I tossed this story in headlines but then the thought occurred to me that it might be evidence of one of the Hillary campaign’s problems. It might be evidence that one of Hillary’s core tendencies, which is to promote people to power based on gender and personal loyalty as opposed to competence, has come around to bite her. Check this out, from the WaPo:
Supporters of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton are worried that convoluted delegate rules in Texas could water down the impact of strong support for her among Hispanic voters there, creating a new obstacle for her in the must-win presidential primary contest.
Several top Clinton strategists and fundraisers became alarmed after learning of the state’s unusual provisions during a closed-door strategy meeting this month, according to one person who attended.
Read the rest and you’ll see that these aren’t new rules; they have been in place for years.
How long did Hillary Clinton consider herself the inevitable Democrat nominee? The last three, four years? How long before that was it obvious that Hillary planned on running for president? Forever? And didn’t the Clintons compete in a Texas primary back in 1992? Isn’t Hillary supposed to be the smartest woman in the world?
Yet Team Hillary is just now looking at the rules governing the primary in the country’s second most populous state? They’re just now finding out that those rules might favor their opponent?
That strikes me as a serious failure to plan. Team Hillary may have expected that they would have coasted to the nomination by now, but at least after Iowa it was obvious that the process could string out longer. Someone should have looked ahead, but evidently no one did. The story getting out also strikes me as a serious failure to manage information. It blows a major hole in Hillary’s “experience” card. She has been campaigning on her criticism of the Iraq war as a failure to plan, but it turns out that she didn’t even plan her campaign very well. That gets us back to the opening sentences of this post and whether this failure to plan is a symptom of how Hillary values gender and loyalty above performance. Shouldn’t former campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle have had someone on this issue a long time ago?
We’re not hearing stories that Obama’s team is just now learning about the Texas primary rules. Either they boned up on the rules a long time ago and knew what was coming, or they’re better at managing negative stories that can damage their candidate’s basic appeal. Obama’s camp runs a tighter ship, either way you look at it.
Update: HRC ally says red-state Democrat delegates are “second class delegates.” That’ll help in Texas, a state Hillary needs just to stay alive.