Five Mistakes Hilary Made

RichardE

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I read this 2 weeks ago or so and forgot about it till I came across it today. It's a pretty good basic break down of where Hilary went wrong.


For all her talk about "full speed on to the White House," there was an unmistakably elegiac tone to Hillary Clinton's primary-night speech in Indianapolis. And if one needed further confirmation that the undaunted, never-say-die Clintons realize their bid might be at an end, all it took was a look at the wistful faces of the husband and the daughter who stood behind the candidate as she talked of all the people she has met in a journey "that has been a blessing for me."

It was also a journey she had begun with what appeared to be insurmountable advantages, which evaporated one by one as the campaign dragged on far longer than anyone could have anticipated. She made at least five big mistakes, each of which compounded the others:

1. She misjudged the mood
That was probably her biggest blunder. In a cycle that has been all about change, Clinton chose an incumbent's strategy, running on experience, preparedness, inevitability ? and the power of the strongest brand name in Democratic politics. It made sense, given who she is and the additional doubts that some voters might have about making a woman Commander in Chief. But in putting her focus on positioning herself to win the general election in November, Clinton completely misread the mood of Democratic-primary voters, who were desperate to turn the page. "Being the consummate Washington insider is not where you want to be in a year when people want change," says Barack Obama's chief strategist, David Axelrod. Clinton's "initial strategic positioning was wrong and kind of played into our hands." But other miscalculations made it worse:

2. She didn't master the rules
Clinton picked people for her team primarily for their loyalty to her, instead of their mastery of the game. That became abundantly clear in a strategy session last year, according to two people who were there. As aides looked over the campaign calendar, chief strategist Mark Penn confidently predicted that an early win in California would put her over the top because she would pick up all the state's 370 delegates. It sounded smart, but as every high school civics student now knows, Penn was wrong: Democrats, unlike the Republicans, apportion their delegates according to vote totals, rather than allowing any state to award them winner-take-all. Sitting nearby, veteran Democratic insider Harold M. Ickes, who had helped write those rules, was horrified ? and let Penn know it. "How can it possibly be," Ickes asked, "that the much vaunted chief strategist doesn't understand proportional allocation?" And yet the strategy remained the same, with the campaign making its bet on big-state victories. Even now, it can seem as if they don't get it. Both Bill and Hillary have noted plaintively that if Democrats had the same winner-take-all rules as Republicans, she'd be the nominee. Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign now acknowledges privately:

3. She underestimated the caucus states
While Clinton based her strategy on the big contests, she seemed to virtually overlook states like Minnesota, Nebraska and Kansas, which choose their delegates through caucuses. She had a reason: the Clintons decided, says an adviser, that "caucus states were not really their thing." Her core supporters ? women, the elderly, those with blue-collar jobs ? were less likely to be able to commit an evening of the week, as the process requires. But it was a little like unilateral disarmament in states worth 12% of the pledged delegates. Indeed, it was in the caucus states that Obama piled up his lead among pledged delegates. "For all the talent and the money they had over there," says Axelrod, "they ? bewilderingly ? seemed to have little understanding for the caucuses and how important they would become."

By the time Clinton's lieutenants realized the grave nature of their error, they lacked the resources to do anything about it ? in part because:

4. She relied on old money
For a decade or more, the Clintons set the standard for political fund raising in the Democratic Party, and nearly all Bill's old donors had re-upped for Hillary's bid. Her 2006 Senate campaign had raised an astonishing $51.6 million against token opposition, in what everyone assumed was merely a dry run for a far bigger contest. But something had happened to fund raising that Team Clinton didn't fully grasp: the Internet. Though Clinton's totals from working the shrimp-cocktail circuit remained impressive by every historic measure, her donors were typically big-check writers. And once they had ponied up the $2,300 allowed by law, they were forbidden to give more. The once bottomless Clinton well was drying up.

Obama relied instead on a different model: the 800,000-plus people who had signed up on his website and could continue sending money his way $5, $10 and $50 at a time. (The campaign has raised more than $100 million online, better than half its total.) Meanwhile, the Clintons were forced to tap the $100 million ? plus the fortune they had acquired since he left the White House ? first for $5 million in January to make it to Super Tuesday and then $6.4 million to get her through Indiana and North Carolina. And that reflects one final mistake:

5. She never counted on a long haul
Clinton's strategy had been premised on delivering a knockout blow early. If she could win Iowa, she believed, the race would be over. Clinton spent lavishly there yet finished a disappointing third. What surprised the Obama forces was how long it took her campaign to retool. She fought him to a tie in the Feb. 5 Super Tuesday contests but didn't have any troops in place for the states that followed. Obama, on the other hand, was a train running hard on two or three tracks. Whatever the Chicago headquarters was unveiling to win immediate contests, it always had a separate operation setting up organizations in the states that were next. As far back as Feb. 21, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe was spotted in Raleigh, N.C. He told the News & Observer that the state's primary, then more than 10 weeks away, "could end up being very important in the nomination fight." At the time, the idea seemed laughable.

Now, of course, the question seems not whether Clinton will exit the race but when. She continues to load her schedule with campaign stops, even as calls for her to concede grow louder. But the voice she is listening to now is the one inside her head, explains a longtime aide. Clinton's calculation is as much about history as it is about politics. As the first woman to have come this far, Clinton has told those close to her, she wants people who invested their hopes in her to see that she has given it her best. And then? As she said in Indianapolis, "No matter what happens, I will work for the nominee of the Democratic Party because we must win in November." When the task at hand is healing divisions in the Democratic Party, the loser can have as much influence as the winner.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/2...ivemistakesclintonmade


I think 1 and 5 were probally the biggest. She misjudged what people wanted and due to that she was not ready financially, logistically or emotionally for a serious long haul. (She obviously got back on her feet quickly, but that little bit of surprise put her on the defensive.)
 

AnnonUSA

Senior member
Nov 18, 2007
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#6 - She Thought her husband would be her red carpet to the White House. Most of her old skeletons have not even come out of the closet yet, because she has been doing battle for the Nomination with a fellow Democrat. Had she already been the defacto winner already the Republican "CSI team" would be digging up enough bones to fill a graveyard already.
 

lopri

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Jul 27, 2002
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Very wrong. It's not that Hillary made terrible mistakes, but rather Obama carried out a superior campaign.
 

RichardE

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Dec 31, 2005
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Originally posted by: lopri
Very wrong. It's not that Hillary made terrible mistakes, but rather Obama carried out a superior campaign.
So those 5 things were proper tactics to win?

It seems she had no forsight, mismanaged her finances and relied on friends instead of professionals. Those seem like mistakes ;)
 

Rio Rebel

Administrator Emeritus<br>Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
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I think Obama's staff has run an impressive campaign, but it seems to me that it was Hillary's to lose, and she did (for the reasons listed above.) Her campaign made some bad missteps, and didn't seem able to adjust.
 

lopri

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Jul 27, 2002
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Originally posted by: RichardE
It seems she had no forsight, mismanaged her finances and relied on friends instead of professionals. Those seem like mistakes ;)
Who are those 'professionals' and what do they do?

The truth is that Hillary Clinton, originally perceived to be running on Bill Clinton's fame, turned out to be an impressive candidate by herself. Barack Obama has had one decisive advantage (other than his excellent caucus strategy) - The press. I know that Obama supporters will deny this so instead of arguing, I will leave this to the historians.
 

jpeyton

Moderator in SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones
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Aug 23, 2003
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Only five? You're being too kind.
 

CycloWizard

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Sep 10, 2001
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Originally posted by: ProfJohn
#0 Married Bill Clinton.
If she hadn't done that, none of us would have ever heard of her and she wouldn't be running (at least, not contending) today. Although I admit that that was a big blunder... just not in the campaign sense. :p
 

ProfJohn

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Jul 28, 2006
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Originally posted by: lopri
Originally posted by: RichardE
It seems she had no forsight, mismanaged her finances and relied on friends instead of professionals. Those seem like mistakes ;)
Who are those 'professionals' and what do they do?

The truth is that Hillary Clinton, originally perceived to be running on Bill Clinton's fame, turned out to be an impressive candidate by herself. Barack Obama has had one decisive advantage (other than his excellent caucus strategy) - The press. I know that Obama supporters will deny this so instead of arguing, I will leave this to the historians.
Don't forget the fact that Obama being black resulted in him winning several states on their vote alone.

If he was white and they had split the black vote Hillary would be winning.
 

lopri

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Jul 27, 2002
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Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Originally posted by: lopri
Originally posted by: RichardE
It seems she had no forsight, mismanaged her finances and relied on friends instead of professionals. Those seem like mistakes ;)
Who are those 'professionals' and what do they do?

The truth is that Hillary Clinton, originally perceived to be running on Bill Clinton's fame, turned out to be an impressive candidate by herself. Barack Obama has had one decisive advantage (other than his excellent caucus strategy) - The press. I know that Obama supporters will deny this so instead of arguing, I will leave this to the historians.
Don't forget the fact that Obama being black resulted in him winning several states on their vote alone.

If he was white and they had split the black vote Hillary would be winning.
There is nothing wrong with blacks voting for Obama. Only thing that makes me sad is that due to Obama's candidacy a lot of good things the Clintons did for blacks and other minorities got thrown away all of a sudden. But I'm confident that the history will correct it.
 

RichardE

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Dec 31, 2005
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Originally posted by: lopri
Originally posted by: RichardE
It seems she had no forsight, mismanaged her finances and relied on friends instead of professionals. Those seem like mistakes ;)
Who are those 'professionals' and what do they do?

The truth is that Hillary Clinton, originally perceived to be running on Bill Clinton's fame, turned out to be an impressive candidate by herself. Barack Obama has had one decisive advantage (other than his excellent caucus strategy) - The press. I know that Obama supporters will deny this so instead of arguing, I will leave this to the historians.
Her chief strategist who didn't know the Dem rules apparently for one.
 

RichardE

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Dec 31, 2005
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Originally posted by: lopri
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Originally posted by: lopri
Originally posted by: RichardE
It seems she had no forsight, mismanaged her finances and relied on friends instead of professionals. Those seem like mistakes ;)
Who are those 'professionals' and what do they do?

The truth is that Hillary Clinton, originally perceived to be running on Bill Clinton's fame, turned out to be an impressive candidate by herself. Barack Obama has had one decisive advantage (other than his excellent caucus strategy) - The press. I know that Obama supporters will deny this so instead of arguing, I will leave this to the historians.
Don't forget the fact that Obama being black resulted in him winning several states on their vote alone.

If he was white and they had split the black vote Hillary would be winning.
There is nothing wrong with blacks voting for Obama. Only thing that makes me sad is that due to Obama's candidacy a lot of good things the Clintons did for blacks and other minorities got thrown away all of a sudden. But I'm confident that the history will correct it.
Another problem that Hilary and her supporters had was running on the assumption they were owed the nomination is seems.
 

lopri

Elite Member
Jul 27, 2002
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Originally posted by: RichardE
Originally posted by: lopri
Originally posted by: RichardE
It seems she had no forsight, mismanaged her finances and relied on friends instead of professionals. Those seem like mistakes ;)
Who are those 'professionals' and what do they do?

The truth is that Hillary Clinton, originally perceived to be running on Bill Clinton's fame, turned out to be an impressive candidate by herself. Barack Obama has had one decisive advantage (other than his excellent caucus strategy) - The press. I know that Obama supporters will deny this so instead of arguing, I will leave this to the historians.
Her chief strategist who didn't know the Dem rules apparently for one.
They are 'friends' according to your context. I was asking about 'professionals'.
 

RichardE

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Dec 31, 2005
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Originally posted by: lopri
Originally posted by: RichardE
Originally posted by: lopri
Originally posted by: RichardE
It seems she had no forsight, mismanaged her finances and relied on friends instead of professionals. Those seem like mistakes ;)
Who are those 'professionals' and what do they do?

The truth is that Hillary Clinton, originally perceived to be running on Bill Clinton's fame, turned out to be an impressive candidate by herself. Barack Obama has had one decisive advantage (other than his excellent caucus strategy) - The press. I know that Obama supporters will deny this so instead of arguing, I will leave this to the historians.
Her chief strategist who didn't know the Dem rules apparently for one.
They are 'friends' according to your context. I was asking about 'professionals'.
Oh I forgot you can't have professional friends?

I have a friend of mine who is a few years older than me who just finished med school. He actually went to the school I am going to be applying too. I am going to ask him to come draft a legal letter for me later, since is he a friend.

Could he be capable of it? Sure, and since he is a friend I'll give him a shot, could I get someone more capable? Yes.

She looked for help from friends rather than selecting appropriate people for the positions. Didn't we complain about Bush all these years promoting friends to places over more qualified people?
 

MadRat

Lifer
Oct 14, 1999
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7. She ran in a contest against a winner. How foolish to pick a battle you cannot win. Go back to conquering those zombie New Yorkers.
 

Lemon law

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Nov 6, 2005
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I have a quite different take, primary fatal mistake, Hillary voted for the Iraq war and Obama opposed it. Some other anti war moderate was going to get mainstream democratic support, and it simply ended up being Obama
who was a superstar in his own right. And Edwards also voted wrong on Iraq and did not even have the star power of Hillary.

We pay our Presidents to get things right before the fact on the huge issues, Hillary simply did not, and that doomed her. All else simply sealed her demise. On the vision thing, she failed. End of story.
 

JJChicken

Diamond Member
Apr 9, 2007
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This list is bang on the money. At the same time, Obama did the opposites of everything the bitch did on this list, so its half-credit to obama. It's easy to say what the winner did was correct, but beforehand not many would've have known the right way. But it was very stupid of the bitch to not realise the proportionate system. That was her ultimate downfall. stupid bitch.
 

tweaker2

Lifer
Aug 5, 2000
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there's alot not to like about hillary, and not much to dislike about obama when comparing their persona's, their past political history and how they've conducted themselves during the primaries.

i've said it before and i'll say it again: obama simply outclassed hillary, and he'll do the same thing to mccain.
 

Lemon law

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Nov 6, 2005
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Originally posted by: tweaker2
there's alot not to like about hillary, and not much to dislike about obama when comparing their persona's, their past political history and how they've conducted themselves during the primaries.

i've said it before and i'll say it again: obama simply outclassed hillary, and he'll do the same thing to mccain.
And McCain outclassed GWB in 2000 is also that sad truth IMHO.
 

gorobei

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Jan 7, 2007
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the clinton campaign manager mark penn carries most of the blame. He was the one who didn't understand the proportional allotment rules, ignored the caucus states, and was the one who decided to run the experience platform. Some of the pundits think that if she had started off with the populist/working man I feel your pain platform that she's running now, she could have wrapped up the nomination way back then.(tho that was Edward's platform at the time)
 

Pliablemoose

Lifer
Oct 11, 1999
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Hillary has always been too polarizing a figure, she would have lost against a hand puppet, and her ego was so big she would never admit her feet of clay.

 

tweaker2

Lifer
Aug 5, 2000
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Originally posted by: Lemon law
Originally posted by: tweaker2
there's alot not to like about hillary, and not much to dislike about obama when comparing their persona's, their past political history and how they've conducted themselves during the primaries.

i've said it before and i'll say it again: obama simply outclassed hillary, and he'll do the same thing to mccain.
And McCain outclassed GWB in 2000 is also that sad truth IMHO.
agreed.

 

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