I cringed when her chief strategist and my polling colleague, Mark Penn, wrote a 350-page memo several months ago declaring her to be inevitable as the next President of the United States. It was the wrong message for a number of reasons.And now she has come in third. What can she do now? It seems she's already tried everything. After getting dirty with the insinuations about drugs and religion and after using her husband the ex-President as much as he could be used, she faces an opponent who has never gone negative and has acquired a new and powerful aura. We've already seen every possible permutation of Hillary, haven't we?
First, it raised expectations way too high, so she was left running against herself and, secondly, it sounded horribly arrogant, which I still think it was. Number three, it misunderstood—then and now—the genuine anger that voters feel and their willingness to take it out on some of the best-known candidates. Finally, one thing I know about Iowa voters is that they don't like to be told whom they're going to vote for. It is not over, but let me restate here what I've been suggesting in columns, speeches, and media appearances for a couple of months—Sen. Clinton could come in third in Iowa. Thus, arguably the best-known presidential candidate in American history has a ceiling of 25% to 29% in Iowa. Not likely to bring those numbers up, she has tried to go negative at Obama to bring his numbers down. It seems to be backfiring on her.
January 4, 2008
Here's something pollster John Zogby said back on December 14th: