Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Denial Ain't Just a River in New Hampshire

On Monday, Politico ran a story citing "inside sources" to the effect that Hillary Clinton (and husband/adviser Bill) "are so dissatisfied with their campaign's messaging and digital operations that they are considering staffing and strategy changes after what's expected to be a loss in Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire."

Almost immediately, Clinton "responded" to the "rumors": "I'm very confident in the people that I have. I'm very committed to them; they're committed to doing the best we can."

OK, let's cut the crap. The Clinton campaign planted the Politico story, then offered the "response" so that no matter how things come out in New Hampshire tonight, their bases are covered. They've got preemptive explanations for whatever they decide to do.

How do I know this? Because I've been watching the Clintons for a quarter of a century and that's how they always play the game. They're very calculating. Except on one specific issue ...

With not all the results in but it being fairly clear that Bernie Sanders put her down hard, here comes the New York Times:

Clinton advisers gritted their teeth Tuesday night as they dissected exit polls and other data to determine if Mrs. Clinton’s political vulnerabilities stemmed from the particular demographics of New Hampshire, which is overwhelmingly white, or if they reflected deeper unease. One troubling sign: Mr. Sanders was the choice, by a lopsided margin, among voters who said it was most important to have a candidate who is "honest and trustworthy."

For all their expertise in political gamesmanship, they seem to be truly honest in their complete inability to grasp the reality of the situation:

The majority of Americans, including the majority of Democrats, neither like nor trust Hillary Clinton.

The only things that keep her competitive at all are 1) the vestiges of the Hill and Bill machine that seized control of the DNC in the 1990s and still maintains a death grip on it, and 2) the persistent (even after the disproof of 2008) perception among many Democrats that she's "inevitable," and the accompanying conclusion they might as well go with the flow.

Yes, it really is just that simple.  And it always has been. No amount of tooth-gritting or data-dissection can change that, nor are those activities a prerequisite to understanding that.

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