erik lundegaard

What's the first thing you read in the Sunday NY Times?

For me it's Frank Rich's column, and this week he's got a good one. (You can read it here.) It's another of the “What went wrong with Hilary's campaign” pieces but it's smarter than most. He compares the strategy of the Clinton campaign with the way Pres. Bush handled Iraq: Assume victory and then flail about when you don't get it. Hilary assumed she'd be victorious by Feb. 5 — she said so much to George Stephanopolous in late December — but had no back-up plan when that didn't happen.

The most telling stats show how disorganized her campaign is. “In Kansas,” Rich writes, “three paid Obama organizers had the field to themselves for three months; ultimately Obama staff members outnumbered Clinton staff members there 18 to 3.” In Wisconsin she put up ads six days after Obama, and she had only four offices to his 11. She still has no offices in Vermont while he has four. She didn't know the Texas primary system was “so bizarre.” All this from someone who claims she's ready to lead from day one. 

The most dispiriting part of her campaign is the attempt to marginalize Obama's supporters — a task that grows increasingly difficult as he wins state after state. Some in her campaign are even trotting out the whole “latte-drinking” insults. Obama's supporters, according to one speechmaker preceding Mrs. Clinton onto an Ohio stage, are little more than “latte-drinking, Prius-driving, Birkenstock-wearing, trust-fund babies.” C'mon, can't they come up with something more original? I'm an Obama supporter. How about “Honda-Civic driving?” How about “bike riding”? All those elitists who ride their bikes to work and listen to Joe Henry and read The New Yorker and eat chicken. Chicken eaters. Jeans wearers. Book readers. Baseball watchers. Air breathers.

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Posted at 09:58 AM on Sun. Feb 24, 2008 in category Media  

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