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The Clinton "blueprint" for winning the nomination
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, February 21, 2008

Chris Cillizza has laid out the "Clinton Blueprint" for winning the nomination as it was relayed on a conference call by senior advisers Howard Wolfson, Mark Penn and Harold Ickes.

First the premise:
1. Neither candidate will emerge from the primary fight with the 2,025 delegates needed to clinch the nomination.
That of course is pretty obvious to just about anyone with an ability to do rudimentary math. But it is important to the rest of the blueprint because it helps focus their plan, which, in effect, is quite simple:
"When this whole process is over on the 7th of June, both candidates will need a number of automatic [super] delegates to clinch the nomination," Ickes said. " We believe Mrs. Clinton will be able to get those."
Of course, this assumes she does well in TX, OH and PA. No, not well, wins in TX, OH, and PA.

Point two in the blueprint:
2. Two Weeks is a Long Time in Political Terms
Indeed it is, but it can work against her as well as for her. It will certainly cool the race on a national level as it fades from the front pages, but it certainly seems a slim reed on which to hang the turn-around of a campaign.

Says the campaign:
"This is a full chance to lay out the case," said Penn this afternoon. Time could be Clinton's friend or enemy depending on external circumstances. The Teamsters' endorsement of Obama (and the potential Change To Win endorsement tomorrow) suggests that a pillar of the Democratic party is rallying behind him. For Clinton to take full advantage of the break in primary voting, she must hope that outside groups — and superdelegates — give her one last chance to make her case against Obama and show she is still a force to be reckoned with.
Folks, if the super-delegates or "outside groups" aren't familiar with the whole "case", I'm not sure when they will be. We know absolutely that she and her campaign have been lobbying both super delegates and "outside groups" since the beginning of her run. What an extra 2 weeks will do in that regard, especially given 10 straight Obama wins, is certainly not clear.
3. Debates Matter.
Do they? Well the argument is that her stumble concerning drivers licenses for illegal aliens certainly made a difference, there have been so many now (18?) that the candidates are well rehearsed and essentially give mini-versions of their talking points and stump speeches. It would seem to me that again, any hope of Obama doing what Clinton did back then are pretty slim. On the other hand, they could, depending on the level of desperation displayed by Clinton, end up hurting her by showing a very unappealing side of her (there is a debate in Texas tonight, btw).
4. Obama is the frontrunner = more scrutiny.
True, and it is starting, but it seems that while there may be some questions, at the moment they don't seem that serious nor is there much of a chance that something will break in those critical two weeks. So it seems a slim hope to bank on some bad news coming to the surface for Obama in time for Texas.
5. Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) emergence means national security will be the key issue of 2008.
Which means, in relative terms, Clinton is the better candidate to go head-to-head with McCain. But it also offers an interesting dilemma. It requires Democrats to allow McCain and the Republicans to frame the election in terms of national security instead of the domestic issues they prefer and think are the keys to winning the election. So super delegates may not be as open to this strategy as her experts might think.

Last but not least:
6. Big States Matter More.
Do they? The big states she's won are all safely Democratic (save FL). Obama has won in toss-ups and red states. Which seems more important in a general election?

Even if Clinton does win in the three states mentioned, unless they are overwhelming wins, I don't think they'll turn many super delegate heads. And my guess is that when it comes down to brass tacks, the super delegates, being the politicians they are, will decide not to break a cardinal political rule - being somewhere where their constituents aren't - and will vote as their states have voted.

Bottom line: This blueprint is a no-go.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Lets not forget number 7.

Myself and a number of other Texas conservatives will show up March 4 and cheerily vote for Obama in the primaries because if we have to have a Dem in the White House (be it McCain or Obama or Hillary) we DONT WANT BILLARY.
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Written By: retired military
URL: http://
Excellent analysis, McQ!
 
Written By: Crush Liberalism
URL: http://crushliberalism.com
At NRO Derbyshire is still flogging his theory that the Dem convention will be deadlocked and the backroom boys have been planning for Al Gore on the second ballot all along.

Stranger things have happened, but I don’t think so. Obama’s margin will be big enough that the superdelegates will go along. Although I’m not crazy about Hillary, I believe she has enough sense not to go kamikaze and jeopardize what future remains to her as a female elder in the party.

As I said before, I consider Obama to be the more dangerous of the two Dem candidates in terms of his chances to be elected and the damage he could do as president.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
Debates definitely do not matter. The first Bush/Kerry debate is all the evidence needed there. I’m just glad that George got back on whatever Med he went off before that one, he was scary.

I’m not sure what a site like this has against Hillary, she’s practically one of you. But then I don’t come here often so I haven’t full absorbed the overall philosophy yet.

 
Written By: Pedro the Illegal
URL: http://
I’m not sure what a site like this has against Hillary, she’s practically one of you
Hillary is an individualist with libertarian leanings? She’s for limited government, reduced taxes, and reduced federal spending? She’s against universal healthcare and is for personal responsibility? She’s anti-illegal immigration? She’s pro free markets?

Wow - she needs a new campaign manager, ’cuz I didn’t know any of that...
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://

 
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