Fixing Hillary Clinton’s Campaign
Bob Shrum thinks Hillary Clinton has run a horrible campaign and will likely struggle to stay in therace through February 5. He offers some friendly advice for a “long shot” recovery:
Clinton’s massive mistake – and the final chance to fix it
Let Hillary be Hillary. Throw away the product packaging – those poll-tested small-bites of policy – and set out a big case about what she wants to do in the next four years, not what she has done for the past 35.
The pursuit of the presidency is not a résumé contest. Otherwise a one-term congressman named Lincoln never would have beaten Stephen Douglas, “the little giant” of American politics; Kennedy never would have prevailed against Nixon, and the young Bill Clinton never would have ousted the first George Bush from the White House.
The conventional caveat is that things could change. World events could refocus voters on Hillary’s strengths – or on Obama’s weaknesses. Yet as of today, it is far more likely that Hillary Clinton won’t be giving an acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. Maybe Obama, the unifier, will let her speak in prime time.
I remain unconvinced that Clinton is in as bad a shape as Shrum and others believe. It’s true that sweeping Iowa and New Hampshire will give Obama substantial momentum but, as noted yesterday in my Obamamania post, Clinton’s got massive leads in most of the big states. And she has almost as much cash on hand as all her challengers, including Obama, combined.
Shrum’s absolutely right that she should focus on the future, rather than the past. My guess is that his “Let Hillary be Hillary” advice, though, would be a disaster: There’s a reason she’s being packaged.
It’s also worth asking: Why would anyone follow Shrum’s advice, anyway? He’s a bright guy and obviously very knowledgable and experienced. He’s also 0-for-8 in presidential elections.
Photo credit: Spin Cycle