Is Hillary already running a losing campaign?

Excellent piece in Salon from Bill Curry, a Democratic strategist, who dissects Hillary Clinton's campaign and finds that nothing much has changed since 2008.

Clinton seems as disconnected from the public mood now as she did in 2008.  I think it’s a crisis. If she doesn’t right the ship it will be a disaster. In politics it’s always later than you think. Advisors who told her voters would forget the email scandals probably say this too will pass. If so, she should fire them.

Leaders as progressive as Howard Dean and Barney Frank urge Democrats to circle the wagons and spare the party the bloodshed of a real contest, but this party needs to get its blood moving. Clinton needs a real challenge and a real debate, not just a sparring partner; not some palooka to dance her around the ring for a couple of rounds, but a real fighter. She needs the debate. We all do.  But who will bring it?

Underdogs always need to get an early start, so it’s surprising that Clinton beat all of her prospective primary opponents into the race. Some seem to be auditioning for the second spot on her ticket. Others may not make the race. If no champion emerges, progressives must mount their own debate and relearn some of the skills they applied so successfully back in the days before everybody had a PAC.

The Democrats’ third problem is policy. They don’t really have clear policies to deal with our biggest problems.  It’s why Hillary won’t have the answers those Iowa families seek and why so few Democrats do. It’s why we need a real debate. It is Clinton’s misfortune to find herself master of a dying system.

If she raises all that money it will ruin her. Fundraising nearly ruined her husband in 1996. He didn’t need all the money he raised then and God knows she doesn’t need all the money she wants to raise now. Even if raising the money doesn’t land her in hot water, if she spends it the way most Democrats do, that will ruin her.

Like Bill Clinton’s 1992 race, this election is about the economy. But this one’s about how to reform the economy, not just jumpstart it. Our political system isn’t set up to debate whether or not our economic system needs real reform. It will take a very different kind of politics, and leader, to spark that debate. We’ll soon know whether anyone is ready, willing and able to fight.

Curry believes that Clinton should adopt populist themes and issues.  But while his prescription is rancid, his diagnosis is spot on.

This election must be about real reform.  Not the faux "reform" offered by President Obama, which is just the same tired liberal policies with new wrappings.  And that's why Jeb Bush will be as irrelevant as Hillary if he runs.  Bush and Clinton represent the status quo.  They are both in danger of having the country leave them behind, stuck in the 1990s, while other candidates offer a vision of a different future. 

The real reformers in this race so far are Martin O'Malley, who is seeking to bring the Occupy Wall Street agenda to Washington, and Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, who really want to upend the current system.  Both announced Republicans have been dismissed by Beltway insiders as incapable of winning.  They do so at their own peril.  Both candidates have shown that their core messages resonate with ordinary people.  That's something that neither Bush nor Clinton can say – largely because neither candidate has offered any reason for anyone to vote for him or her.

Hillary and Jeb will have more money than God, so they will still be competitive.  But people are hungry for a different message, a different kind of politician.  I don't think either Clinton or Bush is capable of filling that role.

Excellent piece in Salon from Bill Curry, a Democratic strategist, who dissects Hillary Clinton's campaign and finds that nothing much has changed since 2008.

Clinton seems as disconnected from the public mood now as she did in 2008.  I think it’s a crisis. If she doesn’t right the ship it will be a disaster. In politics it’s always later than you think. Advisors who told her voters would forget the email scandals probably say this too will pass. If so, she should fire them.

Leaders as progressive as Howard Dean and Barney Frank urge Democrats to circle the wagons and spare the party the bloodshed of a real contest, but this party needs to get its blood moving. Clinton needs a real challenge and a real debate, not just a sparring partner; not some palooka to dance her around the ring for a couple of rounds, but a real fighter. She needs the debate. We all do.  But who will bring it?

Underdogs always need to get an early start, so it’s surprising that Clinton beat all of her prospective primary opponents into the race. Some seem to be auditioning for the second spot on her ticket. Others may not make the race. If no champion emerges, progressives must mount their own debate and relearn some of the skills they applied so successfully back in the days before everybody had a PAC.

The Democrats’ third problem is policy. They don’t really have clear policies to deal with our biggest problems.  It’s why Hillary won’t have the answers those Iowa families seek and why so few Democrats do. It’s why we need a real debate. It is Clinton’s misfortune to find herself master of a dying system.

If she raises all that money it will ruin her. Fundraising nearly ruined her husband in 1996. He didn’t need all the money he raised then and God knows she doesn’t need all the money she wants to raise now. Even if raising the money doesn’t land her in hot water, if she spends it the way most Democrats do, that will ruin her.

Like Bill Clinton’s 1992 race, this election is about the economy. But this one’s about how to reform the economy, not just jumpstart it. Our political system isn’t set up to debate whether or not our economic system needs real reform. It will take a very different kind of politics, and leader, to spark that debate. We’ll soon know whether anyone is ready, willing and able to fight.

Curry believes that Clinton should adopt populist themes and issues.  But while his prescription is rancid, his diagnosis is spot on.

This election must be about real reform.  Not the faux "reform" offered by President Obama, which is just the same tired liberal policies with new wrappings.  And that's why Jeb Bush will be as irrelevant as Hillary if he runs.  Bush and Clinton represent the status quo.  They are both in danger of having the country leave them behind, stuck in the 1990s, while other candidates offer a vision of a different future. 

The real reformers in this race so far are Martin O'Malley, who is seeking to bring the Occupy Wall Street agenda to Washington, and Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, who really want to upend the current system.  Both announced Republicans have been dismissed by Beltway insiders as incapable of winning.  They do so at their own peril.  Both candidates have shown that their core messages resonate with ordinary people.  That's something that neither Bush nor Clinton can say – largely because neither candidate has offered any reason for anyone to vote for him or her.

Hillary and Jeb will have more money than God, so they will still be competitive.  But people are hungry for a different message, a different kind of politician.  I don't think either Clinton or Bush is capable of filling that role.