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Unfriendly Skies for Clinton in Iowa

MASON CITY, Iowa--The Clinton press charter filled with a hazy smoke here on Monday morning, forcing reporters to evacuate -- and getting in the way of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's own plane, which was forced to circle in the air, delaying her arrival at an event.

Adding to the intrigue: Clinton is appearing at the site where Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens last played before their plane crashed a few miles north of here in 1959. Their plane took off from the same airport where Clinton is attempting to land.


Passengers on both planes hope so. And caucus goers are still waiting patiently for the candidate to arrive here at the fabled Surf Ballroom, which still has its 1950s décor. But, coming three days after a hostage scare forced Clinton to cancel a speech at the Democratic National Committee, it is hard not to notice her run of bad luck. Clinton is in a tough fight here in Iowa, where she had planned to kick off the day with a new, hard-knuckled message differentiating herself from Sen. Barack Obama.

Instead, the campaign is treating voters to a little music.

"Life is a Highway," in fact.

--Anne E. Kornblut

By Washington Post editors  |  December 3, 2007; 12:33 PM ET
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Next: Don't Call Him the Front-Runner


Madam President Hillary Clinton...the best chance for true change! yay! go Hillary!

Posted by: pinechee | December 3, 2007 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Hillary does not stand a chance -- people do not vote for nasty. Every day shows off more and more of her weaknesses. She is a rank amateur trying to ride the coattails of her popular husband (who is making a few gaffes of his own these days.) Her only hope was to be "nicer than you thought she was" and she is blowing it.

Posted by: ESR1 | December 3, 2007 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton is the strongest Democrat in the race. I would rather go have a beer with Obama, but I am voting for a President not a buddy. If I wanna go have a beer I will call a friend. The last 2 elections should tell us that. I want my President to be strong, smart and ready to lead in January 2009. Hillary 2008!

Posted by: GSWAGNER | December 3, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

ohio4580: "Anyone that actually knows Hillary is telling us to not vote for her"

I see you're on a roll and I hate to get picky with the math, but Robert Reich is technically only one person.

Posted by: zukermand | December 3, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse


Is this supposed to be funny? How tasteless and inappropriate can Anne get before someone intervenes? This is getting ridiculous.

Posted by: zukermand | December 3, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Anyone that actually knows Hillary is telling us to not vote for her. The ship is sinking fast.

Posted by: ohio4580 | December 3, 2007 3:49 PM | Report abuse

If Iowa started out with Edwards ahead for months, and now Obama and Clinton are in a dead heat with him, or leading him...
Doesn't that mean that Edwards is sinking like a rock right now?

re: "I rarely see any Hillary supporters out in the world. I can count on one hand the number of people who have told me they like her, but the media says "most" Democrats want her. We'll see."

Well, I'm not a Democrat and I'm a Hillary supporter and I love her.
As far as "most" Democrats...
Believe me, the rest of us are well aware of the fact that the Democratic Party eats their own before (and after and during) any given election. Heckuva job.

Posted by: freespeak | December 3, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

peterdc writes
"The AP/PEW poll shows Clinton with large leads nationally and in NH and SC and a lead in Iowa in a very close race. The Univerity of Iowa poll came out today as well with Clinton in the lead."

While it is easy to slip into the habit of taking polls at face value, they tend to mean little as stand-alone reports. Where they are more interesting is in trend analysis. In the U of I poll, for instance, how do the candidates' numbers compare to prior polls? Who's up? Who's down? Mr Balz has a new piece out, in which he references two Iowa polls that show basically a statistical tie - which has been the case there for several weeks. BUT - in one of those polls, Edwards was even, while Obama is trending up & Clinton is trending down. That is where the story is - not in the absolute numbers. And that is also why the Clinton campaign has chosen to change their focus and style.

Posted by: bsimon | December 3, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Obama is ahead by 3 points in Iowa, for a second week, in a second poll. But that should't matter because Hillary said she doesn't pay attention to polls. Except the ones she leads in.

31 days until the "inevitable" becomes the "evitable", and not just in polls. For real. NH voters will then flock to Obama and it's all downHillary from there.

This makes sense, as I rarely see any Hillary supporters out in the world. I can count on one hand the number of people who have told me they like her, but the media says "most" Democrats want her. We'll see.

Posted by: xcrunner771 | December 3, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

What is clear from the little item filed from the campaign trail: Not "unfriendly skies" and other mishaps beyond her control but the media have massively turned against Senator Clinton. First she was prematurely cast as the unbeatable favorite, now--in the midst of bolstering Senator Obama as the new, big hope, Hillary Clinton is reportedly a has-been candidate--although Obama and Clinton are tied. I heard talking head "Hardball Chris" twice this morning as he recalled Senator Clinton's "bad" debate performance in Philadelphia weeks ago and the ridiculous explanation that voters--I guess in Iowa--have not forgotten. What a nonsense all around and never time and space for reflection.

Posted by: bn1123 | December 3, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I think the Clinton's plan is clearly visible. They do not care to smear herself and Obama. As long as Obama does not win, its a win for her. Edwards does not have enough money (even if he would win Iowa) to effectively campaign against her before Tsunami Tuesday. If she takes out Obama in her most vulnerable state (Iowa), she can survive. Then Edwards and Obama split the anti-Hillary vote in the Primary and she skates by to the nomination. She needs Edwards to live past Iowa to take Obama out.

Posted by: mcmahon10 | December 3, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Anne Kornblut is letting her biases show or maybe just being the press that wants to create a stir where there is none.

But this is an interesting headline posted after two new polls have just come out showing Clinton ahead in Iowa by 5-7% Guess the post doesn't want to report this. The AP/PEW poll shows Clinton with large leads nationally and in NH and SC and a lead in Iowa in a very close race. The Univerity of Iowa poll came out today as well with Clinton in the lead.

They are close but the headline would have to be Clinton leads in Iowa and the Post seems to hate to have that headline.

Posted by: peterdc | December 3, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

" it is hard not to notice her run of bad luck. "

Indeed. And it is telling to see how the candidate reacts to the pressures of unanticipated challenges. In the face of political challenge, will she choose to debate the merits of alternate proposals, or take the low road and make personal attacks? Is she confident enough in her own positions that she'll argue their merits with facts & let the voters decide who's ideas best suit them? Or will she stoop to scoop up a handful of barnyard slop & start heaving? Someone should remind her that, in such a fight, it is extremely difficult to stay clean.

Posted by: bsimon | December 3, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Sharks do Circle don't they?!

Throw in more CHUM!!!

Posted by: rat-the | December 3, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

It is possible that Senator Clinton is the best candidate. However, even though many may like the policies that Senator Clinton proposes, they should also consider her record, just as Senator Clinton insists.
The last Clinton Administration, when faced with the fact that protection rackets where assaulting, torturing and murdering people with poison and radiation, chose to avoid its responsibilities to incarcerate the criminals and to protect the citizenry.
Instead, they made a deal with the criminal gang stalker protection rackets to leave them alone and to consequently abandon the citizenry.
Do we want a President who sells out the citizenry for votes?
Do we want a President who sends a "crime does pay" message to society?
Would you vote for a President who signed nonaggression deals with the KKK or the Nazi party? Gangs that torture with poison and radiation are much like the KKK and Nazi Party.
We do not need a sellout President. We need a principled leader President.
If you are one of the few who do not know what the above refers to, do a web search for "gang stalking" to see the tip of the dirtberg. Please do it before you decide to reply to my post. Here let me make it easy for you:

Posted by: avraamjack | December 3, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

To take a stand on campaign issues, visit and join the national research panel!

Posted by: tenniswrestler | December 3, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

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