Hillary Clinton Campaign Imploding?

Hillary Clinton Campaign ImplodingThe Hill‘s Ron Christie proclaims the “Beginning of the End of the [Hillary] Clinton Campaign.”

He traces the downfall to Clinton’s inability to “answer a simple question” about issuing driver’s licenses to illegal aliens at a recent debate, which was followed by whining that the boys were all picking on the one girl in the race, to a series of rather hamhanded attempts to hit back at her opponents, particularly Barack Obama.

Now, “her national poll numbers have been plummeting” and, Christie predicts, the once inevitable nominee will, he believes, take a cue from “Dandy” Don Meredith and commence singing “Turn out the lights, the party’s over” after losing both Iowa and New Hampshire.

Forgive me if I don’t buy it.

Certainly, Clinton has taken a bit of a tumble. It inevitably happens to frontrunners — especially inevitable ones. All the other candidates gun for the candidate at the top of the heap. The media get bored with the same old story and are looking to knock the leaders down a peg. And, as happened here, candidates often shoot themselves in the foot.

Hillary Clinton has all the tools she needs to recover, however. A ton of cash on hand to rebuild her standing with advertising buys. A formidable campaign organization. The discipline and experience that comes with years on the national scene. And, by the way, she still holds a 19 point lead in the national polls and a margin of 11.7 and 23 in the New Hampshire and Michigan primaries, respectively, over her nearest opponent. I wouldn’t write her off just yet.

While self-inflicted, this tumble in the polls actually works to Clinton’s advantage in some ways. It takes the pressure off to run the table. Indeed, if she winds up winning in Iowa now, it’s a huge story whereas it was merely expected a week ago.

Her husband managed to spin a third second place finish in New Hampshire in 1992 into a victory, proclaiming himself the “Comeback Kid.” It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Hillary pulled off the same feat.

Photo credit: Ken Ashford.

FILED UNDER: 2008 Election, Public Opinion Polls, , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Dave Schuler says:

    I just posted roughly the same thing over at my place. What in the world is Ron Christie thinking? Under the grimmest of possible scenarios for Sen. Clinton it wouldn’t be the “beginning of the end”. It would scarcely be the beginning of the beginning.

  2. Jenny says:

    Hillary’s support is not as widespread as too many in the MSM have been putting it out as being. This lifelong liberal dem and feminist wouldn’t vote for her if came down to a choice between her and a republican… sorry, but the woman is a neo-con, and would be as bad as Bush ever was. I also realize that Bush wouldn’t have been able to get away with half of the things he did, had not Bill greased the way for him.

    What kind of democrat instructs her campaign staff not to answer the questions of voters who call their hq wanting clarification on stands on issues? Instructs their staff to say, we aren’t allowed to answer questions, but you can feel free to call back after the primary. Sorry, but that is the sort of attitude one would get from an elitist, a Bush type answer.

    She also is stuffing her pockets with donations from Bush supporters, corporate crooks and polluters.. she’s a crook and would finish the job Bush has been getting away with.

    These are things average Americans, across the country, from big cities to small towns. We despise Hillary as much as we despise Bush.

  3. Triumph says:

    SOMETHING is going on weirdly in the land of Hillzilla. Mark Silva had a blog post saying that Hillzilla is actually attacking Obama based on things he wrote in Kindergarten!

    That seems pretty deperate!

  4. NoZe says:

    Didn’t Bill come in second in New Hampshire?

  5. Dave Schuler says:

    That seems pretty deperate!

    No, just pretty nasty. Tell me something I didn’t know.

  6. yetanotherjohn says:

    I am reading the tea leaves now and will come back with a firm prognostication of Feb. 6th.

  7. Paul says:

    —–Didn’t Bill come in second in New Hampshire?

    Yes. Paul E. Tsongas (33.2%) Bill Clinton (24.8%) Bob Kerrey (11.1%) Tom Harkin (10.2%) Jerry Brown ( 8.0%)

    Tsongas was from Massachusetts so a solid second could be spun as as win

  8. NoZe says:

    I was working for the Clinton campaign at that time…I remember it well!

  9. Phil Geffen says:

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