Saturday, March 01, 2008

Working the Refs is Not a Strategy

Almost all of my misgivings about Hillary's Clinton's candidacy have stemmed not from my sense of who she is but from where she seems to me to come from, by which I mean the elite political/media culture in DC. I don't actually know the history of her staff, but they seem extremely over-invested in influencing the media narrative. I expect this is the product of a too professional and insular consulting class. Perhaps they got the idea form Karl Rove, but their attempts to do so have been too clever by half.

The significant example of this is their lie low strategy (which still has the potential to work, I think, should the delegate waters get murky enough), where instead of contesting primaries, they attempt to get the media to treat those primaries as insignificant.

And now, laughably, they're trying to set Obama's bar for success in Texas and Ohio ridiculously high.

Conversely, they're setting the bar for their own campaign incredibly low -- anything less than total, inarguable defeat is a momentum-swinging triumph. I understand that this is something they have to do, I guess, but it's sort of a sad statement.

I'm not saying that victory is inevitable for Obama in Texas and Ohio. It's just that it would be a his defeat in Texas that would spawn the Hillary's Not Finished Yet headlines, not these lame memos Mark Penn or whoever is sending around. The fact that her campaign is so invested in influencing the media narrative at the expense of actual campaigning is totally lame.

No comments: