Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs

Disclaimer: My tenth in a series of the partisan candidate diaries. I am not associated with any of the campaigns, just a long-time observer of Democratic presidential politics and the father of a college daughter.

Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs

In sports, they say that a feared opponent has "gotten into the head of a player", meaning that the player so fears the opponent that it starts to play mind games. Ask a defensive back in the NFL about Tom Brady or Peyton Manning.  Or, take a quick look at last night's Republican debate.

According to the Washington Post, it was "Clinton by a Mile".

The score from Sunday night's Republican debate in Florida was as follows:
Hillary Clinton: 33
Barack Obama: 0
John Edwards: 0

That, of course, is the number of times that each was mentioned by GOP candidates or the questioners during the debate. As is clear, there was no contest. Obama and Edwards were completely absent in the hour-and-a-half debate.

The New York Times, had a slightly different Hillary count from the debate. They counted 15 "Hillary Clinton", 34 "Clinton", and 27 "Hillary" mentions.

Ana Marie Cox, over at Time Magazine's Swampland, liveblogs the Hillary mentions as a drinking game and realizes she's over the legal limit by the end of the first half hour:

8:08 PM First Hillary mention of the debate! DRINK!

8:28 PM McCain gets in a HillaryCare reference! Drink! He suggests that anyone interested in nationalizing health care visit Canada or England. Does he mean the countries that have been infant survival rates than us, or just the ones that lose a smaller percentage to heart disease?

8:33 PM Too many Hillary mentions to count. At least I don't need to drive home.

8:46 PM Fox tips its Hillary hand (thanks, Rupert!): "All of you, I repeat, all of you, are losing to her." BOOS! Also, I LOVE that Fox is showing the polls numbers for how badly each of them would lose to her. This is just giving them all a chance to pull out their best HRC jokes and applause will follow. It will not help their poll numbers.

8:52 PM On Hillary's Woodstock museum earmark: McCain didn't go. "I was tied up at the time." I think we get to chug on that one.

Josh Marshall, at Talking Points Memo, does a video mashup of the Hillary obsession with a running scoreboard:

Don't miss the Frank Lutz focus group at the end, including one poor women who tried to speak but couldn't because her head started spinning around and around as she spewed green split pea soup from her mouth and three more at the back of room who were wresling to control gloved hands like Dr. Strangelove:

"I think people have very long memories about Bill Clinton and what it was like to live through that hell."

"Hillary Clinton does not have American values."

"Hillary Clinton is just nothing but socialist and communism."

"She'll end America as we know it."

I think it is more than fair to say that our girl Hillary has well and truly gotten in the heads of the angry white men in the Republican party.  She has them in a full-blown tizzie and that is the best thing that could ever happen for Democratic Party chances in November 2008. Why?

I would suggest three reasons:

1. By attacking her every waking moment of every waking day, the Republicans are providing a blueprint for their fall campaigns. Penn, Wolfson, and Bill will take this playbook and use it to prepare a brutal gameplan to counter every strike. Even more, the Republicans outlined positions against Social Security, health care, and reployment from Iraq that are wildly unpopular with the electorate. The red-meat audience boo'd Ron Paul for saying he would pull troops out of Iraq.

2. Their efforts to demonize Hillary won't work. If Hillary Clinton is anything on the campaign trail, it's disciplined, focuses, serious, competent, and prepared.  When voters see her, on TV or in person, they may or may not like her. They may or may not support her. But, they don't see some wild, crazy monster. Thus the opposite. It is Romney and Rudy who appear to be frothing at the mouth when they speak of Hillary.

3. I keep saying this, but gender is the overriding dynamic in the 2008  election. 54% of the voters are women and the majority of those support Hillary Clinton and the idea of a history-making election. There is an emotional attachment to the election the first female President and this emotion will become even stronger once Hillary is the nominee. These angry white men attacking the female candidate, not on policy issues, but like crazy abusive husbands is going to trigger a deeply emotional response. Not just among women, but among other groups who have felt the rath of what Bill O'Reilly calls "the traditional white male power structure". The two Republican front-runners, Rudy and Mitt, are already at the point of "pulling a Lazio" and alienating wide swaths of American voters. They think they can use attacks on Hillary to energize their base, but their attacks are actually more likely to energy women voters (54% of the electorate), African American voters, Latino/a voters, Asian American voters, gay voters, and so on and so forth.

Tags: Democrats, Election 2008, Hillary Clinton, president (all tags)



Re: Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs

I really don't get the GOP's gameplan here. What's the point of blasting HRC now, when we're still a year away from the general election? Don't they realize that the anti-HRC rhetoric will get old and tired just like Rudi's 9-11 repetitious harping became stale after a few months on the campaign trail? You would think that they would hold back on the HRC hate until say July or August. I'm curious as to what type of atrocity they will come up with during the RNC convention in Minneapolis next year. Instead of purple band-aids, something misogynist that deals with HRC's anatomy in some way?

You can tell that these candidates haven't thought through their GE strategy very well. It's in sharp contrast to the Bush/Rove crew who had a strategy to appeal to soccer moms, Latinos and even a few AA w/the faith based programs. Have any of them even thought of trying to appeal to voters other than white males in the general? I just don't see it based upon what they're saying in these debates.....

by ademption 2007-10-22 10:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs

They're aiming at primary voters...

Rudy needs to constantly bring up Clinton's name to fend off any question about his ideology...

It's kind of funny though.

by areyouready 2007-10-22 10:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs

Yeah, but when do they pivot away from the primary voters to moderates? What programs have they implemented in the past that would resonate with moderates now? What will this year's "compassionate conservative" platform be? Perhaps Guiliani could go for the old GOP standby law and order, esp since FBI stats show crime going up the past few years. But other than that, what will they run on to attract swing voters/conservative Dems?

I don't see any of the GOP campaigns implementing a long-term strategy for winning the election next year. Rove knew which groups he wanted Bush to target in 2000: security moms, Latinos etc and made sure that Bush talked up the compassionate conservatism programs like No Child Left Behind and the faith based programs to attract voters. I haven't seen any of the GOP candidates implementing even the basic foundation of a long-term general election strategy like the one that Rove put together in 2000. It just seems like all of the GOP candidates are campaigning by the seats of their pants. I think the GOP's nominee could potentially be in a really weak position after their bruising primary with no money or game plan by the time March rolls around....


by ademption 2007-10-22 11:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs

They will be hanging at the stall in the Minneapolis Airport- Tap Dancing.

by nkpolitics 2007-10-22 11:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs

Excellent diary. Did you read today's WSJ. It's quite interesting.
Latest Biography of Clintons
Tests Public's 'Fatigue' Levels

Critics of Bill and Hillary Clinton talk of the public's "Clinton fatigue" to argue against electing the New York senator to the White House. Now another biography about the couple will test whether Americans actually suffer from "Clinton book fatigue."

Next week, Random House will release "For Love of Politics" by best-selling author Sally Bedell Smith, covering the Clintons' White House years -- rather, their marriage during the White House years. The major policies in which both Clintons played roles -- budget-balancing and welfare reform, the North American Free Trade Agreement, post-Cold War foreign policies and even the health-care debacle that Mrs. Clinton led -- are mainly background noise in a re-telling of the financial and sexual scandals that followed the couple from Arkansas to Washington.

But sex and scandal sells. Or does it? "For Love of Politics," which The Wall Street Journal obtained in a bookstore not far from the White House ahead of its release date, follows two other much-anticipated biographies of Mrs. Clinton released last summer. "A Woman in Charge," by Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein, has sold about 57,000 of the reported 275,000 copies that Alfred A. Knopf printed, according to Nielsen BookScan, which tracks about 75% of the book market. "Her Way," by New York Times reporters Jeff Gerth and Don Van Atta, has sold about 19,000, Nielsen estimates; Little, Brown and Co. reportedly printed 175,000.

The two earlier biographies revealed little that was new. The same can be said of "For Love of Politics" by Ms. Smith, who has written books on John and Jacqueline Kennedy, Princess Diana, Pamela Harriman and William S. Paley. More than Messrs. Bernstein, Gerth and Van Atta, she relies on previous books about the Clintons, including their autobiographies, to tell her version in breezy style.

by areyouready 2007-10-22 10:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs

I can't believe those two high-profile Hillary 'biographies' rolled out this year only sold 57,000 and 19,000 copies respectively.

Wow. Clinton derangement syndrome + Clinton book fatigue!

by areyouready 2007-10-22 10:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs

19,000 books of the pre-printed 175,000 Gerth and Van Atta books have sold?  That would be considered a major flop in any setting, as did Bernstein's yarn.   What are they going to do with the remaining 150,000?  Sell them on ebay for a penny a piece?   To think that some here believed that these two books would bring big trouble to Clinton in the form of her polls cratering?  

by georgep 2007-10-22 11:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs

Burn them, burn!

Links to those two WSJ articles on 'Clinton book fatigue'. 6595266529.html 19282274423965090.html

I remember those days when Edwards/Obama supporters were pinning their hope on those books  to bring down Hillary.

by areyouready 2007-10-22 11:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs

Here is the Clinton campaign's latest response to the Van Natta and Gerth book: 7/10/16/republicans-seize-on-books-alleg ation-of-hillary-clinton-eavesdropping/

Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines refuses to comment on the substance of Van Natta and Gerth's book.

"It's a valiant effort by Jeff Gerth to get his 16th minute of fame, but we don't comment on books that were utter and complete failures, rift with inaccuracies and falsehoods, and rejected by reviewers and readers alike," Reines said.

by hwc 2007-10-22 11:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs

Boy, even a book on the best variations of "Watching Paint Dry" would garner at least 50,000 copies sold if accompanied by the writer hawking his book on C-SPAN, various often-watched shows that are within that realm, etc.   What an unmitigated disaster both of these clunkers have been.    

by georgep 2007-10-22 11:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs

Notice how Bernstein changed his tune between his two book tours.

On the first one, he emphasized all the "dirt" he had uncovered about Hillary.

Two months later, after dreadful sales, he was back flogging the dead horse, but this time emphasizing a wonderfully complex and impressive woman.

by hwc 2007-10-22 12:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs

I noticed that too. I'm still shocked by those dismal numbers.

by areyouready 2007-10-22 12:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs

It's so true that many voters are kind of intrigued and captivated by the idea of the first woman president and seeing this kind of history in their lifetime. I hear this especially from voters who aren't following things that closely and don't even have policy reasons for their choices. Heck, I even occasionally find myself thinking like this, althoguh I think John Edwards would be a far better president. Unlike some progressives though, I don't see Hillary as a disaster -- as long as we elect more progressives to congress and congress steps up and reassumes its role as an equal partner with the executive branch. I think HIllary would find it hard to resist the progressive initiatives favoured by -- sorry, Mitty and Rudy -- a majority of the American voters.

What I predicted three years ago is happening. It's impossible to smear Hillary any more than they already have for the past 15 years without looking like a lunatic. After you've accused her of murdering someone, where do you go without sounding deranged?

by anastasia 2007-10-22 11:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs

The writing in these just keep getting worse and worse.  

by yitbos96bb 2007-10-22 11:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs

No wonder these books are cratering. What else is there to say? The irony of their bashing Hill and Bill and Al so much is that there just isn't anything that surprises or shocks anyone anymore about them. I mean, cookbooks stir much more of a reaction than the 10,000th "Clinton Scandal". And there's nothing new, or they wouldn't spend so much time on the Clinton's time in the White House or Arkansas. And since nothing they have said about them has ever led to even so much as an arrest, there is little practical chance these charges would lead to as much as a speedbump in the Clinton  campaign.

by NewDeal 2007-10-22 11:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs

Well, they have CAT!!! rld/us_and_americas/article2702804.ece

Ouch! Hillary Clinton's softer image is clawed over dumped cat

by areyouready 2007-10-22 11:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs

Hillary spokesman Phil Singer reacts: "We can understand why they're all so angry: as Chris Wallace made clear, Hillary is beating each of them"

by areyouready 2007-10-22 11:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs

BTW, check out Multiple Choice Massachusetts Mitt in the photo of the eight dwarfs. One thing I've noticed about him is that he is always posing. In any group photo, the other dwarfs are talking to each other or at least appearing to be semi-human. Not multiple choice Mitt. He is invariably striking a pose.

I think I'll start calling him Zoolander.

by hwc 2007-10-22 11:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs

I had to check after I read your comment. You know, I think they are all posing--even the ones that appear to be talking. They are posing as talking.

by Sagacity 2007-10-22 12:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs

Question-- Hillary's pollster Penn says women, including Repubs and Indies, will vote for Clinton in droves next fall, thus electing her. But what if the GOP actually nominates a woman for veep? Doesn't that negate his big plan? I assume he has planned for that liklihood?

Romney - Hutchinson?

by kansasview 2007-10-22 11:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs

Hutchinson is about the only option they would have. Olympia Snow and Susan Collins are both pro-choice and in favor of health care for children. That would never do.

I don't know that Hutchinson could be nominated for either Rudy or Romney. She is not against the repeal of Roe v. Wade and is, therefore, viewed as unacceptably "lib-url-al" by Republicans.

Penn is not basing his election strategy on attracting Republican women. He's basing it on the strength of Hillary and Hillary's positions on issues and Hillary's entire campaign in speaking to women voters.

by hwc 2007-10-22 11:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs

If Penn's optimistic (some think realistic) outlook on GOP women voting proves correct, it will lead to an obvious landslide election in our favor.  If they vote the way they usually have voted, Clinton has to still be regarded the strong favorite against any GOPer at this time.   Now, as for GOP women, a lot of the more moderate/centrist GOP women could clearly be won over by Clinton in a general election, so there is probably some truth in what Penn said.

by georgep 2007-10-22 12:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs

I thought Hutchinson was retiring early from her Senate seat b/c she wanted to spend more time with her family in Texas. I know that she adopted a baby a few years ago and possibly wants to devote her full time to caring for her baby. Even if the GOP asked, I don't think that she would accept their pleas to campaign full time in the vice presidential slot. Just don't see a GOP nominee/Hutchinson ticket in the works....

by ademption 2007-10-22 12:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs

I live in Texas. I hear she's going to run for Govenor next term.

by lonnette33 2007-10-22 12:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs

Not in droves. 25% of GOP women can hardly be considered 'in droves'... These are just estimate...

by areyouready 2007-10-22 12:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs

Stephen Colbert is going to ruin Obama's chances in South Carolina.

by sepulvedaj3 2007-10-22 01:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs

well ruin is too strong a word, but dampen his support among college students.

by sepulvedaj3 2007-10-22 01:30PM | 0 recs
If this is their strategy

then Republicans are toast in 2008. Hillary, the presumed nominee, could win with over 400 electoral votes. These guys are insane. The whole bash Hillary crowd looks demented, and they'll turn a lot independents to her. I wouldn't be surprised if eventually a good number of Republican women end up voting for her.

by Christopher Lib 2007-10-22 02:44PM | 0 recs
Re: If this is their strategy

They can't help it. The only political strategy the Republicans know is stoking the flames of hate.

by hwc 2007-10-22 03:53PM | 0 recs


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