Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Chin Up, Hill. It Ain't Over.





Amy Holmes
360 Contributor


Hillary is expected to lose tonight, possibly by double digits. Meanwhile, at least one top Clinton fundraiser expects major shake-ups in the campaign in the wake of tonight's expected results. (More on that later.)

That may delight political reporters who love blood in the water, but I would caution the Senator that a round of immediate blood letting runs the risk of reinforcing the perception of her as vindictive and ruthless. Instead, unless tonight is close, Hillary should take a deep breath, show some humility and...


1. Show sportsmanship. Like the political athlete she is, she needs to walk up to the net, shake hands and congratulate her opponent. Tonight is an opportunity to show class and grace, admittedly not Clinton strong suits, which she failed to do after Iowa. No spinning, cynical political analysis, or diminishing the results and the efforts of volunteers and supporters who worked hard to deliver a win. Put a hold on those negative ads until after the weekend. Hillary is touting her strength and experience. A strong leader accepts defeat graciously, and...

2. Rallies her team. She needs to remind her supporters, the press, and possibly herself, that there are still 48 states to go. A show of energy, enthusiasm, and optimism (careful -- no Dean screaming), will help reassure her team that she is steady and in charge. As will...

3. Private discussions with her funders and supporters on her plan to win. The Clintons have been in tough spots before. Now is no time to go wobbly. She needs to reassure her supporters that she has the strategy and the will to go the distance.

4. And as hard as it may be for the War Room warrior, Hillary needs to take a pause and enjoy herself out there. Up to now, her campaign has been a joyless grind. Forget the tedious Q and A's. Hillary needs to go back to her well of support, drink deeply, and rejuvenate.

I could add that she should cut her losses in South Carolina. Throw some classic Clinton barbecues, pay respect and pay attention, but focus on the states she can win.

But first she has tonight, and an opportunity to show the human side of her that peeked through yesterday to everyone's great surprise. Grace and humility. Now that would be a real change.
Posted By CNN: 10:27 AM ET
  11 Comments
Amy:

Nice post! If Hillary is really a leader she will show her skills now and will hire a leadership consultant immediately.

I hate to be cynical but I feel she is going to fail miserably in Florida if the campaign does not change.

Let's face it many people don't vote in primary races and as far as stirring up any independents in Florida, it's not going to happen. Independents can't vote in primary elections in Florida for presidential races.
It looks downhill for Hill to me.

Meanwhile, I just can not believe the number of Ron Paul young people working events here in Florida. They are smart, bright young people who are calling knocking on houses and businesses. They are engaged in the process! Look at them last night on AC 360! They were right out there near the cameras!

@ The Young Voters on this Blog:

I was reading some of the posts and comments a few days ago and several of you revealed the fact that you are 18 years old and this would be your first election.

I want to tell you how proud I am to each and every one of you for registering to vote and getting out there and researching the candidates.

I would encourage each and every one of you to work on a campaign at the local, state and/or national level. It is a lot of fun and you get to meet some of the most interesting and well traveled people.

As Americans we need to remember that our young people represent 1/3 of our nation's population and 100% of our future.

(And, yes, young bloggers, I could be your Mom or your boss or your professor. A very cool and hip one too boot! I really enjoy my volunteer work with young people. So get out there and support a position, a candidate or a cause. It is much more than blogging. It is doing something to make a change!)
Posted By Anonymous Renee : 11:21 AM ET
Amy,
I'm with you I'm not counting Hillary out yet. I think that Obama is just riding this wave for now that is taking him past her. But I'm banking on that wave to crash soon. Once people start bringing up his true record and people actually get a sense of what he stands for things will slow for him. Because as of now noone truely knows where he stands because he doesn't discuss it much. Plus his "change" that he is always talking about needs to be defined! If he can't say how he plans to make that change many will see that he is just all talk with no real plan.

I think Hillary should just step back, take a deep breath and ride it out. Like you said there are ALOT more states to go. He doesn't have the keys to the White House just yet!

Cynthia, Covington, Ga.
Posted By Blogger Cindy : 11:44 AM ET
you go Amy !

After all if Obama had listened to all the "Hillary can't be stopped talk" she would not be in the "situation" she finds herself in. I love how almost overnight (three days tops) she went from unbeatable to why is she running at all. It is way too early for her to throw in the towel.

If Mike Huckabee comes in 3rd or 4th in New Hampshire he should quit too huh!?

Marcy
Mobile, AL
Posted By Blogger beaslma : 12:28 PM ET
Whatever Hillary does, she shouldn't cry.

Did Golda Meir ever cry? What about Margaret Thatcher? Or Corazon Aquino, Indira Gandhi, Angela Merkel and Benazir Bhutto? Some of these formidable female leaders faced far greater pressures (like constant death threats) that Hillary appears to have and they NEVER cracked.

If Senator Clinton expects to be the next Leader of the Free World, she needs to comport herself accordingly.
Posted By Anonymous Javier, Los Angeles : 2:42 PM ET
I have real empathy for the situation Hillary finds herself in. She has had to be strong to participate in the old boys' club of the US Senate. Then she's accused of being cold and calculating and worse. If she shows emotion some say she is too weak to be president. There is definitely a double standard going on and it's very unfair! Some older women don't support her because they think women should be home baking cookies. Some younger women don't support her because they don't remember the time when women *had* to be home baking cookies. If CNN commentators say anything kind about Hillary, it's called the Clinton News Network, so some commentators go out of their way to criticize her.Whether Hillary wins or not, she's a trailblazer for whom I have enormous respect. My only advice to her would be to hang in there and be herself.
Posted By Blogger Barbara in Culver City, CA : 3:12 PM ET
Hillary has given a lot of time and energy to this- but that doesn't mean we should be obligated to make her president. And we definitely shouldn't feel that because Bill is a pop icon that it somehow would factor into her Presidency. No more dynasties!
Posted By Anonymous diane - providence ri : 3:18 PM ET
The only advice I can give Hillary Clinton is to stop mentioning her "35 years" of experience and change. People want change and that only signifies deep rooted status quo. She keeps mentioning 35 years of experience and change but what experience and what change. Maybe if she elaborates a little more on what exactly she has done instead of what her competitors haven't done along with exactly what experience, people will start listening.
Posted By Anonymous Lisa : 4:43 PM ET
I don't like Hillary's politics, but I feel for her. She shows emotion, she's a wimp. She doesn't show emotion, she's a ....(well you get the idea). She was in 2nd place the last time I checked. And two states don't win an election. I just wish the men in these primaries were under the same microscope she is. Really, it's not fair to her as a person or a candidate who is just as entitled to a run for president as anyone else out there. She really does need to lose the Bill and Hillary routine, though, and just be herself. I'd actually like to see who that Hillary really is. She might be worth voting for down the line.
Posted By Anonymous Tammy, Berwick, LA : 7:54 PM ET
Amy/AC360:
Yes, it is a feeding frenzy with the "blood in the water." It seems like news networks have to declare a winner before any other network; if the network is somehow wrong with the announcements of winners, it was just a projection. It is quite a roller coaster ride for viewers.

As I watch CNN for results, the race is not over until it is over. The campaign strategies will be analyzed to death tomorrow.

But one has to admit, the element of surprise is what makes this election season so juicy to watch.
Posted By Blogger Sharon from Indy : 8:36 PM ET
Hillary showed a softer gentler side yesterday. I still think she is the toughest of the Democratic candidates. She needs to rise above the chatter and live to fight another day. Each candidate needs to campaign with grace and dignity, not just Hillary. A little bit of humble goes a long way!
Posted By Anonymous Kathy Chicago,Il : 9:24 PM ET
Good call, Amy. Here are a few post-victory thoughts:

First of all, lose the welling up of the eyes Hillary. This is not the way to go. It only serves to fuel the perception that when the going gets tough, women - even the tough ones - get weepy.

There are plenty of other ways Hillary can show she's human. Like smiling a real smile once in a while or talking to her audience instead of at them. People respond not only to what someone says but how they say it (big Bill/Ronnie/ JFK asset). A little humor wouldn't hurt either. In other words lighten up Hillary. You're smart, well-intentioned and we respect you but we'd really like to like you more so lose the schoolmarm thing.

In light of New Hampshire Hillary should run not walk to Southern California. People out there love a winner, especially an underdog winner (see "Rocky" and "Seabiscut", et al.). Strike while the iron is hot Hillary and hightail it to all those supporters of yours who are poised to jump ship (with their checkbooks).

Lastly, call me crazy Hillary but it wouldn't hurt to have an olive branch handy. Granted it's a bit early but a few more primary wins and who knows what a certain opponent might be open to. It'd be a win-win situation for everyone. You'd get his constituency and 8 years in the White House and he'd get a possible 16 years in the neighborhood.
Posted By Anonymous JGR : 3:21 AM ET
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