Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Not a good move from the Clinton camp

If you actually read the transcript of Jeffrey Goldberg's interview with Hillary Clinton, you'll see that she went to great lengths to make it seem like she was not directly criticizing President Obama. But with the title chosen by The Atlantic for the piece and the howls from the media, all that was blown up.

I'm going to suggest that the recent drop in Clinton's poll numbers is a direct result of all that.
Hillary Clinton’s favorability ratings continue to tumble as she renters [sic] the political fray, with 43% of respondents now saying they view her positively, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, down from a high of 60% in 2009.
Its not just that some of President Obama's supporters were angered by the idea that she was criticizing a sitting Democratic president. The whole thing reminded people of how ugly the political fray can get.

That's why I think the Clinton camp blew it when they decided to directly come out swinging at President Obama.
As Obama seeks to make the case for military action against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in a prime-time address on Wednesday, Clinton supporters are saying that she would have approached the battle with ISIS in a completely different way if she were commander in chief.

“You never want to be a Monday morning quarterback on these issues because who knows how things would ultimately turn out, but Obama has been passive on these issues,” one former aide to Clinton said. “She would have taken a more aggressive approach.”

Another former Clinton aide took it a step further: “It’s the very notion of decisiveness,” the former aide said. “She’s not gnashing her teeth the way we’re seeing time and time again with Obama.”
Having those words come out of the mouth of an aide is probably supposed to give Clinton herself some distance from them. But please don't be fooled. This hit that incorporates all the Republican talking points about the President was planted in the media for a reason. They think its good politics.

What it tells me is not just that Clinton would be more quick on the trigger when it comes to dealing with foreign policy crises, it tells me that she still hasn't learned to play the long game.

The media is in a tizzy right now over ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Today Greg Sargent dug into the depths of some of the polling on this issue and demonstrates that it is very likely they are getting ahead of public opinion when it comes to beating the war drums. President Obama has a speech to deliver tonight and then two years to demonstrate whether or not his strategy with ISIS will be as successful as his approach to al Qaeda. The chances of Clinton being made to look the fool over the long term in this critique are obviously pretty high.

And so once again I am reminded of Michelle Obama's words about her husband.
Here's the thing about my husband: even in the toughest moments, when it seems like all is lost, Barack Obama never loses sight of the end goal. He never lets himself get distracted by the chatter and the noise, even if it comes from some of his best supporters. He just keeps moving forward.

And in those moments when we're all sweating it, when we're worried that the bill won't pass or the negotiation will fall through, Barack always reminds me that we're playing a long game here. He reminds me that change is slow — it doesn't happen overnight.
Hillary would do well to take heed.


  1. She wanted to make an office run before primary season. She has no one but herself to blame for this. Can some of her supporters calm down now?


  2. Unfortunately she just can't help herself and neither can Bill. I really, really don't want to see either of them near the WH again. That said, Thank you Nancy for putting this out in the open.

  3. Funny how all she has to do is open her mouth for her poll numbers to drop.