Hillary, We're Not in 1992 Any More

Clarice Feldman
Drudge notes that there is talk about Hillary withdrawing altogether from the race for the Democratic nomination, indicating staffers are concerned about protecting the Clinton brand.
But I suspect Jay Cost  has a better explanation: This is not 1992 any more and she has not the numerical and geographic advantages that made it possible for him to be "the comeback kid" who came from behind to walk off with the nomination:

Super Tuesday was designed by southern Democrats after Mondale's nomination in 1984. They wanted to use their weight to nominate a more moderate candidate who would better reflect their interests. The plan backfired in 1988, as Al Gore and Jesse Jackson effectively neutralized one another, and Michael Dukakis won the nomination. But the plan succeeded in 1992 -- as Bill Clinton lost seven of the first nine contests, but still won the nomination.

This points out a critical difference between Bill and Hillary. Bill won the nomination when the battle came to his home turf. The South was Clinton's firewall in 1992. It was going to get behind Bill almost regardless of where he finished in the previous contests. Hillary has no firewall that is based upon regional affinity. Of course, she is currently strong in many of this year's Super Tuesday states -- California, New Jersey, Connecticut, etc. However, she is not a favorite daughter. These states are not nearly as dependable for her as Tennessee, Mississippi, and South Carolina were for Bill.

Another critical difference can be noted when we look at the results of the early contests. Of the contests prior to Super Tuesday, they were split five ways: Harkin, Kerrey, Tsongas, Brown, and Clinton all won at least one contest before March 10. There was no significant consolidation of the race because the early states kept disagreeing with one another. This helped Bill. He could lose and lose and lose because no single opponent won and won and won. Hillary does not enjoy this kind of advantage. The 2008 Democratic contest is between Clinton and Obama. So, if she loses seven of the first eight contests contests, Obama wins seven of the first eight. This would create a dramatically different dynamic than in 1992.

Thus, we see here two of Clinton's relative weaknesses as a frontrunner. She has no firewall that stems from her geographical roots. She also does not have the luxury of multiple opponents.


Drudge notes that there is talk about Hillary withdrawing altogether from the race for the Democratic nomination, indicating staffers are concerned about protecting the Clinton brand.
But I suspect Jay Cost  has a better explanation: This is not 1992 any more and she has not the numerical and geographic advantages that made it possible for him to be "the comeback kid" who came from behind to walk off with the nomination:

Super Tuesday was designed by southern Democrats after Mondale's nomination in 1984. They wanted to use their weight to nominate a more moderate candidate who would better reflect their interests. The plan backfired in 1988, as Al Gore and Jesse Jackson effectively neutralized one another, and Michael Dukakis won the nomination. But the plan succeeded in 1992 -- as Bill Clinton lost seven of the first nine contests, but still won the nomination.

This points out a critical difference between Bill and Hillary. Bill won the nomination when the battle came to his home turf. The South was Clinton's firewall in 1992. It was going to get behind Bill almost regardless of where he finished in the previous contests. Hillary has no firewall that is based upon regional affinity. Of course, she is currently strong in many of this year's Super Tuesday states -- California, New Jersey, Connecticut, etc. However, she is not a favorite daughter. These states are not nearly as dependable for her as Tennessee, Mississippi, and South Carolina were for Bill.

Another critical difference can be noted when we look at the results of the early contests. Of the contests prior to Super Tuesday, they were split five ways: Harkin, Kerrey, Tsongas, Brown, and Clinton all won at least one contest before March 10. There was no significant consolidation of the race because the early states kept disagreeing with one another. This helped Bill. He could lose and lose and lose because no single opponent won and won and won. Hillary does not enjoy this kind of advantage. The 2008 Democratic contest is between Clinton and Obama. So, if she loses seven of the first eight contests contests, Obama wins seven of the first eight. This would create a dramatically different dynamic than in 1992.

Thus, we see here two of Clinton's relative weaknesses as a frontrunner. She has no firewall that stems from her geographical roots. She also does not have the luxury of multiple opponents.