Hillary - Is Iowa the beginning of the end?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by hapaboy, Jan 4, 2008.

What does the Iowa result foreshadow for Hillary?

  1. She's toast.

    18 vote(s)
  2. Too early to say.

    16 vote(s)
  3. Just a speedbump. She's still going to win.

    4 vote(s)
  4. Who cares?

    4 vote(s)
  1. The Tailspin Begins?

    By Richard H. Collins

    Friday, January 4, 2008

    Nearly a year ago Hillary Clinton kicked off her presidential campaign stating that she was “in it to win.” Despite being anointed the national frontrunner and prohibitive favorite to win both the Democratic nomination and even the general election, however, when the first opportunity came to count votes in the Iowa caucuses last night she promptly lost to Barack Obama.

    The Hillary campaign will try to spin this result as a good showing in a state where she faced an uphill battle. But given her fundraising, her name recognition, her husband’s popularity and campaigning, along with her early and large leads in the polls it can’t be denied that this is a damaging loss.

    Hillary began the race with significant advantages. Using connections developed during her husband’s administration she raised unprecedented amounts of money. Her celebrity status gave her an enormous amount of media time and name recognition. She put together what was quickly labeled a veteran, loyal, and disciplined campaign staff. She had the backing and organization of the political establishment across the country and a former two term president as her closest strategist and most fervent campaigner. As the first credible female candidate for president, Hillary was believed to exert a powerful pull on the critical female vote.

    Hillary leveraged this into large leads in national polls and her campaign took on the aura of inevitability; that never stuck with voters. After a rough debate started a round of negative media, she found herself in a hard fought battle in Iowa and soon in New Hampshire and even South Carolina.

    Hillary tried out what seemed like an endless series of themes and campaign slogans. She tried various combinations of change, strength and experience. She tried an emphasis on the middle class. She tried negative attacks on Obama’s character and his lack of experience. She tried to “humanize” her perception among voters; even going so far as to campaign with her mom and daughter. She rolled out websites to spin, respond to scandal, and show video testimonials to the real Hillary; someone who was friendly and open, warm and engaging. But her campaign was motion without direction.

    Nothing Hillary said or did seemed to change the dynamic of the race. Voters were looking for change and no amount of money or political machinations could package Hillary as anything other than an establishment politician running on her husband’s popularity and record. Slick ads and emotional testimonies from friends and family couldn’t change the fact that a sizable chunk of the electorate simply won’t vote for Hillary. Her constantly changing slogans and themes only reinforced Hillary’s perception as overly calculating. Her husband’s folksy charm only served to highlight her own reserved and awkward personality.

    As is her habit, Hillary tried to have it both ways on the infamous gender issue. She denied running as the women’s candidate but mentioned the “historic” nature of her candidacy regularly on the stump and never missed chance to talk about the grandmothers who brought the daughters and granddaughters to see her on the trail. But after all the talk of the gender issue, Obama beat Hillary among women voters in Iowa.

    In the days leading up to the caucus Hillary repeated the mantra that you can’t get change by “hoping for it” or by “demanding it,” but by “working for it.” The clear implication was the she was the only candidate tough enough to win the nomination and beat Republicans. She seemed convinced that simple determination would carry her to victory. But when it came time to count votes all that money and hard work was only good enough for third place.

    The irony is that the reason Hillary is even considered a credible candidate for president is because of her husband, but in a cycle dominated by the need for change it is this same history, and her personality and style, which prevents her from capturing the imagination of voters. How can you represent the future when you are so closely tied to the past?

    The nostalgic popularity of her husband and the fundraising prowess that it creates will keep Hillary in the race for the foreseeable future. As we have learned, the Clintons never go quietly into the night. But as Iowans proved last night, her last name and campaign cash no longer guarantees victory.

    And deep down that has to worry Hillary and company.
  2. I know you're not a big fan of Hillary, hap. I'm not that big a fan either, and for one basic reason; I think she's waaaaay more coldly calculating than her husband, and I think she's botched this campaign by trying too hard to be whatever will get her elected. I am realizing, for the first time in my life, that the best candidate for the job is probably a Republican.

    Anyhow, I think it may be a bit early to sound the death knell for her campaign. If you had asked me 6 months ago if the U.S. was ready to elect a woman as president, I would have laughed out loud. Now, I'm not so so sure.

    Don't you think that to some extent the outcome depends on who she can mobilize?
  3. .........don't know if you saw the sound bite. They got off the plane. Bill, Hillary, Chelsea. and of course Bill spoke. He said, "we got off the plane at 4:30am. My girls look pretty good. Don 't cha think???"

    I'm thinkin', "I can't believe he put his bitches on the same flight as his wife and kid."
  4. Aloha, Nik. Funny, six months ago I was NOT laughing at the prospect of her becoming President, and now my doubts are being raised.

    As you said, yes, personally I think it's early to sound the death knell, but it is very interesting to me that she came in 3rd after having led in the polls by such a margin for so long. We'll see what happens in NH and beyond.

    Edwards as President is IMO probably worse than Hillary, Obama I have not yet made up my mind. He's eloquent and young. Other than that, I don't know what kind of leadership experience he would bring, if any. He makes for good sound bytes and a poster boy for "change," but I don't know beyond that. And his foreign policy stances, fuzzy as they sometimes are, are not exactly in the best interests of this country IMO.

    There's a long way to go.
  5. I saw a CBC interview with Ted Sorensen (Kennedy speechwriter), who is in the Obama camp. Sorensen seems to think Obama has what it takes but then he's a hardline Dem. He thinks that Hillary is unelectable running against any of the likely Republican candidates.

    I have to say that this combination of frontrunners for the Dems is a dream come true for Republicans who were worried that negativity surrounding the Bush years would create a fait accompli. A black man or a woman? Something tells me the Republican strategists will take this fight any time.

    Makes for an interesting year.
  7. Retired


    Obama: "Let's have the same old folks do the same old things, playing the same old Washington game over and over and over again."

  8. "President Obama", "President Huckabee" . Naw. Neither one sounds right.

    It's all about image. Obama looks like a kid. Completely unbelievable as leader of the world's mightiest nation. Huckabee's too crafty for his own good.

    Neither one of these guys. No idea who, but it won't be one of these two. This time Iowa got it wrong.
  9. typical OBAMA supporter?



  10. So you lean toward the "seasoned geriatric" look for presidential material?

    Look how well thats worked in the past.
    He's 46 or something yeah? A year or two in office, he'll look like methuselah, look what happened to nixon and clinton.
    Speaking of completely unbeleivable, dubya-he might as well have been 90 years old, eating through as straw and crapping his diapers, your worried about image?!?

    Huckabee is a frothing, foaming at the mouth nutjob, the mormon guy-you sure as heck wouldnt buy a used car from him, he's cut and paste from a life insurance commercial.

    Paul-see comments about huckabee, just different angles.

    It is all about image, i suspect people are tired of leaders with prostate problems and looming or apperent dementia, but iowa is never wrong.

    About corn:D
    #10     Jan 5, 2008