Sigh. To this day, I’m not sure the Clinton campaign understands that no focus-group-tested slogan is going to have the elemental resonance of “Yes, we can” (Obama’s homage to César Chávez) or “Change the world.” Hasn’t anybody on the Clinton team ever read Joseph Campbell on the power of mythic narrative? And while we’re on the subject of message, what genius decided it was a great idea to demonize hope?
But it’s stunning that the battle-tested Clinton machine allowed itself to be outsmarted and outhustled at the arcane science of winning delegates in caucuses. And it’s even more surprising that the campaign has been so careless with its money that it now is resigned to being outspent anywhere and everywhere.
Most striking of all, to me, is that the campaign still can’t settle on what kind of candidate Hillary Clinton should be. Does she now have to go negative, or should she try to hitchhike on the hope express? Does she project steely resolve or reveal human vulnerability? The campaign wants to convince voters that they don’t know who Obama really is — yet also insists on fitting Clinton with a new persona every week.
If Obama Went 0-for-10 . . .