Friday, January 04, 2008

Clinton's Manufactured Politics

The surprise of the Iowa caucuses for many in the national media was Hillary Clinton coming in 3rd place. However, Iowans covering the caucuses weren't as surprised for one simple reason: Clinton didn't embrace retail politics.

Iowa is won through face to face interaction with the voters. A candidate must shake hands, hold babies, and, most importantly, answer people's questions. Clinton rarely took questions at her events, and when she did there were planted questions by her own campaign and she accused legit questions as being plants from other campaigns.

Clinton's campaign was cautious and the result was a campaign that seemed manufactured. John Deeth wrote that Clinton understood the surface, not the spirit, of the caucuses.

Clinton kept errors to a minimum but failed to capture the spontaneous spirit of the caucuses.
This left people asking how well do you really know Sen. Clinton? Last night showed that Iowans did not know Hillary Clinton very well.

This all played out last night with Clinton's 3rd place finish, even thought it was by less than one percentage point. The national media finally observed Clinton's manufactured politics right before Clinton's speech, where Andrea Mitchell observed...
This room was, until about five or six minutes ago, completely empty. This is a manufactured 'celebration.' It really felt more like a funeral as people started strolling in from upstairs where they had obviously been gathered. This is unlike anything that I've ever seen, a completely empty, dirge-like event.

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