Monday, January 07, 2008

"Amateur Hour"

Risking self parody, I am not referring only to myself in my capacity as Hillary
Clinton campaign consultant but also to her real life campaign consultants.

Thomas Edsall has been talking to them and has the low down on leaked proposed strategies to stop Obama which include

"This Clinton supporter described Obama as afflicted with naïve idealism similar to that of Jimmy Carter.

The burden on Clinton will be, according to this strategist, to show that "this guy [Obama] is amateur hour, that it's all glitz. He thinks you can get there but you don't have to go through anything. It's dreamy, but it mainly appeals to independents.""

Yep amateur hour is the word. Sure lot's of African Americans whose parents separated when they were two have had it all so easy that they don't have any idea what Hillary Clinton has been through. And all those people fortunate enough to have been raised by single mothers part of their lives will now vote for Hillary Clinton because they can't stand fortunate sons like Barak Obama.

Some more of that and Bill son of a widow might vote for Obama.

OK so let's see what else they got

In an approach redolent of Walter Mondale's 1984 "Where's the Beef?" tactic against Gary Hart, Clinton has adopted the less memorable slogan "Rhetoric vs. Results, Talk vs. Action."


Now Obama is soaringly eloquent so he is very good at rhetoric no doubt about that. However, being bad at rhetoric doesn't mena you get results (I've personally proven that). Senator Clinton did not get health care reform enacted. Perhaps since then she has gotten a result or two, but I have no idea what they might be. Obama, in contrast, managed to get unanimous support in the Illinois senate for a bill, originally opposed by the police and the newly elected Democratic governor (who signed the bill int he end) requiring the police to videotape interrogations.

Clinton would have a better case if she argued that the key skill for a US President is the ability to play basketball.

The amazing thing is that a very strong case against Obama is easily available on the obscure op-ed page of the New York Times. Clinton should fire her staff and call Krugman. The case against Obama (made by Clinton in an even in New Hampshire which I watched on C-Span and ignored by her flaks) is that Obama proposes a plan for non universal health care. The Obama plan for health care financing will not work and everyone who has studied the issue (including I suspect Senator Obama) knows it.

I thought that it would be impossible to argue for mandates in New Hampshire (real motto "let me live tax free or you die"). Clinton did it. She said that Obama's proposal was not universal and was unilaterally conceding that critical point to the Republicans.

This is a very powerful argument. It also has the minor advantage of being true.


The argument that Obama can not win legislative battles and Clinton can is, in contrast, similar to the argument that Edwards can't be elected because he has bad hair.

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