Strategy Sessions

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The New York Times has an article discussing what Hillary’s basic strategy will be during the 2008 campaign for the nomination and a couple of interesting points are raised:

According to participants, Mrs. Clinton has pressed to find out everything from whether Al Gore will run again (he is inclined not to, people tell her) to how much support remains for Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, the party’s 2004 candidate, among Democratic leaders (anemic, she has heard).

Mrs. Clinton told Democrats that she viewed her two strongest potential Democratic opponents to be Senator Barack Obama of Illinois and John Edwards, the former senator from North Carolina.

The participants said that she considered Mr. Obama as her biggest obstacle to the nomination, but that she believed the threat of his candidacy would diminish as voters learned how inexperienced he was in government and foreign affairs. Without mentioning Mr. Obama by name, Mrs. Clinton and her camp are asserting that experience will be a major attribute for any successful candidate during difficult times, an argument that her team will no doubt make in a stronger way against Mr. Obama if they both jump into the race.

This doesn’t sound good for comm5ttee and anoodle who are on board for the Gore-Obama ticket. I trust Hillary’s sources that Gore is not inclined to run again, and any political science student knows Kerry doesn’t have the support of the base. What I find interesing is that she is more afraid of Obama than Edwards. It makes sense that she will attack his inexperience in legislating and foreign policy. I’m surprised more aren’t paying credence to Edwards though; as we’ve stated here he has a great chance to sweep the Southern primaries and Hillary has to know that she is not strong there.

The other interesting point they made is how Hillary wants to delay her announcement on running for as long as possible (her husband didn’t announce until October 1991.) but the size of the field and early announcement of Edwards may hamper that. She wants to be a part of a “reenergized Congress” to be able to claim as many legislative successes as possible. This is another reason to believe that the 100 hour agenda will be successful…it’s in every candidate’s interest to have something to brag about.

I’m not the biggest Hillary supporter right now (put me down for Obama-Richardson) but I am not writing her off as my choice once the real rough and tumble politics begin. It’s just interesting to see she’s aware of her challengers and her weaknesses and we’ll have to see how she addresses all of these things.

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2 Responses to Strategy Sessions

  1. comm5ttee says:

    It’s funny how it works that you have to run with the horse that shows up. And for that, maybe its best not to speak in the hypothetical, per what anoodle and I have been doing as of late dreaming of a Gore-Obama ticket.

    Regardless of the feedback that Hillary is getting from advisors and from politicos in New Hampshire and Iowa about the viability of her candidacy, the strategy seems short-sighted for the duration of the primary only. As we look forward, it seems prudent to me that the candidate not only concentrates on securing the nomination but that we as a party select a candidate that can come out and win the general because let’s face it, a balloon drop at a convention is nice but we’re seeking the 10 inaugural balls.

    That said, I’m unsure of any Democrat who couldn’t say to themselves that they could support a Hillary candidacy. The problem is that feeling, way down deep, that maybe Hillary brings a little too much baggage to the table to win at a general election. But Hillary would be an interesting candidate. She’s way too moderate for the label of extreme liberal that she’s be given successfully by the other side. She’s tough on foreign policy decisions and has domestic vision that would really mirror well with the 100 hours that has been written on in this blog.

    I’m wondering what Hillary as a woman means. On a historic day today for women in politics, it is almost romantic to discuss the distinct possibility of a Hillary presidency. However, as many women will come out for her, surely there are some that will wonder why she stayed with her husband after what transpired in his presidency. If Hillary’s strategy sessions are real, there will need to be a sit down on-camera interview during the early part of the primary season. This is the only way to bring the campaign back to the issues, which we surely win on.

  2. anoodle says:

    The biggest issue for HRC is captured beautifully in this article– any article that pictures her as political, calculating, maneuvering, sticking her finger in the wind, etc, are all bad. She is never portrayed as the politician who stands up for what she believes and she’s never portrayed as an authentic candidate with a vision.

    The one thing these last few cycles has taught us is, authenticity matters. This country elected a plain-spoken, down to earth guy who they’d like to have a beer with instead of a sitting VP and then instead of a war hero. I think this is mainly because Gore and Kerry were viewed by some as phony, political, flip-floppy, whatever.

    Articles like this that don’t talk about HRC’s core vision, and only speculate on the machinations of her “process” are bad news overall.

    This is exactly why I don’t want to see her run….

    BTW, I think if Gore gets in, it’ll be the exact opposite. He will wake up one day, call the Today show, and say, “I’m Al Gore, and I’ve decided that the issues confronting our nation are too important for me to ignore– I am declaring myself as a candidate for the presidency because I have a clear vision of where I want to take this great country of ours and how we can get there. How we can get there together…..”

    There will be no machinations, no earth toned suits, no political consultants; just a set of ideas. If he doesn’t think he can pull that off, I don’t think he will run.

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