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February 17, 2008
Hillary's Flawed Campaign
This piece in the Baltimore Sun nails it pretty well. Hillary Clinton's campaign is foundering because of one basic flaw; she positioned herself as "inevitable" in a campaign that was about "change:"
Now, after falling behind Barack Obama, her campaign is being vilified by some of her supporters. They say she made the strategic mistake of believing that she was inevitable, allowing herself to be positioned, in effect, as an incumbent in an election about change. You really can't criticize Clinton's public performance. She has worked extremely hard and done everything a candidate can do to energize her supporters.
Her advisers apparently assumed that the nomination would be decided by the Super Tuesday primaries Feb. 5, when more than half the states would have voted. Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell, a Clinton supporter, was quoted as saying last week that "it sure didn't look like they had a game plan after Super Tuesday."
Among recent problems: a shortage of campaign cash and, some supporters say, a surplus of loose talk by her husband, the former president.
But strategic decisions made by her inner circle of advisors have not served her well. Just this past week, a high level source in the campaign admitted they didn't put much in the way of resources into the "little states" and caucuses. As a result, Obama has cleaned up winning all but two of the caucus states. In retrospect, conceding so many contests - or at least not fighting for them very hard - may be the difference in the race as Super Delegates will see Obama's victories in those states as an indication that he is the choice of the majority of the party.
It appears that Hillary Clinton has conceded Wisconsin to Obama and is now fighting for her political life. She herself has said she must win both Ohio and Texas to remain viable. We'll know in two weeks if that was the correct strategy.