Trouble Running a Campaign, Much Less a Country

Frank Rich has an excellent column in the New York Times today about the Clinton ineptness at organizing good campaign, and how that speaks to her specious claim that she has the "experience" needed to run the country:

In the last battleground, Wisconsin, the Clinton campaign was six days behind Mr. Obama in putting up ads and had only four campaign offices to his 11. Even as Mrs. Clinton clings to her latest firewall — the March 4 contests — she is still being outhustled. Last week she told reporters that she "had no idea" that the Texas primary system was "so bizarre" (it's a primary-caucus hybrid), adding that she had "people trying to understand it as we speak." Perhaps her people can borrow the road map from Obama's people. In Vermont, another March 4 contest, The Burlington Free Press reported that there were four Obama offices and no Clinton offices as of five days ago. For what will no doubt be the next firewall after March 4, Pennsylvania on April 22, the Clinton campaign is sufficiently disorganized that it couldn't file a complete slate of delegates by even an extended ballot deadline.

This is the candidate who keeps telling us she's so competent that she'll be ready to govern from Day 1. Mrs. Clinton may be right that Mr. Obama has a thin résumé, but her disheveled campaign keeps reminding us that the biggest item on her thicker résumé is the health care task force that was as botched as her presidential bid.

Given that Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama offer marginally different policy prescriptions — laid out in voluminous detail by both, by the way, on their Web sites — it's not clear what her added-value message is. The "experience" mantra has been compromised not only by her failure on the signal issue of Iraq but also by the deadening lingua franca of her particular experience, Washingtonese. No matter what the problem, she keeps rolling out another commission to solve it: a commission for infrastructure, a Financial Product Safety Commission, a Corporate Subsidy Commission, a Katrina/Rita Commission and, to deal with drought, a water summit.

As for countering what she sees as the empty Obama brand of hope, she offers only a chilly void: Abandon hope all ye who enter here. This must be the first presidential candidate in history to devote so much energy to preaching against optimism, against inspiring language and — talk about bizarre — against democracy itself. No sooner does Mrs. Clinton lose a state than her campaign belittles its voters as unrepresentative of the country.

Previous Comments


Did you see her diatribe in Cincinnati yesterday against Obama for flyers that were distributed, which she says distorted her stance on health care and NAFTA? I thought she was gonna pull a Mike Gundy-like act. Just two days earlier, they were almost singing "Kumbaya" at the debate. I think the gloves are coming off this time. I'll make sure I have a bag of popcorn for Tuesday night.

golden eagle

I find it ironic that she would claim she's been against NAFTA for a long time, even though in her own autobiography she claims it is one of Bill's best moments. It's not heard to be against it now that it is over 10 years old. Not the first time America has made a mistake in policy. Now she is trying to put it all on GW the first. LOL! Like Roger Clemens she'll throw anyone under the bus if it makes her look good! She did come across as a bit shrill yesterday trying to act upset. Too little too late!



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