Shake-up time for Team Hillary?

posted at 10:01 am on February 9, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

It’s never a good sign when leaks from a campaign begin talk of personnel changes after the first two events in the primary season. Few people expect Hillary Clinton to beat Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire, practically his back yard, but Team Hillary went all out for a big win in Iowa, only to end up in a virtual dead heat with a candidate they consider a progressive flash in the pan — or a temper tantrum. Suddenly, though, Politico’s Glenn Thrush and Annie Karni hear drumbeats of panic emanating from Hillary HQ:

Hillary and Bill Clinton are so dissatisfied with their campaign’s messaging and digital operations they are considering staffing and strategy changes after what’s expected to be a loss in Tuesday’s primary here, according to a half-dozen people with direct knowledge of the situation.

The Clintons — stung by her narrow victory in Iowa — had been planning to reassess staffing at the campaign’s Brooklyn headquarters after the first four primaries, but the Clintons have become increasingly caustic in their criticism of aides and demanded the reassessment sooner, a source told POLITICO.

The talk of shake-up echoes what happened in 2008 – when Clinton was on the verge of sacking her campaign manager and several top communications officials – before her surprise win here bailed out her beleaguered staff. Over time, however she slowly layered over top officials, essentially hiring old hands – like Hillaryland stalwart Maggie Williams and pollster Geoff Garin – to run the campaign while the previous staff were quietly relegated to subsidiary positions.

Hillary denied these reports last night, but clearly something is failing. The Clintons spent years putting themselves back into position for Coronation 2.0, and once again they’re getting outboxed by another Senate backbencher, even in a two-person race. Chris Cillizza wonders whether the common issue between the two floundering presidential bids is so basic that Hillary can’t fix it — because she’s the problem:

The lone, major common thread between the 2008 campaign and the 2016 campaign is Hillary (and Bill) Clinton. Which raises that most uncomfortable of possible explanations for the problems experienced by Hillary Clinton in her two presidential campaigns: It’s the candidate. …

Forgetting history in this case doesn’t mean that Hillary Clinton is doomed to repeat it. Sanders, for all of the remarkableness of his rise in the polls, is not Obama circa 2008.  Despite his surprising strength in Iowa and New Hampshire, he has shown little ability to broaden his support base beyond young people and well-educated, affluent whites. Without finding a way to appeal to older voters and black and Hispanic voters, the math in a Democratic primary simply doesn’t add up for Sanders.

Well, so far it’s not adding up for Hillary, either. If those demographics were enthusiastic about her, Sanders’ demographics within the Democratic coalition wouldn’t be able to keep up.

But, the very fact that Clinton finds herself in a real race against a 74-year old socialist who openly admits he will need to raise middle class taxes to pay for his programs suggests that all is not right in Clintonworld.

Rather than fire someone or add lots of someones, the Clintons might be best served to look in the mirror first. The common variable in both of these campaigns is them. And they are also almost certainly the only two people who can fix what ails her current bid.

All of this may end up being academic. After New Hampshire, Sanders’ momentum is expected to stall out in South Carolina, and the Clinton machine should have key advantages in the big Super Tuesday contests on March 1st. At least, that’s the conventional wisdom. But what if the CW is wrong? The CW a year ago had Hillary breezing her way to the nomination, too. Aaron Blake writes that analysts may have overestimated Hillary and underestimated Bernie, and that the intermediate caucus in Nevada could shock the campaign:

After New Hampshire, though, the states get significantly more diverse; basically every one of the next couple dozen states to vote is less white than Iowa and New Hampshire.

We’ve called this Clinton’s “nonwhite firewall.” Basically: More-diverse electorates start voting, and Clinton has a better chance of putting together a series of wins and ending Bernie Sanders once and for all.

But while Clinton might indeed be a shoo-in in South Carolina, that isn’t so clearly the case in Nevada.

Technically, Nevada is actually the more-diverse state of the two. Non-Hispanic whites comprise just 51.5 percent in Nevada, compared to 64 percent in South Carolina. Nevada has many Hispanics, while South Carolina has a large black population.

But to assume that both play to Clinton’s strengths in similar ways is to miss the point.

Nevada would be a big win for Bernie if he can pull it off. Blake goes through the data to show why the “non-white firewall” might not extend to the interior West, but it could be more basic than that. Sanders has shown that he can win, especially in Iowa, where Hillary was widely expected to have a better showing. A big win in New Hampshire would only boost his prestige, and have more people (yes, even Democrats) wonder why they should turn out for an untrustworthy and damaged candidate like Hillary Clinton.

The only real argument for supporting her second presidential bid was her inevitability, getting on board early to circle the wagons later. If the campaign needs to circle the wagons already, that might convince more Democrats that her candidacy is a failure, and that it’s time for Plan B — even if that means Bernie.


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Comments

Is it too late for her to become a totally different person that isn’t unattractive, uncharming, unfunny, unappealing, and unfelonious?

NotCoach on February 9, 2016 at 10:04 AM

Jeff Roe seems a perfect fit , both of them mean to core, will do any thing to win votes.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on February 9, 2016 at 10:04 AM

Is it too late for her to become a totally different person that isn’t unattractive, uncharming, unfunny, unappealing, and unfelonious?

NotCoach on February 9, 2016 at 10:04 AM

FIFM

NotCoach on February 9, 2016 at 10:05 AM

When you have no agenda and your campaign is all about yourself…and nobody trusts you…

What the hell do you expect…

PatriotRider on February 9, 2016 at 10:05 AM

The only thing Hillary can do at this point is to become transgender…

PatriotRider on February 9, 2016 at 10:07 AM

Hitler got rid of a lot of generals while the Red Army continued to pound toward Germany.

Bishop on February 9, 2016 at 10:08 AM

Shake-up time for Team Hillary?

Why? Did someone steal her two headed coin?

oscarwilde on February 9, 2016 at 10:08 AM

Bishop on February 9, 2016 at 10:08 AM

Yeah, but this is Hillary we are talkin’ about. She can do it!

cozmo on February 9, 2016 at 10:10 AM

Plan B is not Bernie; it’s Joe.

Lolo on February 9, 2016 at 10:11 AM

They want what they want when they want it.

djl130 on February 9, 2016 at 10:12 AM

First, the picture of hungover Ben Franklin at the top of this post- what does it signify?

Second- of course the problem is Hilary. She’s tired, she’s played, and everything she says is pre-masticated focus group tested word goo- the equivalent of gerber strained carrots.

Add in that said meaningless goo is delivered in a horrific screeching drone by an unattractive, sneering megalomaniacal grandma who looks like she should be baking children in a large oven hidden in a forest somewhere.

Given this, it’s pretty easy to see why brain damaged lifelong government leech grandfather of maynard g. krebs is giving pigface and the zombie letch all they can handle in the dumbocratic primaries.

And finally- gun control and lady parts? Good platform there, liar queen.

GrassMudHorsey on February 9, 2016 at 10:13 AM

Clinton advisor David Axelrod took to Twitter last night:

When the exact same problems crop up in separate campaigns, with different staff, at what point do the principals say, “Hey, maybe it’s US?”

Translation?

“The fish stinks from the head down!”

Del Dolemonte on February 9, 2016 at 10:15 AM

Stands Like A Hag might throw her feathered headdress into the ring.

Bishop on February 9, 2016 at 10:16 AM

Shake-up time for Team Hillary?

Did she fall, break a hip?

Lucky for her, she can afford ObamaCare.

BlaxPac on February 9, 2016 at 10:16 AM

After tonight, Blue will essentially be 0 for 2 in the primaries. Yes, she technically won in Iowa but it wasn’t a clean “win” and she essentially tied with a crusty socialist- hardly the kind of mandate that Team Blue was hoping for.

Happy Nomad on February 9, 2016 at 10:16 AM

First, the picture of hungover Ben Franklin at the top of this post- what does it signify?

Second- of course the problem is Hilary. She’s tired, she’s played, and everything she says is pre-masticated focus group tested word goo- the equivalent of gerber strained carrots.

Add in that said meaningless goo is delivered in a horrific screeching drone by an unattractive, sneering megalomaniacal grandma who looks like she should be baking children in a large oven hidden in a forest somewhere.

Given this, it’s pretty easy to see why brain damaged lifelong government leech grandfather of maynard g. krebs is giving pigface and the zombie letch all they can handle in the dumbocratic primaries.

And finally- gun control and lady parts? Good platform there, liar queen.

GrassMudHorsey on February 9, 2016 at 10:13 AM

Epic prose!

A+

Del Dolemonte on February 9, 2016 at 10:17 AM

Plan B is not Bernie; it’s Joe.

Just so, Lolo.

It’s just like when President FDR went on TV in 1929 to calm the nation after the stock market crash.

Choo choo Joe the Amtrak Ho’, lifelong govt leech, is ready to portray the lunch pail working man he never was in order to win that dumbocratic nod! And he doesn’t care how many Neal Kinnock speeches he has to steal in order to get it!

GrassMudHorsey on February 9, 2016 at 10:18 AM

Vince Foster could not be reached for comment.

spd rdr on February 9, 2016 at 10:21 AM

Hillary’s problem is she can’t fire the terrible, repulsive candidate.

ConstantineXI on February 9, 2016 at 10:24 AM

Rumor is Killary was seen shopping for polonium.

vnvet on February 9, 2016 at 10:24 AM

The advisers better apply for the witness protection program before they hear “You have failed me for the last time.”

Bishop on February 9, 2016 at 10:24 AM

Feel the Bloomberrrrrrrrg.

Cherokee on February 9, 2016 at 10:24 AM

Hitler got rid of a lot of generals while the Red Army continued to pound toward Germany.

Bishop on February 9, 2016 at 10:08 AM

So Fraulein Pantsuit deciding to be coronated for King, 2016 is as foolish as Hitler’s invasion of Russia in 1941?

ConstantineXI on February 9, 2016 at 10:25 AM

Unexpectedly.

Galtian on February 9, 2016 at 10:27 AM

Shake it. Shake it like a Polaroid picture. That way the wrinkles and crepey neck won’t be so obvious to the television viewers.

onlineanalyst on February 9, 2016 at 10:28 AM

What difference, at this point, will it make?

22044 on February 9, 2016 at 10:28 AM

onlineanalyst on February 9, 2016 at 10:28 AM

I wonder how many people understood that.

cozmo on February 9, 2016 at 10:31 AM

Plan B is not Bernie; it’s Joe.

Lolo on February 9, 2016 at 10:11 AM

Shouldn’t that be “Plan W”…As in White?

Bernie, Hill, Biden, Kerry & Warren (rumored).

God…they’re all so old…and so BLINDINGLY White.I bet they all smell like Tyranny too…that musk of burnt hair, Ben-Gay, and the Septic Tank of Failed Socialist ideal of the past.

I thought the Progressives “Celebrated Diversity”? I hear Del Ray-Ray is looking for job in government, why don’t you put him up on the stage?

BlaxPac on February 9, 2016 at 10:32 AM

Hey ya.

justltl on February 9, 2016 at 10:34 AM

Coming on to Team Blue at this point would be akin to Karl Donitz finding out that he had just been named the President of Germany in 1945.

Happy Nomad on February 9, 2016 at 10:35 AM

The advisers better apply for the witness protection program before they hear “You have failed me for the last time.”

Bishop on February 9, 2016 at 10:24 AM

Yup. the Crunch will come for them when Hillary announces that the next strategy meeting will be held at Ft Marcy Park and each is assigned a different time-15 min. apart.

Don L on February 9, 2016 at 10:37 AM

They should start at the top….and shake Hillary all the way to the hoosegow….

On a rail. Tarred and feathered.

ProfShadow on February 9, 2016 at 10:37 AM

Shake it. Shake it like a Polaroid picture. That way the wrinkles and crepey neck won’t be so obvious to the television viewers.

onlineanalyst on February 9, 2016 at 10:28 AM

Maybe start holding town halls and debates hanging upside down like a bat. Helps make her look youthful AND appropriate.

Happy Nomad on February 9, 2016 at 10:37 AM

Or being rescued by the Titanic.

justltl on February 9, 2016 at 10:38 AM

Happy Nomad on February 9, 2016 at 10:35 AM

That’s just mean. Donitz deserves better.

cozmo on February 9, 2016 at 10:38 AM

Question: Did Sanders get any Secret Service protection yet? And someone mention to him he should avoid meetings and/or solo walks in the park….

ProfShadow on February 9, 2016 at 10:38 AM

Don’t worry, gals. Good ol’ Hillary will catch fire with the voters on her seventeenth video introduction of her campaign, you just wait.
I mean, just like socialism, it looks so good in the package, but once you take it out, insert the batteries and turn it on, you will be overwhelmed and impressed and in love and inspired.
(/sarc)
The entire problem is that she is not inspiring. She’s both entitled and wooden and thus sells poorly. When she attempts to project vocal excitement, it hurts people’s ears. Additionally, she is the most known candidate and not only cannot change, but will not change. (She’s entitled, you might recall.)

DublOh7 on February 9, 2016 at 10:47 AM

God…they’re all so old…and so BLINDINGLY White.I bet they all smell like Tyranny too…that musk of burnt hair, Ben-Gay, and the Septic Tank of Failed Socialist ideal of the past.

Boom.

And THAT’S the way it’s done.

Mic drop for BlaxPac.

Dang, that was good.

GrassMudHorsey on February 9, 2016 at 10:48 AM

Shake-up time for Team Hillary?

. . . don’t shake her too hard. She’s already got a propane mantle thing going.

Axe on February 9, 2016 at 10:51 AM

Chris Cillizza wonders whether the common issue between the two floundering presidential bids is so basic that Hillary can’t fix it — because she’s the problem:

GENIUS….this Cillizza guy must be a veritable f—ing Einstein!!!!

(Not that we haven’t been saying similar stuff for the past decade.)

SubmarineDoc on February 9, 2016 at 10:53 AM

Hillary and Huma gotta’ go!

albill on February 9, 2016 at 11:17 AM

Add to all the other negative reasons…no more political dynasties…Clinto or Bush.

albill on February 9, 2016 at 11:18 AM

Question: Did Sanders get any Secret Service protection yet? And someone mention to him he should avoid meetings and/or solo walks in the park….

ProfShadow on February 9, 2016 at 10:38 AM

Faux News reported January 30th that Bernie does have SS protection now.

Del Dolemonte on February 9, 2016 at 11:21 AM

Stupidity —- repeating the same behavior and expecting different results.

E.Normus.Balzac on February 9, 2016 at 11:24 AM

It’s going to be hilarious watching the Democrats sue 25 states to blow up their filing deadlines to get Joe Biden on the ballot.

rockmom on February 9, 2016 at 11:58 AM

This is nothing a few coin flips in a back room can’t take care of.

Agent Cooper on February 9, 2016 at 11:59 AM

Don’t worry, gals. Good ol’ Hillary will catch fire with the voters on her seventeenth video introduction of her campaign, you just wait.
I mean, just like socialism, it looks so good in the package, but once you take it out, insert the batteries and turn it on, you will be overwhelmed and impressed and in love and inspired.
(/sarc)
The entire problem is that she is not inspiring. She’s both entitled and wooden and thus sells poorly. When she attempts to project vocal excitement, it hurts people’s ears. Additionally, she is the most known candidate and not only cannot change, but will not change. (She’s entitled, you might recall.)

DublOh7 on February 9, 2016 at 10:47 AM

It’s hard to overstate how much younger people think the Baby Boom generation has f***ed up everything. Bill and Hillary were the LEADERS of that parade of destructors. Dems are gonna have to go much older or much younger if they want to win.

rockmom on February 9, 2016 at 12:02 PM

Shouldn’t that be “Plan W”…As in White?

Bernie, Hill, Biden, Kerry & Warren (rumored).

God…they’re all so old…and so BLINDINGLY White.I bet they all smell like Tyranny too…that musk of burnt hair, Ben-Gay, and the Septic Tank of Failed Socialist ideal of the past.

I thought the Progressives “Celebrated Diversity”? I hear Del Ray-Ray is looking for job in government, why don’t you put him up on the stage?

BlaxPac on February 9, 2016 at 10:32 AM

A+ for descriptive writing!!

fred5678 on February 9, 2016 at 12:07 PM

They’re supposed to be still recounting in Iowa. She may not have won by 2 tenths after all. Maybe they should inspect those coins used in the tosses, too.

Kissmygrits on February 9, 2016 at 12:28 PM

It’s. Her. Turn.

Galtian on February 9, 2016 at 12:41 PM

Maybe what the Dems need is Plan 9…

HiJack on February 9, 2016 at 1:18 PM

…Zombies for Hillary. “She’s one of us!”

HiJack on February 9, 2016 at 1:22 PM

I suspect that this isn’t a vote for Bernie Sanders more that it’s a vote against Hillary Clinton. When 60% of the public doesn’t trust you and thinks you are a liar that is going to resonate.

No poll on earth can polish that turd.

Scorched_Earth on February 9, 2016 at 2:57 PM

Step One in the ‘Shake-Up’:

Replace the candidate.

After that, everything is merely a detail.

orangemtl on February 9, 2016 at 3:14 PM

They’re supposed to be still recounting in Iowa. She may not have won by 2 tenths after all. Maybe they should inspect those coins used in the tosses, too.

“Whoa, another tie. Well, let’s get a quarter and fli—-”

“HEY! Here, use this coin. The campaign—I mean, I guy I know, sent it. It’s a really good one.”

“Umm..OK. So, the Sanders representative will cal—”

“Hillary chooses Heads!”

“Well, I thought we were going to let Bernie choose..?”

“Why do you hate Hillary!?? She want heads she wants heads she wants heads—-“

“Alright, alright already, the Clinton campaign gets to choose heads. Jeez.”

(FLIP)

“Well, will you look at that. Heads! That’s what: Six in a row?”

orangemtl on February 9, 2016 at 3:19 PM

You know what I don’t get? Bernie Sanders, a guy who was down against Clinton in Iowa a few months ago by about 30 points basically breaks even with her in a highly disputed caucus and the Clinton team says, “A win is a win, so suck it up America since she won.”

But if she loses by less than 20 points in New Hampshire, she’s all of a sudden “The comeback kid” and kept sanders “under 20 points!” Whatever happened to a win is a win? And does it really make any difference if she lost by 15 points rather than 20?

Now you know why people don’t listen to the news anymore. They are just sick of the spin, from whatever side it comes from.

It’s just as bad with the Republicans. Rubio comes in third, THIRD, in Iowa, and the media treats it like a win. And Ted Cruz, the guy who actually won Iowa by a substantial margin (when compared to Rubio)? Not a word about him. Just disgusting.

Libertyship46 on February 9, 2016 at 3:35 PM

Of course. It’s not the product it’s the marketing.

Bad news sunshine. Crap flavored lollipops taste like crap. Despite the shiny gold wrapper and well placed ads.

Oxymoron on February 9, 2016 at 6:47 PM

Aren’t we forgetting that the White House will need new drapes?

Missilengr on February 10, 2016 at 2:25 PM