Earlier this week after watching Hillary vilify the President of the United States while speaking in front of a podium covered by a placard reading “Solutions for America,” I wondered if that placard represented the campaign she wanted to have run. Instead of being on the warpath attacking, she attend forums offering solutions.
It seems (to me at least) she had planned on emerging as the Democratic frontrunner with a clear and unimpeded path to the nomination by SuperDuperTuesday at which point, she’d run the kind of campaign John McCain is now running, holding townhall meetings across the country. But, she would begin each of these meetings offering specific policy proposals, her “solutions,” perhaps even introducing bills in the Senate to enact those proposals into law.
These meetings would serve to help her overcome her high negatives, showing that instead of being a shrill partisan, eager to attack her adversaries, she was instead a thoughtful legislator with ideas to improve America.
Given how poll-driven the Clinton campaigns have been, her team must be aware that her negatives have long hovered in the mid to high 40s. Knowing how politically damaging such numbers can be, they must have spent a great deal of time developing strategies to reduce them.
My theory is that the “Solutions for America” campaign is one such strategy.
But, Obama’s victories in February dashed the plans they had so carefully laid last fall when they assumed a Clinton “coronation” in the Democratic primaries and cauci.
Instead of running as the leader above the fray, announcing her agenda in anticipation of her election, Hillary has been forced to get into the down-and-dirty of politics, attacking her opponent and engaging in tactics which have defined her husband’s political career.
As a result, instead of reducing her negatives, the campaign for the Democratic nomination has solidified them. Indeed, it seems to have increased them in some circles as shown in this piece by a man who only last month was “elected a Clinton delegate in the neighborhood-level caucuses” in Washington State.
It seems the reality of the 2008 election has foiled yet another Clinton plan.