When people one day look back at the remarkable implosion of the Hillary Clinton campaign, they may notice that it both began and ended in the long dark shadow of Iraq.
It’s not just that her candidacy’s central premise — the priceless value of “experience” — was fatally poisoned from the start by her still ill-explained vote to authorize the fiasco. Senator Clinton then compounded that 2002 misjudgment by pursuing a 2008 campaign strategy that uncannily mimicked the disastrous Bush Iraq war plan. After promising a cakewalk to the nomination — “It will be me,” Mrs. Clinton told Katie Couric in November — she was routed by an insurgency.
The Clinton camp was certain that its moneyed arsenal of political shock-and-awe would take out Barack Hussein Obama in a flash. The race would “be over by Feb. 5,” Mrs. Clinton assured George Stephanopoulos just before New Year’s. But once the Obama forces outwitted her, leaving her mission unaccomplished on Super Tuesday, there was no contingency plan. She had neither the boots on the ground nor the money to recoup.
Of course, what she needs, per Rich, is to get rid of her Rumsfeld (Mark Penn) and some other stuff. But in reality, to extend the metaphor, she needs a surge, and, as Rich points out, there is nothing left. Additionally she needs a Sunni "Awakening", uh, that would be blue voters figuring out she, rather than the insurgent, is the one to side with and, finally, she needs an insurgent cease-fire (ala al-Sadr and the Mahdi Army) in which to regroup, recoup and and reorient her plan.
But she hasn't the time, the money, the "troops" or circumstances to do all of that. And, as is becoming obvious, for all her experience, she's run her campaign very poorly. How does one not know that the Texas primary, her firewall, is a combination caucus/primary system heavily favoring her opponent (“I had no idea how bizarre it is,” said [Bill] Clinton. “We have grown men crying over it.” Yeah, whose job was it to know, Bill?).
Frankly I think the time-line is written on the wall for her. And to fully extend the analogy, I think she ought to get smart and withdraw. Now.
I honestly believe that it will still be Hillary’s name on the Dem ticket in Nov. If it is Obama then she will undermine him at every chance so that she can run again in 2012 (expect her to have as much luck as John Edwards then though).