Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Advice to the Clinton Campaign

1. I've never before seen any campaign coverage after which one candidate has 10 straight wins and the punditry and headlines to follow are crafted from the bizarre notion that the losing candidate will win some later states and take back the lead because the remaining demographic is "custom-made" for the losing candidate.

2. Buoying my understanding that fallacious charges of plagiarism are a desperately ineffective campaign strategy is the tendency of commenters on political posts nationwide to repeat the charge that Barack Obama has "plagerized." A cursory reading of my own blog would surely demonstrate that I don't use the spell-check, but mass inability to spell this word is a sure indicator that people in general don't know what it means, and, as an educator, I can tell you from experience that they don't.

3. Last night, MSNBC quoted well-placed "insiders" from the Clinton campaign as heartened by Clinton's recent attack ads. The logic was that she hadn't lost by as wide a margin after the attack ads as she did before, and that, therefore, the ads were working. A 15+-point lead for Obama in Wisconsin and a 50+-point lead in Hawaii: Yes, by all means, keep up those attack ads.

4. I never heard of the "Cult of Reagan," the "Cult of [Bill] Clinton" or the "Cult of [George W.] Bush." A repeated Rove-like effort to turn a candidate's strength, in this case his widespread support, into a weakness just isn't working, maybe because it's too tired and too unpleasantly familiar to Democratic voters. Suggesting overtly that if you vote for the other candidate, you've lost your mind simply lacks substance.

5. Going after pledged delegates and then denying it looks very bad for you.

6. U.S. voters have come to understand that a vote for a corporate-sponsored Democrat is just as bad as a vote for a Republican. Try to demonstrate that Clinton legislation favored the poor, resisted corporate-sponsored corruption, and provided labor protections in its trade agreements. Try to demonstrate that "welfare reform," "three-strikes" legislation, favoring privatization (including that of the military to Blackwater) were really populist moves. Try to demonstrate that intelligence leading to the war was so convincing that not to empty the U.S. Treasury into the pocket of Halliburton would have been perilous. And back off the charge that a comparison of records (which you probably already intend to back off) would show a substantive difference. It would. It would show that the current catch-phrases about Obama's substanceless rhetoric are propaganda.

Just try to be nice and show people what you're about. Warning: this may result in the perception that you are copying your opponent...whom you've recently accused of copying Deval Patrick.

Addendum: Of course, you can't demonstrate any of the points in #6 because you've not been a friend of the poor or working class or "The American People." I included Bill Clinton's legislation here because you lobbied for/supported it. Anyway, so maybe now accusing Obama of employing tactics "straight out of Karl Rove's playbook" by showing you up on these points will work. I doubt it, though: it was Rove who always falsely accused the opponent of the very type of smears he manufactured himself.

Addendum II (2/25): Bow out gracefully after your fate has been sealed in Texas. If you're so confident that Barack is going to let us down, then your prospects for running against him will be bright in 2012. Between now and then, I don't want to hear from you. It's too annoying to have to witness hatemongering from you and the GOP at the same time, saying the same things. Enough.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And you're not even a pollster ...

My father used to have a lawn mower that when it was ran low on gasoline its engine would wind faster and faster before suddenly cutting out. I've seen small animals and children do the same thing (of course minus the gasoline). Same thing is happening to Hillary's campaign. If she's so sure Obama's a general election loser, she should bail and prep to run in 4 years, because McCain will be too old to run for a second term. (Think she knows Obama's a winner against McCain).