT 'basho007'
wrote this on uk.politics.misc:

This is a good analysis for the UK.

maybe some American's out there can pick it apart to enlighten us.

Hilary lost it because she campaigned as if she were running for
President rather than campaigning for the nomination.

Hilary's shock and awe style could not match Obama's grassroots

How Hillary Clinton turned an air of certainty into a losing run

Candidate out of step with voters was brought down by fibs,
overspending, poor organisation - and Bill

* Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington
* The Guardian,
* Wednesday June 4 2008

It barely seems credible now but there was a time when it seemed
the Democratic nomination was Hillary Clinton's for the taking.
The air of certainty in January 2007 was convincing when Clinton
declared from a sofa at her Washington home: "I'm in and I'm in to

Two Democratic senators and two former governors swiftly pulled
out rather than get between Clinton and the White House. Then
along came Barack Obama and the aura of inevitability that was
crucial to Clinton's strategy vanished.

"The Clinton campaign was meant to be shock and awe: big events in
big states, sweep the board on Super Tuesday, overwhelm the less
well-known competitors," said Chip Smith, who was deputy campaign
manager for Al Gore in 2000.

"Unfortunately, Obama uprooted that strategy. Inevitability isn't
a viable strategy against a well-funded candidate with a powerful

It is unclear whether there was anything Clinton could have done
to stop a gifted politician such as Obama, once his early win in
Iowa and prodigious fundraising ability established that he really
did have a chance of winning the Democratic nomination.

Clinton also may have destroyed any chance of a comeback after
being caught out in her fib about coming under sniper fire while
in Bosnia in the 1990s. The lie crystallised voter unease with
Clinton, and held back chances of a grand comeback in
Pennsylvania. In April, a Washington Post/ABC News poll found that
61% of American voters considered her dishonest and untrustworthy.

But Democratic operatives see a number of serious mistakes in
planning and strategy in Clinton's campaign. They include:

· A message out of step with an electorate that desperately wanted

· Failure to devise a plan B if she failed to knock Obama out of
the race in Iowa or by Super Tuesday on February 5.

· Failure to build a grassroots organisation. The campaign, caught
up in its self-created myth of invincibility, also lost track of
spending, burning through $120m (£61m) so fast that Clinton could
not run television ads in several key states in February.

· Mishandling the campaign's greatest asset - Bill Clinton -
turning him into one of his wife's greatest liabilities.

The first signs that Obama could pose a serious threat to
Clinton's ambitions emerged last summer. Field organisers in Iowa
reported back to headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, that voters
were cool to her emphasis on experience. Iowans wanted change, and
anything associated with Washington was viewed as tainted. That
was a rebuff to the central premise of Clinton's campaign, derived
by her then chief strategist, Mark Penn, that in the post-George
Bush, post-9/11 world voters would feel safer with a more
experienced candidate. Penn left the campaign in April amid
controversy over his work for outside clients, especially the
Colombian government.

At first, there seemed some basis for Penn's reasoning. After all,
Clinton could hardly run as a Washington ingénue after spending 15
years in the White House or Congress. As the first viable female
candidate for the White House, she also wanted to bury the
suggestion she lacked the qualifications or the strength to serve
as commander in chief.

But voters were not impressed by Clinton's skills as a survivor -
they wanted to move past the battles of the 1990s. Her campaign's
failure to read the signs left her cast as a creature of the
status quo, said Ken Goldstein, an expert in campaign advertising
at the University of Wisconsin. "Hillary Clinton could have been
portrayed as a change candidate," he said. "If you look at the way
women candidates typically run, they typically run as change
candidates because by definition they are not old white guys."

Instead, Clinton stuck to a blandly centrist message that was
calibrated to voters in a presidential election rather than the
Democratic party activists who dominate the primary process.

She also stuck to her decision to vote for the war in Iraq in
2002. Although Clinton now opposes the war, her refusal to
apologise for that original decision infuriated party activists.
It also made her vulnerable to Obama's questioning of her

By mid-2007 Clinton's former deputy campaign manager, Michael
Henry, grew so concerned at her prospects in Iowa that he wrote a
memo, later leaked in the press, suggesting she skip the state and
focus on the next contest in New Hampshire.

And that was just the start of Clinton's problems in Iowa. Iowa is
a caucus state, where the outcome of nomination contests are
typically determined by motivated Democratic activists.

Clinton's local campaign staff complained throughout the summer
that they needed more staff to compete with Obama's grassroots

Meanwhile, the Obama campaign was developing an organising model
that would deliver Iowa and 11 of the 13 caucus states that
followed. The campaign opened offices in states with barely two
dozen delegates at stake - including those as remote as Alaska and
North Dakota.

By the time caucus day approached, the Obama campaign invariably
had more volunteers than they could reasonably deploy. The Clinton
campaign did not swing into action until about a week before the
Iowa caucus. She finished third.

Her campaign took far too long to correct its early mis-steps.
Confronted with Obama's megawatt charisma, she wheeled out her
campaign's resident rock star: Bill Clinton. But the spectacle of
the former president, white-haired and red-faced, ripping into his
wife's opponent dredged up memories of scandal and invective - a
living example of the "old politics" Obama had promised to end.

While Obama's candidacy was looking forward, Hillary Clinton's
just seemed to be looking back. The backlash against Clinton in
South Carolina - which she lost by 29 points - carried on through
February. In traditionally Republican states Clinton lost by
staggering margins: 62 points in Idaho, 48 points in Kansas.

But even after February's spectacular defeats, Clinton showed
surprising areas of strength - especially among white working
class males. She retooled her message, portraying herself as a
populist champion for working people.

As it turned out, Clinton's campaign was as badly prepared on
finances as it was to countering Obama's appeal. After outsize
spending on polling, consultants, and prime venues for rallies,
her campaign was broke by February. Obama outspent her on
television advertising in every state - and in some states her
campaign ran no ads at all. Even in states where Clinton ran
strongly - Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana - Obama's campaign was
always better at getting its supporters to the polls.

By April, Clinton was forced to dip into the family fortunes,
lending her campaign a total of $11m. Her campaign crossed the
finish line $20m in debt.

"Everything was done with the pageantry of a general election
candidate," said one consultant.

But as it turns out Clinton will not making it to the general
election after all.

* © Guardian News and Media Limited 2008

If Clinton lost because she represented the same old same old
Washington whilst voters are asking for change (not that they'll
get much from either side), that ought to mean McCain will lose
heavily against Obama come November.

Judging by McCain's appalling speech last night with his fumbling
English and plastic smiles that may well happen, we will have to
But I do wonder whether large swathes of America can vote for
a black president. Ultimately that may be the deciding factor.

I'd guess there are a dozen or so variables. One single factor
might not be the best measure.

I agree there are always multiple factors and some of them may
vary from place to place. But I'd bet that his colour will play a
role in many places, discreetly of course.

Would white Brits have voted for Thatcher if she were black?

First, I'd be surprised if the US elected a black president.
Something I read a long time ago: beneath most major issues in the
United States you will a dimension relating to race.

Indeed I have long believed that. It has to be said that it isn't
just one way. Blacks are perfectly able to display racism too,
althought the likes of the BBC will always portray it as a white
thing only:

-white kills black = race crime.
-black kills white = some other crime.

But I wonder if this is my old Canadian idee fixee about the US?

Well many a Brit commentator has alluded to undercurrent racism
in the US for years. Exactly the same in Britain. Racism is a very
difficult thing to expose, given that it's often hidden.
Also, I think many of us are a little bit racist but hide it.

In terms of black and white living together, this is mostly a post-war
phenomena in the UK. Black immigration permitted to fill the workplace
void left by the slaughter of so many whites.

and contemporary individuality (and who knows what else) dampening the
desires of whites to reproduce in sufficient quantities.

Very different situation in the United States, historically,
geopgraphically and culturally. The issue dates back to when America
was still a part of the British Empire.

Some Brit commentators talking about race issues in the US does not
really convey the depth of race issues in the US. You have to live there
for a decade or so to get this feel. Did the Times or the Guardian report
on 19th Century white lynchings of blacks the same way they reported on
say, Martin Luther King?

Gary Younge in the Guardian might get close.

Same way, it can a decade or more for a newcomer to get a real feel for
British culture.

You could also say that a determining factor in all Republican
victories has been the low turn of black voters. So it is possible
an energised black electorate would offset a loss of white votes.


And the Hispanic element. How does white distaste for voting for a
black transfer to the Hispanic community? (I'd say the answer is

I'm sure Hispanics see themselves as above blacks in America.

I'd think the opposite would be the case in terms of a presidential
election. Hispanics, like Blacks are traditionally democrats anyway.

But possibly in some key states defections because O was black would not
make any difference to electoral college votes.

I've long believed that there's a global unwritten pecking order,
with whites at the top. Everybody else sees themselves as being
somewhere in the pile, but not necessarily in the same place that
others or whites may see them.

I don't think that Indians, Chinese, Japanese or others see the world
this way. It is likely more a white fantasy driven by holding the
economic upper hand. (for the time being)

The so-called white race is quite young in the scheme of things.