In the begining was a name, and the name came with excellent media and poll ratings, and the media made her an unbeatable force.
With the backing of a former president who has survived two presidential campaigns, Hillary Clinton had become a real superior force. It was therefore no sin at all to underestimate anyone, particularly Barack Obama.
Superiority rode so high that even her chief strategist and pollster thought it right to publish a book microtrends in which he dissects and explains societal subset trends including political opponent Obama. This was not condescendace, it was a right reserved for the superior.
But that was the begining of the end. Because as he was busy dealing with focus groups, Obama’s campaign was more focused on the workings of the intricate caucus system and its numerical odds, which require minute planning, organisation and hardwork.
The combined positions of chief strategist and pollster gave a right that allowed for a possible adjustment of polling theories to match predictions rendering the theory of checks and balances nothing more than a distant whisper. Mark Penn could just not go wrong and the dangerously unstrategic release of his book in the middle of primaries proves the fact.
Mismanagement is the only factor that could account for the oversight of Hilary’s campaign on how well the Obama campaign’s fundraisers were going. It should have been a yardstick in measuring the opposition’s prowess as a force to reckon with.
In fact, each of the candidates had raised more than $100 million in 2007, enough to indicate that Obama was not to be simply brushed aside as a non-competitor. But alas, it took Hilary 5 million bucks from her own purse and a frustrating failure on super Tuesday to wake up. ‘Bad manager’, Patti Solis Doyle was sent away to redeem Hilary’s credibility as a good manager.
The unpaid health care insurance for her campaign staff among others highlight a financial mismanagement or crisis in the Clinton campaign. It is reported that if she had settled the accumulated $8.7 million in unpaid bills instead of loaning $5 million to her campaign she would be left with less than $2 million compared with Obama who would still have $32 million after settling his $625,000 bill.
Another issue that has made her popularity dwindle with a meteoritical effect is not only Mark Penn’s involvement with Colombian officials for a free trade deal, but also Bill Clinton’s approval of the same subject matter raising questions about Hilary’s seriousness on her stance against free trade.
If the good book said “the first shall be the last”, it was only a reminder to the “first” that the top position corrupts with nearsightedness and pride. And pride they say, comes before a fall.