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Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Hillary Clinton Giving Up On Iowa, New Hampshire?

by JASmius

Well, it makes sense from the "why waste time and money" perspective.  As a nomination-winning strategy and, far more so, as a means of reviving confidence in supporters and especially donors, as opposed to just dropping out of the race, that one's a smidgeon more difficult to process:

Hillary Clinton is losing in New Hampshire, and at least one small contingent of family allies thinks it’s nearly time to cut bait.

The group — veterans of the family’s old campaigns and people close to [Mrs.] Clinton’s fundraising — see little reason to support a strategy that continues to pour resources into the State where Bernie Sanders’ already surprising lead shows no signs of shrinking.

Despite confidence emanating from the campaign’s paid leadership team that [Mrs.] Clinton is well positioned with more than four months to go before the primary, this circle of informal advisers is whispering about more aggressively looking beyond New Hampshire after a summer that saw her polling advantage evaporate. These confidantes are not only granting the possibility that Sanders could win here: they see it as a near-certainty, and in some cases wonder about the usefulness of flooding the State with precious resources.

Instead, they’re arguing that [Mrs.] Clinton’s campaign would be just fine focusing on the States that follow in early 2016.

Remember the last campaign to argue that Iowa and New Hampshire "don't matter" and their importance is "overrated", etc.?  Rudy Giuliani's.  Remember how he put all his chips on Florida?  Remember how that turned out?  A fourth place finish.  And that was the end of the Giuliani campaign.

Granted, the parallel isn't that close a one.  But Bernie Sanders is going to stomp Hillary into chunky salsa in New Hampshire, and probably if not definitely in "populist" Iowa as well.  She's still up by double-digits in South Carolina, for example, and even with her donors panicking, she'd probably have sufficient resources to outlast Weekend Bernie in the long haul.

At least, to the degree that winning a nomination race is about resources.  If it was, the Empress would already have the nomination clinched.  But it's also about enthusiasm and energy and the "winner's bandwagon" effect.  All of those advantages go to Senator Sanders in spades, and they're why he's well on his way to crushing Mrs. Clinton in Iowa and New Hampshire.

And then there are the optics of preemptively conceding the first two State contests by a woman who is attempting to bill herself as a "fighter" for the nomination of a party that plainly and simply neither likes nor trusts her, and who has no rationale for her candidacy other than "I want!":

David Axelrod, one of the masterminds of Barack Obama’s 2008 victory, has persistently warned that [Mrs.] Clinton needs to provide a clear rationale for why she’s seeking the White House.

“ ‘Hillary: Live with it’ is no rallying cry!” Axelrod tweeted last month while bemoaning that the [Rodham] camp was running a “grinding, tactical race.”

Last December, Axelrod had warned that [Mrs.] Clinton needed to show she was “running for a purpose and not just for a promotion.” He has also said, “You have to stand for something, you have to fight for something, and people need to know what that is.”…

“Nothing about the campaign reads as fresh and new, but rather as cautious, risk-averse and private,” one Democrat strategist, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said of the [Rodham] campaign.

Independent observers, too, suggest that the former secretary of State has been slow to offer a summation of her reasons for seeking the presidency, beyond personal ambition.

To the degree that she ever did have any such reasons, Barack Obama has pretty much already fulfilled them.  So on those grounds Her Nib is a redundancy.  That leaves "I want" and "America owes me" and "It's MY turn" and "GIMMIE!"  And remember, she doesn't remotely possess the political skillset to hide this or divert attention from it.  It's as obvious as a hairlip, and part of the abrasive unlikeability that doomed her last presidential bid and is killing this one even quicker.

FWIW, I don't think Hillary will take the above advice.  To do so would evince a slice of the honest-to-goodness political acumen that she does not, in fact, possess.  That, and her towering ego would never permit it.

Sure will make her crushing defeat that much more entertaining for the rest of us, though.

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