Throwing a Hail Mary at Halftime — Part II

Politico’s Ben Smith blogs today about the Obama campaign trying on inevitability for size following its candidate’s recent triumphs and subsequent slight edge in delegate counts.

Smith quotes the conference-calling campaign manager David Plouffe:

“The only way (Clinton) could do it is by winning most of the rest of the contests by 25 to 30 points,” he said. “Even the most creative math really does not get her, ever, back to even in terms of pledged delegates.”

Well, then. Validity of the claim aside, I’m surprised and intrigued by the position. Did a double-take, in fact. It’s bold and takes the offensive, yes, but it also strikes me as just the kind of thing opposing coaches like to post to locker room bulletin boards as a galvanizer before the team takes the field.  And inevitability hasn’t exactly been the friend of candidates in either party so far.

A week or so ago, I posted about what I saw as a Clinton positioning overreach. So, fair play. What do you think, Crowd? If you’d been asked for your recommendation on this trial balloon at this stage of the game, would you have said “Launch It” or “Lose It”?  I believe I’d have been inclined toward the latter.

— Hornseth how to make an invoice kind

4 thoughts on “Throwing a Hail Mary at Halftime — Part II

  1. jloveland says:

    Two factors, I’m guessing.

    First, super delegates. I’m not an expert in contested presidential nominations, since there hasn’t been one in my lifetime. But I imagine their theory now is that they need to make a case to the super-delegates. Since many super delegates are either a) bandwagoners who only care about being associated with the winner or b) are small-d democrats who want to back “the choice of the voters,” who is winning and will win matters in the superdelegate conversations.

    Second, fundraising. They are trying to dry up Senator Clinton’s donor base so she can’t compete in the remaining big, expensive states. Few like to invest in a campaign that looks like a lost cause, so making the inevitability case is an attempt to cut off the supply lines.

    But you’re very astute, it does have message framing implications. Democrats do like underdogs, and it’s tricky to make the inevitable case without looking arrogant, condescending, and establishmeht. The last brand attribute is particularly counter to the brand Obama is trying to build. Interesting balancing act they are attempting.

  2. Frank Luntz says:

    It sounds like the rats inside the Clinton campaign are gnawing on each other as the ship goes down. There’s no way she’ll be the nominee.

    DC’s elite, Hollywood, college students, even white women have all turned against her. It’s over.

  3. Dennis Lang says:

    Right, isn’t anyone troubled by this development? Oddly “cult of personality” keeps blinking on and off in my feeble brain. I’m hoping the Obama campaign hasn’t become “American Idle” going politico. When asked to comment on the current scene last week, former presidential advisor Joe Califano recalled the Kennedy campaign: charismatic, eloquent, inspiring candidate, who failed to achieve any significant policy change. It took LBJ who lacked all those qualities but was the master politician and manipulator of the prevailing bureaucracy to implement change.

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