Is it too early to ask – “Where did it all go wrong?”

Is it too early to ask – “Where did it all go wrong?”

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    Why are the Hillary campaign obituaries already starting?

With the five week gap in the White House race primary calendar we haven’t spent much time recently looking at what’s happening with the Clinton-Obama contest. This will change in the next few days as the spotlight focuses on the crucial Pennsylvania contest on April 22nd. Here Hillary has to win and win big if she is to have any hope of staying in contention.

Meanwhile there’s a new trend in parts of the US media that should be worrying the Clinton camp – people are asking “how did it all go wrong?” There’s a long piece in Politico from David Paul Kuhn and Jim VandeHei which is being syndicated widely under the heading “The Clinton leadership a study in missteps”.

This is how it starts: “Hillary Rodham Clinton wants voters to decide the nomination based on who can coolly and competently run the country. She had better hope they don’t study her recent campaign too closely for the answer..

Clinton has overseen two major staff shake-ups in two months. She has left a trail of unpaid bills and unhappy vendors and had to loan her own campaign $5 million to keep it afloat in January. Her campaign badly underestimated her main adversary, Barack Obama, miscalculated the importance of organizing caucus states and was caught flat-footed after failing to lock up the nomination on Super Tuesday.

It would be easy to dismiss all of this as fairly conventional political stumbling — if she hadn’t made her supreme readiness and managerial competence the central issue of her presidential campaign…

It goes on to examine the conduct of both campaigns and concludes: “… a fair measurement of the candidates’ leadership skills is their management of their campaign. Easily the largest enterprise they have run in their lives — in February alone, Obama had 1,280 paid employees, at a cost of $2.61 million; Clinton had 935 employees and a monthly payroll of $1.63 million — the campaign reveals flaws and strengths that will only be magnified in the Oval Office.”

The fight for super-delegates continues and the latest count puts Obama just thirty behind – a very different picture from what it was like in the immediate aftermath of “Super Tuesday” in early February.

In the betting the mood has moved further and further away from the former First Lady. Click on the panel below for further information in our new enhanced betting feature.


Mike Smithson

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