How to Speak Hillary
February 24, 2008 2 Comments
It can be an exercise in apoplectic futility to attempt to make sense of the various messages sent from the Clinton campaign. So with clips from a Feb 24, 2008 New York Times article entitled “Somber Clinton Soldiers On as the Horizon Darkens” the twit offers a translation, with emphasis added throughout:
“She has a real military discipline that, now that times are tough, has really kicked into gear,” said Judith Hope, a friend and informal adviser to Mrs. Clinton, and a former chairwoman of the New York State Democratic Party. “When she’s on the road and someone has a negative news story, she says, ‘I don’t want to hear it; I don’t need to hear it.’ I think she wants to protect herself from that and stay focused.
Hillary intentionally filters the information she receives so she doesn’t have to acknowledge reality. An uncanny bit of de ja vu all over again, considering that President Bush also likes his news filtered.
Engaging in hindsight, several advisers have now concluded that they were not smart to use former President Bill Clinton as much as they did, that “his presence, aura and legacy caused national fatigue with the Clintons,” in the words of one senior adviser who spoke on condition of anonymity to assess the campaign candidly.
They didn’t think Bill’s rosy-cheeked impression of an alcoholic on a bender would be so hard to manage on the road. Shamelessly contradictory, ornery in public and falling asleep at the most inopportune moments, the twit isn’t sure how else to describe the general tilt to Bubba’s behavior on the campaign trail. The electroshocks installed on each intern perhaps drove him to it?
Morale is low. After 13 months of dawn-to-dark seven-day weeks, the staff is exhausted. Some have taken to going home early — 9 p.m. — turning off their BlackBerrys, and polishing off bottles of wine, several senior staff members said.
They didn’t expect so many people involved in the campaign to become alcoholics in the process.
In a much-reported incident, Mr. Penn and the campaign advertising chief, Mandy Grunwald, had a screaming match over strategy recently that prompted another senior aide, Guy Cecil, to leave the room. “I have work to do — you’re acting like kids,” Mr. Cecil said, according to three people in the room.
And those trustworthy campaign insiders, well, they couldn’t help but go en masse to report and confirm the chaos in private staff meetings.
Others have taken several days off, despite it being crunch time. Some have grown depressed, be it over Mr. Obama’s momentum, the attacks on the campaign’s management from outside critics or their view that the news media has been much rougher on Mrs. Clinton than on Mr. Obama.
Reservations are being made for an entire wing at a rehab, so everybody can do a little group therapy together.
… aides and advisers praised Mrs. Clinton and said that she had been a better candidate than her campaign strategy and operation reflected.
Patti Solis Doyle has all the time she could ever wish for to spend with her kids now and for the foreseeable future, which works out well for a scapegoat who may never get to do political work again.
Mrs. Clinton has avoided giving pep talks to her aides, because a pep talk might suggest that the campaign is heading in an irretrievable direction.
But don’t blame the candidate for running a low-morale campaign. If all of her aides and advisers did what she does and ignored all the bad news, everything would have been fine.
When Mr. Clinton said last week that his wife had to win in Texas and Ohio, it was not only the first public admission by a senior member of her circle that her candidacy was on the line, it was also a moment that deepened the feeling of shock felt by some of her supporters.
Mrs. Clinton has not retreated into a shell. She asks her aides about their children, spouses and partners. She tries to keep the mood upbeat on the campaign plane, such as recently joking about how Ohio is so diverse that it sometimes feels like five different states.
Don’t blame a micro-tailored campaign built on demographics, race-baiting and pitting groups against each other.
… mostly she has tried to look forward, and has pointedly not talked to her staff about the notion that she might drop out someday.
Which makes sense, given how quickly her staff runs to reporters with negative information about the campaign.