Napoleon's lesson for Hillary Clinton
by Veteran75, Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 11:48:00 AM EDT
Une armée marche à son estomac - (An Army marches on its stomach)
Napoleon knew that an army's success depends on logistics. However brave and dedicated the soldiers are, if they have no food they cannot march or fight. I studied this analogy early on in my military career, and it applies to the civilian/political world.
Senator Hillary Clinton has spent almost $1 million dollars a day to keep her expensive top-down campaign afloat. She has learned the hard way that she can't ignore a SINGLE contest left on the calendar, but how can she afford to competitively pay for staff in the 10 remaining locations? Her organization in TWO states at once (TX, OH) was barely enough to keep Obama from catching her in what should have been BIG HRC victories.
Andrew Romano makes a good point in his blog:
It's not that money determines electoral outcomes. Obama massively outspent Clinton in Texas and Ohio and still lost the primaries; Clinton will likely win Pennsylvania, Kentucky, West Virginia and Puerto Rico despite the dinero differential. But pecuniary perceptions are important. "If Clinton is perceived to be in financial peril, she becomes a much less attractive investment for donors deciding where to give their money,"writes Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post. "By the same token, if Obama looks like the nominee, he is sure to vacuum up the campaign cash of fence sitters looking for a winner." As the clock ticks down, Clinton will have fewer chances to gain delegates and votes, and Obama will appear more and more inevitable. Wins in Indiana and North Carolina on May 6--hardly a sure thing, but possible--would only accelerate that process. All of which is to say that if Obama "looks like the nominee" at some point before the convention, Clinton's financial intake may flatline. In that case, she probably won't have the rainy-day money necessary to keep fighting (unless it's more of her own). Meaning that it won't matter what Bill has to say. The bank vault will have already spoken.
Hillary may have raised $20 million last month, but how much of that is General Election money from maxed out donors?
How much is left after she pays back all her outstanding debts, including countless cash-strapped schools (including CSUN, and her Illinois High School) that allowed her to hold rallies?
Eventually Mark Penn, Howard Wolfson, Mandy Grunwald, and the thousands of staffers below them will need some food to continue the fight.
I don't see her financial situation getting any better, as most of her donors have reached the legal limit. Obama has millions of small-scale donors that can keep on giving. HRC has connected with enough middle-class voters to keep her alive in some states, but why aren't they passionately supporting her with their checkbooks? That is a question that many undecided Super Delegates are asking.
Senator Obama may not get credit for a knockout. The cold reality of money in politics may disqualify Hillary before the final bell tolls.