Houston, We Have A Problem
November 26, 2007
AP: Democrat Hillary Clinton would lose to all major Republican White House candidates, according to a hypothetical election matchup poll Monday, reversing her months of dominance over potential 2008 challengers. The Zogby International poll was the latest sign that withering attacks on the former first lady were chipping away at her opinion poll leads just 38 days before the Iowa caucuses, the first party nominating contests.
Hillary In Her Element
November 20, 2007
Grinnell, Iowa I spent yesterday afternoon and evening attending Hillary Clinton events in Vinton and nearby Tama (pronounced "tay-muh," I think). Say what you will about her limitations as a public speaker, she's very good at these small-town events, which draw a couple hundred people at a time. In the debates and her high-profile speeches, she can come off as kind of an Iron Lady--not an altogether bad thing for a presidential candidate, but not exactly inviting either.
Friday Blog Talk: More On The Debate
November 16, 2007
Losing Liberals [Michael van der Galien, The Van Der Galien Gazette]: "Although the Social Security debate certainly is interesting, it’s even more interesting--in my opinion--to see how rapidly Obama is losing the support from the liberal base. This is--obviously--incredibly good news for Hillary Clinton. She doesn’t have to present herself as the liberal candidate." Shaming Carville [kos, Daily Kos]: "Would it kill CNN to disclose that James Carville is a partisan Clinton supporter when talking about the presidential race?
The Vegas Debate
November 16, 2007
Earlier this week I had a conversation about Barack Obama with a rival campaign strategist. This summer, the strategist told me, Obama looked downright plaintive--like a man second-guessing his decision to run for president. No longer, said the strategist. In recent weeks, both the candidate and campaign have been acting like a team that expects to win. I think we saw this second Obama on display tonight. He was focused, energized, tough, charismatic--pretty much everything the press had accused him of not being in previous debates.
What's Likely To Happen In Vegas
November 15, 2007
If you're wondering about Hillary Clinton's approach to tonight's debate, look no further than the memo sent out under strategist Mark Penn's name today. Penn writes: What is the most important card in this race? The leadership card. That is the card that we see in poll after poll that analyzes why people are voting for Hillary Clinton. And so while opponents are strategizing and re-launching their campaigns with aggressive personal attacks on Sen. Clinton, one truth remains--running for president is not a qualification for president.
"caucusing Is Easy"?
November 15, 2007
Hillary Clinton has a cheeky new web video up--complete with Bill eating a cheeseburger and Hillary singing the national anthem badly off-key--which extols the fun and ease of caucusing. ("You don't have to be registered. Or even be a Democrat," it advises. One Hillary supporter even assures viewers that "It's usually over early enough to get back to your favorite TV show.") Okay, but isn't it in Hillary's self-interest to making caucusing sound arduous and boring?
Would Edwards Really Not Endorse Hillary?
November 13, 2007
Today's NYT notes that John Edwards refused to offer the standard answer to the standard question about whether he'll endorse Hillary Clinton should she win the Democratic nomination: Between campaign appearances last week, as he rode through eastern Iowa in his campaign van, Mr. Edwards declined to answer whether he would support Mrs. Clinton. “I’m not willing to talk about that at this point,” he said, waiting silently until the next question was asked. I don't think this is that surprising.
Obama Shines In Iowa
November 11, 2007
Barack Obama's speech at tonight's Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Iowa took him back to the roots of his stardom. Crucially, the setting was similar to that of the 2004 Democratic national convention, where Obama's keynote speech changed his destiny: Obama appeared onstage alone, before a roaring auditorium crowd, delivering an oratorically ambitious speech. It was a far cry from the candidate debates, with their silly questions and Mike Gravels, which have diminished Obama--or his sometimes lackluster town hall meetings with voters.
Richardson Angling For Hillary's Veep?
November 10, 2007
Bill Richardson just finished his remarks, and they could have been written by the besieged Hillary Clinton. Or this passage, at least: It is critically important that Democrats not tear each other down. I believe it is okay to point out policy differences--on Iraq, on Iran... [but] the voters of Iowa, they want a positive campaign. They want us to talk about the future. Coming right after a tough speech by John Edwards implicitly casting Hillary as a dishonest coporate shill (more on that to come), it almost seemed like a direct rebuke of Edwards.
The Clinton Campaign Plants A Question
November 10, 2007
Yesterday I did a post about the analogy between Hillary Clinton in 2008 and Richard Nixon in 1968, the upshot of which was that, in order to win, a respected-but-not-loved candidate like Nixon or Hillary has to be relentlessly stage-managed. I cited the televised forums Nixon did with voters as an example of the kind of thing that was pretty effective in '68. The forums looked spontaneous but were actually highly choreographed.