Obama Continues to Gain Mo-men-tum or How Clinton Lost Her Invincibility

In the early part of 2007, it appeared that Hillary Clinton had all her ducks in a row and was preparing for inauguration day, January 20, 2009, where the swearing-in as President of the United States would be a mere formality. The Presidency was the Clintons (both of the Clintons actually) for the asking.

And slowly, gradually something began to go wrong with the campaign. Many ingredients went into the unraveling of the Clintons quest to regain the White House. One part Barack Obama. One part flawed strategy. One part poor execution. One part too much Bill. One part not enough Bill (not enough Goldilocks where “just the right amount of Bill”).

Time Magazine reports on how How Clinton Lost Her Invincibility. The campaign had lost its “peripheral vision,” something that the Clintons had plenty of in 1992. They carefully planned that campaign. When a crisis was thrust on them, such as the Jennifer Flowers affair, the Clintons were clearly prepared to deal with it. And they did so in an adept manner. They were good.

And then “Along Came Obama” (I love to paraphrase books titles). As I stated in a previously published blog posting, “They Never Saw it Coming.” As they should have. Oh sure, the Clintons thought Obama would get some support. But never in their wildest dreams did they ever dream that Obama would start a movement. Black support was a given, so they thought. What they didn’t count on was Obama getting support from women voters too. A constituency that the Clintons thought they owned. Not so.

I never once believed that Clinton would just waltz her way to inauguration day: not as long as Barack Obama was in the race. I had a ring side seat from Obama’s previous campaigns in 2000 and in 2004 and I frankly never saw a phenomenon quite like it. Whether he was talking to a voter one on one, and speaking to a throng of thousands, he connected. This man knows how to connect. Bill Clinton connects with the voters. Barack Obama connects with the voters. The problem for the Clintons is that Hillary simply does not connect with the voters. Like the Timothy Hutton character, Conrad, in the 1980’s film Ordinary People, when talking to Judd Hirsch about his mother (played by Mary Tyler Moore) he said, “We don’t connect.”

Like Hillary Clinton with the voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and on and on and on, “She doesn’t connect.” John Presta.

Sunday, Dec. 23, 2007
How Clinton Lost Her Invincibility
By Jay Newton-Small/Grundy Center

When Hillary Clinton launched her campaign nearly a year ago, the media buzz deemed it near impossible for the likes of Barack Obama and John Edwards to overcome her daunting campaign machine. The endorsements, the money, and the cream-of-the-crop strategists combined with the former First Lady’s incumbent image to make her the clear-cut choice of the Democratic Party establishment.

But the onset of the Iowa caucuses finds Clinton aides racing to lower expectations, bracing for a possible loss there and contemplating a dwindling lead in the polls in New Hampshire and South Carolina. So, what has stripped the mighty Clinton campaign juggernaut of its image of invincibility?


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