Friday, February 15, 2008

The Campaign


Clinton is ultimately responsible for putting her political fate in this fool's hands. But this is a guy who has basically one big political win under his belt and whose record in seriously contested races, particularly Democratic primary races is one of almost constant defeats. Much of Clinton's current predicament stems from Penn's disastrous, glass-jaw 'inevitability' strategy and the mind-boggling decision not even to contest a slew of states where Obama racked up huge victories and many delegates.

Campaigns are about winning votes not making excuses. There are plenty of delegates still out there for Clinton to win -- over a thousand left in the remaining primaries. But her efforts are being stymied by a campaign apparatus rooted in the belief that any new reality can be overturned by pretending it away.

Like any political strategy, it's only "disastrous" if it fails to work. If it works it's "genius." Politics is binary. Win or lose. For quite a long time Clinton's inevitability strategy was working. Genius! And then it maybe it wasn't working so well.

Like I said yesterday, all this "spin" bugs me. Not because I'm being spun, but because spin should make your candidate look good, not bad. Mark Penn's pronouncements, and others from the campaign (he's not the only one), give me that watching-an-Ari-Fleischer-press-conference feeling. It's the utter contempt for everyone not on board with the candidate, an attempt to just assume them all away.