The Clinton Game Plan

Ken AshfordElection 2008Leave a Comment

Here it is:

1. Swarm the state with surrogates; she has a deeper network in New Hampshire than any other state.

2. Two rallies a day; lots of retail events; lots of television interviews.

3. Find some way to go negative against Obama. Some Clinton advisers and aides say that the campaign have a storehouse of opposition research — old and new — that they’ll use against Obama. In Iowa, being directly associated with negative attacks is seen as uncouth and un-Midwestern; in New Hampshire, rude remarks are as welcome as questions and answers.

4. Claim that Clinton never had a shot in Iowa because of the state’s historical bias against women (it’s only one of two to never have elected a woman as governor or member of Congress); that Edwards had cornered the Democratic vote and that Obama ran against the Democratic party and cornered the Democratic leading independents; that for a New Yorker to receive 25 percent of the vote or her is impressive (although.. I distinctly remember an HRC mailing calling her a Midwesterner).

By the way: Since 1972, four of nine Democratic nominees have finished second or worse in Iowa; but those four all finished first or second in New Hampshire; the calendar was much more drawn out in those cycles.

5. Point to Clinton’s strength in New York, California and Florida; point out that Obama is bad in debates and that in contests that don’t rely on retail politicking, she has an edge.

6. Run against the idea of John McCain as the Republican nominee; in other words, who’s better to face McCain: Clinton or Obama?

7. Women, women, women. Playing the gender card again.

8. Have really, really good debate performances.

My thoughts:

(1)  I don’t think going negative on Obama (#3) is going to play well in New Hampshire.  If my Mom is any representative indication (and in this particular case, I think she is), Hillary already has a "mean bitch" problem in New Hampshire (if not nationally).  Picking on the black guy who beat her in Iowa isn’t going to win Hillary any admirers.  (Obviously, the negative attacks on Obama will be done through Hillary surrogates, but still….)

(2)  I agree with Ygleisus re: #6.  I think people will be more jazzed about seeing Obama (the new guard) going up against McCain (old guard).  More so than Hillary (old guard).  [UPDATE:  I think McCain is already putting his foot in his mouth.  Here he was in Derry, NH last night]:

(For those of you with dial-up and/or no interest in seeing the video, McCain posits that America should be in Iraq for 100 more years.  "Why not?" he says.)