Hillary 's Expectations In Iowa

Hillary Clinton, speaking in Iowa today, took a question for the first time from M.E. Sprengelmeyer, who for the past nine months has been covering the presidential race from Des Moines for the Rocky Mountain News.

His question:

We wanted Clinton to think back to those days during the campaign when her staff reportedly was suggesting that she skip Iowa altogether, saving her money and precious time for states that will be part of the national mega-contest on Super-Duper Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2007.

Since she has invested substantially in Iowa and still trails Sen. Barack Obama in the most recent polls, did she have any second thoughts about rejecting their advice?

Her answer is below:

No," she told us. "You know, I guess I’ve been in enough campaigns over a lot of years to know that there is no predictability and there certainly is no inevitability. You have to get out and work for every single vote. That’s what I’ve always done. I don’t know any other way to do it."

"That’s what I’m doing in Iowa. You know we’re going to start on Sunday a 99-county blitz. We’re going to have as many people as we can covering this state, making the case for my candidacy, making the argument as to why I’d be the best president and why I would be the best Democrat to beat the Republicans....."

"We’re bringing thousands and thousands of new people into this caucus, people who have never, ever caucused before. They never even registered to vote before. And I feel like it’s really grass-roots democracy at its very best, so I’m having a great time doing it."

"I always knew it would be hard. There’s no surprise about that. I don’t live in a neighboring state. I haven’t been here for years. I didn’t campaign here, because Bill never participated because of Sen. Harkin. So I always knew it would be hard. There’s nothing surprising about that to me. But just because it’s hard doesn’t mean you don’t do it. And I’m happy I’m doing it.”

She sounds pretty confident to me. I think Iowa is especially difficult to poll, as the New York Times explained the other day in The Eccentricities of Iowa.

It's just so hard to tell from all the contradictory news reports -- which is one of the reasons I'm excited about going to Iowa for the caucuses.

< Rudy Now Toast: Drops To Third In Florida | Edwards List Reasons to Vote for Him Over Obama >
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    unfortunately... (1.00 / 0) (#5)
    by diogenes on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 09:08:49 PM EST
    Bill Clinton is the charmer of whom such jokes are affectionately made by his backers to defend him.  Hillary Clinton is the next Richard Nixon.

    Never Give up, Never Surrender!!! (none / 0) (#1)
    by Aaron on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 08:18:27 PM EST
    This worries me a bit, it sounds almost conciliatory, and I wouldn't be conceding anything in Hillary's position.  I'm getting visions of Hillary giving her concession speech, and someone running up behind her, telling her that she actually won Iowa.

    When Obama was 15 points behind Edwards and Clinton in Iowa, he wasn't conceding anything.  And I don't buy that rhetoric about Clinton considering skipping Iowa, no way would they have done that, because that would've been a major mistake.  And I dislike her making excuses for the ground she's lost in Iowa, that is on her head, and the head of her campaign manager.  Nobody's fault but theirs.

    If Clinton doesn't believe that she's strong enough to lose in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, and then make a comeback with her national support, then maybe she doesn't believe in herself strongly enough, and maybe she shouldn't be in a national election up against the Republicans.  I don't want my Democratic candidate to concede anything in that election.  I want 10 God damn recounts and I want blood in the streets if necessary, before I turn this country back over the Republicans again, because that will be the end of democracy as we know it.

    If Obama wasn't in the race, I would be supporting Clinton, and it bothers me to see this kind of defeatist response coming from the front runner, and she still is the front runner, and will remain so until she doesn't believe it anymore.

    Dammit, I may have to switch over to the Clinton campaign just to get her back in the race, because I don't want to see anybody quit this fight, because this fight is for America and all the marbles.  And if a candidate doesn't have the guts to lay it all on the line, then they shouldn't be in the race, and I wouldn't want such a person representing the American people and me in our White House.

    Come on Hillary, you can do it, you can win.  You just need to believe.

    Hillary 08, Never Give up, Never Surrender!  

    Question (none / 0) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 08:25:44 PM EST
    When was Obama 15 points behind Clinton in Iowa?

    Though I do appreciate the framing. Heck, I think Obama has let the "I am the favorite" frame be slipped on him way too easily.


    About mid-March, going by the averages (none / 0) (#6)
    by Aaron on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 09:12:40 PM EST
    I stand corrected (none / 0) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 09:28:46 PM EST
    I think (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jgarza on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 08:51:28 PM EST
    she was just trying to lower expectations.  But you bring up a good point, when you are declining, or atleast there is the perception that you are declining, lowering expectations can be risky, because you can reinforce the candidate in decline theme.  She may have some loose support that went to her as the front runner that such a message can drive away.

    See how manipulative she is. (none / 0) (#3)
    by msobel on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 08:40:41 PM EST
    See, See how calculating and manipulative she is to give such a good answer. (snark)

    So Bill Clinton and the Pope were on the river and the rowboat oars slipped overboard.  The Pope was about to go for them when Clinton said, "No you are an older man and and the spiritual leader of hundreds of millions of people. I'll go." He then got out of the boat, walked on water over to the oars and then walked back on the water and rowed the boat to shore.  The next morning the headlines were "Clinton Can't Swim"

    Back to Ottumwa tomorrow, good night (none / 0) (#8)
    by Aaron on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 09:35:32 PM EST
    I have to hit the now, because I'm headed back to Iowa early tomorrow morning, didn't make it last weekend.  We got about half way up there and they decided to turn back because the roads were icing up, and there were cars and tractor-trailers flipped over and crashed all over the highway.  I wanted to press on, but my fellow canvassers weren't ready to risk their lives for Obama, I question their commitment.  :-)

    They're supposed to be a snowstorm hitting us this evening, so I hope we're able to make it up there because this is the last opportunity before the caucus, with the holidays coming up. I can't wait to be out there trudging through the snow knocking on people's doors, I must be losing my mind.  :-)

      The things I heard a few weeks ago from Iowa, have now appeared in the national media, that Clinton and Edwards supporters have been defecting.  The polls seem to reflect that, but let's see what happens over the next two weeks.

    I'll give you a report on my Iowa doings if I survive to tell the tale.


    PS Armando one of my comments got removed over at the Daily Kos this evening, they obviously couldn't handle it.

    Heh (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 09:44:05 PM EST
    Don't blame me Aaron.

    I do not even post there anymore, much less remove comments.


    I can think of lots of reasons to criticize (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 12:04:18 AM EST
    Hillary Clinton but her response to M.E. Srengelmeyer's query isn't one of them.