It’s deja vu all over again. According to Glenn Thrush & Annie Karni at Politico, Hillary Clinton and her husband former president Bubba Clinton are not happy with the campaign’s messaging and digital strategy and they are ready to clean house. Apparently they have no interest in fixing the most damaging part of Hillary’s campaign, that would be Mrs. Clinton herself.
Apparently Bill and Hillary are still sore from last week’s tie in Iowa, and not happy about their probable loss in New Hampshire. They were going to reevaluate their staff after the first four primaries, “but the Clintons have become increasingly caustic in their criticism of aides and demanded the reassessment sooner.”
The talk of shake-up echoes what happened in 2008 – when Clinton was on the verge of sacking her campaign manager and several top communications officials – before her surprise win here bailed out her beleaguered staff. Over time, however she slowly layered over top officials, essentially hiring old hands – like Hillaryland stalwart Maggie Williams and pollster Geoff Garin – to run the campaign while the previous staff were quietly relegated to subsidiary positions.
According to the report the Clintons are likely to do what they did eight years ago and add layers to the staff without firing anyone. Some blame her poor showing (poor is relative expect for NH she is leading in every state) on the fact the campaign doesn’t have a chief strategist.
“There’s nobody sitting in the middle of this empowered to create a message and implement it,” said one former Obama 2008 aide. “They are kind of rudderless… occasionally Hillary grabs the rudder, but until recently she was not that interested in [working on messaging]… Look, she going to be the nominee, but she’s not going to get any style points and if she isn’t careful she is going to be a wounded nominee. And they better worked this shit out fast because who ever the Republicans pick is going to be 29 times tougher than Bernie.”
The focus of their dissatisfaction in recent days is the campaign’s top pollster and strategist Joel Benenson, whom one Clinton insider described as being “on thin ice,” as the former first couple vented its frustrations about messaging following Clinton’s uncomfortably close 0.25 percent win in last week’s caucuses. Benenson, multiple staffers and operatives say, has been equally frustrated with the Clintons’ habit of tapping a rolling cast of about a dozen outside advisers – who often have the candidate’s ear outside the official channels of communication.
Allow me to suggest a radical thought. I know this is wild but bear with me—Is it at all possible that Hillary’s problem has nothing to do with communications, polling , or even digital strategy? What if the people in the Democratic Party aren’t as stupid as the Clintons think. They may look at Debbie Wasserman Schultz as the typical democrat, but may the rest of the party have an IQ over 12 (please sit down Barbara Boxer I’m not talking about you). And what of these smarter Democrats look at Hillary Clinton and don’t trust her. Maybe they see a woman who when secretary of state played fast and loose with America’s secrets and aren’t willing to give her access to even bigger secrets. Perhaps those smarter Democrats believe Hillary Clinton has been lying about her emails since she first spoke about them at a press conference at the United Nations.
The last ABC News/Washington Post Poll, released the week before the Iowa caucuses suggested that Democrats don’t find Hillary trustworthy.
Rather than change the people in the campaign perhaps it makes sense to change the candidate, don’t believe me believe the smart Democrats who don’t trust Hillary Clinton
Update: David Axelrod agrees, he tweeted
OUCH! That is going to leave a mark.