Hillary Clinton

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.

Hillary Clinton Is Making Sense
November 08, 2007

Joe Klein has a nice piece in Time based on on interview he did with Hillary Clinton a few days ago. The most interesting nugget: Just before our interview, Clinton gave a speech launching her energy-independence proposal. It would drastically reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by auctioning off permits to pollute and is similar to Obama's--but Obama has added a fillip of honesty by telling his audiences that the program might result in higher energy prices.

Parents To Hrc: Stay Away From My Kid!
November 08, 2007

The Des Moines Register reports that a conference billed as "Parents 2008: Putting Children on the National Agenda" will take place in New York today. The agenda? Duh. Unlike Italy, Japan and now Iran, our procreative society is hardly in short supply of young'uns. How we care for the 40 million children under ten is a fine descriptor of the state of our union. Education, health care, green spaces and after-school support all factor in.