Are we watching Hillary's campaign burn out?

Said another way:  Has HRC's campaign burn rate gotten in front of her ability to raise funds?

Or, more simply, is her campaign going broke?

The comment from Trippi, noted in this diary on another site, indicates she might be in that predicament.  Take it with a grain of salt, of course, as it comes from a rival's camp, but also step back a second and think about it objectively.  All the doings in Iowa cost some serious coin.  Hotels, parties, huge numbers of ground troops, TV.  I mean, $7 mil on TV?  I don't know, but it might be so.

I've been more sitting back and watching than anything else - all 3 of the Democrats top choices are acceptable to me, and I will support their nominee.  The back-and-forth of the various supporters has been entertaining, but more a diversion from the real issues (like the coming return to FISA and retroactive Telco immunity.  BTW - it's really more accurate to call it the Retroactive Bush Immunity and Dictatorship Enabling Act of 2008.  Go read. It's long, but worth it.  Then, call your senators and start raising hell.  But, I digress.)

Another HRC issue - the plausible thesis that Penn would have been a great fit in the Rumsfeld DoD - as evinced by his talent for cherrypicking the storyline and info to tell the policymaker what the policymaker wanted to hear, and a profound lack of proper prior planning for foreseeable events and no contingency plan in existence, leading to ad hoc improvisations and flopping around (like we've been seeing the last couple days).  There's a two-fold problem with being the front-runner:  you have only one place to go - down, and, being the beneficiary of "good" "Front-runner" press you never have any incentive to look at the weaknesses in your own situation.  Penn (and by extension, HRC) seem to have fallen victim to both of these.  The linked diary, picking apart Penn's apparent failings, is rough enough.  A few others over the past days, showing him to be either frantically spinning, or woefully out of touch with reality, lead me to the conclusion that he has ill-served HRC.  (Like the Army teaches:  P8 = Proper Prior Planning Prevents Pitifully P*ss-Poor Performance)

This leads me to a series of questions:

= Do we really need another iteration of telling the President only what the President wants to hear, regardless of reality?  'Cause that's what she's gotten from Penn, and its almost inevitable he's going to go along to the WH if she gets there.

= What would happen in the event of something sudden taking place?  A quickie poll to find out what to do, with the results (and questions) sculpted to reinforce the policymaker's inclinations?  

The problem with running an administration in the way Penn (or someone like him) would be involved (or in running a campaign in which he is involved) is that it is reactive to the core.  It does not proceed from a core principle save, maybe, "find out what the people want and give it to them with a smile".  Remember, the credo of the Bushbots - "we create our own reality, you study, discuss and judge and, all the while, we're acting and creating new realities for you to catch up to."

In a crisis, being reactive is no way to go if only because it leaves the reacting party totally in the thrall of someone else - the people acting.  WJ Clinton's reactive counterpunching - triangulation - in the 90s - with Penn close to the heart of that - was an appropriate response of a (popular) President beset by an insurgent, opposition-led Congress trying to take him down.  It was useful to wear out by slowing down a lot of the rage that had fueled the Republicans for many years (and still does, for that matter).  It is not the appropriate methodology for a President quite likely to have both houses under the control (more or less solid) of the President's party.  In that situation, much like Bushie through most of his tenure, the President has the initiative and can set the agenda, with Congress more or less going along.

Watching the news from South and Southwest Asia, I'm sure that what Deadeye and his buddies are building in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq are a series of crises to kick in during the first weeks of the new Administration, designed to both clear the decks of the new Administration having any incentive to prosecute them for their crimes, and to hobble the new Administration in its policy goals by making them dance to the old Administration's tune.  

Recall, Bush I (Cheney, SecDef) spent most of 1992 ignoring the humanitarian catastrophe in Somalia despite the world (and the US media) pleading for some US leadership and a little bit of military help to get the situation under control.  It was not until right around Christmas '92 - after he'd lost the election and just in time to help cover his Iran-Contra pardons - that Bush I finally got the wheels moving to get some relief to Somalia.  And, he did it in that "bipartisan" way Republicans are so fond of, suckering WJC into it.  And, they handled it in such a way as to start the Somalian resistance festering such that it would bloom large a couple months into the new Admin., before they could get their feet under them.  (Not that choosing Gays in the Military as a first policy initiative was the mark of genius.) IIRC, it was Bush I's admin which didn't send any armor, leaving it to Les Aspin to take the fall when the almost-inevitable Black Hawk Down happened, further crippling WJC's admin.

Throw in Republicans deliberately stirring up trouble on a couple cabinet appointments (Zoe Baird, anyone?) and the Branch Davidians at Waco shortly after Reno came on board (just in time for her to be presented with questions framed by the institution and to be at fault), and you have a Republican recipe for hobbling the new, reactive administration and seizing the initiative.

And, now, Penn is going to give us reactive (it's what he knows) from Day One.  I suspect regular voting people have kind of figured that out about HRC's campaign, even if they have no idea who Mark Penn is, let alone what he does. And the average voter wants a change from Bushie - a big change.  Change requires taking and holding the initiative - not reactivity, the antithesis of initiative.

Its not outside the realm of possibility that HRC and Edwards (despite the huge imbalance in money) come in with a near-tie in NH, and she's already looking at cratering in SC and, maybe, Nev.  

If, as Edwards comes in at 20 or so and Obama (as it looks now) at or just over 40, that means in two successive primaries about 2/3 of the Democratic voters have gone against her.

HRC may survive to or even through Feb. 5, having had Spitzer (NY), most of NYC's Dems and a lot of the NJ machines giving her their endorsements and strong backing months ago (in the case of Spitzer, something like a year).

But if it comes down to it, come primary day I'll head over to the local precinct and vote Edwards.  Or Obama.  And, I suspect, that day a lot of other people may well say HRC outside the booth, but something else inside.  Her star for the WH is fading, fast.

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    On the other hand (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by scribe on Tue Jan 08, 2008 at 06:09:49 AM EST
    Maybe the Powers That Be in the Traditional Media - the folks who benefit most from status quo - are both a little worried and tired of the Democrats getting a lot of free press out of having three good, viable, acceptable candidates in a race which is captivating a substantial portion of the public.  So, the easiest way to end the free press they're getting and defuse the wave of change from building is to declare a winner, demolish the loser, and then move on to vitiating the force of the winning Democrat's message.  

    They've tried mightily to strangle Edwards' candidacy in the crade - by ignoring it.  They're trying to do the same to Paul's though, to the credit of his supporters they won't take it nearly as well.  Instead, showing their true colors, Paul supporters (called "Paultards" elsewhere) are inclined to do the whole mob with pitchforks and torches to chase down the media personalities.  Which makes for great entertainment.

    And, surely, also worries the Establishment of only because those mobs could just as easily turn on them.

    A Prediction:  There will be no Democratic candidate who is both a clear front-runner and has enough votes to capture the nomination until after February 5.  And, not to forget, HRC has substantial endorsements and machine support in NY, NJ, and other delegate-rich states voting that day.  So, she'll be in for another month at least.

    Another prediction:  No Republican (save maybe Huckster) will have a clear shot until well into the primary season - perhaps March or April, even.

    Last Prediction:  Shortly after one Dem comes out on top, there will be a missing blonde woman story getting all the press' attention, all the time.  Watch.

    Oh, yeah - did anyone get a youtube of The Simpsons Sunday night, where Nelson Muntz does his "Ha-ha, Your medium's dying" at a print journalist?  Priceless....

    The vote for change vs. status quo (none / 0) (#1)
    by CB on Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 08:27:58 PM EST
    I recall reading that Chris Matthews espoused that view that in IA 2/3rds of the Dem voters had voted against HRC, but at that time I dismissed it, since you could make the argument the same way "against" Obama and "against" Edwards. Post-IA and last week's NH debates, though, I now think that the 2/3rds she's not going to get in NH really is against her (no credit to that boob Matthews' blathering, however).

    In fairness, I give her the benefit of the voters' doubts, thinking the vote's not really against her per se, more like it's away from her own self-inflicted perception of HRC as status quo or at best "back to the future" of the 90s. I'd be quite happy to vote for any of O, E, and C in the general, and I initially supported Hillary (at least in spirit, since in Oregon, we hardly have much influence). Her tone really started to change in IA, however, to reveal her inner belief that she was ordained to become President and that just got worse after her loss there.

    - C