The flaw wasn't just the attempt to go back to the future, to the 1990s, but that the Clintons picked the wrong year in that decade. Instead of 1992, when Bill was the personification of change, their model was 1996. So Hillary ran as a pseudo-incumbent, with a selection of bite-size proposals and an abundance of caution and transparent calculation. Why would any campaign ever explicitly announce a tour to make the candidate "likable"? Or, as happened when the beleaguered Clinton machine sputtered into New Hampshire, that they now had a plan for her to be spontaneous and actually answer audience questions?Vanity and hubris--a lethal combination?
The Clinton industry, encrusted with the beneficiaries and acolytes of the first and probably only Clinton presidency, has turned Hillary into a product whose sell-by date has passed. In a year of change, she has been positioned as the establishment candidate. The relentless appeal to "experience" reinforces that - and too often elides into a dubious attempt to take credit for some of Bill's accomplishments.
More fundamentally, Hillary seems to be making an argument about herself, not the future or the voters. No wonder she is losing to a young senator who comes across as the leader of a revolution in our politics.
Monday, January 07, 2008
Hillary's Massive Mistake
Bob Shrum on Hillary Clinton: