Skip to comments.Clinton seeks to cast herself as underdog vs Obama
Posted on 02/11/2008 1:50:40 AM PST by dennisw
Sen. Hillary Clinton, viewed last year as virtually unstoppable in her bid to become the U.S. Democratic presidential nominee, is now seeking to portray herself as the underdog against rival Sen. Barack Obama.
The Clinton campaign has labeled the Illinois senator the "establishment" candidate as she tries to wrest from him the message of a vow to bring change to Washington.
But political analysts saw some irony in the New York senator's effort to seek the status of a challenger to the establishment, given that she has been a household name since her husband, Bill Clinton, ran for president in 1992.
On the day after the February 5 "Super Tuesday" nominating contests where the two Democrats fought to a draw, Clinton aides said the former first lady had faced an uphill battle in some states because of Obama's fundraising prowess and the slew of high-profile endorsements he had racked up.
"Senator Obama, really in the last couple of weeks ran an establishment campaign based on endorsements while he's saying that he was in fact a change candidate," said Clinton campaign strategist Mark Penn, listing the endorsement of Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy, a senior figure in the party, as one of several advantages Obama had.
Clinton, 60, who would be the first woman U.S. president, also made the point on the campaign trail in Maine on Saturday. "He has increasingly relied on big endorsements and celebrities to sort of attach himself to, to get the kind of validation that comes from that sort of endorsement," she said.
Later, Obama cruised to decisive wins in Louisiana, Nebraska and Washington state to gain momentum in a deadlocked, state-by-state fight with Clinton for the nomination to take on the Republican nominee in November's election.
His campaign scoffed at the notion that Obama, who would be the first black U.S. president, was an establishment candidate, saying he had grass-roots support and much of his campaign cash has come from small donors who have flocked to his Web site.
"The Clinton campaign spin doesn't change the fact that people have chosen Barack Obama in more states because he will actually bring an end to the conventional thinking in Washington unlike his opponent," said Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
While Obama has outpaced Clinton in fundraising in the first few weeks of this year, she edged out Obama in 2007. Both candidates are raising record-breaking amounts of cash.
Neither candidate has lacked for support from celebrities. The hugely popular talk show host Oprah Winfrey and Caroline Kennedy, daughter of slain President John F. Kennedy, have campaigned for the Illinois senator. Luminaries like singer Barbra Streisand and filmmaker Rob Reiner have been strong Clinton supporters.
Calvin Jillson, political analyst at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, said Clinton is "very clearly the establishment candidate ... and will not be able to shed the label of the establishment candidate."
Obama, 46, burst onto the national stage as an Illinois state legislator four years ago with a rip-roaring speech at the Democratic Party convention. Since then, he has portrayed himself as someone who could bring a new kind of politics to Washington that would bridge racial and partisan divides.
But Clinton has seized on the "change" message and insists her years of political experience would better equip her to transform the way things are done in Washington.
Still, the attempt to label Obama as a candidate of the status quo may not make a dent in his support, said Terry Madonna, political analyst at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. "I don't think that's going to dissuade the crowds of 10,000-15,000 people from showing up at Obama's rallies," Madonna said.
At Clinton's campaign events, the idea of her as an "anti-establishment" candidate drew puzzled looks from voters, many of whom admire her seasoning and exposure in Washington.
"It seems to me that she is the one who is more established," said Penny Nutting, a 53-year-old teacher who attended a rally for Clinton in Lewiston, Maine.
Lois Pollis, 50, dismissed as just "more politics" the discussion of who in the race represented the establishment.
"I don't know that either one of them is an underdog," Pollis said. But Clinton has a reputation as a fighter who has taken hits and knows how to come back swinging, and that resonates with some voters, in particular women, she said.
Clinton's surprise victory in the New Hampshire primary was a case in point. "The media had her down and out and women got angry and came out to support her," Pollis said.
Time to cry, Hil. Those big bad men have the utter nerve to get votes, the sexists.
It is all one big show, just like the stories that she was broke. She has this firmly under control.
Damaging news for Obama to follow every news cycle, at the begining, these won’t wait till Friday afternoon.
An oligarchy of learning, where the educated govern the ignorant, or even an oligarchy of race, where the Saxon rules the African, might be endured; but this oligarchy of sex, which makes father, brothers, husband, sons, the oligarchs over the mother and sisters, the wife and daughters, of every household--which ordains all men sovereigns, all women subjects--carries dissension, discord, and rebellion into every home of the nation.
She has nothing under control.
The Clintons expected her to win in a cake walk and by now to have the nomination wrapped up. Not the way they had planned at this point.
They thought they had the whole party in their back pocket. Now they rely on the party superdelegates to assure her getting the nod. Even that is falling apart as Obamma is asking those delegates how would it appear if they went against their constituants votes?
She is disliked anhd distrusted by a majority of Americans and Obamma is seen as hope for the future.
If Obamma wins the delegate count going in ot the convention and the party then hands the nomination to the beast folks will stay home in droves.
Under control? Not hardly.
It worked so well for Al.
Just like releasing the dirt on Obama's kindergarten conspiracy to win the presidency did.............
Need I put on the /sarcasm?
Underdog? No, just a low bitch.
Notice how the Hil is obsessed with Obama. She is seething with anger because She thinks that She is entitled to the presidency.
Hillary is a charmless,uncharismatic and just plain unpleasant woman.The cameras hate her and microphones like her even less.
Unless she utterly destroys Obama she can’t win the nomination.By treating her respectfully,Barack has robbed Hillary of her only effective attack—being a victim.
If she does get the nomination,McCain will wipe her out by acting the gentleman as well—if he can.
Look for Hillary to burst into tears during the debates over the most innocuous remark by McCain.
Everything this woman does is calculated. The same can’t be said for Buba.
What happened to that “thirty-five years of working for the American people” that she was claiming last month?
The woman is running a ridiculous campaign. Only really stupid elderly white women will stick with this incompetent candidate.