Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hillary's final days - I suspect that this week a series of new polls will come out and at least a few will show Barack Obama ahead in both Ohio and Texas. The superdelegates will bolt to Obama and Howard Dean will make an awkward phone call to the Clintons. Andrew Sullivan explains how Hillary's two-decade march to the White House was derailed: "It seems obvious to me that the Clintons blew this because they never for a second imagined they could. So they never planned to fight it. Once put in a fair contest, they turned out to be terrible campaigners, terrible politicians, bad managers, useless executives, wooden public speakers. If you're a Democrat, that's good to know, isn't it? All that bull**** about Day One and experience? In retrospect: laughable."

As far as I can figure it, the only pathway for Clinton is to squeak out wins in Texas and Ohio, spin it as "momentum" and then try - somehow - to seat the delegates from Michigan and Florida. That's not going to happen.


dave in boca said...

Handy Andy is someone I rarely agree with anymore, but he's right. Another observer noted that Hillary was running for a JOB TITLE of POTUS while Obama seems running to actually change the country.

For Hillary to talk about "special interests" is completely risible. With Hillary, it's always wondering when the other Hsu is going to drop!

Anonymous said...

Because the media has the attention span of a kitten, this week's hot meme is that Clinton "ran the worst campaign ever." They just got through saying the same about Rudy Giuliani's "worst campaign ever," LAST MONTH. Even Comic Book Guy is more sparing with the title.

As for Sullivan's analysis, Hillary Clinton is such a "terrible campaigner," "wooden speaker" and "bad manager" that her amount of voting support would have won the GOP nomination twice over. Most politicians would KILL to be as inept as she's been.

The main thing ruining her? Bad timing.

Clinton's not going to beat Obama, but she *would* have beaten Bush and his 50 and a half percent in 2004. (Only a fool could argue that Hillary wouldn't have pulled a +2 swing over John Kerry's numbers.)

Unfortunately (for her), she bought into the 9/11 rhetoric. She sat back to bide her time, and prepare for '08. Had she been bolder and more farsighted, she'd be heading a committee to re-elect the President today.

Similarly, I believe McCain would have beaten Gore in 2000, and he clearly would have beaten Kerry, but he will not beat Obama this year. Shackling himself to the war will sink McCain. But more to the point, he's already eight years past his best opportunity. Bad timing.

Two years ago, innumerable pundits and advisors were saying Obama shouldn't run in 2008, because he was certain to lose to Hillary. They said the effort was premature and could only bruise Obama's future chances, which were glorious.

In 2002, Clinton listened to the same type of advice --- George W. Bush was "unbeatable," and terror terror terror. She even voted upon that advice with the war authorization bill. Look at her now.

Timing. Don't underestimate it.

Anonymous said...

Eric, nice blog! Enjoyed reading it... thanks. Michigan-Matt

Anonymous said...

The media, about 10 minutes ago: Team Clinton is running a "smart, disciplined, mistake-free campaign."

The media, now: Hillary Clinton ran "the worst campaign in history."

Pundits whose regurgitated analysis goes back two news cycles but no more: The consensus is that Hillary Clinton ran the worst campaign in..... Oooh! Something shiny! Getitgetitgetitgetit!

Anonymous said...

Hillary beating Bush in 2000? You have got to be kidding. Kerry only stayed close by attracting as little attention as possible to himself. It was a straight up or down vote on President Bush. And since Kerry had done nothing since his protesting days, he was almost the perfect pay no attention to me candidate.

Hillary, on the other hand, would have brought the same baggage in 2004 as she does now. To keep her out of office, the GOP turnout would have gone even higher. And her negatives among many Dems would have driven down the high votes that non-entity Kerry got.

For Hillary, there is no timing that would ever work. She's a mediocre lawyer with zero management, leadership, and political skills. She's only here now because she married Bill. And she has a personality that reminds men of their ex-wife or mother-in-law with an attitude that make older women cringe (or feel pity). She's not going to ever win the Presidency and she never stood a chance, no matter how weak the opposition (and Obama is pretty thread-bare).

Anonymous said...

Your enlightened and take-no-sides opinion aside, a sitting wartime President who managed just 50.7% of the vote against a zombified candidate would have had close to no chance against Hillary Clinton. The only "baggage" would have been Bush's, packing to leave in January 2005.

Your idea that Hillary would have done *worse* than John Kerry is delusional. Hell, if the 2004 election had occurred in April or June of 2005, even Kerry would have won!

As noted above, Hillary's done amazingly well for a total zero in management, leadership, and political skills. Imagine if she were a 3 on a scale of 1-10; they'd rename the country for her.

JorgXMcKie said...

Let's see. We have a couple of data points. In 2000, Hillary ran against a very weak Republican candidate in the Senate race in NY. Same in 2006. This tells us what about Hillary's campaigning ability? Zip.

In 1968, LBJ was 'a sitting wartime president.' How'd that turn out?

In 2004, every Democrat in the US was *convincec* that John Fraud Kerry would clobber Bush. What happened to Pres Kerry?

"Hell, if the 2004 election had occurred in April or June of 2005 . . ." Yes, and if my aunt had wheels, she could be tea trolley.

jjjjjjjjjjjjjjj brings pretty much nothing to his argument except a firm belief in his own infallible opinions and then pretends that someone else's opinion is worthless?

Well, we do have some info. Hillary has run exactly one campaign against real opposition. How's she doing?

Except for rabid Dems/Libs rallying generally around a scum-sucking embattled president (it *wasn't* just about sex, although I thought impeachment was a lousy idea) who routinely lied to their faces and constantly violated principles Dems/Libs seem to claim are the heart of their beliefs, Hillary on her own would have had a tough time winning a race for city council in a city of 10,000.

Anonymous said...

Heh heh, Dave's here. Dave, who crowed three days ago on THIS site that George W. Bush made suckers of all the non-existent experts who supposedly said "Bush will never win Texas (twice)." An interesting memory. Meanwhile, here on Earth, GWB actually won reelection in 1998 by the largest margin of victory in state history: three cheers for the Comeback Kid!

But this Dave is a changed man. This Dave suddenly looks at the numbers and says that Hillary Clinton can only beat "very weak" opposition. It may be the world's shortest trend, but Dave's spotted it.

Well, we do have some info. Hillary has run exactly one campaign against real opposition. How's she doing?

She's running a very close second to an unusually appealing candidate. She's gotten almost half of the 20 million primary votes cast.

It probably won't be enough to pass Obama, but I think she might squeak into a city council seat. (Assuming, of course, that good weather brings out a high turnout of rabid lib scum-suckers.)

How many current politicians does Dave think would be doing as well in Hillary Clinton's place? If Barack Obama had sat out the race to become "seasoned" as many advised him to do, she'd be cruising.

Dave's other comparisons are faulty, too. Lyndon Johnson's level of popular support in 1967 was NOTHING like Bush's in 2003. LBJ 1967 = GWB 2005.

John Kerry periodically had a slight lead in the fall of '04 but was NEVER a prohibitive favorite to "clobber" anyone. Although Dave's Handy All-Purpose Marxist Colleague is sure to tell him differently. Maybe Dave's Aunt With Wheels would concur-- she's about as believable a creation as Marxist Colleague.

How odd that "Hillary beats Bush in 2004" induces squeals of objection and name-calling, but no issue is taken with the estimate that John McCain would have beaten Al Gore in 2000. That's goooood alternate history.

Even when it comes to speculation, some people's minds only work one side of the street.