Monday, December 3, 2007

What Is the Plan, Hillary?

Usually, when a candidate goes negative, he or she denies it. But Hillary Clinton is apparently trying a different tactic. She has announced that she is going negative. The most interesting paragraph in the Washington Post article is:

Asked directly whether she intended to raise questions about Obama's character, she replied: "It's beginning to look a lot like that."
This announcement is, in my opinion, a mistake. First, it plays into Obama's position that he is the new voice of reason and that Clinton is desparate and calculating. Second, Clinton cannot argue that she is just demonstrating policy differences if she admits she is "raising questions about Obama's character." And perhaps most importantly, given her reputation, a campaign that focuses on the candidates' characters will probably hurt her more than Obama.

So why did she do it? I think she is a tad flustered by the recent polls. As someone put it on one of the Sunday shows, the "inevitable candidate" is beginning to look "evitable." Hillary's sole strategy has always been that she was inevitable. Now that that strategy looks like a loser, her campaign has to find a new strategy, and it is floundering for one. I'm not sure what the correct strategy is. I think Obama is almost the perfect candidate to be fighting Clinton. She can't argue that she is the only candidate who will make history, becasue Obama is an African-American. She can't claim she is the only electable candidate because Obama is very likeable and comparable to Hillary in head to head polls against Republicans. Her best argument, that she will continue the peace and prosperity of the 90's that was lost in the '00s is an ok strategy, but the "we don't want two political dynasties" meme is starting to catch on.

So, I guess what I'm saying is that I think Hillary is making a big mistake announcing her negative campaign, but maybe its all she has left.

UPDATE - Robert Reich agrees with me.

1 comment:

Annie V said...

Oh blogger, have you endorsed a candidate?
I would love to know your pick and why you picked her/him/it.