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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Clinton Not Learning From Giuliani?

Those who cannot learn from history...

Whether it is due to unfamiliarity with misfortune or a brash New York arrogance, Hillary Clinton is making the same mistakes that plagued Rudy Giuliani's fall from inevitability. Once leading national party polls, Hillary Clinton's patience has produced a strategy that is unlikely to succeed, and she only has to look at Giuliani's ill-fated campaign to see why.

We are only a few weeks removed from Rudy Giuliani's off-Broadway portrayal of the Hindenburg. His double-digit lead from November seemed like ancient history as he lost all the early primaries. However, the skid did not convince Giuliani to deviate from his strategy. He had his lead in Florida and he had his leads in California, New York, and New Jersey on Super Tuesday. Each of them were bigger than any early primary state, and by winning those states, he would re-assert himself as the favorite for the nomination of his party. It was his firewall, playing the role of tourniquet no matter how bad the bleeding became in the smaller states.

You know what came next. With each early primary loss--Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, Nevada, and South Carolina--his polling dropped in states across the board, including the larger states on which he was counting. Campaign contributions were no longer a strength, especially when compared to the kind of funds his rivals were receiving. He was constantly portrayed as the loser in the news. He lost all momentum. By the time Florida arrived on January 29th, he was running a distant third in the state. The Florida disappointment sealed his fate in California. His big-state, firewall strategy was an utter failure.

Hillary Clinton has now lost seven consecutive states, with a District to boot. Obstinately, she continues to remind us that she wins the big states. She hopes that the remaining big states - Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania - will all vote for her. After all, as of now, she does hold leads in those places. She downplays the losses in states she was supposed to lose. She sees her firewall as the equalizer; reversing, or at least slowing, the trend and momentum of the Change Express.

Despite its failure, Clinton has clearly taken some pages out of the Rudy Giuliani handbook.

... are doomed to repeat it.

3 comments:

Gary said...

Excellent comparison.

Louis said...

It's not as if she's given up on the other states. Obama's message is just better right now.

The Dude said...

The comparison is apt, but I think the fact that Clinton could actually win makes a huge difference.

Remember, those who do not learn from history can still make history. Just ask John McCain...

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