Rife with big egos and competing centers of influence--veterans of Hillary's First Lady days, relative newbies from her Senate office, Bill's '92 people, Bill's '96 people--Team Hillary has never been a comfortably cohesive group. In happier times, discipline was easier to maintain. But, as this race has grown longer and rougher, the staff's nerves and relations have been badly strained by persistent financial troubles and constant turf wars, not to mention one increasingly unmanageable ex-president. Some days, it's hard to remember that, just six months ago, the campaign was regarded as a highly disciplined machine. More and more, it resembles an unruly rock band plagued by dysfunction and public infighting. From Williams's arrival to Solis Doyle's demise to Penn's ascent, fall, and return, the ebb and flow of power in Hillaryland over the past few months has left multiple people acting like they are in charge--and no one really in control.Cottle points a big finger at Mark Penn who not only lacks interpersonal skills, but the inability to maintain a cohesive strategy. Cottle concludes:
And so the jockeying and layering and squabbling grinds on, even as Hillary's chances of capturing the nomination grow ever more remote. From the outside, the struggle for control of a campaign that likely won't be around much longer may appear absurd. In Ballston, however, the sense of looming loss seems only to feed the fury, as advisers grab for what may be their last chance to right the ship. Whether driven on by dedication, desperation, or delusion, some of Hillary's not-so-happy warriors find themselves unable to give up the fight--not just against Barack Obama, but also against each other.With any demise of Hillary Clinton's presdintial campaign, if it occurs will be the inability of any of these people to ever work together again. More bad news for the Democrats because some of these people are smart operatives who might do very well with the right candidates but probably won't be given the opportunity.