Hillary’s Caucus Cold Shoulder Hurt Her?

WaPo’s Dan Balz comes up with the “Gee really?” headline of the day: “Clinton Camp May Regret Largely Turning Its Back on Caucus States“.

Coming from a campaign that is now saying that every delegate counts, that strategy is significantly opposed to the old Clinton strategy: lower expectations in states not expected to win, and try and make it up on the bigger states.  Of course, while she was playing this, Obama was running a fifty state strategy (or more accurately forty-eight state strategy), and in all those unimportant caucus states, Obama was collecting delegates that were there for the taking.

This has resulted in a pledged delegate lead for Obama in the triple digits depending on which count you go by; a lead that is going to be increasingly difficult to overcome as more contests go by.

So I don’t think there’s any question as to whether the Clinton campaign regrets not trying in the caucus states.  The closer an election is, the more factors there seemto be that could have meant the difference between a win or a loss.  If Obama manages to hold on to his delegate lead and win the nomination, the cold shoulder Clinton showed the caucus states alone could have meant that difference.  Indeed, if she had managed to pluck just a couple more delegates from each state, Obama may still have been in the lead, but the general narrative of the race might be different.

But this says something else about the Clinton campaign, and Mrs. Clinton herself.

The term “flyover states” is not one of endearment,but instead a constant reminder that politicians only seem to care about you when they need you for something, not the other way around.  Just like Bush tried to, in the minds of Americans, separate Massachusetts from America in the 2004 campaign (Note the indignance of liberals and people from Massachusetts when he turned the state itself as an attack against Kerry), Clinton has done everything she could to mitigate reduce the significance not just Obama’s performance in these states, but the states themselves.

That opinion only seemed to change when it became apparent that the big states alone would not be enough to carry Clinton to victory.

There’s a lot to be said for the fifty state strategy, and indeed, it was Howard Dean’s approach to such a thing that helped usher him to the position of DNC Chairman.  But one thing treating each state as a significant entity unto its own is that you don’t send a clear message that they don’t really count.

One Response to “Hillary’s Caucus Cold Shoulder Hurt Her?”

  1. alex says:

    I really enjoy reading your blog, it always has great insight. But I am very frustrated with the media’s lack of questions to the presidential candidates about global warming. Now that it is down to just a few candidates I would think that this would be an issue.

    Live Earth just picked up this topic and put out an article ( http://www.liveearth.org/news.php ) live earth is also asking why the presidential candidates are not being solicited for their stance on the issue of the climate change. I just saw a poll on http://www.EarthLab.com that says people care a lot about what their next leader thinks of global warming. Does anyone know of another poll or other results about this subject?

    Here is the page where I saw the EarthLab poll: http://www.earthlab.com/life.aspx. This is a pretty legit website; they are endorsed by Al Gore and the alliance for climate protection and they have a carbon footprint calculator. Does anyone have a strong opinion about this like I do? No matter what your political affiliation is or who you vote for this is an important issue for our environment, our economy and for homeland security.

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