New York Times explains Hillary Clinton’s unraveling

I want to thank lapis who posted on the Daily Kos and alerted me to this Frank Rich piece in the NYT called “The Audacity of Hopelessness.” Rich blames much of the campaign failures on chief strategist, Mark Penn.

That’s why she has been losing battle after battle by double digits in every corner of the country ever since. And no matter how much bad stuff happened, she kept to the Bush playbook, stubbornly clinging to her own Rumsfeld, her chief strategist, Mark Penn. Like his prototype, Mr. Penn is bigger on loyalty and arrogance than strategic brilliance. But he’s actually not even all that loyal. Mr. Penn, whose operation has billed several million dollars in fees to the Clinton campaign so far, has never given up his day job as chief executive of the public relations behemoth Burson-Marsteller. His top client there, Microsoft, is simultaneously engaged in a demanding campaign of its own to acquire Yahoo.

There was a huge gap between the campaigns, explains Rich, in their work ethic.

The gap in hard work between the two campaigns was clear well before Feb. 5. Mrs. Clinton threw as much as $25 million at the Iowa caucuses without ever matching Mr. Obama’s organizational strength. In South Carolina, where last fall she was up 20 percentage points in the polls, she relied on top-down endorsements and the patina of inevitability, while the Obama campaign built a landslide-winning organization from scratch at the grass roots. In Kansas, three paid Obama organizers had the field to themselves for three months; ultimately Obama staff members outnumbered Clinton staff members there 18 to 3.

He even questions Clinton’s competency as a leader, citing a “disheveled campaign” and comparing it to her “botched” healthcare task force.

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.

In summary, Frank Rich’s piece simply states in graphic fashion that Barack Obama ran a better campaign than Hillary Clinton.

Barack Obama’s remarkable rise comes as no surprise to me, having watched this brilliant politician rise from the ashes of a crushing defeat in a Congressional race in 2000, where he couldn’t do anything right. Since that time, has done nothing wrong. And that success is not accidental. Reading on Walden Bookstore

South Carolina Analysis by Daily Kos

This great analysis by georgia10 of the Daily Kos showing what a truly remarkable victory this was by Barack Obama. John Presta.

More Numbers

Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 09:29:04 PM PST

Almost final results:

99% of precincts reporting

Barack Obama 295,091 54%
Hillary Clinton 141,128 27%
John Edwards 93,552 19%
Dennis Kucinich 551 0%

And some other numbers:

  • Total 2008 South Carolina Primary Turnout

    Democratic: about 530,322
    Republican: about 446,000

  • Obama received more votes than all Democrats in the 2004 South Carolina Democratic Primary (292,383)
  • Obama received more votes in this primary than George W. Bush received in 2000 when he beat John McCain (Bush won 293,652 votes)
  • Obama has won more votes than McCain and Huckabee won in South Carolina–combined.
  • Republican turnout in the 2000 South Carolina GOP primary was about 573,000 (the state’s record). This appears to make this primary the second highest turnout in South Carolina history. In other words, Democrats are likely going to finish about 40,000 shy of what the GOP was ever able to crank out in a state where Republicans outnumber Democrats by a wide margin.