Skip to comments.Hillary Clinton's campaign plunged into crisis
Posted on 02/10/2008 3:47:26 PM PST by TornadoAlley3
Top aide Patti Solis Doyle quits and strategy of banking on big wins in March is high-risk, reports Toby Harnden
Hillary Clinton's campaign, in deep trouble following a weekend of heavy losses, lurched into a full crisis Sunday night after her campaign manager and long-time friend stepped down.
Patti Solis Doyle, the first aide Mrs Clinton hired back in 1991, was replaced by another long-time aide, Maggie Williams.
"I have been proud to manage this campaign and prouder still to call Hillary my friend for more than 16 years," Ms Solis Doyle wrote in an email to staff.
In a statement, Mrs Clinton praised Ms Solis Doyle's "extraordinary job" and "outstanding work". Mrs Williams was chief of staff to Mrs Clinton when she was First Lady.
Mrs Clinton's camp was already braced for a string of defeats in the six states still to vote in the Democratic race this month after suffering three landslide losses to Barack Obama at the weekend.
Although she was still in with a good chance in Maine caucuses that were held last night, Mrs Clinton appeared to be turning to the risky strategy of sitting out contests in smaller states and hoping for salvation next month when Democrats vote in the major Texas and Ohio primaries on March 4.
Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor, gambled everything on the "big prize" of Florida, conceding that he would lose the six states before that.
But he crashed out in Florida and dropped out of the Republican race. Few expect Mr Obama to score a knockout blow before March but waiting until later for big wins could be very risky for Mrs Clinton.
The young Illinois senator swept the board in Saturday's votes, winning by 37 percentage points in Washington, 36 points in Nebraska and 21 points in Louisiana. He also scored a lopsided victory in the US Virgin Islands in a performance that stunned the Clinton campaign.
Mr Obama had been expected to do well but the margins of his victories gave him an important boost before "Chesapeake Tuesday" tomorrow, when Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC vote.
Extending his string of wins could help him build powerful momentum for the nomination. "Hillary Clinton is playing the Rudy Giuliani strategy and we've learned that it doesn't work," said Frank Luntz, a leading pollster.
"Voters expect you to woo them. Skipping over states will provoke their ire. There's a real issue of respect in this race, you have a responsibility to try everywhere.
"Obama's busting his ass to compete in every state. That's what you expect from the front-runner, not the challenger. Hers is now a strategy of desperation."
Mrs Clinton looked chastened but defiant as she spoke at the Jefferson-Jackson Democratic dinner in Richmond, Virginia, as the results came in and omitted to congratulate the night's victor.
There were chants of "Obama, Obama" as she briefly mingled with the crowd before leaving as her victorious rival entered the room to an exultant welcome.
Her supporters were shocked by her defeats. Alma Ivey-Mathis, 65, a retired technology specialist from Moneta, Virginia, said: "I'm just crushed but I haven't given up. Hillary's still got a chance."
Underlining Mr Obama's effective status as front-runner, President George W Bush made his first detailed public comments about his would-be successor Sunday.
"I certainly don't know what he believes in," Mr Bush said in a Fox News interview. "The only thing I remember he said was he's going to attack Pakistan and embrace Ahmadinejad [Iran's president]."
Bill Burton, a spokesman for Mr Obama, said the Democratic candidate "doesn't need any foreign policy advice from the architect of the worst foreign policy decision in a generation".
In a memo released just before Saturday's results, the Clinton campaign said: "Although the next several states that hold nominating contests this month are more favourable to the Obama campaign, we will continue to compete in them and hope to secure as many delegates as we can before the race turns to Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania."
Those three states, culminating with Pennsylvania on April 22, carry 492 delegates, while there are 367 at stake in the 10 contests before them, including the 21 in last night's Maine caucuses.
Mr Obama's aides estimated that his wins would give him an additional 45 "pledged" delegates to the 27 he led by after Super Tuesday last week, when 22 states voted and Mr Obama eked out a wafer-thin victory.
Mrs Clinton has a theoretical overall lead if committed "super delegates" are taken into account but most Democratic officials believe these will swing behind whichever candidate emerges with a clear lead among pledged delegates.
Part of Mrs Clinton's problem is that her finances are now more limited than Mr Obama's. Television advertising in the major media markets of Texas and Ohio is expensive and Mr Obama's grassroots organising has thus far proved much more effective.
The loss in Washington state was a particular slap in the face for Mrs Clinton.
She held three rallies there in the 24 hours before voting compared with Mr Obama's single event, though it dwarfed hers by attracting a record crowd of some 21,000.
Opinion polls have given Mr Obama a 20-point advantage in Virginia and Maryland and he is also favoured in the District of Columbia.
I think you nailed it; hillery canned the previous campaign manager for being a loser. As for the successor, she didn’t look any farther than skin color. Maybe gender, too, but selecting a black woman says it’s pretty clear where hillery is coming from.
I think she’s desperate and on the ropes. Osama is on a roll.
With Hillary replacing her campaign manager with Maggie Williams, it may send a signal that she has the Latino vote locked up, they need more black support, and most importantly, Hillary needs a trusted advisor in place to once again help sanitize upcoming Clinton problems.
Or it may mean the much anticipated dead bodies of close associates (spelled arkancides) are soon to be discovered!
Unlike in 2000, the votes of the people won’t matter to the Dems.
“Selected, not elected” may come back to bite them.
Great piece of reportorial projection, huh? Kinda makes you wonder how that differentiates from looking dyspeptic. Maybe it's dyspeptic without the bicarb.
Hillary is in deep trouble. She is going to lose all the Feb 12th races. It is going to be a hard couple of weeks for the Clinton campaign. She’ll have to recover by taking Texas or Ohio or she is going to be past the point of no return. I’m sure the Clintons will try something to knock Obama out but I imagine it will backfire as their attempts have so far.
Looks like all of us who haven’t voted yet in the primaries better vote for Hillary. She will be easier to beat in the general election, I think.
I wonder if anyone whom works on Hillary’s campaign will see their next birthdays after these failures!
I’ve been wondering what kind of sandwich she’ll make me after this is all over. I don’t know if I want to find out.
As we speak, the MSM is backstage, busily trying to squeeze her into an old Joan of Arc costume.
We can beat Hillary but I don’t think we can beat Obama.
Isn’t she the one who ordered the clearing of Vince Foster’s office before any LEO got a chance to check it out following Foster’s Ft. Marcy Park misadventure?
Maybe then she’ll go back into the kitchen where she belongs.
Ew! No! I am a woman who loves to be in the kitchen, and I don’t want Hitlery in there with me.
BTW, please don’t look down on us homemakers.
This is the same Maggie Williams who was up to her neck in Monica-gate and obstruction of justice. She lied like a dog in front of the grand jury, saying she couldn’t remember anything.
Hillary wrote Williams a check for $37,500 from her campaign funds after that testimony. Someone ratted her out, and she said it was “a mistake”...that Williams should have just received $5,000 for “travel expenses.”
Wow...I can’t believe Hillary is so stupid as to bring all these unpleasant memories back to life by appointing Maggie Williams to this post. She is really not smart enough to be President.
I love the smell of napalm in the morning ... or evening.
This drama queen stuff is a cheap attempt to maintain the Witch’s strength among female voters.
I wouldn't do that. Hillary did brag about her culinary skills though.
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