Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Thoughts on THE press conference

1. This was about control. It was always only ever about control. Everybody in the politics and journalism universe knows that, understands that, and also understands that the rules of the game keep Hillary Clinton from ever saying that.

2. Republicans will over-reach. They always do with the Clintons.

3. The media will beat this into the ground, too, because it's their Right To Know prerogatives that are being tread on. But they will ultimately fail because:

4. The non-Politicojournalism universe doesn't care. They will lump this under the category They're All Crooks Anyway. Usually, when Real People make that assumption,  they're more wrong than they can even imagine. But in this case there's a seed of truth: there's ALWAYS a way to communicate back-channel. This is a difference only in degree, not in kind.

5. This will not define Hillary Clinton. You get defined by their opponent, you lose. Just ask President Romney and Senator Braley. But Hillary, a member of the First Name Only Level Of Fame Club, is the most "defined" non-incumbent candidate since at least Ike (the Nickname Only Level Of Fame). Which also means:

6. This will not sway one vote. 2016, on both sides, will be about base turnout, and the slim handful of remaining true swing voters (5% or less) will be swayed by a last minute event or will sit it out (especially likely if it's a Clinton-Bush race.)  No one is going to switch from Hillary Clinton to Scott Walker or Jeb Bush over this.

As for the primary, the loyalists will dig in. The Democratic renegades wishing for a Warren or a Sanders are already there, all they need is a candidate. But in the end, they'll vote for the Democratic nominee. Ralph Nader and the coin landing on its edge electoral math of 2000 set the cause of a Left Party back at least a lifetime. Something that I'm sure annoys Bernie Sanders to no end.

7. The race I'm truly scared of in my college town is Clinton-Paul. A Democrat needs 65% in Johnson County to win Iowa, and while Hillary vs. Walker could inch close to Obama's 2008 70%, she'll have trouble breaking 60 against someone perceived as anti-war and pro-weed.

8. The media insanity at the UN today is just a taste of what will happen once she actually announces, and makes it that much less likely that Clinton will do, or even be able to do, the kind of real, interactive events that are expected in Iowa and New Hampshire.

9. The recent announcement that she's staffing up in Iowa, and hopes to put the nomination to rest in the first contest, is a good sign. But Iowans don't want to see staffers. (Staffers ask you to do actual work.) The expectation in Iowa, built over 40 years by dozens of candidates of both parties, is Quality Time.

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