Obama strategist David Plouffe released a memo last week arguing that Hillary Clinton's advantages were essentially those of incumbency, that her support was thin, and that Obama should actually be considered the front-runner.Did the quotes around "inevitable" confuse Drudge, is he just entranced by the strength of Politico's powers of inference, or does he really want to hurt Hillary? The full Penn memo appears on Politico, so there is no confusion there. You can see that Penn never uses the word, and that Politico is using quotes the way you do when you want to refer to, for example, the word "word." [UPDATE: Drudge has now removed the quotes and put the word in italics.]
Mark Penn, Clinton's chief strategist, responded today with a memo that seemed designed to bludgeon all opposition into senselessness through the sheer power of numbers (links to 40 polls showing Hillary in the lead!)
Penn strongly implies another i-word is the best description of Hillary -- not "incumbent," but "inevitable."
The presentation on Drudge completely makes it look as through the Clinton camp is saying "inevitable," and that sounds incredibly arrogant. She's proclaiming that resistance is futile. It resonates with the negative image of Hillary Clinton as power-mad and controlling -- exactly the image we saw here:
[ADDED: And look at the picture Drudge is running:
Yikes! Scarily authoritarian. [IN THE COMMENTS: Palladian says, "That tiny, scary hand!"]]
Let's check the tone of Penn's memo:
....Hillary’s electoral strength has grown in the last quarter... Voters yearn for change and they say that Hillary has the strength and experience to actually bring about that change. Hillary’s message: that her strength and experience will bring real change that America needs, is resonating strongly with voters.Let's see. Strength... strength... strength... strongly... I'm strongly getting the impression that you want me to strongly think that Hillary is strong -- strongly strong -- and experienced.
... So far the debates have been the key moments where the voters get to see all the candidates side by side and they have shown just how ready Hillary is to be president and how she has the strength and experience to make change happen.I'm beginning to get it. She's has strength and experience ... for change.
There will be another debate every month from now until the end of the year, and each debate provides Hillary with another opportunity to demonstrate her experience, talk about her record on the issues, and show voters why she is the person best qualified to be president.So you say she has experience?
The reason for Hillary’s growing support is that voters want change, and they know that only Hillary has the record of fighting for the kind of change they want, and the experience to execute it.Let me get this straight. Are you trying to say she has experience? And is there some sort of theory that the people want change?
Anyway, the memo is full of polling data that amply supports Politico's interpretation of the idea Penn is trying to plant in your head, but "inevitable" is not the campaign's own word, and thinking that it is hurts Hillary.