Friday, February 29, 2008

Hillary Clinton’s Texas Two-Step

From the you’ve got to be kidding me section of the election, I’m sorry but Hillary is going to far. I was watching the McNeil/Lehrer Report on PBS this week and Hillary Clinton was being interviewed. In the interview Senator Clinton had the nerve to say that she knew back in the fall of 2007 that this election was going to turn out like it has. She stated that she knew she was going to be in a tough fight with Senator Obama and she told her campaign to prepare for Texas and Ohio. I am not even going to tear apart the complete absurdity of this statement. There are countless links I could include that contradict this statement, but hopefully they are not necessary. The point that I want to discuss is that if this is in fact true then how would she explain the following.

Texas' odd system of allocating delegates has flummoxed the Clinton campaign. Clinton told reporters over the weekend that her aides were still struggling to understand how the state operates.

"I've got people trying to understand it as we speak," she said. "Grown men are crying as we speak. I had no idea it was so bizarre."

Asked by ABC News how the Clinton campaign would define success in Texas, Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson said
he wasn't sure.[1]

So my question is this, if you knew as you said that Texas and Ohio were going to still be in play last fall and you had your campaign staff studying the process how can you now say that you and them do not understand it? Are you saying that after almost a year of research and not to mention your experience from two previous Presidential elections that you don’t understand the process? I find this a little bit incredulous to believe. I think the truth is closer to what you predicted last fall that this campaign would not go past Super Tuesday, so Texas would be inconsequential. It seems the Senator would like to have it both ways that she knew it would come down to this or that she expected it to be over by Super Tuesday. I can understand her logic not wanting to acknowledge that she was overconfident and ill-prepared for this contest.

However this type of doubletalk only reinforces a common criticism against the Senator which is she is living far removed from the reality on the ground and an inability to honestly assess her situation. The situation in Texas is not the only problem for the Clinton campaign, her leads in the remaining states have all but evaporated and she is hemorrhaging super-delegates. Because of its size and diversity Texas I don’t think can deliver what Hillary needs. Because delegates are allocated based on participation in previous elections even if Hillary keeps the areas of her previous strengths she could still lose the delegate count. I agree with the Senator that grown men in her campaign are crying but not due to the complexity of Texas election laws. I think they are sobbing because they realize that her strong support areas will not deliver the requisite number of delegates needed.

So, okay. Here's what we've learned this primary season from the Clinton campaign. Some processes (primaries) are more important than others (caucuses). Some states (Massachusetts, California) are more important than others (Virginia, Utah). Nevada teachers are more important than Nevada hotel and casino employees. And now, voters that vote in the daytime are more important than those who vote at night.

The strategy of trying to marginalize and dismiss the supporters and voters for Senator Obama has backfired significantly and has only helped to cause division in the Party. I find it very interesting that the supporters for these two candidates have developed so much discord and rancor. One would think that the supporters for these two historical candidacies would have more in common, but this primary season seems to have uncovered some deep divisions within the two camps and maybe the Party. It is not that there isn’t disagreement or deep support for their candidates, it has escalated to an almost malicious level with each side accusing the other of outlandish charges. If this continues I fear that there could be some lasting damage to the eventual winner.

The problem is that it took a historical candidacy to defeat a historical candidacy. Who could have predicted that we would be presented with these two candidates at the exact same moment in history. It seems that supporters of both candidates wants their candidate to be the first to make history and each somehow feels betrayed by supporters of the other candidate who selfishly want to do the same thing. Because they are similar candidacies any perceived or actual differences seem to be exaggerated to the detriment of the electorate. Minor miscues have been escalated to the point far exceeding their importance. I guess familiarity does breed contempt.


1 comment:

Malcolm said...

Ya, this is all part of her big plan.

Sounds like when Rudy said that it was part of his Florida plan to lose everything up until then… as a means of lulling the opposition into a false sense of security.

She should have asked my opinion. I predicted back in the beginning of December that Obama would win the nomination (although I was wrong about the republicans):

I saw her on “Nightline” last night, and she was totally pandering to the woman. I think she said something to the effect of “it’s hard for a woman to make it, I just wish it wasn’t this hard.”

I don’t know if you watch videos, but I summarized the Ohio debate down to a little over two minutes:

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