Thursday, January 25, 2007

Some interesting observations on Hillary and Obama

A friend of mine with some pretty interesting observations:

Oddly enough, I still believe Hillary has the best shot to win it all if she plays her cards right and moves the Dem Party towards the center.  Her strategy to win:

-          convince Dems that Barack is too inexperienced and she has the most experience to win (her favorable to unfavorable is still positive, 54 to 44, she still leads Obama by 24 percentage points, and she beats either Giuliani or McCain in head-to-head polls while Obama is way behind either one);

-          continue to espouse more moderate political views, including pragmatic support for our troops in Iraq (wouldn’t it be the height of irony if Hillary Clinton inherits an intractable, unresolvable war in Iraq that leads to a humiliating withdrawal followed by her defeat in running for re-election);

-          hope that someone picks on her as a woman as that dimwit Rick Lazio did so that she gets the underdog and sympathy vote.

Her biggest obstacles:

-          she has little or no real human touch or warmth (may well be fatal to her cause);

-          integrity remains in doubt (a huge problem since Presidential elections tend to be based upon issues of perceived character and strength --- as well as prior experience as an Executive --- not on the issues) and

-          like most overwhelmingly ambitious, power-hungry people, lots of people respect her, but few are loyal to her.

Biggest wild cards:

-          Bill Clinton’s support --- as one of the most talented pure politicians of his generation (no match for Reagan but Reagan hailed from a prior generation) his intelligence and support are formidable weapons --- assuming, of course, he likes her (for concerns on this point, see point #2 under “biggest obstacles”;

-          Formidable network, intelligence, political savvy, and work ethic;

-          She is the only person amongst all of the frontrunners (including McCain and Giuliani and, of course, Obama) who has been in an Executive Office position, co-President (again, no Congressperson has won the Presidency since JFK in 1960).

Obama’s main challenges:

-          being able to project his own image effectively and in a sustained and positive way (in spite of the media hype, polls show he is still a blank canvas to most of the electorate);

-          African-American and Muslim background, sadly, are negatives.

Obama winning will, indeed, be comparable to Abe Lincoln winning as Lincoln entered the Republican nominating convention as the 4th best candidate out of 4 -- all 3 others far more prominent -- and who won only as a compromise after multiple ballots.  He then became President because it was a three party race.

Obama’s dream scenario:

-          Bill Clinton announces his wife cannot win the nomination (do not rule out this event ---- again, see #2 under “Obstacles” above);

Hillary, to me, is a classic character in a Greek tragedy.  Will her arrogance, ambition, and lack of true respect and love for others result in everyone abandoning her when she needs them most?  (i.e. are the Hollywood guys harbingers of more folks jumping a ship they have no real affection for, or are they just, as they usually are, trendites, intrigued by the latest fad?).  Alternatively, has she truly learned from her past errors and healed wounds, and is now in a position, with their support, to win it all?  Only time will tell.

If I were Hillary (but that’s just me), I would constantly take the high integrity, “Statesperson” road, reach out and touch folks, and then hope that someone attacks, then go into “hurt” “victim” mode.  Unfortunately, Obama is unlikely to be the one attacking.

Obama’s best strategy:  Mr. Smith goes to Washington, Honest Abe, Robin Williams in Man of the Year (Isn’t Obama fast becoming this year’s Man of the Year?).  Obama has won every campaign by never coming under negative criticism and he should state a commitment to refrain from any negative campaigning and even draft, publish, and adhere to a “Compact with America” about: 1) how he intends to run for office; and 2) what he intends to do once in office.

This will be a lot more effective than Hillary’s recently announced “let’s talk to America” pabulum, establish the high road, keep the high hopes alive, and, most important, insulate him from criticism.  (If you have not seen Man of the Year, you should because it is about a comedian who comes out of nowhere, runs for President, wins through “straight talk” --- I think it really captures the state of mind of most of the US electorate, their level of disgust with the political process and politicians in general, and the need to come clean, and be truly honest rather than pretending.  In one wonderful scene as he is gaining in popularity he admits to taking drugs and infidelities in his younger years and asks “What the hell does it matter” --- sharp contrast to the “I pretend to be the Virgin Mary and never inhaled when smoking marijuana” approach of most politicians today.)

Obama’s best timing issue:

-          first election since Nixon-Humphrey in ’68 in which neither an incumbent President or Vice-President is running for office;

-          first election since Ike in ’52 in which no former or incumbent President or Vice-President is running for office.

All of this should be lots of fun to watch.


Post a Comment

<< Home