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What Went Wrong for Clinton?

In the days and weeks to come, there will be dozens (if not hundreds) of stories written revisiting Hillary Rodham Clinton's unsuccessful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to supporters at a Tuesday night rally in New York. (Reuters)

No less an eminence that the New York Times's Adam Nagourney has already beaten The Fix to the punch with his own "what went wrong" analysis published back on May 20. Still, there's plenty of ground to cover when it comes to dissecting what happened in a campaign that began 18 months ago with Clinton as the dominant frontrunner and effectively ended Tuesday night with her as an also-ran.

Before we get into a dissection of what went wrong in the Clinton campaign, however, it's important to give credit where credit is due: Obama (and his top campaign brass) ran a brilliant campaign from a messaging and tactical standpoint. Obama understood that his time had come and leapt at the chance to run for president fully aware of the challenges his inexperience in public life presented. The decision to build the campaign around a message of change was, in retrospect, a perfect fit for a party looking for fresh faces that could provide a clean break with the politics of the past -- as practiced by both Democrats and Republicans.

Tactically, the Obama campaign understood the chance that the nomination fight could extend well beyond the Super Tuesday votes of Feb. 5 and built an organizational and financial strategy in each of the states that allowed the Illinois senator to hit the ground running on Feb. 6.

But the allure of writing about what went wrong for Clinton is what this post is all about. The Fix's analysis is below:

* The Passion Gap: For much of the first year of the campaign, Clinton focused almost exclusively on her competence and readiness to serve as commander in chief. She built her entire campaign around the idea that in a time of historic challenges, both domestically and abroad, voters wanted a steady hand on the wheel. Go back and read stories written six or eight months about her campaign events. They were all efficiency and experience: Clinton was the calming presence seeking to reassure voters that she was ready and willing to steer the ship of state.

Contrast that with the sort of stories that were coming out of the Obama campaign: Massive crowds, young people everywhere -- the intensity and passion at his rallies and surrounding his campaign practically jumped through the television screen (or off the printed page) and slapped you in the face. The passion gap was apparent to anyone watching the race. Clinton was the steady politician; Obama was a rock star.

That narrative took hold and never let off as the campaign continued, despite the fact that Clinton, too, had legions of committed supporters who would arrive at rallies early just to catch a glimpse of her and who revered her in the same way Obama was idolized by some of his backers. The Clinton campaign never figured out a way to tell that story to voters and, as a result, never closed the passion gap.

* The Iowa Box: When former Clinton deputy campaign manager Mike Henry penned a memo -- subsequently leaked to the New York Times -- making the case for skipping the Iowa caucuses, the campaign quickly moved to deny the report and insisted that such a move was never considered. The irony of course was that Henry was right. The progressive, anti-war nature of the Iowa Democratic caucus electorate was a poor fit for Clinton and, unlike New Hampshire, there was only a small Clinton organization ready and waiting in the state. (Bill Clinton essentially skipped Iowa in 1992 as home state Sen. Tom Harkin dominated the caucuses; four years later, Clinton was not challenged for his party's nod.)

Given all of that, why didn't the Clinton campaign skip Iowa? Because they couldn't. Clinton was the frontrunner in the contest, and the frontrunner doesn't get to skip ANY states. So the Clinton campaign was in a box - they had to play in a state where they knew from the start they faced an uphill fight.

* Circular Firing Squad: Clinton also knew from the get-go that there were, um, creative tensions within her innermost circle of advisers. Campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle, deputy campaign manager Mike Henry and communications director Howard Wolfson were all close; pollster and chief strategist Mark Penn was an island to his own -- held in little regard by, among others, senior adviser Harold Ickes. The positioning among this group -- as well as in the broader Clinton universe that grew to include longtime associates like Maggie Williams and Cheryl Mills -- became a point of distraction for many within the campaign. People were so focused on placing blame or taking credit for the day in and day out struggle of the campaign that few were able (or willing) to look at the big picture.

Any number of people we have chatted with over the last few weeks about what happened to Clinton made the argument that the campaign had ill-served the candidate. True -- to a point. Ultimately, the campaign looks and acts like the candidate wants it to look and act. That means it was Clinton's responsibility to recognize problems within her inner circle and work to change them. It happened, but it happened too late to really matter.

* Underestimating Obama: Starting way back in 2006, it was clear to anyone paying attention that Obama was a force to be reckoned with in national politics. Everywhere he went, massive crowds appeared; his books sold millions and stayed atop bestseller's lists for months; money was pouring in for his political action committee faster than his limited staff could count it. And yet, the Clinton campaign seemed unwilling to acknowledge the threat Obama posed to her chances at the nomination, largely dismissing him as too inexperienced to compete with a figure as accustomed to the national spotlight as Clinton.

In the early days of the cycle, Clinton's campaign could have done much to define Obama in a less favorable light -- an ambitious liberal state legislature seeking a promotion too quickly -- that would have, perhaps, slowed his rise to the transformational candidate he eventually became. But by the time the Clinton campaign realized the reality of the Obama threat, it was too late -- the movement had begun.

* Controlling Bill: One of the overarching questions when Clinton announced her intention to run for president was what role her husband, who also happened to be the former leader of the free world, would play. Bill Clinton was, is and will always be a man of massive talents and equally massive flaws. So, managing his role in the campaign was always a top-of-mind issue for people closely watching the campaign.

In the runup to the Iowa caucuses, Bill Clinton played his role perfectly, standing in the background, advocating for his wife as the most able and ready candidate for the job. That all changed ahead of the South Carolina primary in late January, where Clinton time and again made news for comments he had made that some interpreted as racially charged; he was a HUGE distraction for the campaign in those days and provided the impetus for the massive surge of support in the black community for Obama. The former president appeared chastened after South Carolina and, in his defense, did his wife considerable good by his relentless stumping in rural areas of Texas and Ohio. Overall, however, the campaign's inability to keep Bill Clinton in line and on message did his wife's effort more harm than good.

That's one reporter's opinion based on a close (perhaps too close) reading of the ups and downs we have all been through over the past 18 months. Have a different take? We want to hear from you in the comments section below.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 4, 2008; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Comments

1. Clinton supporters cannot blame the DNC for her defeat, as she had most of the staffers on the Rules committee. It was Harold Ickes himself who voted with the rest of the group to strip MI and FL of their delegates.

2. Instead of making the case for her war vote, Clinton and her team continually belittled Obama's stance against the war. Not a smart thing to do when the country was now against the war too. And really not a smart thing to do now that even former Bush staffers are saying the war run-up was propaganda.

3. It was Bill Clinton who pushed African-American voters away from his wife - first by claiming that Obama's anti-war position was a fairy tale (not a good message to send to the most anti-war voters) and then by claiming that we were only supporting Obama because he was black (remember: "Jesse won here too"?).

Most of all, the Clinton campaign lost because they were beaten. The Obama campaign knew this was a 50-state contest and they put together a plan to win the majority of the delegates across those 50-states. Excuses like, "we closed with a winning streak" or "we won states with more electoral college votes" or "we have the key constituencies" are just that: excuses.

It's a contest.

Clinton lost.

To say that is not sexist.

Calling the truth sexist does nothing but ensure bitter feelings. If the Clinton campaign did not want a contest for the Democratic nomination, why did they not institute a monarchy and just transfer power from one sovereign to the next in some sort of succession ceremony?

Posted by: Derrick Gibson | June 6, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

In reading the above posts, one thing so many mentioned as a reason for disliking Hillary is the fact she voted for the war resolution and refused to apologize for it. I don't believe that is the real reason but just a cop-out because they don't want to admit the real reason is sexism. Remember, Senators Biden and Dodd both voted for the war resolution and apologies were not demanded of them.
Obama wasn't even in the Senate to vote on the Resolution but has voted twice to continue funding the war. How about an apology for that, Senator Obama?
Hillary Clinton's campaign program can be dissected for years to come and I agree with those who place some blame on the ridiculous primary/caucus proportional delegate rule. A winner take all rule would certainly give the contestants a fairer shot at the nomination.
In the end, Hillary won 20 primaries and 1 caucus with a total Electoral Vote count of 277. In a general election that is a winner!
Obama won 16 primaries and 15 caucuses for a total Electoral Vote count of 227. That leaves him 43 electoral votes short. In a general election that is a loser!
It's very interesting how no one mentions those numbers. Not counted in the above totals is 34 electoral votes from Texas where she won the primary and he won the caucus, tying the state.
Of the final ten primaries: Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virgina, North Carolina, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Dakota and Montana - Hillary won 6 60 electoral votes), Obama won 3 (25 electoral votes) and they tied 1, Texas with 34 electoral votes. Puerto Rico has no electoral votes.
The figures speak for themselves as to who is the strongest candidate.
Of those 15 caucuses he won, only 4 are blue states and how much chance does a Democrat have in winning Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, to name a few? Senator Obama has his work cut out for him to carry the big states Hillary did and without them, he will lose.
One last comment: I will never lose my anger towards the many left wing Democrats and Obama followers who savaged Hillary and her supporters on blogs,web sites and in the media. Their attacks and prejudice against her is unforgivable.
I have no intention of signing any "unity" pact with such people and as a non-elite I certainly won't be missed. The media, of course, have knee jerk vilification reactions to the name "Clinton" and automatically go into slime mode. There is nothing to say for this sorry lot except the industry is disgusting in it's bias and they need to be split into tiny, tiny pieces.
I pray that Hillary will not become the VP on the Obama ticket. She deserves much better than to end her career as a scapegoat for Obama. I wish her all the best.

Posted by: Harriett Heisey | June 5, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

cont'd afed27, 6/5, 6:01pm...The 3 Stooges of the Democratic Party sabotaged her with their action on the Michigan & Florida delegates. I believe, also, that Obama, in giving the superdelegates almost $1 million
in donations, seduced many of them to give him their votes.
Obama makes so many blunders in speaking, he has so many cock-eyed ideas on what he will do when elected, his lies, his never admitting to a mistake, his policy that nothing requires him to issue an apology...all show him to be a duplicate of Bush. Where is this man's character? Where will be the touted "change"?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

A major cause for Clinton's loss was the love affair between the media & obama. they oh-ed & ah-ed him & slammed her. Never was there a candidate who received so much criticism for his actions & this info was not picked up by the media, or criticism of his words for which he always claimed we, the listeners, misunderstood of misinterpreted his words.
There was so much info on the Internet about Obama's poor associations [ with Wright, Ayers, Rezko] which, sorrowfully, much of has recently been deleted. This info reported on his arrogance, his deeds which screamed 'bad character', his 23 years of respectfully following Wright's political teachings, his lies in building his history & his image, his taking millions of $s from companies,
"bundlers", to whom he now owes over 360 favors, [ who needed lobbyists? ], & so many more negatives. Why didn't the media pick up these traits of Obama & report them as journalists should?
The 3 Stogges of the Democratic Party

Posted by: afed27 | June 5, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

What went wrong was that obama knew his opponent and his opponent underestimated him. He simply out smarted her. He had the advantage because he knew she would ignor caucas states and he took advantage of that.

I am still a Hillary supporter, but will vote for Barack in the fall if he remains the nominee.

Posted by: butterfly2 | June 5, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

A fundamental and, I think, overlooked problem was the motivation driving Hillary's pursuit of the presidency. It was from, 2000 (or 1999) on, a reclamation/restoration project, the goal of which was to fulfill the promise of Bill's presidency. Because of events he controlled and events he did not control, much of the promise of Bill's presidency was not fulfilled. Hillary ran for and gained a Senate seat to position herself for a presidential run; she voted to authorize force in Iraq to position herself for such a run; and she tried to run as a semi-incumbent to shut the door on any other contenders before they could even enter. Her ambition stems from many sources, no doubt, but key among those is her desire to leave a very different Clinton legacy than was left by her husband.

Posted by: carlb | June 5, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Blaming Bill is pure sexism.

Posted by: DWV | June 5, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Mostly it was racism. If he wasn't black she would have won easily. She carried a lot of baggage and we didn't know anything about him. He appealed to the caucus states-only a few people there. She won where a lot of people voted. What we have since learned about him makes me wonder if he would have won if the primaries started now as they should have.Perhaps she should run as an independant.But I am old and don't understand this country anymore. It's been going downhill since the 60's. Overpopulation is the biggest problem.Incompetent union workers who cant be fired-automotive,teachers.etc-all democrats.

Posted by: Jack Kinch (1uncle) | June 5, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Hillary allowed Bill to engage in race baiting tactics. The proportional delegate system was rigged to favor minority areas, so she got beat with her own liberal racial preference system. Hillary's staff even wrote the Dem rules. Sweet irony!


Posted by: Hillary: Lead Racist | June 5, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Mostly it was racism. If he wasn't black she would have won easily. She carried a lot of baggage and we didn't know anything about him.He appealed to the caucus states-only a few people there. She won where a lot of people voted. What we have since learned about him makes me wonder if he would have won if the primaries started now as they should have.

Posted by: Jack Kinch (1uncle) | June 5, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

A factor I have not seen discussed is that at the beginning of the campaign Hillary expected the support and loyalty of the super delegates. The Clintons are a power in the party. I think two factors made that expectation unrealistic. Those factors are the loss of so many Dem. congressional seats during the Bill Clinton presidency and gender bias.

I remember the expressions of outrage that a woman was telling congress what it shoud do during her effort to get a health care passed. Gender bias is alive and well in congress and in our sociaty.

One of the memorable remarks I have read during this campaign was to the effect "at a caucus you get to stand up in front of your friends and neigbors and be either a racest or a sexist"

For the record I am a 77 year old male.

Posted by: Jim R | June 5, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Hillary lost because she wasn't ready for that 3:00 AM phone call. The person on the other end saying that the primaries wouldn't be over on Super Duper Tuesday. She had no Post SD Tuesday Plan (other than await the coronation).

Obama, had a Plan! For someone without "experience", he had a Plan and executed it.

A man (or a woman) with a Plan is better than a woman (or a man) with only a sense of entitlement.

Posted by: Roofelstoon | June 5, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I was supporting Hillary Clinton until South Carolina. The racism of that campaign disturbed me very much. Bill Clinton's behavior sent off alarm signals - what would happen when he got close to the Oval Office again? And although I certainly acknowledge the sexism against Clinton, it was nothing like the more lethal insults directed against Sen. Obama. It was more like the heckling the wonk would get in high school.

After South Carolina, this white woman over fifty (if anyone cares about that) voted in her primary for Senator Obama. First, I had read over some speeches, sent them round, listened to him again, read some more, and found a depth and gravity about him I didn't hear in anyone else. How I wanted to vote for Sen. Clinton. I did not. I hope she will find her soul. She has transformed herself into someone else many times if only to gain our approval, and in the end, I don't think she could get herself back. I have heard Sen. Clinton on evening talk shows when she wasn't running for anything, and that is the Hillary Clinton I admire. But I wonder if she can find that person inside her again. I hope so.

Posted by: Debby Cartwright | June 5, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Character is the whole deal. People perceived a lack of it in HRC and her spouse and an apparent strong character in BO. People got sick of the lies and the truth shading because of what it said about her and what it said about her opinion of them and their values.

Posted by: charactercounts | June 5, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Hillary lost because of Bill her egotistical husband.

Posted by: Charlie | June 5, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

An appeal to all Democratic supports and voters.

Date: 05th June, 2008.

My dearest American brothers and sisters,

What do you want to choose as your destiny? End of the world? Heralding 666 into this world? Second coming of Christ?

Here is reproduced an e-mail letter received from Barack Obama's camp:

"Ivo Oscar --

I'm about to take the stage in St. Paul and announce that we have won the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.

It's been a long journey, and we should all pause to thank Hillary Clinton, who made history in this campaign. Our party and our country are better off because of her.

I want to make sure you understand what's ahead of us. Earlier tonight, John McCain outlined a vision of America that's very different from ours -- a vision that continues the disastrous policies of George W. Bush.

But this is our moment. This is our time. Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past and bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face. Our time to offer a new direction for the country we love.

It's going to take hard work, but thanks to you and millions of other donors and volunteers, no one has ever been more prepared for such a challenge.

Thank you for everything you've done to get us here. Let's keep making history.

Barack"

Now kindly analyze this letter. Firstly, a Muslim claiming that he has taken stage in St. Paul! Why didn't he say "Allah?" Secondly, add two horns and a tail to the real Barack Obama or his photo. What do you see? Please read The Prophecies of Nostradamus and also read the Bible. Can you foresee/read the time and the political situation in today's world?

Therefore, I feverishly today appeal to all Americans not to support the Democratic Party if their candidate is Barack Obama. Instead go out in numbers and vote for Republican Party, no matter whomsoever their candidate maybe.

God Save America and the world.

Yours truly,
---Sd---
Ivo Oscar Faleiro.
Goa - INDIA.

Posted by: Ivo Oscar Faleiro. | June 5, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

To me it was pretty obvious what happened. Her so called backers (for years) and the media turned on her.It started with Oprah and one by one they sold her out. Period!

Posted by: Cindy | June 5, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

SHE FORGOT THE LOONEY LIBERAL GUILT ABOUT THE PLIGHT OF THE POOR DESCENDANTS OF SLAVES, AND THE DEBT OWED THEM BY ALL AMERICANS. SO THEY MADE A MONGREL THE CHOICE. HE ISN'T EVEN A BLACK MAN. HE'S A MONGREL PURE AND SIMPLE. IN THEIR USUAL RUSH TO TO SOMETHING THEY COULDN'T EVEN PICK A REAL AFRICAN. THIS CHOICE IS TYPICAL OF THE STUPIDITY THE PERVADES THE DUMOCRAPS.

Posted by: JOEL GOODMAN | June 5, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I think many voters overlooked a very telling characteristic about Hillary -- one she shares with husband Bill: recklessness. How does one take seriously a presidential candidate who makes up childish stories about braving enemy fire in Bosnia and helping bring peace to Northern Ireland? You thought that maybe no one would notice you had nothing to do with peace - other than your peaceful landing in Bosnia? Lady, you are a stubborn, unrepentant, unimaginative liar -- married to a convicted liar (who is himself a stranger to enemy fire). You were questioned about your pandering gas relief tax plan, and you replied that you "don't throw (your) lot in with economists"? Because, math whiz that you are, you certainly wouldn't need any egghead economists to solve the worst financial crisis the U.S. has faced in decades, right? Well, Hillary, now the voters have done the math for you.

Posted by: Denys B | June 5, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

What went wrong. The Clinton's know how to win in November. If we were playing the Democratic Primary like the Presidential Election, Clinton is president--having WON the electoral votes from states that put her in that position in a winner-take-all contest.

The Democratic Primaries are NOTHING like a general election. Throw out all the caucuses--we don't have to go to gymnasiums and look at our neighbors and walk to one side of the gym or the other to SHOW our support for a candidate. And the winner-doesn't-take-all ELECTORAL VOTE in favor of a by congressional district and encouraging delegate representation with down to 15% of the vote to garner delegates to the convention and you have a primary system which may get a candidate a nomination which won't win with the ELECTORAL COLLEGE system.

What will go wrong? The Democrats, in crafting their inane deledgate process handicap the person with a strategy that wins in November and nominate the wrong candidate.

States with over 320 Electoral Votes (when only 270 are needed to win the nomination) expressed a preference for Clinton over Obama during the primary campaign. Yet, Obama has more delegates and will receive the nomination. When you asked OH PA MI FL CA AZ NM TX NY NJ TN MA AR IN KY WV RI NH NV who they preferred they said Clinton. When Obama loses any of these states in the fall its not Clinton's fault but the democratic nominating processes.

If it goes wrong in November for the third straight time for the Democrats, maybe they should consider a winner take all electoral vote orientation for awarding delegates to the convention. It seems to be a way to make the survivor of the primaries look more like what will win in November.

If it had this year, we'd be watching Clinton accept the democratic party nomination.

What did Clinton do wrong. Think running to win in November would get her the Democratic Nomation. It doesn't and my explain why the democrats have been performing so poorly against the republicans since the 1968 restructuring of the democratic delegate awarding process.

Posted by: Andy Cline | June 5, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Chris,
It was not as complex as you made it out to be. Clinton's faults were:
1. Arrogance in assuming it would be over by Feb.5 & the hubris of not having a post Super Tuesday strategy
2. Ignoring the caucus states
3. No consistent theme
4. Underestimating Obama (which by the way EVERYONE did!) which cost her several contests due to the erosion of support in the black community
5. Not fighting back early enough against the press coverage that described the Clinton/Obama campaigns.

Posted by: V.I.P. | June 5, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Maureen Dowd wrote an article in February, 2007 on David Geffen's reservations about the Clintons. (They were "the Clintons" then, not the defined political individual Hilary eventually became.)

I see that article as the beginning of Hilary's decent. For someone who had pretty much forgotten Clinton fatigue, Dowd's article was like a re-visit of malaria.

"She is overproduced and overscripted," Geffen said. "It's not a very big thing to say, 'I made a mistake' on the war,' and typical of Hillary Clinton that she can't....She's so advised by so many smart advisers who are covering every base...."

The candidate was captured in that statement, and it made me think again about supporting Hilary. What Geffen missed was the lake of imagination in her organization itself. We eventually saw how smart the "smart advisors" turned out to be. The way Mark Penn burned money was totally ineffectual to everyone but his company and himself. Millions of dollars were going to Burson-Marsteller while people were being flown from Washington to small town caucus gatherings in an ad hoc manner that became a symbol of the campaign's disorganization. Hilary's Arlington office was more reminiscent of a boiler room running a 1971 anti-war march than a national campaign. It was a lot of adolescent drama and egos and court positioning signifying nothing.

It turned out that they weren't winners. They were awash in a sea of chaos. And the old lesson, "if you can't run a campaign, how can you run a country," began to hit home. In contrast Obama's operation was lean, even when the money rolled in. David Geffen was never high on my political advice list, but Linda Ronstadt's former manager saw something coming

Posted by: Sandy McCall | June 5, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

to tell you the truth in the beginning i was for hillary at the start of the primaries. i remember seeing ms. clinton when she came to buffalo as the first lady and spoke on the message of education to teachers. she was warm, affable and command of the issues. As time went by at the iowa caucus. i thought she and sen. obama were interesting candidates. as i listened to the south carolina primary play out i was disappointed with with comments from bob johnson and bill clinton. Clinton is too smart to make strange statements like that. Then as the campaign went on i could see the separation of obama and hillary's campaign message and strategy. Clinton and some of her handlers made it seem she was owed the presidency.she made the comment she had been to more countries than senator obama. Though as former secretary mr brzezinski said his travel agent had been to more countries than him; that didn't make her more qualified than him. in this life we aren't owed anything we must work for it. It is always ironic that early in the primary senator clinton or her handlers made the pitch that obama was too inexperienced to be president but just right to be vice president. this was made during his winning streak. in the end obama ran a better campaign and beat the clinton machine at their own game. i was turned off by the fact that in the beginning she was all for punishing florida and michigan for giving the party the proverbial finger. then when things went south now she feels the voters are being left out of the process. clinton took too long to warm up and let people truly know who she was. both candidates are flawed in their own ways and their handlers so i am not blind in that respect. Hillary was tired when she made the rfk statements and will give her that. Though the thought of some random person killing obama during the process was always there and for her to say it was just bad. Just as bad as senator huckabee at the nra convention joking about a noise and senator obama reacting. Just as bad as comments made by rev wright about the evil in america and rev haggee doing the same. just as obama making the bitter comment about some voters. Just as hillary singling out in the usa today article that white hard working uneducated people were deserting obama. the last time i checked many ethnic groups in the u.s. are hard working. america has made mistakes against its own; tuskegee experiment for blacks.
senator clinton is a fine woman who under normal circumstances wold have been a fine candidate. She just ran into a person who was up to the challenge of playing the game on their own terms who was underestimated by her and the party. Like other leaders she can learn from her mistakes and reshape herself to be ready the next time. to make the argument that sexism was more up front than racism is interesting on why she failed. to say that sexism doesn't exist in this country would be a lie. Just as to say race doesn't play a role would be a lie as well by the exit polls of people in west virginia and kentucky. HIllary had the sympathy of people and news media for putting up with bill's drama. She had a cross section of support of various ethnic, economic, media, financial groups, labor, religious groups. It wasn't until obama started winning and seen as viable that the clinton camp took him seriously. by that time momentum had set in.

Posted by: launch | June 5, 2008 5:50 AM | Report abuse

I am glad that many here are pointing out to 800 pound gorilla in the room that the press (due to their own complicity?) refuse to discuss. Her AUMF vote, and consequent refusal to apologize for it! No vote, no opening for Obama. Period.

Posted by: Lilsky | June 5, 2008 3:06 AM | Report abuse

One just needs to hear Obama and Clinton speak to figure out why Obama is so acceptable and Clinton is not. Above all politics, race and everthing else there is the feeling of comfort and being convinced about the person you want to be associated with. Obama gives you the space to stand and share with him, while Clinton seems to be passing decrees and orders from somewhere high up all the time. And the most annoying thing in all Clinton communications is "I" and "me". It is a very fundamental rule of group communication and every business/ leadership book tells you that keep 'I' and 'me' out and include your audience into your conversation as 'we' and 'our'. I wonder how Clinton's powerful campaign 'machine' overlooked this and let Hillary repeat this apalling mistake again and again. Moreover Clinton has a very high-handed attitude that make her appear so unapproachable, while Obama's 'vulnerable' and 'naive' approach makes people feel like he is one of them and endears him to the masses. And frankly, in a democracy, masses do matter.

Posted by: Antara Banerjee | June 5, 2008 2:30 AM | Report abuse

Robert says: "Unlike in the Democrat primaries the left wing anti-war vote won't dominate and if the only reason Obama won is because of their vote then he'll lose in the general due to more sound minded voters."

You mean sound minded voters who thought invading Iraq was a good idea?

Most Americans now think invading was a big mistake, all polls have shown this for years.

Anyone who's dim enough to think invading Iraq was the right call is going to be voting for McCain whoever the Democrat is.

Posted by: kenonwenu | June 5, 2008 2:02 AM | Report abuse

I was very undecided between Clinton and Obama after Richardson, Biden, Dodd, and Edwards all dropped out of the Democratic primary race. Two factors that significantly influenced my decision to endorse Obama were: (1) Caroline Kennedy's Op-Ed in the New York Times in which she described how Barack Obama shared the same visions for America as her father, JFK, and (2) Bill Clinton's injection of "race" as an issue before and after the South Carolina primary. However, two additional factors before 2008 had already influenced my decision were: (1) Hillary Clinton's inability to admit that her vote to give President Bush authority to invade Iraq was a mistake (something John Edwards and Joe Biden had no problem admitting); and (2) her inability to define an increase in the salary cap for the social security tax as the most expedient way to ensure the solvency of social security. Obama readily acknowledged that an increase in the salary cap on the SS tax was the best way to make social security solvent. Overall, Hillary Clinton was very evasive regarding her position on the major issues during the first half to three-fourths of her primary campaign; in contrast, Barack Obama clearly defined his positions and judgements throughout the campaign. The choice was easy after I started paying close attention to Obama's campaign.

Posted by: Campsalmon | June 5, 2008 1:55 AM | Report abuse

Her defeat just shows her best true values obscured from all of us who see her alone on the face value.

She appears to be the ebst candidate until she's placed neck and neck with her opponent, then, that her overall class and qualities including an ability to forge a winning campaign come to light. Hers are much less than Sen. Barack Obama.

Posted by: Volak Sao | June 4, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Finally CC won't be able to promote Hillary anymore.

There are a few other problems as well:

1. Hillary portrayed arrogance and a lack of class, particular when she consistently refused to acknowledge and congratulate Obama on his victories.

2. She based her claim on experience, but doesn't really have any to back it up.

3. Bill, her messy campaign, and condescending attitude, contrasted to Obama, reminded everyone of what they didn't like about the Clinton 1990s rather than about the good times.

4. Hillary too often fit the Republican caricature of her rather than the mature politician she seemed to be in NY. In addition to being unattractive in and of itself, this may have given voters real pause as to her electability, particularly when she was already one of the least popular and polarizing figures in recent political history.

Posted by: freeDom | June 4, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

"Hillary R. Clinton. Please announce your candidacy for the President of the USA as an Independent Candidate. You do not need the DNC Insiders, Howard Dean, Carl Levin, John Edwards, ... You have the American People. Now put your faith and confidence in THEM (US the American PEOPLE), like we have you!!"":

Respond to post: Yes. Yes. Yes.

While I believe Senator Clinton's vote for the war was very damaging, few people discuss the damage pundits from MSNBC crew, beginning with Chris Matthews who never lost a chance to slur, and smear, by alluding to the most negative and mean spirited speculation when ever Hillary opened her mouth while always giving Obama and Michelle the free pass. Followed by Herr Olbermann, Mica B with her silly and often mean little giggle, and all the MSNBC heartless Hillary haters and hate mongrels who were all to willing to smear and twist at every opportunity.

Initially, I counted Hillary out because of her vote on the war and began to listen to what Obama had to say, discovering quickly that he was a bit of an empty suit, whose lack of experience was evident during debates and other interviews. When Obama had his big talk on race I was equally unimpressed because he did not answer the hard questions about the Rev. Wright. His speech masterfully evaded the pressing issue regarding his association with Wright for 20 years. Senator Clinton begin to look very good to me then and still does. I will never vote for Obama. I do not trust him. Period. Even if Hillary were to demean herself for the sake of the party and consider the role of Vice president. What party? The democratic party was reduced to a room full of good old boys and girls, led by Pelosi who has never been able to or willing to do anything about the war. The democratic party is gone, Caput! At least it's gone for me. I plan to vote Independent and write in Hillary's name if need be.

We need to get rid of mongrel pundits and return the Fourth Estate to objectivity of the issues rather the side show of hateful rumors and destructive discourse which some so proudly represent.

Posted by: Maria Luisa - Indianapolis | June 4, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

CC, I think your argument about passion is well made. With the number of people who voted for Clinton, she would have normally won a campaign. It's not profound to acknowledge that Obama won this contest by obtaining the votes of those who have never voted before. The new politically charged generation questions a system that would see a Bush - Clinton - Bush - Clinton succession in Washington.

As patriotic but disaffected citizens, they are ashamed that two families have successively and regularly failed to deliver their promise. There has been a disappointing duopoly on the holders of the keys at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Posted by: Johnny Mac (Sydney) | June 4, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

What went wrong for Clinton and her campaign is that they were soundly beaten by the Obama team's better on-the-ground tactics and overall campaign strategy. The election was hers to lose and she did. Here at the end of the primary campaign trail, we can see that she was effectively outwitted, outplayed and outlasted. And now she's been voted off the Island. Bye bye! Stay tuned for the coming tide of books by campaign insiders, some more revealing than others, that will (probably) offer good insights into the anatomy of her loss.

Posted by: Realist | June 4, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Obama had the opportunity months ago to protest and denounce the rampant media Hillary-bashing the demeaned his women supporters, too. He sat silently through the most despicable woman-bashing in front of his screen. Did he protest? No. He enjoyed it. Obama himself was covertly dishing out sexist abuse:

"Her claws are coming out" "She's likeable enough" "Periodically she feels down, gets moody and launches attacks on me".Then this arrogantly narcissist candidate goes on stage in N.C. (L.A.Times/YuTube--Obama Gives Hillary the F!nger) and 'flip-offs' his fellow senator and opponent as a way of DIMINISHING her. He's the master of the SEXIST CAMOUFLAGE!

He's also immature and he's shown it by equally practicing SILENCE attending a church with his two children where rampant Hatred and twisted logic was the Sunday Sermon's liturgical indoctrination. And so generations of children attending did not have the benefit of Obama's breaking his complicit silence and speaking up. Did he offer to give a Speech of Healing and Unity and Love in those 20 years? No. Did he speak up against the vitriolic misogyny of the media fratboy bullies? No. How could he? Obama was the direct BENEFICIARY OF SEXISM. On May 25th, CNN presented a phenomenal segment "Media and Misogyny" moderated by Howard Kurtz. If Obama spends a couple of minutes watching it he'll understand why he will not win the election.

Obama wrote a letter to NBC to protest the despicably racist comments of Imus, who was justly fired. There are laws to prevent racist rants by media pundits. But no laws to contain woman-hatred. Obama could have broken his silence and condemn this. He chose not to.

Obamyopia, however, is a curable affliction. Come November Sen. Obama will be cured permanently--with the bitter antidote of Humility.

Posted by: mary | June 4, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Obama had the opportunity months ago to protest and denounce the rampant media Hillary-bashing the demeaned his women supporters, too. He sat silently through the most despicable woman-bashing in front of his screen. Did he protest? No. He enjoyed it. Obama himself was covertly dishing out sexist abuse:

"Her claws are coming out" "She's likeable enough" "Periodically she feels down, gets moody and launches attacks on me".Then this arrogantly narcissist candidate goes on stage in N.C. (L.A.Times/YuTube--Obama Gives Hillary the F!nger) and 'flip-offs' his fellow senator and opponent as a way of DIMINISHING her. He's the master of the SEXIST CAMOUFLAGE!

He's also immature and he's shown it by equally practicing SILENCE attending a church with his two children where rampant Hatred and twisted logic was the Sunday Sermon's liturgical indoctrination. And so generations of children attending did not have the benefit of Obama's breaking his complicit silence and speaking up. Did he offer to give a Speech of Healing and Unity and Love in those 20 years? No. Did he speak up against the vitriolic misogyny of the media fratboy bullies? No. How could he? Obama was the direct BENEFICIARY OF SEXISM. On May 25th, CNN presented a phenomenal segment "Media and Misogyny" moderated by Howard Kurtz. If Obama spends a couple of minutes watching it he'll understand why he will not win the election.

Obama wrote a letter to NBC to protest the despicably racist comments of Imus, who was justly fired. There are laws to prevent racist rants by media pundits. But no laws to contain woman-hatred. Obama could have broken his silence and condemn this. He chose not to.

Obamyopia, however, is a curable affliction. Come November Sen. Obama will be cured permanently--with the bitter antidote of Humility.

Posted by: mary | June 4, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Charles: I don't agree with a lot of McCains positions but don't view him as a fool. He has stood up against his own party and actually ticked them off over campaign reform and immigration reform. Healthcare and Supreme Court Justices are the only reason I have not offered to volunteer for him. As a lifelong D it is really difficult for me to brag that I simply don't trust our nominee. He has bragged he is the nonpolitician but don't the most political stunts in history to generate a race based hatred for the Clintons, which I find to be dispicable and totally unforgiveable. I have even heard folks in his campaign brag about how clever that was. Refusing a revote in Fla and Michigan and then demanding 50% of the Michigan vote even when he had effectively already won the nomination and didn't need those delegates from voters who didn't vote for him but voted uncomitted was totally classless. We will see. Right now I see a flawed but honorable McCain as the better alternative to a dishonorable Obama candidiacy, but at least your comments are civil, which has been totally rare here.

Posted by: Leichtman | June 4, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

All the folk here who say Hillary lost because she voted for the Iraq war better hope that's not true. Unlike in the Democrat primaries the left wing anti-war vote won't dominate and if the only reason Obama won is because of their vote then he'll lose in the general due to more sound minded voters.

Posted by: Robert | June 4, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

"...it was Clinton's responsibility to recognize problems within her inner circle and work to change them."

Many things went wrong with this campaign, but what you wrote here is so key. Hillary NEVER took proper control of her campaign, if at all. She sat back and became nothing more than a performing monkey. Now who else does that sound like? Exactly. Does she honestly believe this shoddy and poorly run campaign was a flattering representation of her leadership abilities?

You know, I've always hated people who hated the Clintons, and yet here I am; I've now joined the club. Disgusted, embarrassed, agog and aghast...I can't look at them without wincing at what might have been had we not been privy to these numerous public meltdowns. Thank God, the masks were pulled away and we saw the truth. This country was saved and I am grateful for that.

Posted by: Marie | June 4, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Inciddentally Charles I have never missed even a local election in 35 years and have traveled as a lawyer for the Kerry campaign, worked high up in the Strickland in Ohio campaign and been involved in D politics since 1972 including the Gov Richards campaign. I have seen our party destroy itself over and over again and I am sick to death of how we take opportunities to turn this country around and piss it away with candidates who don't deserve to be on the ballot. We have just done that again and the fact that team Obama and his supporters have dissed 18 million voters and played games with perhaps one of our most qualified Presidential candidates, has proven to me once again how out of touch the DNC truly is and how much they seems determined to lose elections even when served up to them.

Posted by: Leichtman | June 4, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Leichtman..

I understand your point of view my friend, I don't agree, but I understand where YOU are coming from. But rather then vote for a progressive with little experience, I do not see the value of a vote for an experienced fool. My opinion. You are more reasonable than most anti-Obama posters here, and seem quite intelligent. All I can hope is that you will skip that top of the ballot, and not vote against you're own interests. God Bless.

Posted by: Charles W Gray | June 4, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

The shame is Hillary had the establishment, that being Dean, McAuliffe, Madeline Albright, Carville...and a FORMER PRESIDENT AND STILL COULDN'T CLOSE THE DEAL. Her campaign was the worst, from her message to her appearing to wear the same pantsuits everyday. She looked like the novice and her message was not forward looking or creative, nor did she have a vision for the country that we can all get behind. It appears to me her sole reason for running was strickly personal (for her own sense of power, and the hedge funds that her husband and daughter are involved in could really prosper.) I really wished women had had a better female candidate, we didn't and I refuse to vote for a woman at all cost.

Posted by: thommie | June 4, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Charles currently I am supporting McCain. Why because he is qualified Sen Obama is not. By Nov. I may decide to vote straight D and skip the top of the ticket but I won't be guilted into voting for a Democratic nominee just because he is a Demcrat. I have done that for 35 years and all we have to show for it are weak candidates like Dukakas, McGovern and now Obama. This election is not about me and voting for the candidate who fills my check list. Its also about character and personally the way that Sen Obama has run his campaign he has none. The one succesful 2 term D that I agree with has been totally trashed by the Obama campaign and his supporters.Perhaps just like after '72 they deserve to be in the wilderness a few more years until they figure out that campaigns are won from the middle from moderates who are not thrilled with doubling cap gains and believe in fair and reasonable tax policies and not pandering to GenY and GenX voters who expect my generation to carry their healthcare load while they opt out. I won't be badgered like I have here over the last 3 months.

Posted by: Leichtman | June 4, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Leichtman...

So I take it you will vote McCain? Please explain to me what in the world that will accomplish? Really, I cannot fathom what that will accomplish for you, as an American, who cares enough about your country to actually vote, and pay attention to the process.

Posted by: Charles W Gray | June 4, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

bsimon wrote yesterday:Chris writes that she will do the latter - be the high class candidate & support the party's nominee. Why do you find it so difficult to do the same?

Posted by: bsimon | June 3, 2008 4:52 PM

Simple. I don't vote for totally unqualified 2 1/2 year Senators who has run a totally devisive and abusive campaign to be leader of the free world. He was unqualified during our march primary he is no more qualified 3 months later. He was totally afraid to run in a revote in Michigan and Fla and his Gary thugs managed to manipulate the nomination for him. I am not impressed that the DNC was willing to reward him with the nomination and with Michigan delegates he did not earn and Michigan voters did not even acknowledge.

Bsimon is one of the most reasonable Obama bloggers here over the months which I respect but that does nothing to convince me or any of the HC voters in my precinct to believe that he is in any way qualified. Heck JFK was call a lightweight after 13 years in Congress. What would that make Sen Obama? I say this with a heavy heart but I am absolutely certain of my perception of Sen Obama, and the ugliness of many of his supporters reinforces that. I urge bloggers to read the June 1 Froma Harrop Editorial "Lots of Women up to here with Obama team insults." HC male supporters are not far behind.

Posted by: Leichtman | June 4, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

It did not help Clinton that she has an irritating voice. Another issue is her husband who has already been president. Yes, he had a good turn as president, we all loved him and forgave his indiscretions, but that couple cannot go back into the White House. It's over.

Posted by: DP | June 4, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

TODAY'S REZKO CONVICTION AND PURPORTED MICHELLE OBAMA VIDEOTAPE: THE REAL REASONS HILLARY (AND AL GORE) HAVE NOT ENDORSED BARACK OBAMA?


It's pretty obvious, except to the mainstream media. Hillary still holds out hope that the Rezko conviction and a purported video allegedly showing Michelle Obama making racially insensitive remarks will torpedo Obama's candidacy.

Problem is, conservative operatives promised to produce the tape Monday morning, and it never surfaced. The reports emanated from a right-leaning web site, leading some to theorize that reports of the tape are part of a disinformation smear campaign against Obama. If that proves to be the case, then the Hillary forces appear to have taken it seriously... and now it's all come back at her.

And that could have been the intent all along: Smear Hillary and Obama at the same time, with the same brush.

Some operatives are saying that the GOP is withholding the tape until the general election, when they will use it as a nuclear option against Obama. But as of today, no one has produced hard evidence that such a tape exists.

Of course, the media could simply ask Michelle Obama if she ever made such remarks. To my knowledge, no one has broached the question.

Posted by: scrivener | June 4, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Although I do not discount the many errors made by the Clinton campaign, too many are ignoring the largest contributor to her defeat: our culture's unconscious prejudice against women. We simply don't want to talk about it, deal with it or even admit it exists. Well, it's here and it's permeated every aspect of our lives. I believe we as Americans lost the best chance we had to truly break barriers of the largest magnitude in this primary process. Women have been oppressed, victims of violence and discounted long before any other tribe, culture, race or religious group. We are 51% of the population! What an opportunity we have missed. What an American tragedy for this country and the world.

Posted by: mitnarie | June 4, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I'm amazed, impressed and heartened that so many other people here see the same fundamental problem with Hillary's campaign as I always did: her vote for the war, and her refusal to apologize.

Iraq is cited here more than any other reason for Hillary's failure, by a long mile.

It seems that while the pundits prognosticated about this or that horse-race issue or soundbite or candidate's acquaintance, there was ALWAYS a strong nucleus of Democrats who just weren't going to back someone who voted to invade Iraq. Period.

Hillary wasn't defeated by sexism, or by Obamamania, but on the field of principle and policy.

I'm absolutely delighted to learn that so many people always saw it the way I do.

Posted by: Bourassa | June 4, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Michigan and Florida turned out to be the difference in the race. Clinton made a big mistake by not taking or keeping her name off the ballot in Michigan. If she had, it would have been much easier to get Michigan to vote again. Depending on when it happened, her winning the re-vote might have changed the momentum. Similarly, she shouldn't have claimed victory in Florida, but been part of a re-vote effort. These mistakes cost her dearly in credibility, not just votes.

Posted by: Edward Kruse | June 4, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

The Fix appears on the mark on all these items as to why Clinton lost and Obama won, with one huge omission. That point which was omitted was perhaps the most important and central key to the entire outcome and a significant factor in the "Passion Gap." That event was Clinton's ill-advised vote in favor of the disastrous Iraq War, which has resulted in more than 4000 deaths of U.S. troops, a huge loss in American prestige worldwide, and in the loss of billions of dollars from the U.S. treasury while failing to improve the safety of the U.S.

It is that vote which fueled many Democrats to search for a candidate other than Clinton, a candidate who could be trusted to behave as a Democrat, not as a Bush-supporter, or as an aper of Republicans. Obama was that candidate.


He alone, throughout the campaign, spoke to and inspired within Democrats and many independent-thinking Americans a yearning to move beyond the "cultural wedge" issues which have come to dominate our politics and Presidential campaigns of recent years. These issues have too often distracted Americans from holding politicians accountable for their success in accomplishing the "people's work."

Those of us motivated to support Obama in part by his sensible opposition to the senseless War discovered that he embodied in his multi-racial origins, illuminated through his eloquence, and achieved in victory, a path for the U.S. to put many of its internal divisions behind; to finally relegate to history this nation's sad yet contentious past with regard to race; and to embrace a future which will represent a furtherance of the ideals embedded in the documents conceived by the Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

Posted by: OHIO CITIZEN | June 4, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

He won Montana. But of course, that doesn't count, right?
Posted by: | June 4, 2008 1:55 PM

-------------------------

Apparently not according to Hillary. She's the one who said that S. Dakota was the last primary.

Posted by: Just sayin' | June 4, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Hillary's vote for the war in Iraq was key to my decision to vote for Obama, though I was torn by my fondness for some of the major accomplishements of the Clinton presidency (The Insurance portability act, family leave act, successful intervention in the Yugoslavia mess, good foreign policy, attention paid to the economics of good government, etc.). But another memory haunted me--her leadership in the push to get universal health care early in the Bill Clinton presidency. She made a complete hash of it. If she'd done it right then, we wouldn't be still facing the issue now--the votes were there in the legislature then to pass a good act.

When her presidential campaign started to fall apart over personnel and planning issues, it seemed to me like an echo of that earlier failure. And it made me question her ability to govern.

Obama, on the other hand, put together an incredible organization at the street level--efficient, focussed, and open to regional input. The contrast between Obama local offices and Clinton local offices was painful to see. As an observer, I was really impressed by Obama's ground teams. If he's half as good at running the country as he has been at running his campaign, he's going to be a great president.

Posted by: Deniselitt | June 4, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton had a health plan, an economic recovery plan, an education plan, a military plan--but, then, so did Barack Obama, John McCain, and millions of Americans, my own mother-in-law included. Great plans of all sorts can be had on the Internet at a click of the mouse.

What in the end swayed the intelligent voter against Hillary Clinton was her lack of political and social skills to get her plans enacted.

According to the U.S. Constitution (Article II) the President of the United States is not empowered to unilaterally pass into law any of those great plans that the three presidential candidates are offering the Nation. First he or she must convince Congress to enact and fund the plans. (Article I).

The most important qualification for a Chief Executive, therefore, is not the ability come up with plans, but to be able to reach across party lines and work with members of Congress and political leaders of all persuasions.

A good example is Abraham Lincoln. Compared with his opponents in the 1860 presidential race, Lincoln had no preconceived plans to deal with the turmoil then facing the Nation and scarcely any political experience. Four terms in the Illinois House of Representatives and one term in the U.S. House was all. (Less than Obama) What Lincoln had that his highly-experience opponents lacked was the ability to work with Congress and win the support of the best and brightest politicians of the day, Republicans, Democrat and Whigs alike. Half his cabinet was comprised of former political enemies.

By Lincoln standards the highly divisive, confrontational Hillary Clinton "Rockly" would not make a good President. That former officials in her husband's administration did not endorse her--Bill Richardson, Dick Morris, Federico Peña, Robert Reich; that so many influential Democrats in Congress enthusiastically backed Barack Obama--Ted Kenney, John Kerry, Chris Dodd, John Lewis--did not speak well for Hillary's political and social skills.
.
Note that of the 20 bills she managed to get enacted during her eight years in the Senate, 16 were for ceremonial fluff, like naming court houses and post offices, honoring individuals, and congratulating lacrosse teams.

Then factor in the inevitable meddling of her scandal-tainted husband, her de facto running mate, and a Hillary Clinton administration would invariably have come to grief (maybe another impeachment) within its first year.

Nor, by the same token, would Hillary make a good Vice President. Choosing Hillary as Obama's running mate would mean choosing Bill as well. And given the Clintons' unquenchable thirst for power, they would not be inclined to play-second fiddle, especially to someone who wrested from them the political prize they had taken for granted. From day one the Clinton duo would be scheming to
to usurp control of the White House. .

C. Navarro

Posted by: Carlos Navarro | June 4, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

What went wrong?

Hillary Clinton's last name is "Clinton." That name proved a double-edged sword for her. The Clinton brand is what allowed her to run in the first place, but it also drew a lot of opposition, and not just from Republicans. Who really wanted 24 or even 28 years of Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton? The deck was stacked against Clinton from the start.

Add to this, as many others have commented, that she ran what was simply a terrible campaign, and she gave Obama far too many opportunities to capitalize. Even when she seemed to push Obama back a little, Clinton came out with a new gaffe or misstep that gave Obama ground. Starting with her underestimation of Obama and her strategy of inevitability and continuing with the flawed strategy of ignoring caucuses in favor of overwhelming in big contests and then stretching into the various bumbled campaign slogans and gimmicks (what happened again to that campaign theme song that was announced in the Sopranos spoof?), Clinton simply hasn't run an even, consistent, solid campaign.

To start as the agent of experience and then try to morph into the agent of change and then try to be change through experience seemed reactionary rather than visionary. Clinton didn't start the campaign with a defining vision of herself, and all the subsequent attempts to make up for that only made her appear contradictory to the point of schizophrenia. Who is Hillary Clinton? What does she represent and stand for? I defy her supporters to answer these questions, and any two supporters are likely to give two radically different answers. It is one thing to be all things to all people, but when all of those messages seem to be coming out of campaign central on an alternating basis, most people are going to end up merely confused and uninspired.

Obama ran a tight campaign; Clinton didn't. Those things that Obama could not control, like Rev. Wright, hurt him to an extent, but the campaign remained focused nonetheless. In this sense, Obama's campaign so far has looked a lot more like Bill Clinton's '92 campaign that Hillary's campaign has, which is not without irony given that she has run on that very "experience." Hillary Clinton instead seemed to be running half in '92 mode against Bush and half in '96 mode as an incumbent, not realizing how incoherent the campaign message became when it mixed upstart with incumbent. Obama's more consistent message won the day.

Posted by: blert | June 4, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Um, Chris, you, um, forgot, um something:

Iraq. Iraq. Iraq. Iraq. Iraq. Iraq.Iraq. Iraq. Iraq. Iraq. Iraq. Iraq.Iraq. Iraq. Iraq. Iraq. Iraq. Iraq.Iraq. Iraq. Iraq. Iraq. Iraq. Iraq.Iraq. Iraq. Iraq. Iraq. Iraq. Iraq.Iraq. Iraq. Iraq. Iraq. Iraq. Iraq.Iraq. Iraq. Iraq. Iraq. Iraq. Iraq.Iraq. Iraq. Iraq. Iraq. Iraq. Iraq.

and

Iraq.

Posted by: Hank Essay | June 4, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

It was the war... We objected to her vote.

Posted by: Dan | June 4, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I would agree it is not always just about the Horse Race... Iraq, I agree was a problem, especially the way she talked around it all last fall, that also reminded us all about the constant spin of the Clinton's.

In addition, again it's not so much Bill Clinton on the stump, as much as Bill Clinton as "First Lady", that always seemed an issue to me, not only what will Hillary do with him, what will the rest of us do with him- "Radioactive", as alluded to in the Vanity Fair Article is right! Similarly this is why I personally am not interested in the "Unity Ticket" but I'll vote for it...

And lastly, for me personally, I was turned off by the Health Care argument. I believe in my soul that Hillary wants to improve our Health Care System but I just do not believe a mandate system is either a good idea or EVER GOING TO PASS IN CONGRESS! And I kept thinking to myself, here we go again with the 15 point plan and it's Hillary's Way or the Highway- you would think after the 90's she would be more interested in negotiating to come up with something better rather than forcing everyone to see eye to eye with her. I feel Obama is interested not only in bi-partisan advice but advice from all sorts of people who disagree with him. Hillary seems unable to keep that same kind of company and thusly, I hate to say it, but she reminded me of Bush and Cheney! I don't want another person in the White House who's first response is "SO" when told that the vast amount of American's disagree with them...

All that being said I fall into the camp of folks who just had a BLAST during this primary. I'm glad I found THE FIX!!! :)

Posted by: Christine | June 4, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Well, The Fix spent the entire campaign shilling for Hillary, so why stop now? It ignores the most important factors of her loss: the vote for the Iraq War; the narcissistic campaign organization; the lack of fundamental knowledge; the continuing hypocrisy; and the narrowness of her appeal.

Posted by: Miande | June 4, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Chris, you have just listed all the reasons why Hillary Clinton shouldn't be VP: layer-upon-layer of bad judgments, out-of-touch with political reality, and BILL.

What you left out in your autopsy, however, is the FACT that half of the nation doesn't trust her (Bosnia, ever-changing rules and goalposts not to mention, "Hillary Math") and that, due to her performance in the last few months, that number just keeps on growing. (I can hardly wait to see the next set of unfavorables after her despicable speech last night.)

PLUS the "passion gap" wasn't just among the two camp's supporters but between the two candidates, themselves.

Watching them from the peanut gallery made it feel as though we in the audience were having to choose between "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" and an over-long documentary on accounting procedures.

And finally, there is always that...icky feeling...when healthy people are having to deal with any amount of contact with the Clintons. For, like any other allergic reaction, it just increases with exposure.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Penn's belief that California was winner-take-all has been widely reported.

I guess I would be correct in assuming that last night Michelle Obama was, for only the second time in her adult life, proud of her country.

Obama is going to win, and he's going to win big. And we are all going to be sorry.

Posted by: Rick in Cincy | June 4, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

scrivener....

Ummm...What are you talking about man? That was one of the oddest posts I've seen yet. Look, Al Gore is the ONLY guy on Earth who could get me to switch from Obama, but...

A) He's not interested
B) If he we're it would not have anything to do with the Clintons as Al HATES them.
C) If something did go REALLY wrong with Barrack, the DNC would just give the ball back to Hillary.

So I am left to ask....where did this outlandish fantasy come from? Seriously, if you know something....doooo tell :-)

Posted by: Charles W Gray | June 4, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Its not so much what her campaign did wrong as, IMHO, the lofty expectations placed upon her my pundits, press, etc. Similar to a publicly traded company whose stock price takes a beating because, despite a strong earnings report, it came in below SOMEONE ELSE'S expectations.

Too many democrats wanted a viable alternative to HRC, be it because of her support for the war, Clinton-fatigue, Clinton -backlash-fatigue, or whatever reason you can think of.

Her negatives were just too high from the beginning to get the nomination, God bless her. I hope she continues to be a productive contributor to the welfare of our country and each one of us.

Posted by: Mark62 | June 4, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

"Mark Penn thought the Democratic primaries were winner-take-all."

REALLY??? Where did you read this? That would be colossal.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 4, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Pundits can dig through the wreckage all they like, but they miss the simple truth.

If there's one lesson Hillary should take from this, it's not about ignoring caucus states or hiring bad consultants or tweaking her message or any of that crap.

None of this would have happened if Hillary hadn't supported the Iraq war.

If she had voted against the war, she would be the next president today.

I hope she remembers that central fact. All the rest is just noise.

Posted by: B. Kaufmann | June 4, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

"What? I get HRC=267 Obama=227 even without Michigan and Florida. She simply won more large states. I am talking about electoral votes not the popular vote."

Another reason she lost: she thought they award Electoral Votes for primary victories. Just as Mark Penn thought the Democratic primaries were winner-take-all. Those guys couldn't pass an elemtary school civics class, let alone win the Presidency.

Posted by: tom | June 4, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

"But then Germany followed a similar man with little experience and a similar lust for power."

Jürgen Klinsmann??? Yeah, he was pretty inexperienced, but I can't say he was lusting for power. He hasn't coached for two years and he can have pretty much any job he wants.

Weird...

Posted by: DDAWD | June 4, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Everything The Fix has mentioned is valid, however, the Clinton failure to capture the nomination can be summed up in two words: Glory Days.

As The Fix points out, initially it was all about Day 1. Why? Because the overarching strategy was the 1988 Bush strategy of don't change horses in midstream. The Clinton campaign was about continuing the Clinton Presidency. The eight years of Bush II was simply red meat for the crowd, an abberation of history, nothing to take seriously. It was all about going back to the good ole days. Why else the "Like Bill, Vote Hill" slogan in Iowa? You notice that the old Clinton team's last appearance was behind her during her speech after the Iowa caucuses. From then on it was only Bill, Chelsea and her mom. The old Clinton cabinet was sent home. But by then it was too late. The pure momentum of the Clinton operation, supplemented by her fervent supporters continuing to send more and more money, is what kept her in past February when a mere mortal would have been forced to drop out or go the Ron Paul route.

The tactical and mid-level strategic mistakes will fill journals, thesis papers, articles, posts and books for a long time to come, but the core issue was going into the campaign with the wrong message. She is a baby boomer and baby boomers love nothing more than to navel gaze. The campaign was all about the glory days, whether the nineties or the sixties, it was a backwards looking campaign. You can be about the future or staying the course, but the past is for invoking in speeches, not returning too, if you want to be President. That lesson was learned too late and besides it was Obama's message by then.

Posted by: muD | June 4, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Any number of people we have chatted with over the last few weeks about what happened to Clinton made the argument that the campaign had ill-served the candidate.
________________________________________

This has always been my main argument for Obama over Clinton: a president is only as good as the people they pick to support them. Carter was a perfect example of this, as is Dubya Bush. Neither of them could really get their plans to work right because they picked inferior people who fought each other and refused to take the blame when things went bad. (Just because someone is the smartest person in the room does not mean they are the best person for the job.)

They were all ill-served by their staffs, and have no one to blame but themselves.

Posted by: dj333 | June 4, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Any number of people we have chatted with over the last few weeks about what happened to Clinton made the argument that the campaign had ill-served the candidate.
________________________________________

This has always been my main argument for Obama over Clinton: a president is only as good as the people they pick to support them. Carter was a perfect example of this, as is Dubya Bush. Neither of them could really get their plans to work right because they picked inferior people who fought each other and refused to take the blame when things went bad. (Just because someone is the smartest person in the room does not mean they are the best person for the job.)

They were all ill-served by their staffs, and have no one to blame but themselves.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton lost me forever the day she voted to invade Iraq.

Posted by: kenonwenu | June 4, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

To mz:

I don't think The Fix and other columns can deal with the fact that people substantively disagreed with her pro-war stance.

Pundits desparately need the result to be about the horse race and the strategy. It COULDN'T be as simple as, "people didn't like her politics".

Posted by: Dave | June 4, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Don't mention the war!

We are stuck with an idiot pundit class.

Posted by: mz | June 4, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Reason #1:

Voting for the Iraq War.

At least, that's why I didn't vote for her...

Posted by: Dave | June 4, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

AS THE MEDIA REVELS IN "THE DREAM," THE OTHER SHOE IS SOON TO DROP ON OBAMA. HILLARY ALREADY MAY KNOW ABOUT THE COMING JUNE SURPRISE. THAT'S WHY SHE'S SO OBSTINANT.

THAT EXPLAINS WHY AL GORE HAS NOT ENDORSED THE PRESUMPTIVE (PRESUMPTUOUS?) NOMINEE


Hillary knows that the power elite will not accept the notion of an inexperienced, untested liberal elitist as potus.

More than that, she knows Obama will be unable to weather the coming storm, because it reinforces the narrative: The candidate's past associations and his failure to distance himself from controversial figures disqualifies him from the top job.

Talk of whether Hillary wants the VP slot is nothing more than an irrelevant distraction. Her refusal to acknowledge Obama's mathematical clinch shows that she has no genuine interest in becoming Obama's stepmaid. She asked for "respect" from Obama while simultaneously disrespecting him. Obama has demonstrated a penchant for responding to a personal slight with pathetic attempts at accomodation. But even he will not kowtow to someone incapable of giving him his propers on such a historic occasion.

So how can Hillary be so tone deaf? Yes, she is arrogant and self-consumed. But she also knows something is coming, something that will finally cement the notion that Obama is unelectable. She already may know what that something is. Hillary also knows that her self-centered obstinance has alienated key Dem constituencies. So she cannot replace Obama as the party standard-bearer.

But others within the party share Hillary's disquieting unease. She and Bill know other party elders are silently applauding their refusal to cede the party to the Obamanauts. So she and Bill will play the role of party power brokers. As I have stated repeatedly, Billary, when the timing is right, will throw their delegate support behind an alternate candidate, most likely, Al Gore.

This won't happen until the other big shoe drops on Obama. That could happen within a matter of days.

And that is why Al Gore has not joined the steady but somewhat weak stream of supers who have moved to endorse Obama. Gore is the gentleman in waiting. And it won't be long now.

Posted by: scrivener | June 4, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP wrote:
"...Obama lost South Dakota to a politically dead corpse by 15 points! He limps across the finish line a wounded and seriously flawed candidate."

He won Montana. But of course, that doesn't count, right?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

My favorite image from last night was Lanny Davis with Larry King. Davis was drowned out by the noise of the workmen dismantling Sen. Clinton's stage behind him.

Not only was not having to hear Davis a treat, but the symbolism was priceless.

Another 'fire 'em up' story repeatedly used by the Senator was used again last night. That of 90-year women not having the right to vote. My 92-year old mother never complains about not being able to vote. The reason is because she was five when the 19th Amendment was passed. She's never honestly known a time when she couldn't vote.

A woman in the U.S. would have to be 109 or older to have not had the right to vote. So, none of those 90 year old ladies the Senator met, God Bless 'em, were ever turned away from the polls simply because they were a woman.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | June 4, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

There's an incredibly interesting article in the Washington Post about Obama's strategy. Essentially, it was to look for ineffeciencies in the system and exploit them. To spend less per delegate.

Essentially, Obama didn't fight to win the big battle ground states. Just to limit the losses. And while doing that, he would pick up delegates on the cheap from caucus states and states that Democrats typically ignore. In Kansas, Idaho, Utah, and Alaska, Obama was ignored by Clinton. In California, Obama was getting closer and closer to Clinton in the polls, but made the decision not to aggressively try and win the state.

Obama won more delegates in Kansas and Idaho than Clinton won in NJ. In fact, Obama spent a total of $5 million on Super Tuesday.

It was close after Super Tuesday with the two essentially tied.

Then Obama won eleven victories in a row with many of them by large margins. It was during that stretch that Obama put the contest away. Clinton was spent after Super Tuesday. Clinton was able to win PA, TX, and OH primaries, but they were small victories that didn't net her much in terms of delegates. In Texas, Obama won the caucus by a much larger percentage than she won the primary and netted more delegates than she did.

Follow that up with an essential tie in Indiana and a huge victory in NC and the contest was over.

I recommend it (sorry if this has already been posted) Have any of you read Moneyball? (book about the Oakland A's winning by targeting unconventional players instead of going after the superstars) This is kind of like that.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/03/AR2008060304268.html?hpid=topnews&sid=ST2008060203207

Posted by: DDAWD | June 4, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

What went wrong for her was that Obama ran a better campaign.

Posted by: Steve | June 4, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

Iraq.

Duh!

Posted by: oaguabonita | June 4, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

1) Don't know if you pointed this out, but not reckoning on John Edwards dropping out so soon. If Edwards stays through Super Tuesday, then he and Obama split much of the same vote and Clinton gains an insurmountable delegate lead. When it became a two person race, Obama received enough votes that it did not look inevitable after Feb. 5th. He was able to use the Post Super Tuesday states to build his delegate lead while Clinton was still trying to organize for a post Super Tuesday run.

2) I believe after Iowa she knew it would go past Super Tuesday, but her strategy and gameplan was for a run was against Edwards after Super Tuesday where she could lean on her husband for African American support. (I think she still didn't believe that an African American could gain enough white support to be competitive long term.) When Edwards dropped instead of Obama, she lost the coalition she planned to close the deal with and could not build one until 11 straight loses to Obama.

EDWARDS LEAVING BEFORE SUPER TUESDAY WAS THE GAME CHANGER AND CLINTON RETOOLED TOO LATE.

Posted by: Trey | June 4, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm a registered democrat who has yet to find a candidate moderate enough to vote for. I'm a baby boomer, female, federal employee. I'm voting for McCain as he is the only qualified candidate; however, since the media's unprecedented love fest with Obama, it's clear why Hillary could not clinch the nomination. I for one believe in the vote of the people (not the friends, relatives, and other friends of politics). Who do you think Nancy Pelosi's daughter backed? This was such a travesty. You could be on CNN watching Obama "misspeak" (lie if Clinton said anything out of order). Then turn to MSNBC and watch how they just act like it was never said while they blast John McCain and Hillary Clinton on some of the most bogus things I've ever heard. I used to think that these men and women actually read books and did research. Obviously not. It's Obama's turn now. If I can find what I've found on Obama, his ties, his committees, his beliefs (most of which I've yet to see or hear even from FOX) then I know that either you're hired for your voice and looks or your paid to be a talking head. Personally, you could get rid of all news. I'd rather see and hear the real deal. Hillary got a RAW deal, sweetie, and that's all I have to say for now.

Posted by: Rose Colored Glasses | June 4, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm a registered democrat who has yet to find a candidate moderate enough to vote for. I'm a baby boomer, female, federal employee. I'm voting for McCain as he is the only qualified candidate; however, since the media's unprecedented love fest with Obama, it's clear why Hillary could not clinch the nomination. I for one believe in the vote of the people (not the friends, relatives, and other friends of politics). Who do you think Nancy Pelosi's daughter backed? This was such a travesty. You could be on CNN watching Obama "misspeak" (lie if Clinton said anything out of order). Then turn to MSNBC and watch how they just act like it was never said while they blast John McCain and Hillary Clinton on some of the most bogus things I've ever heard. I used to think that these men and women actually read books and did research. Obviously not. It's Obama's turn now. If I can find what I've found on Obama, his ties, his committees, his beliefs (most of which I've yet to see or hear even from FOX) then I know that either you're hired for your voice and looks or your paid to be a talking head. Personally, you could get rid of all news. I'd rather see and hear the real deal. Hillary got a RAW deal, sweetie, and that's all I have to say for now.

Posted by: Rose Colored Glasses | June 4, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

The whole world outside of the USA has seen Obama for what he is. But like in Germany, some people can mesmerize the crowds and they will follow him. Hopefully the American people wake up before they cast their votes in November. If not, the Bush Presidency will be nothing, Disneyland compared to what they will face.

Hillary or McCain, there is no other alternative. But then Germany followed a similar man with little experience and a similar lust for power.

Posted by: Aussie2020 | June 4, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

So many things went wrong for Clinton; now that I "know" the Clintons, I'm not surprised they're trying to blame sexism rather than looking at themselves.

IMO, the first thing that went wrong was coming in third in Iowa; the Clintons' loss got national attention, while catapulting Obama to the national stage.

The second thing that went wrong was Bill. He seemed to throw a devoted voting bloc-African Americans--under the bus before South Carolina.

The third thing that went wrong was being unprepared for a race that continued after February 5th.

Hillary can now salvage something of her candidacy by being gracious and undoing some of the damage she's done by creating a moment that's about her, not the party.

Posted by: Seneca | June 4, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Hillary lost just like hundreds of other candidates have in the past; It makes her equal. She is not entitled to special rules, re-rules, re-justifications, or the VP, just because she is a: Clinton, first viable female candidate, Democrat, woman, white, etc. She trashes the democratic process, the Democratic Party, and feminism by her behavior. With all of her denial, stubbornness (a la GW Bush), and refusal to reality check herself on display, I say we are lucky she is out of the running, because we can't afford more of Clinton and GWB's brand of politics; And in her time she has absorbed the most negative aspects of both.

Also, who is this anti-Obama flamer, with the constant "baby wipe" comments. Isn't there a way to bar that sort of abusiveness from this type of discussion.

We get it, he/she/nameless-it dislikes Obama. What h/s/it says over and over again does not make a ground swell of opposition to Obama. It is time for a change.

Posted by: RPB | June 4, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Kingofzouk wrote:
I won five bucks last night from my wife. she said there was nothing else clinton could do but concede. I bet that being a clinton, she would try to spoil it for anyone else.
I won.
Posted by: kingofzouk | June 4, 2008 12:58 PM

If Hillary announces her candidacy for President, she will spoil it for both Obama and McCain when they both will have to debate her in front of the whole world. The whole world wants to see Hillary duke it out with both Obama and McCain all the way up to the election in November. If Obama thought the going has been tough, he and his supporters have not seen or experienced nothing yet. When Hillary announces her candidacy for President, then both Obama and McCain will not be able to run and hide. They will have to face the American People and deal with the issues the Ameican people care about. The issues which Hillary has solutions for and the reason why Hillary got more votes than both Obama and McCain.

Hillary R. Clinton, the next President of the USA (again if she has the courage and faith in herself and in the American People). Hillary faces the biggest challenge and decision of her life. Does she have enough courage, faith and respect for the American People, the USA Constitution and Democracy, to make a clean break from the DNC Insiders and run as an Independent. Is she a Natural Born Leader like Susan B. Anthony? Many of us have faith in her. Hopefully her husband Bill will not stand by her and back her, like Hillary did her when Bill had his hard decisions to make.

Hillary R. Clinton. Please announce your candidacy for the President of the USA as an Independent Candidate. You do not need the DNC Insiders, Howard Dean, Carl Levin, John Edwards, ... You have the American People. Now put your faith and confidence in THEM (US the American PEOPLE), like we have you!!


Posted by: Aussie2020 | June 4, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

America needs to feel good about itself again and Obama is the cure.
And if America feels good the rest of the world will too.

Posted by: EZ | June 4, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

When her kid (Chelsea) told off the grade schooler - She (Chelsea ) did'nt talk to reporters and that included her (the little girl). I decided I would not vote or support Mrs. Clinton as this was one more example of the arrogance and entitlement. If you don't want to talk to reporters then get off the campaign trail.

Posted by: Barbara | June 4, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

"Disasters don't just happen - they're the result of a sequence of events and actions"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seconds_From_Disaster

Senator Clinton's campaign will be studied for years, analogous to the crash of the Concorde, the Texas refinery explosion, the collapse of the Hyatt Regency skywalk...maybe they'll do a show about it!

Seriously, the only way for Senator Clinton to lose the nomination was to have done scores of things wrong - in the perfect sequence. Back Bush on Iraq, never acknowledge mistakes, use strongarm tactics on other politicians, declare yourself inevitable, the "insult 40 states" strategy, Bill's mouth-off in South Carolina, misspend money on big shot consultants who have other business interests anyway (Mark Penn), look phony downing a shot and a beer, "Obama's not a Muslim, as far as I know", and on and on and on...

Posted by: Greg in FL | June 4, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

What went wrong? Howard Dean, Carl Levin, John Edwards, Obama and the DNC Insiders colluding to defraud and disenfranchise the will of the people in Michigan. To give all of the UNCOMMITTED voters and some of Hillary's votes to Obama, who was not even on the ballot is the biggest Crime against Democracy in any Western Democracy. The DNC has shown themselves to be the corruptest political party in the history of all Western Democracies. Howard Dean, Carl Levin, John Edwards and Obama will go down in history as the corruptest political insiders in the history of American politics. They are Criminals against Democracy. But everyone from Illinois and expecially those from Chicago know that Illinoinans are experts in political corruption. Sad that the DNC has been taken over by this group of criminals.

Hillary's only course of action is to break from the Democratic party, like Ross Perot and Pat Buchanen did from the Republican party. Hillary now faces the biggest challenge in her career and her character. Does she follow the criminals within the Democratic Party, or does she make a clean break from the Democratic party like Ross Perot did. Is she American first or Democrat first? We will probably find out shortly. Did the 18,000,000 millions voters who vote for Hillary over estimate her? Or will she show the DNC Insiders, Carl Levin, Howard Dean, John Edwards and Obama that they not only underestimated her, but also the American People.

In a three person race:
Hillary, McCain and Obama, Hillary would come out on top. But does she have the faith and courage to take on the DNC Insiders, Howard Dean, Carl Levin, John Edwards, Obama and the Super Delegates.

Many of us think that she does have the courage and faith to be the Next President of the USA. Will she go out on a limb for the American People, her 18,000,000 million supporters and for Democracy, or will she take the easy way out and step aside. Let see what Hillary is made of? Many thought she was made of steel, but we shall see.

Hillary, show us and the WORLD what you are made of. Are you like Angela Merkel in Germany, Tara Halonen in Finland and Margarett Thather in the UK, or are you a willing participant of the FRAUD of the DNC Insiders: Howard Dean, Carl Levin, John Edwards, Obama, ...

Hillary, stay the course and announce your candidacy for the Presidency of the USA in November. Be America's Angela Merkel, Tara Halonen and Margarett Thatcher. The time is here and now for the USA to have its FIRST Woman President, Hillary R. Clinton.
For Susan B. Anthony, for you daughter Chelsea, for all our daughters, sisters and Mums, stay the course and announce your candidacy for the Presidency. You, and NO woman need any longer take a back seat to Obama, McCain or any other man!!

Hillary R. Clinton, the next President of the USA (if she has the courage and faith to run, announce her candidacy!!). You got put your hand up and participate to play the game!!

Posted by: Aussie2020 | June 4, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Chris but must say that the biggest reason for her failed campaign is her support of the war. Yesterday, voters here in Montana listed the war in Iraq as the most important issue in this election. Her pandering to voters with her "gas tax holiday" - an idea that only she and McCain were willing to support - is just another example of her inability to stand up for anything truly authentic. She only looks to support an issue if it is stategic in her mind to further her campaign/career. She totally misread the country - first and most importantly in voting for the war and then continuing with her misguided pandering on issues such as the gas tax.

Posted by: Patty | June 4, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I won five bucks last night from my wife. she said there was nothing else clinton could do but concede. I bet that being a clinton, she would try to spoil it for anyone else.

I won.

Posted by: kingofzouk | June 4, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

You can say it was the "change" thing, you can say it was Iraq, you can it it was the clumsy campaign, you can even say they underestimated Obama, but what was the final nail in the coffin ( given that she lost only in delegates and but a bit over 100), was they MSM love fest with Obama. Let's face it, he got all the good press, while she was hounded from day one.
Now, before you take me for just a bitter Clinton supporter, let me say that in the beginning I like both Obama and Clinton. But, as the race got passed Iowa, I realized that he could have taken his clothes off at a stripper party and danced naked and the MSM would have probabaly said that he was drugged and kidnapped.
Over the course of this race I have never witnessed such a bias towards one candidate ( except for 2000 with G. W. Bush vs Gore) than I saw with Obama vs Clinton.
As many times that he has out right lied, flipflopped, or hedged, the media just wouldn't cover it fully, like they would with Hillary. Every little mistake she made was blown into the largest heasdlines.
Except for the pastor thing, Obama got off scott free. He was even able to twist the non-racist statement she made about LBJ and MLK into a racist comment, and the media jumped on board.
So, say what you will about her "failed" campaign, Bill unplugged, fund raiseing, or underestimating Obama, but as close as this race is/ was and as bias as the MSM is towards Obama, she alomost pulled it off.
This race was like watching the Supperbowl if the refs were all paid to look away at Obama's fouls, while flagging Clinton's every play, and yet she almost pulled it off.
Just think, what if Florida and Michigan were counted fairly ( remember Obama actually broke the rules in Fla. by running cable ads and giving an interview after a fundraiser,( again the media didn't cover that!)), where would this race be now.
No, say what you will, the media was in the tank for Obama.
Now, when ever I listen to him speak it makes me sick, much like I feel when ever I hear George Bush speak.
The funny thing is, I accually trust McCain more than I do Obama, because I know his record. Whereas Obama has no record to be trusted on.
I cannot vote for McCain( because I trust he will do what he says) so I have to vote for Obama, which makes my skin crawl.
and I bet I am not alone.
After all this , McCain will probabaly win in Nov. simply because the Dems keep voting with their hearts and not their heads.
Another lost chance for this pathetic excuse for a Party that I belong to.

Posted by: Samuel | June 4, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Unsurprisingly, the blizzard of bitter, "sore loser" comments from the Clinton camp have begun. It's going to be a long five months.

Posted by: wpreader2007 | June 4, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget the difference in speaking ability. Whatever the content, Clinton's sentences mostly sounded alike; her speeches had no trajectory, little variation in intensity.

Posted by: Stuart Ross | June 4, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

what went wrong with hillary? how about they didn't lock her and bill up when they had the chance. Instead the Libs covered for them. now everyone knows what a crooked pair they are, although most of us with any brains knew it in the 90s.

how long until the Libs realize what an amatuer thay have chosen? second week in nov?

Posted by: kingofzouk | June 4, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

How about no plan B? Senator Clinton was so sure she would wrap this on Super Tuesday that she had no organization in most post-SuperTuesday states.

The story I would like to read -- when insiders in the Obama campaign start talking -- is how and when the Obama campaign realized that they could march through many of the post-SuperTuesday states and most of the caucus states with no effective opposition. I suspect they found it hard to believe at first, or even thought Clinton was setting some sort of a trap. How could such a polished pol as Senator Clinton have no backup plan! I was (pleasantly, as an Obama backer) stunned when I saw how few Clinton supporters showed up my precinct caucus (Kingston, Washington).

Posted by: Kit Taylor | June 4, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Time for Mr. Obama to be very, very careful. Mrs. Clinton's husband took $130 million from the president of Kazakhstan a few years ago and now it's payback time. If the Clintons can't get back in, they themselves may be at risk.
Mr. Obama needs some very public insurance, something that makes it crystal-clear that HRC will not be the nominee should he have an unfortunate accident.

Posted by: John Johnson | June 4, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse


Isn't it amazing that still no one can stop talking about Hillary?

Deflections.

When is the first Obama vs McCain match? I cannot wait.


Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Four reasons:

1. Iraq war vote. Hillary Clinton's vote to authorize this incredibly stupid, unnecessary, and counterproductive war was transparently a calculated political move to try to position her in the center on national security in a general election campaign. Classic Clinton "triangulation." The activist base of the Democratic Party saw it for what it was---naked politics, sacrificing principle and the nation's best interests for personal political gain. That activist base first split between Obama who alone among the major candidates had opposed the war from the outset, and John Edwards who at least had the good sense to repudiate his own vote. When Edwards dropped out, the activists flocked to Obama. They fueled his incredible army of volunteers and overflowed his campaign coffers with online donations. Hillary dissembled about the reasons for her vote, never acknowledged error, contributing to her already well-established image as less than honest, upright, and trustworthy, a political opportunist even on questinos of life-and-death importance. Her Iraq war vote fatally damaged her own candidacy from the outset, even as it fueled Obama's.

2. A disastrously flawed campaign strategy. She first ran as the consummate insider, the anointed "inevitable" pick of the party establishment in a year voters were disgusted with the Washington establishment. She tried to run on Clinton nostalgia in a year voters were more interested in looking forward than in looking back. She tried to run as the candidate of experience in a year in which most voters wanted change. She assumed her superior fundraising and scads of endorsements would make her the preemptive favorite and she'd win with a quick one-two punch in Iowa and New Hampshire, or absolutely worst case on Super Tuesday, and failed to plan for anything beyond. She contested only the "big states" on Super Tuesday, leaving almost half the delegates on the table for a smarter, nimbler Obama campaign to sweep up. She burned through tens of millions of dollars and came out of Super Tuesday broke, essentially tied with Obama in the delegate race, and directionless. By the time she finally emerged from an 0-13 post-Super Tuesday slump as a scrappier, feistier, admirably resilient candidate, it was too late; the race was effectively over. Bottom line, notwithstanding the formidable assets she started with and the effective and appealing candidate she ended as, this was one of the most poorly conceived and poorly executed political campaigns in modern political history. Once her angry feminist supporters get over their shock and dismay at her loss and wake up to the fact that the real villain in this piece is not Barack Obama but Clinton's chief strategist Mark Penn, they're going to want to tar and feather him.

3. She was up against a once-in-a-generation political phenom in Barack Obama who not only is electrifyingly charismatic in a way we haven't seen since Bobby Kennedy, but who also has built the most efficient and effective national political organization anyone has seen in a long, long time, from the ground up. Usually there are "movement" candidates and "organization" candidates. Obama at the top of his game is both, and has an uncanny ability to blend the two, to use each to leverage the other.

4. The race card backfired. It started in South Carolina with comments by Bill that were interpreted (rightly or wrongly) by black voters as ridiculing and belittling Barack Obama, and dismissing him as just another Jesse Jackson, the "black" candidate who can win black votes but nothing more. "Downrating" him, as one voter put it, something blacks recognize from their own bitter experience. Black voters revolted en masse, switching their allegiance from Clinton, who began as the overwhelming favorite of black voters, to Obama who became their near-unanimous pick. They never came back. Hillary's own transparently race-based appeals to working class Appalachian whites---"hard-working Americans, white Americans"---didn't help either. And it wasn't just black voters who were offended; this sort of crude race-baiting is an ugly reminder of a politics the Democratic Party has struggled mightily to put behind itself since the 1960s. It was really beneath the Clintons' dignity, and they've badly tarnished their reputation with a broad swath of progressive Democrats, black and white.

Posted by: Brad K | June 4, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse


Obama will use anyone and anything. He's proven this all along, time and time again.

Anyone who doesn't like him is a racist or a bitter stupid person - or, now someone who hates Latinos!!!

He's a real UNITER - oh yeah.

http://lonewacko.com/blog/archives/007708.html

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I was hoping for a "re-vote"in FL. Just so that I could redeem myself for voting for HRC on Jan 29. As it turns out, she still continues to be her obnoxious self, showing no party unity by saying: "We won more votes than Obama!" Yeah, tell that to Al Gore. Give it up! YOU LOST!

Posted by: Bill | June 4, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I personally, did not like being told by the Clinton campaign and the endless talking heads that Clinton was the "inevitable nominee." That statement just reeks of arrogance.

I and I think many others looked around for a viable alternative and we found not only that but a superior candidate in Barack Obama. The rest is history.

Posted by: Unrepentant Liberal | June 4, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse


OBAMA BOYS CLUB

Daschel, Dodd, Kerry, Rockafeller, Edwards


BOYS CLUB WHO VOTED FOR THE WAR IN IRAQ

Daschel, Dodd, Kerry, Rockafeller, Edwards


NOT "DIFFERENT"

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

What went wrong for *all of us* is that the MSM is completely corrupt and failed to ask any candidate real questions.

In the case of Obama, they could have asked him about one of his lies, like this one:

http://lonewacko.com/blog/archives/007708.html

If you want to do a public service, get out there and start asking the candidates the questions the MSM is too corrupt to ask and upload their responses to Youtube.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | June 4, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse


CHRIS

YOU'RE SUCH A BABY WIPE

JUST KISS HIS BUTT AND GET IT OVER WITH


YOU HAVE SUCH A HATE FOR HILLARY

YOU SHOULD SEEK THERAPY


FOR BOTH THOSE PROBLEMS


YOU'RE SO UNPROFESSIONAL

UNTALENTED

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I think once you take away the last names, people chose the candidate who resembled Bill Clinton.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 4, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse


Obama's game plan?

Don't answer questions about Rev Wright until you have won delegates

Look to Hillary to write your policies - tweek them and call them your own (very likely honed this skill in school)

Look to Hillary for answers in debates. Let her answer first - then state how you agree with her answer - tweek it or add something meaningless, no one will notice

Kiss the arses of the press. Take them everywhere. Feed them really good food with donors money. Smile especially at the women in the press corp Suzanne Malveaux and Dana from CNN are prone to Obama orgazms. Sick - not at all professional.

Take all the white money you can get. Talk to bilionaires about bitter white people who don't vote for you - make excuses that they don't know better. Talk that money out of those pockets

Out spend hillary 3-1 or more. For only an "EEK" of a win. Show how well you manage money and how you will spend it on anything - especially yourself.


Baby wipe Obama media Democracy. David Axelrod Productions.

Marketing Miracle done nothing do little.

The games have now begun. He's in the ring - standing alone with the big boys. What fantastic show this will be. He looks scared. He should be.


Kiss our bitter white butts Mr. Obama. We didn't like you before you said it. We like you even less now.

You are an incompetent house of cards.

First round !!! Karl Katrina Rove


Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I would tend to agree with JEP below. No one leader can create the huge demand for change. The demand for change is already there, perhaps unmanifested. A good leader can help crystallize the underlying demand, and that's what Obama has done. Beyond that, I must say her difficulty with truth (even last night, in her "I have actually won" nonsense, she claimed that S.D. was the last election when in fact Montana had that honor; she claimed she had 18 million votes when she doesn't) and her nonstop sense of entitlement surely contributed to her losing.

Posted by: Roger | June 4, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Rahm finally endorses OBAMA

better late than never

OBAMA WEBB

support the troops

Posted by: its a bloody mess of a war | June 4, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

IRAQ, IRAQ, IRAQ and IRAQ

Bush is not the biggest political casualty of the Iraq War - its Hillary.

That vote and the subsequent refusal to apologize for it gave Obama the opening that he needed and being the talented and shrewd politician he is, he took it and ran with it.

As Hillary once said, "If the most important thing to any of you is choosing someone who did not cast that vote or has said his vote was a mistake, then there are others to choose from."

Well, those voters have made their choice.

And it ain't her.

Posted by: CP | June 4, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Come on Folks, Relax. We must do more sex,
drink more French or Portuguese Wine, read more Books(Yacoubian Building,my advice), go to the movie to see Sex and the City, go on Vacation(to Europe,of course), eat more fish and exercise to stay fit and... in November, we have to take care that Obama be elected. Because he is a good guy with a good spirit and a positive agenda to take us back from this Hole, where we stand now(the only Bush Legacy)

Posted by: Bruno | June 4, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Chris the hack: "The Fix: What Went Wrong for Clinton?" You and MSNBC/HuffPost/CNN/ WashPost/NY Times/ sold them out from day one. I can only imagine if the same double standards were used for Michelle Obama. Even one pundit on MSNBC David Shuster said, the Clinton's were pimping out Chelsea. The Obama biased media was outragiously against the Clinton's from
day one. Herr Olbermann, was the worst!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Team Clinton's Rope-A-Dopes. What is a Rope-a-dope you ask? read on.

The Clintons have been known to pull large political rabbits out of their hats for quite some time. Just what has made them so successfull in the past? One strategy they use is the rope-a-dope. That is, they instigate a dirty trick on an opponent and before anyone notices (indeed sometimes before they even accomplish the feat itself) will accuse their opponent of doing it to them. Another definition for their rope-a-dope is that they will deliberately distort a very important fact which is advantageous to their opponent and lie to claim it themselves for their own advantage. This sort of thing goes way beyond mere spin....it's usually gross lies which they don't back down from...to the point where people wonder if they are delusional. As examples, I submit Hillary last night at her non-existent concession speech stating that South Dakota (Who happened to go her way) was the last Primary. Not so....Montana which went Obama's way was. Or, Team Clinton's submission that Hillary has the Popular vote (See below for more on this). Or....Hillary making the point that she, not Obama has the white male working class vote, then accuses Obama of sexism towards her campaign....this came after many of her supporters were outwardly racist towards Obama. Lately, Hillary has mobilized the feminist demographis of here supporters to make it appear all her supporters are vocal, upset, mad, etc. In truth out of 17+ million voters you're bound to have a few very lound nutjobs. These are the ones who now show up at her gatherings. And the Hillary of long past fantasizes that she is the leader of the feminists. (She may be...but she was always a lightweight in such reagrd). Now she wants us to believe all her supporters feel the same as this smaller minority. It may have worked, if just a few weeks ago, she hadn't wanted us to believe that her supporters were mainly made up of white working class males, whch she, not Obama could capture according to her thought. Anyways, the Clinton Rope-A-dope comes in many flavors, but they all have the same purpose...and that is to deceive the masses of the real truth. There are countless other examples...you may be able to remember a few. You will, if you pay close attention. This is the sort of politics that Obama wants to remit to the trasheap of history. He may have accomplished it last night.

Ya know, last night I heard Hillary state she had more than 18 million votes in her pocket. And imply that she has the popular vote by stating she has more votes than anyone else. This is more than mere sleazy political spin...it is a monumental lie by omission. Whe one gets the truth about the popular vote by going to RealClearPolitics.com, they see that Obama, not Clinton claims the popular vote.

The only way Clinton wins the popular vote is if Obama gets absolutely no votes from Michigam Primary. BUT, since the Rules committee of the DNC legitimized the Mich Primary votes to the extent they did, Obama does in fact officially claim the uncommitted Mich Primary votes since his name wasn't on the ballot. Clinton would like us to beleive that Obama should get no votes from Mich, according to "the rules". Imagine that....Clinton's bunch arguing Clinton gets her votes and Obama gets none, then because of that false tally...claim she has the popular vote.

Shame...Shame...Shame. What audacity. I guess I can be grateful that she has to make such a case to the superdelagates, and not the masses...because the superdelagates see the Clinton sham for what is is. They live and breath this political stuff every day. Obama indeed rightfully claims the popular vote, not Clinton.

So...ther you have it. Another Team Clinton's Rope-A-Dope. How about it, any Dopes out there?

Posted by: YardoKnowsBest | June 4, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA WEBB

CHANGE AND STRENGTH

SUPPORT OF TROOPS

Posted by: OBAMA WEBB | June 4, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

The question is - Why did Obama keep losing right up to the end? when everyone had already called her a dead horse, Obama kept losing to her, even on the very last day.

Obama lost South Dakota to a politically dead corpse by 15 points! He limps across the finish line a wounded and seriously flawed candidate.

Congratulations Democrats- you now have a candidate that is disliked by a large portion of your base - just like the Rs.


LOL

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | June 4, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Don't like Obama - you're a racist

Obama loses - Hillary's fault.


What school yard are we on?


Barry Obama will step in it all by himself.

You can see on his face he's scared already. So is Michelle.

They should be. Incompetence is stark.


Let the games begin !!!


Hillary can take her HEFTY political capital and watch.

Her supporters are not going anywhere. Certainly not to Obama.


BELIEVE THAT KOOL AID KIDS !!!


Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

The unstated problem from the beginning of Hillary's race was the underlying concern of many people that we would, as had been done in South American elections, run as a candidate or possibly elect the spouse of a former leader.
Back in November, I sat at a luncheon table of political economists. We were taling about the next election, and one of the poly sci pollster types asked: Raise your hands if you think Hillary will be elected president. No one raised their hands. This was a very despondent moment for all of us.
I am grateful we had a choice at the end.

Posted by: Bill | June 4, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

She didn't win the Republican states out West. Obamas campaign knew he needed to win those delegates and he did. Now lets see how many red states vote for Obama in November.

Posted by: Jann | June 4, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I swore I would no longer support the comments section by participating. But I am happy to announce that Chris and WaPo seemed to be doing a better job of keeping this comments section off race(ism) and on-topic.

Hillary lost because of Bill.
Hillary lost because we can't stand the thought of a Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton dynasty.
Hillary lost because she felt entitled.
Hillary lost because she didn't earn enough votes.
Hillary lost because the more we got to know her the less we liked what we saw (Obama enjoys the opposite effect).

Hillary lost and now she's playing games with her supporters, her fellow-Democrats who supported Obama and this primary process.

As much as I don't care for HRC, she should continue representing my former state. Also, she would make a great cabinet member, Sec'y of State or Supreme Court Judge. None of those are shabby jobs.

Posted by: tony the pitiful copywriter | June 4, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Clinton's refusal to express remorse about Iraq War authorization seems to be related to the same pathology we are witnessing in her delusion over conceding.

Posted by: Tucsonchris | June 4, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Speaking as a Republican who strongly believes the Republican Party should have remained states rights libertarians after Goldwater (no room for social conservatives who want to tell us how to date and marry), McCain is anathema to us.

The only thing that could have made me consider McCain (who wants to background check men who use the Internet) would be a Hillary nomination for the Dems. Hillary is an anti-male feminist, who wants women to have special rights including the right to make false accusations against men as in the Duke Fake Rape Case.

With Hillary eliminated, Obama is looking good to Republican males who consider McCain a backstabber.

With Hillary as the Obama VP candidate, we would all turn to McCain however. Also, with anti-male liberals like Biden or Webb as Obama's VP candidates...McCain will probably also get our votes.

Obama needs to choose carefully whom is VP will be.

Posted by: Jack Sanderson | June 4, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Boy... we knew the media was dumb. But THIS dumb?

Do you really think with 50%++ and the popular vote that Hillary has nothing and has to step away?

This is the same dumb media that has baby wiped Mr. Incompetent Obama.

Hillary has POLITICAL CAPITAL FROM HERE TO DENVER

Mr. Obama is now on the ropes - and in the ring with the BIG GUYS


REALITY CHECK

KOOL AID CESSATION PROGRAM


Of course his kiddie and black like me fans have already started with "if he loses it is her fault" wah wah wah

Don't worry. Obama will lose right out in clear view - all on his own.

There will be no way to "blame" Hillary.

He's a house of cards. Incompetent.

Here comes Karl Katrina Rove

He's playing with the big boys now. Just like Hillary told him months ago. This was nothing.

Let the games begin.

I sent Hillary a nice big donation the other day - so she can have a round of drinks and watch the show - on me.

When is the first debat? That's what I want to know.


The DC Boysclub Thugs can't cheat for him here.


Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

War Vote and BUSH CLINTON BUSH CLINTON FATIGUE

Posted by: its a bloody mess of a war | June 4, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse


Boy... we knew the media was dumb. But THIS dumb?

Do you really think with 50%++ and the popular vote that Hillary has nothing and has to step away?

This is the same dumb media that has baby wiped Mr. Incompetent Obama.

Hillary has POLITICAL CAPITAL FROM HERE TO DENVER

Mr. Obama is now on the ropes - and in the ring with the BIG GUYS


REALITY CHECK

KOOL AID CESSATION PROGRAM

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I would add the following reasons to your list:
- Outdated fund-raising process. Relying too heavily on traditional big, one-timer donors, not leveraging the Internet as much as they could have to mobilize a large broad-based fund-raising machine comprised of small donors that would give repeatedly to the campaign. News of a campaign in the red doesn't bode well for a candidate seeking to turn the nation's economy around. If she can't even manage a campaign, how is she going to manage the nation's finances?

- Flip-Flop/ambivalence on the licenses for illegal immigrants issue in NY. Her silence during the very first debate on TV was not just awkward but showed a candidate that would do anything and say anything, just to get elected.

- Starting the campaign with a feeling of entitlement. The way her campaign was acting in the initial stages was nothing short of arrogant, as if the nomination was an automatic for anyone with last name Clinton. That led to the incorrect dismissal of Obama as a serious candidate, the refusal to look in the mirror for mistakes.

Posted by: CP | June 4, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

NOTHING!

Posted by: Tom | June 4, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

"burgeoning people with patriotism"

...excellent imagery, and acutely accurate.

Add the psuedo-christians to that equation and you have "Wave the flag and worship Jesus", only the other way around...

They wave their religion and worship the flag.

Posted by: JEP | June 4, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

"This is our moment, this is our time"

Posted by: Bruno | June 4, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Chris, you have it all backwards.

Obama is not bringing us change; change brought us Obama.

Forget figuring out what Clinton did wrong, she and her staff have actually managed the latter parts of this debacle with some serious success.

But everyone is disregarding the historical anomoly factor.. Obama caught the wave the Dean once climbed, but couldn't ride, and the same one the media methodically refused to let Edwards surf when he might well have riddeen it out, if he had not been knocked off the board.

Seems Obama's early years in Hawaii paid off. He knew how to both catch a wave AND ride it.

Hillary's campaign was just swimming from the beginning, with no concept of catching a populist wave.

So this is really a chicken-egg scenario; which came first, the change or the candidate.

My impression is that the change was already upon us, and became Obama, not the other way around.

Posted by: JEP | June 4, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

" ... middle-America-hater like you."

Please. What a BS dodge. The warmongering torture-monkeys have perfected the art of burgeoning people with patriotism. They want you to believe that anyone who questions these awful policies must hate America. That's how they've gotten away with it so far. But I have a feeling--and the numbers back me up--that people are starting to wise up.

Posted by: the correct side of history | June 4, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Hillary failed because she is stuck in the 90s. This is a different time with different challenges and different environment.

People's opinions have changed on a lot of issues compared to the opinions of the 90s.

George Bush has polarized this country to such an extent that "triangulation" is not an option anymore, but that woman still thinks that it is.

All the other things listed such as campaign flaws, and this and that, comes later.

Posted by: Niraj | June 4, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

IT's all about IRAQ. First the vote, then the lackluster rationalizations.

Obama might never have run if she had pulled the anti-Bush-can-do-what-he-wants-in-Iraq lever.

Our beloved Media discounts the citizens of this country as much as our beloved politicians. Stop talking to yourselves and listen to the rest of the people in this country ... ok?

Posted by: Fred D | June 4, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

What's so brilliant the media have been desperate for a Democrat administration for 7 years and have been giving $100,000,000 a week in free page one puff pieces to the Dem candidates since the campaigns have begun.

Pictures of a dog licking his foot with the slogan "Time for Relief" would be hailed as brilliant by the press as long as it was an ad for a Democrat.

Now Hillary is insisting on the VP spot.

Two words ringing in Michelle Obama's ears will prevent that from happening. The two words? Vince Foster.

Posted by: mike in reno | June 4, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I switched from supporting Hillary to Obama when the Clinton campaign began fanning the flames with outright lies and accusations against Obama. It was at that time I decided the country had had enough of the Clinton-Bush kind government. We need a change.

Posted by: Monty Keeling | June 4, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

The war. Had she said, "I got duped, bamboozled and fooled by bad intel," she would hav drawn enough of the anti-war "wing" of the party to beat BHO. She didn't even have to apologize, just admit that her vote was garbage-in-garbage-out.

Posted by: Mason | June 4, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

What went wrong for Clinton?

She relied on Bill for advice and the advice she got was bad.

They fought the last war -- and McSame is repeating their mistake.

Posted by: thesuperclasssux | June 4, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

My reasons for not supporting Hillary:
1. Her vote for the Iraq war - unforgiveable. And her continuing agressive comments in re. Iran confirm her "one of the boys" attitude. Not what I would be looking for in a female candidate.
2. The ick factor of Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton.
3. Her negatives with so many on the other side - so tired of polarizing polititians.
4. She's not the best/only potential woman candidate - see, e.g., Janet Napolitano. There will be other times.

These were factors influencing me long before her campaign began.

And then I found out about Obama - the idea of President Barack Obama has me positively enchanted.

Posted by: Janie | June 4, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps being a representative for New York and not addressing the 9/11 cover-up as well as not defending the rights of children of combatants caught up in a cause more about oil than freedom and lost their lives is amongst the reasons.

It could be both the USA and the rest of the world need a fresh start with new people and no baggage of cover-ups, which includes banks and auditors.

Michael Stephen Nolan

Eire

Posted by: Michael Stephen Nolan | June 4, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

She needs to look in the mirror. She lost because of who she is, Hillary Clinton.

She thought she was "entitled". She thought it was just a routine coronation. She LIED. She was and continue to be dismissive. She is malicious. She is a panderer. She is vindictive. She voted for an unnecessary war, whose premise was based on bold face lies. She is the enabling wife of Bill Clinton. She underestimated the message of "change". She represented the past. She abuses the pronoun "I", indicating a pathology of deep selfishness. She resorted to race bating. She uses her gender to garner votes and then cries foul at the slightest indication of sexism. She always wants it her way....another sign of selfishness. She lost because she was simply the wrong female candidate at the right time.

Posted by: Norm FL | June 4, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Hillary lost because she's a bully, Cheney-esque, able to demagog fear and ride some emotional issues, but not much of a candidate herself.

It's that simple.

Posted by: Rob L. | June 4, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse


Not exactly. Gen X is and was politically active--it's just that Gen Y just started paying attention to issues this year, rather than over the last four.

But, better late than never. Welcome.

Posted by: | June 4, 2008 11:49 AM


Or the last eight years! I'm glad they come out this year; we need all the help we can get. :D

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Cillizza, like the rest of the brain dead media, can't seem to acknowledge the significance of Hillary's Iraq War vote and her refusal to repudiate it. Cillizza at least mentions it, but then minimizes it by characterizing it as an issue only in "progressive" Iowa.

Newsflash for Cillizza: her Iraq War vote and stance hurt Hillary in EVERY primary, in every caucus, in every contest where the progressive and activist wing of the party voted in force. It was the single biggest factor that prevented Hillary from cementing her status as prohibitive favorite and foreclosing the rest of the field.

Once Edwards repudiated his Iraq War vote, Hillary's refusal to do so became more conspicuous, and in the eyes of many in the democratic party it was a willful and revealing refusal.

Cillizza and the Washington Post may prefer to forget about the Iraq War, but we can't. Hillary's position on the war was BY FAR the biggest impediment to her campaign.

Posted by: thomas c | June 4, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

She lost because she voted to authorize the Iraq war. Which is as it should be.

Posted by: Killjoy | June 4, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Rezko again?

Why not throw in a few bars of Jeremiah Wright while you're at it?

PS - You Lost.

Ha Ha Ha, in your fat, lezbo face !

Posted by: Rezko / Lezko | June 4, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Cillizza, like the rest of the brain dead media, can't seem to acknowledge the significance of Hillary's Iraq War vote and her refusal to repudiate it. Cillizza at least mentions it, but then minimizes it by characterizing it as an issue only in "progressive" Iowa.

Newsflash for Cillizza: her Iraq War vote and stance hurt Hillary in EVERY primary, in every caucus, in every contest where the progressive and activist wing of the party voted in force. It was the single biggest factor that prevented Hillary from cementing her status as prohibitive favorite and foreclosing the rest of the field.

Once Edwards repudiated his Iraq War vote, Hillary's refusal to do so became more conspicuous, and in the eyes of many in the democratic party it was a willful and revealing refusal.

Cillizza and the Washington Post may prefer to forget about the Iraq War, but we can't. Hillary's position on the war was BY FAR the biggest impediment to her campaign.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Dear God, hear my prayer.

Thank you for Hillary. Please give her the strength to continue to campaign long after the race is over. Please allow her to continue to be egotistical, self-centered, and destructive to the Democrat party.

Oh, by the way Lord, thank you so much for Bill Clinton. He is truly a gift from God but could you tone down his sexual appetite. We hear he is still boinking young women on the campaign trail.

Politics is fun! :)

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Nice try "i don't give a name".

Obama already owned his house. Your grasp of the facts is as pathetic as your attempt to discredit a good man who you fear. He bought a piece of property from his neighbor to increse his yard. That neighbor turned out to be rezko. Obama paid a reasonable price for a bigger yard for his kids.

You're right, he's a fundamentalist muslim terrorist bent on world domination. How wrong we world.

Posted by: jd | June 4, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Al Who?

Posted by: scrivner who? | June 4, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Ok, now is the time: Let's just say no to Hillary Clinton.

No VP slot.
No thanks with the general election 'help'.
No way will we help offset your debt.
No more TV coverage.
No meetings beyond the one where you are told no.

This has to end and end now.

Posted by: Susan | June 4, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Lighting doesn't strike thrice.

Mark Penn.
Bosnia.
Race.
Assassination.
Entitlement.
Ego.
Bill.
VP.
Refusing to concede.

That's what happened. She's done.

Posted by: Angry Liberaltarian | June 4, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Mark at 11:14 - worst logic ever. For your eight lifelong democrats I know 50 lifelong republicans and 50 independents that will never, ever, ever in a million years support Hillary in any form on the ticket. I'm currently a democrat who would not. Meanwhile, they're all planning to vote for the man who inspires them to want to make a better union.


Obama's campaign has been above reproach, hers has been a slimy sideshow.

She's a liar.
She's too ambitious.
Its all about her.
She doesn't give a damn about you, me or any working class - that is, white working class - voters.
Only those who support her matter, and only until she gets into power, then, you're dirt.
Your assertion that Obama ran a back-handed rule-breaking campaign is ludicrous. You give me ANY situation where you think Obama was back-handed or rule-breaking, I can point out to you that all you have to do is take off your Hillary-tainted glasses and you'll see that it is she who has run a dirty campaign. She who first went negative, she who goaded and prodded and poked at Obama and his supporters, and all of us states who don't matter.

Grow up, face facts, stop making excuses, stop blaming the winner for being better, and stop trying to explain away the fact that your candidate ran a shoddy campaign. That alone implies the manner in which she would run a white house, poorly, ineffectively, misplaced goals, changing goalposts, outright lies, and a husband who cannot be controlled and has underhanded, shady dealings with "investors" that he won't disclose.

I hate to sound bitter, but good riddance.

Obama's campaign has been above reproach, hers has been a slimy sideshow.

Posted by: jd | June 4, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Obaman can not even buy his own house (in his case mansion) without help from his dearest friend Rezko.

How can we trust Obaman to handle national housing crisis?

It will never happen. We are doomed!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

The main issue is that while people might respect her as a competent person they dont like her. Furthermore, the longer the campaign continued the more it was clear just how willing she was to fudge the facts to suit her purposes. Personallly I think her last several victories had alot to do with some voters voting on race, and that is not the way to become the leader of all the people.

Posted by: Nclwtk | June 4, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Message delivered to Obama from Hillary and supporters(see Lanny Davis) give me the VP or I will contest until Denver, thereby costing you the WH. Obama campaign called it a gun to their head and are understanbly angry. Geez why is it this conservative is not surprised the Clintons would put themslves ahead of their party. We warneed you about their charcter back in the 90's Any regrets, Dems?

Posted by: bhoomes | June 4, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I have spent a lot of time analyzing this concept of "what went wrong" with Hillarys' campaign. After much deep thought and consideration I have come to the startling conclusion that NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE WANTED HER TO BE THE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Secondly, I think a huge factor was that Obama realised that Millennials (or Generation Y) are a POLITICALLY ACTIVE generation, far different from their Gen X predecessors. They are disillusioned with institutions and political parties - but they will buy in to the PERSON... and if they do, well just watch them go.


...

Posted by: Boutan | June 4, 2008 10:31 AM

Not exactly. Gen X is and was politically active--it's just that Gen Y just started paying attention to issues this year, rather than over the last four.

But, better late than never. Welcome.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

What went wrong? The first part of Clinton's campaign was weak; if Obama's watchword was "change" her watchword became "nostalgia." Half of the voters either didn't buy her insistence on Bill's successful Presidency as her own, or they weren't enchanted by the Clinton Presidency in the first place.

While I will agree that Obama ran a great first half of his race, I don't think that the second half was so hot. Once the Obama campaign got the delegates they needed to win, the air got let out of the primary balloon so to speak, and they pivoted to the General Election allowing Clinton to camp out in States found to have her "demographic" and consequently bag those big, embarrassing late race wins over Obama. Obama needs to ask himself WHY he lost SD yesterday when it was all over the news that it was statistically improbable that Clinton could win...is Clinton "silver tongued?" Her whiteness? Did some in SD vote against Obama rather than vote FOR Clinton? Was it the fact that she, Bill, and Chelsea worked tirelessly to "press the Flesh" in some of these States apparently deemed not important to Obama's win to be campaigned in strongly? I am an Obama supporter, BTW. I just think that he and his campaign need to take a lesson or 2 from the second half of Hillary's campaign. Throwing money at some of these places simply does not work...but the "personal touch" clearly does.

Posted by: Hold_That_Tiger | June 4, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I agree with many commenters: the War. That is reason No. 1 why I did not and would never vote for her.

Posted by: Prince | June 4, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

WHile all of those things in Chris' article are accurate and the comments, while harsh at times, are close. The number one reason that HRC lost can be isolated to one day, one debate, one question, and 5 differing answers. The debate in Philadelphia when she hemmed and hawed about then Governor Spitzer's illegal immigrant liscense idea. One answer would have sufficed, no matter what that answer was. When Sen. Dodd called her on the political parsing the electorate recognized what Hillary was, a politician. That is NOT to say that the others on stage weren't but when it looks like you are hedging your bets while others are taking a stance you look dishonest and unprincipled.

P.S. To all of Obama's supporters, of which I am one, DON'T be too harsh on Hillary. WHile I was dissappointed she did NOT concede last night it may be the best way to begin healing the party. By allowing her to do a victory lap and say great things about Obama while he compliments her it will giver her supporters time to reflect on her great accomplishments and to realize the ground that has been broken in this nomination process by both Hillary and Obama.

Obama/ Webb / Gov. Brian Schweitzer ticket are great ideas.


Posted by: Mangol | June 4, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Gee, I wonder if the fact that Clinton voted for the Iraq DEBACLE and never apologized for that? Could that have hurt her chances?

The Washington pundits need an enema.

Posted by: Dave | June 4, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

There's another factor that Sen. Clinton may not have had any ability to affect: her personality, as perceived by at least some voters.
I've spoken to a number of lifetime Democrats, as well as others who might have voted for her, and a number of them simply find her to be non-genuine, a classic politician (in the best and worst senses of that word) and, as some have said, simply obnoxious.
While I'm not saying that i would agree with those characterizations, I do know that they were a significant factor for some who voted for Sen. Obama.

Posted by: David Holmes | June 4, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Bill Klingon's Head is Beet Red Again...

Anyone know why?

Man, he does not look good.

Posted by: Down With The Hillary Klingon | June 4, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Hillary (and Bill) Gaffes:

*Martin Luther King's dream would not have come true if it weren't for LBJ (a better question would have been would a President MLK be able to achieve his dream?)

*Obama is a talented, _black_ politician who, like Jesse Jackson, is likely to do well in South Carolina.

*I've been against NAFTA from day one

*I oppose free trade with Columbia even though my chief strategist is getting paid to support trade with Columbia.

*I received sniper fire in Bosnia

*Obama is not a muslim, _as far as I know_

*Obama has a problem with hard working, white voters

*I'm in this race because Bobby Kennedy got shot.

*Florida and Michigan broke the rules and shouldn't count ... Wait! Florida and Michigan are being disenfranchised and their votes should _absolutely_ count and its an injustice to rival that of the 2000 election.

*Obama's relationship with a member of the weather underground raises doubts about his character but my Husband's pardon of two members shouldn't count against me.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Republican's will lose in November because of the war but most of all because of George W. Bush. Turns out he has a purpose for being on the planet after all. He was so very bad in office that his failures forced a change in American politics that's been needed since the Nixon years.

Hillary lost to Obama because she believed she craps roses and not because of the war. She believed, as does Bill, that American Democrats have a "stupid love" for the Clinton's...especially Black American's. They were wrong on both counts. Not to mention the HUGE miscalculation of how much of a role generation "Y" would play. Thank God the "Y"'s were raised with brains!

Any one looking to an elective office from this point on needs to realize George W's stupidity and complete failure has washed the kool-aid out of everyone's blood stream when it comes to elected officials, especially our President.

George W's figure as President will reach far into the future...like Washington and Lincoln, but as a cautionary tale of profound failure.

Lock-step is no more (unless you're a member of the Klan), there is no faking it before you make it, we're not idiots, thinking without doing gets you zero and you are only as good as your last game so you'd better step it the hell up 24/7/365.

Hillary missed all of this even when she was advised to open her eyes. She was blinded by the roses she saw coming out of her behind. She was stuck on stupid and she lost. McCain is also stuck on stupid, is following in the footsteps of the worst person ever to hold our top office, embraces George W.(McCain stated "100 years in Iraq is Ok with him") even when many in his party are working hard to distance themselves from W., has no sway at all with Blacks who HAVE and WILL turn out in record numbers for Obama and has very, very little sway with the "Y" generation who HAVE and WILL turn out in record numbers for Obama...he's doomed.

Posted by: MP | June 4, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

RE, Clinton negatives: It is an axiom of politics that you might gain SOME of a running mate's friends, but that you WILL gain ALL of your running mate's enemies. Obama has an excellent chance of gaining Clinton supporters without Clinton herself on the ticket (are pro-choice, anti-war, or ultra-feminist women really going to vote for McBush out of spite? Of course not.) On the other hand, the people who regard Clinton as a "more of the same, Washington insider" will be put off by Clinton on the ticket, as will people who simply don't like her personality and don't want her being placed closer to becoming president (not a small slice of the electorate). In addition, she has the inexplicable ability to rally the opposition like no other candidate. Putting her on the ticket would be a huge leap forward in motivating John McCain's support on the right -- and cranking up its noise machine, which has been relatively subdued recently.

Obama's challenge is to let her down slowly, keep from alienating her most genuine supporters, and find a place for her somewhere other than on the ticket. In the meantime, she still regards herself as the true Diva, waiting in the wings for the pretender to suddenly lose his voice so she can take the stage and save the show, as an overwhelmed audience cheers in uncontrolable ecstasy, throws bouquets, and proclaims her the true Queen of the Opera.

Posted by: Stonecreek | June 4, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, good point, Chris, she is Dull.

by the way, what is Lanny short for?

Posted by: A$$ Whooped by Obama | June 4, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Hillary got as many votes as she did because she stayed in the race so long. Any other candidate would have seen the writing on the wall after Super Tuesday and bowed out gracefully, saving time and money -- not to mention giving extra time for the obvious candidate to begin organizing and campaigning for the general election. All she did was delay the inevitable, and give the GOP ammunition from her to use against Obama.

Stonecreek at 11:24 am was far more eloquent than my 10:33 am posting in explaining the problem facing Clinton.

Posted by: drkvc | June 4, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

What went wrong for Hillary? That's easy, the answer is HILLARY! When you feel so arrogant that you cannot even congratulate the winner, and are still under the illusion that it's all yours, you have a serious problem! Why do you think her unfavorable ratings are so high? Because, there are a good many intelligent people out there that understand just like with Bush/Cheney, with the Clintons, it's all about them, not the country, them!
Congratulations to Senator Obama on a very well ran and highly respectful campaign, and oh, by the way the media needs to quit feeding the delusion that Hillary had the most popular votes, for those of us who can add, Obama won, period!

Posted by: Sue F | June 4, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

The War

Posted by: dg | June 4, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I think that Chris hit the high points. Her campaign strategy--linking with dominant party organizations in states that have remnants of machines and with labor unions--was the way to carry most of the large states, but it didn't work in the caucus states, which usually lack the tight organizations. She lost me when she lied about her "briefing" on the intelligence assessment issued before the vote on the invasion of Iraq. When pressed by Joe Biden, she admitted that she hadn't read the assessment, then added that she had been "briefed" on it. As it turned out, she had no staff member with clearance to read the document, nor did anybody come forward to say that s/he had briefed Clinton. To me that meant that she made a catastrophic error through carelessness then tried to lie her way out of accepting responsibility. We've had enough of that in the White House!

Posted by: Texun | June 4, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I think a fundamental reason Obama won and Hillary lost was their respective POVs. It was borne out last night - Hillary's focus on "I" - "What does Hillary want? I want..." vs. Obama's focus on "We" and "America." It's been there in almost every major campaign night speech since Iowa. I was struck then and was again last night on the tone-deafness of a seasoned politician like Clinton to continually miss that. Go back and watch the speeches on YouTube. Remember that their respective positions on the issues are largely the same.

Posted by: Dan | June 4, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

IT WON'T BE LONG BEFORE THE BIG OTHER SHOE DROPS ON OBAMA. HILLARY ALREADY MAY KNOW ABOUT THE COMING JUNE SURPRISE. THAT'S WHY SHE'S SO OBSTINANT.

UNTIL THAT HAPPENS, YOU WON'T SEE AL GORE ENDORSING THE PRESUMPTIVE (PRESUMPTUOUS?) NOMINEE


Hillary knows that the power elite will not accept the notion of an inexperienced, untested liberal elitist as potus.

More than that, she knows Obama will be unable to weather the coming storm, because it reinforces the narrative: The candidate's past associations and his failure to distance himself from controversial figures disqualifies him from the top job.

Talk of whether Hillary wants the VP slot is nothing more than an irrelevant distraction. Her refusal to acknowledge Obama's mathematical clinch shows that she has no genuine interest in becoming Obama's stepmaid. She asked for "respect" from Obama while simultaneously disrespecting him. Obama has demonstrated a penchant for responding to a personal slight with pathetic attempts at accomodation. But even he will not kowtow to someone incapable of giving him his propers on such a historic occasion.

So how can Hillary be so tone deaf? Yes, she is arrogant and self-consumed. But she also knows something is coming, something that will finally cement the notion that Obama is unelectable. She already may know what that something is. Hillary also knows that her self-centered obstinance has alienated key Dem constituencies. So she cannot replace Obama as the party standard-bearer.

But others within the party share Hillary's disquieting unease. She and Bill know other party elders are silently applauding their refusal to cede the party to the Obamanauts. So she and Bill will play the role of party power brokers. As I have stated repeatedly, Billary, when the timing is right, will throw their delegate support behind an alternate candidate, most likely, Al Gore.

This won't happen until the other big shoe drops on Obama. That could happen within a matter of days.

And that is why Al Gore has not joined the steady but somewhat weak stream of supers who have moved to endorse Obama. Gore is the gentleman in waiting. And it won't be long now.

Posted by: scrivener | June 4, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I think a fundamental reason Obama won and Hillary lost was their respective POVs. It was borne out last night - Hillary's focus on "I" - "What does Hillary want? I want..." vs. Obama's focus on "We" and "America." It's been there in almost every major campaign night speech since Iowa. I was struck then and was again last night on the tone-deafness of a seasoned politician like Clinton to continually miss that. Go back and watch the speeches on YouTube.

Posted by: Dan | June 4, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Iraq war.

Clinon was in a position to oppose it. She was at the time a Senator with very high visibility. And she had to know the case that WMDs were in Iraq was flimsy. But she, along with most of Capitol Hill, played along with it.

But it's not just the initial vote. In the years since the vote, Clinton has been making her reputation by trying to be as hawkish as possible on issues in the Middle East.

Maybe, just maybe, that's not a position or attitude that the majority of Democratic voters want from their Presidential candidate?

Posted by: Whispers | June 4, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps the most prominent reason Clinton failed to get the nomination is: old politics. She used long-time friends and loyalists to run her campaign instead of attracting fresh talented people. Her senior staffers seemed ready to ride the idea of entitlement, theirs and hers, and what she needed was innovative people willing to fight as hard as she did. She needed imagination. Obama's campaign was full of it.

The worst of the lot was the over-payed lobbyist Mark Penn who did not understand the proportioned allocation of delegates early-enough and had no small-state strategy. He was a disaster. It was the failure to compete in the small states in February that ultimately decided the election.

Posted by: Anton | June 4, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I think people would be wise to look at Obama's rise in Illinois politics as a blueprint for his nomination and possible election.
Posted by: peterock | June 4, 2008 10:57 AM

If they did as you suggest and I think they should they would find a guy who one his Senate seat by putting all the other candidates off the ticket via technicalities so there was no one to run against him. For those of you who like to chat up the 20 dollar donor rhetoric try this on for size. Less than 47 percent of the donations came from people donating less than 200 dollars and the rest from BIG money bundler money managers with dozens from people donating in excess of 200,000. We shall see what THEY want in return. I found it amusing that in his speech last night he said "In a generation or two we will look back and say this was the day of our defining moment." Somehow I do not think many of us will be around in a generation or two.
I see also where his estimate now for leaving Iraq has gone from they will all be home in a year to we must be more care full and take the time to withdraw safely. Do not forget that he refused to say he would have all the troops home in 2012. Hmmmm, "It is the war stupid" ? Perhaps you should look in the mirror.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Good points, Chris. I think that Clinton's biggest problem was running like an incumbent, as if her nomination was a forgone conclusion. She never expected to be challenged.

I hope that she will demonstrate the graciousness and leadership in conceding this primary that her supporters claim she has. Last night's speech was a disappointment.

Posted by: LABC | June 4, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Two words: THE WAR.

Clinton hurt herself terribly by voting for the Iraq War. This was the crucial opening, without which, Obama never would have gotten off the ground.

Posted by: The Dude | June 4, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I think it was the Oprah effect. Oprah's endorsement effectively split the female vote. As close as it was, that was enough. Look how many copies of bad books she sells.

Posted by: hdimig | June 4, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

What went wrong? I truly believe that in today's political arena, given that the two candidates are for the most part similar in there views, the race will come down to personality. Hillary Clinton is an extremely polarizing individual. You either like her or hate her, there is no in between. Conversely Obama, has portrayed himself a likable kind of guy, able to draw votes from this country's most passionate group of voters the 18-30 year olds. I also believe that the Hillary's campaign took a turn for the worst when they began running negative ads on TV and in the local papers. As an undecided voter at the time, these ads all but forced me to consider and adopt Obama as my candidate of choice.

Posted by: Terry | June 4, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

What did Hillary in is writing off blacks and small states. First, she should have tried harder to get black votes. Also, she should have campaigned and organized heavily in the small caucus states. The small caucus states really did help Obama out and in the end, it was these, small, red, caucus states that propelled Obama ahead.

Posted by: Mark | June 4, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

No matter what Obama does, he should know this:

Having BILLARY Clinton as vice president would be the equivalent of having a spitting Cobra as a room mate. You CANNOT control its NATURAL HABIT of spitting and biting. Either way, you get POISON in your blood circulatory system!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

1. Hillary ran her campaign incompetently. It doesn't matter why, it matters that she did.

2. The fake sniper fire story - it was just so totally at odds with the truth, and she told it so many times, that voters questioned her grasp of reality and truth.

3. Clinton had supporters, but Obama had volunteers. Never underestimate the difference.

Posted by: Tom J | June 4, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I think her first and most critical mistake was to support George Bush's optional war in Iraq. It was huge, tragic error for the country and this was clear from the start. Shamefully, only 22 Senators (including mine, Ron Wyden of Oregon) and 140 or so Representatives (including our four Democrats from Oregon) voted no.

Some who voted yes, Sens. Edwards and Kerry, recanted later, and it was possible to forgive their weakness at the moment and move on. Hillary Clinton never did.

That Hillary never apologized for her vote made educated people (i.e., those who follow the news closely) realize that she was an insincere, calculating candidate - one who would trade people's lives and ruin countries for possible political gain. I knew I could never vote for her in the primary. Our nation's situation is so dire that I would have voted for her as the lesser evil in a general election against John McCain.

Her Iraq vote and stubborn adherence to it gave Barack Obama a reason to run and rationale for convincing others to support him. That was her first mistake - what I would consider a telling flaw of character.

Posted by: johnsonc20 | June 4, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

She voted for the war to unify the country? Really?

Man, that sets the standard for naivete! "

How come people have struggled with it on every war vote the country has ever had? That is especially true since Vietnam. Does Kerry support the war? How about Edwards? No. They voted for it to unify the country and support the troops. Bush had the votes and the publicc support. What would a no vote have done? Nothing.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Clinton made a number of mistakes that, ironicaly, they acknowledge, but did so after the damage had been done:

1.) She ran cautiously, employing a general election campaign during the primary. No one likes a corronation
2.) She failed to connect emotionally with voters. That she is a "fighter" was a great narrative for her that she employed too late in the game
3.) She failed to undermine Obama's anti-establishment appeal. While Clinton did rrun a few ads pointing to contradictions in Obama's argument, again they were too little to late
4.) She should have more aggresively pointed to Obama's lack of national security creditionals. This was a line of attack that proved successful in Texas in spite of media criticism, but for some reason she shied away from this as the campaign went on.

Posted by: Mike | June 4, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

The war. The war.

There's not a huge difference between these two candidates in terms of policy. Health care being one. And the other being . . . the war.

It's the war, stupid.

Posted by: Bogus Trumper | June 4, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Nothing "went" wrong with the Hillary campaign. They simply started from an impossible position. Hillary has, ever since the earliest polling ever run on her, had a higher negative than positive rating. She has, deservedly or undeservedly, been at higher than 50% negative ever since polling for the 2008 presidential cycle began. This is not impossible for someone who is not well-known to overcome, but when 98% of the electorate knows you "well" and a majority of them have a negative opionion, then it is just not in the cards to ever win a one-on-one contest with a serious opponent.

The question in the race for the Democratic nomination was not whether Hillary would win (always unlikely), but which candidate would the Democrats coalesce around to become the alternative. It was besting the likes of Edwards, Biden, Dodd, and Richardson that was Obama's most stellar accomplishment.

Pragmatic Democrats have always understood that, again deservedly or undeservedly, the most difficult to elect candidate would be Hillary -- and that her ability to motivate the opposition was too much baggage to risk carrying.

Posted by: Stonecreek | June 4, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

What went wrong? Two words: Clinton fatigue.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I was hopeful but not overly optimistic that Sen. Clinton might have found it in her heart to be a bit more gracious last evening than she was. It seems that basic political decorum, to say nothing of simple good manners required some kind of congratulations for the historic milestone reached by her opponent last night. Presumably manners were something learned along with gun safety and the fine art of imbibing boilermakers in her legendary Pennsylvania childhood. All that vaunted experience with diplomacy, protocol, and executive administration and she has to learn the basics in decency and simple etiquette from a neophyte pup who she had labeled as lacking in any meaningful experience or training of any sort? Call me old fashioned, but I'd prefer that my children emulate Sen. Obama's gracious good manners any day of the week over hers!

Posted by: Ma Kettle | June 4, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

WHAT? That's it? I was reading and agreeing, but then you left out all the MOST IMPORTANT issues!!!!You focused on the "passion gap", the Iowa caucus, her feuding staff, underestimating Obama, and not controlling Bill! That's all? Are you crazy? Is she paying you?
What about her lies??? What about her dirty campaign, and focusing far far more on making up faults for Obama than inspiring us with her vision? What about her lies? What about her flip flopping on Iraq? (She was very strongly in favor of the invasion!) What about her flip flopping on Nafta? What about her ridiculously exaggerated resume? WHAT ABOUT HER LIES????

Posted by: Arjuna9 | June 4, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

As a Women's Libber who benefited from Affirmative Action in the early 1970's, I should have been thrilled to support female presidential candidate. But not if it was Hillary. Bill "disrespected" her and the Presidency with his Lewinsky lies, so I would never vote HIM back into Whitehouse residency (albeit by proxy). Plus Hillary unfortunately has the same propensity to twist the truth. But hopefully a different female candidate will be ready by the 2012 election.

Posted by: K of C | June 4, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

She voted for the war to unify the country? Really?

Man, that sets the standard for naivete!

Clinton voted for the war for the same reason the other democrats did. They knew the rationale was bogus and that it would be a geopolitical disaster. HOWEVER, Bush had a 90% approval rating and they had several vulnerable senators running in 02. Most importantly, they had only a 1 vote majority in the Senate. Protect the party!

Any of them could have called out Bush on the intelligence and have demanded that the debate take place only after the distractions of the fall campaign (At least Feingold did), but for the most part they were too craven to do it. Just as they would do over and over and over again during the next 5 years, they just rolled over. They gave him his war, hoped they were wrong, and further hoped that this would keep them the Senate.

Suffice to say, the war happened, it was a disaster, and they lost every close Senate race in 02. So much for pretending to be Republicans.... Not that they seem to have learned anything from it.

Since then there's been a lot of hand wringing and a lot of 'if I knew now' comments, but not ONE of them has truly fessed up to doing what we all know they did. Clinton is typical in that regard. Frankly, I'd rather she just support the war outright than lie about why she voted to authorize it.

Of everyone, Edwards came closest to a true mea culpa, but even he couldn't just say the words...'we did it as political calculation and are ashamed to admit it'. Pundits can claim that it is politically impossible to say something like that, but I think a country so starved for honesty from it's leaders might have surprised everyone.

Posted by: It's not the war. It's the politics! | June 4, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Since listening to her speech last night I haven't been able to figure out if she is a re-incarnation of Rasputin or the Black Knight from Pythons' The Holy Grail.

"You know, I understand that that a lot of people are asking, 'What does Hillary want? What does she want?'

"Well, I want what I have always fought for in this whole campaign. I want to end the war in Iraq."

One thing she's learned as a Senator from New York is chutzpah. She's never admitted to having any responsibility for the U. S. being in Iraq. I never looked for an apology, just an admission of what is on her record.

As a number of people pointed out last night, she's never been able to overcome the almost 50% Negative ratings. Maybe it was really an impossible task where no strategy could have overcome the feelings which go along with such a high Negative rating, and we just didn't see that.

mw's post at 7:18 is an interesting analogy.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | June 4, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I don't disagree with Chris's assessment, but I think he missed a critical error: not planning ahead. As Sen Obama mentioned at the outset of his speech last night, his guy, David Plouffe, built a top-notch, nationwide campaign machine that caught the Clinton campaign off guard. I have also seen it reported that Penn (of the Clinton campaign) didn't understand that Dem primaries aren't winner-takes-all. I think, had the Clinton campaign planned ahead the way the Obama campaign planned ahead - the outcome would have been far different.

Posted by: bsimon | June 4, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Obama's campaign staff hustled the *crap* out of Clinton's -- it's that plain and simple. They worked smarter and they worked harder. They understood their underdog status and they all know math - that the Democratic Party set a number of delegates that a candidate had to secure to win. Then they got out there and got those delegates. They (even more than Senator Obama) deserve all the credit for Obama being the nominee.

And Hillary's more delusional supporters may be as selfish as she is. An earlier poster pointed out that McCain (if elected) will appoint a minimum of two Supreme Court Justices who will pose a threat to reproductive rights. Let's face it, Hillary's most die hard delusional supporters are way past reproductive age and may think that us younger women deserve such punishment for not falling into the Hillary line.

Posted by: DC Fem | June 4, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

As several have pointed out already, the biggest single mistake that Sen. Clinton made was in voting to support Bush's war on Iraq. Her second mistake was in not renouncing that vote as Sen. Edwards and others did.

By making this odious choice, she positioned herself as the candidate of the Washington establishment in a season in which the American people have expressed a strong preference for change.

Having made this fundamental mistake, Clinton made several others: she failed to select staff members for their competance and vision, instead relying on cronies notable for their loyalty to her and her husband. She also failed to halt the murderous infighting that plagued her campaign staff.

Clinton failed to grasp the role of finances, of online communities,of YouTube, and of young people in a national campaign. Her underestimation of Obama was directly due to her hubris and misreading of the national temperature.

All of these failures are faults of leadership and character. At base, Hillary Clinton did not have the character to be president of the United States.

Her appalling speech last night which was filled with self-congratulation and foolish egotism was a perfect example of why she did not win the nomination.

In contrast, Sen. Obama's perfect speech, in which he graciously and extensively praised Clinton as he identified the demand for change that is at the heart of this movement was a stunning example of why he won the nomination. And of why he will be a great president of the United States.

Posted by: dee | June 4, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Supporting war in Iraq. Sniper fire in Bosnia. The endless beating of war drum "Commander in Chief" (with requisite male genitalia) refrain. No to Mich. and Fl. - wait, yes to Mich. and Fl. It's all about delegates. It's not about delegates. Working Americans = white Americans. Bill. And sniper fire in Bosnia.

Posted by: John | June 4, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Obama and his supporters has used strong-arm and back-handed tactics to disgrace and disrespect Hillary, and all those who had voted for her. Remember, at least half the democrats voted for Hillary. Why not respect them? The Michigan fiasco was the greatest insult of them all. First, had Michigan and Florida results been recognized way back when, this election would have been different. Now, the Obama supporter and the undeclared Obama supporters did not have the guts to show their strong arm tactics in front of the camera on May 31st, but did it behind the scenes. Then, they took four delegates from her that she rightfully won, took Dods, gravels, and the other two candidates 5% that they earned, and combined that with the 40% uncommitted. This 40% could have been for Richardson, Edwards, Biden, or Obama, who said it belonged 100% to Obama. They robed Hillary, Dodd, Gravel, and others to give the delegates to a candidate that obviously did not need them. How insulting it is.

I know 8 lifelong ardent Demorcatic supports, including myself, who now vote for McCain, unless Hillary receives the VP. If Obama is serious about healing the party, the minimum he could do is give Hillary the VP. For the Obama supporters, you got your nominee, if you want Hillary supporters, you better give us the respect and 2nd place that we deserve. If not: Denver, Denver, Denver and McCain '08, McCain '08, McCain '08.

Posted by: Mark | June 4, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Why HRC lost? ARROGANCE and AUDACITY of ENTITLEMENT.

Which is how her strategy was built and her campaign conducted.

As a 50 yr-old college educated feminist I am dismayed how HRC had abused feminism for her PERSONAL ambitions and may have taken us back years.

This campaign had exposed the Clintons' ugly true nature (since they cannot hide behind the White House bubble as before) as self-serving, power-hungry, bellicose, shameless, lying, racist rednecks that they really are.

Till now I simply could not understand the repulsion my GOP friends had against the Clintons. I know now and oh boy, are they right.

Uh, uh..... no VP for HRC. THEY will poison the ticket. She CANNOT be trusted and she will NOT be LOYAL to Obama. We cannot bear incessant 3-way power struggles. Neither can we afford more Hillary's drama-du-jour or Bill's Bimbo disruptions or unsavoury business dealings; the former as assured as the sun continues to rise in the eastern sky.

Posted by: NWPOSTER | June 4, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Chris's analysis and many of the posts about her war vote coming back to bite her, etc. But as a diehard Democrat, what really chapped my you-know-what and made be forsake Hillary for all time was when she ran into the outstretched arms of John McCain solely to try and take out Obama. You know, the whole "John McCain and I are qualified to be CIC" thing. To me that is an unforgiveable political sin and she sealed her fate in that moment.

Posted by: MikeyA | June 4, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

What went wrong with this campaign is the same thing that went wrong with Al Gore's campaign.

The superficial and jaded media that decided to call Al Gore a liar and Bush a "regular guy" decided that Hillary would be a scheming and dishonest manipulator out to destroy the young "fresh face" change agent. If Obama lies and makes up a fictional uncle it is overlooked and its implication about Obama's character is overlooked. An exagerration by Clinton is distorted and made out to be an indication of her dishonesty.

The superficial and jaded media that dismisses hard work and accomplishments and treasures style and veneer over substance and depth once again picked the smirking unaccomplished personality. Just as they gushed over Bush.

The troubling aspects of Obama's personality and past have not even begun to be examined.

Obama's lack of original ideas and playing to the conservatives on energy, the right to redress in court for the poor, his obvious pandering on healthcare hasn't been touched on. Probably never will be when "Meet the Press" really means "Meet the Corporate Spokesperson".

Ad to the media bias the playing of the race card in which every move Hillary or a supporter made and every word spoken was twisted by the Obama camp and their media minions.

Posted by: chrissy | June 4, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Not "That Woman"
That is what went wrong with Hillary. She is Hillary.

When the question was asked to me again and again in a poll: Would you vote for a Woman for President? It never gave me the option to say : Not Hillary.

That is what went wrong with Hillary ... she was the wrong woman. There are many women who could have won ... Just not "That woman".

Posted by: Doc Wright | June 4, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination because he is wants to "serve" as our president. Hillary Clinton lost because she wants to just be president. She and her husband don't care about us. She voted for a war that sent our children to their deaths and she gives us the excuse that she didn't bother to read the NIE. She is the only one who lost the nomination, because she shot herself in the foot over and over again.

Posted by: Mom in CT | June 4, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Great analysis.

My two cents: Many people were just tired of Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton. It's not that her policies were bad, but we've been stuck in the same pattern for so long, for many people Obama just represented something other than a Clinton.

And, the last 2 months have only hurt her reputation further. Bill Clinton's incessant whining about the media -- which was made 8-16 years ago about his candidacy -- now seems just forced and an excuse.

Posted by: Twain | June 4, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

She should have won. It was her race to lose. You didn't touch on the disastrous NY theory of campaigning (which, after Guliani and Clinton, has proven to be a loser). She essentially lost this race between Super Tuesday and Texas/Ohio. By conceding the caucus states, she let Obama rack up huge margins and a string of victories. Had she fought him in those states, she could have won some of those races and would have kept her loses to the single digits in the rest. She didn't do the math and it came back to bite her.

Posted by: LM in WI | June 4, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

The new power of networks, particularly online, was the decisive edge. Obama harnessed the viral Facebook effect, while HRC did not (until the end). People really do imagine a different political map because of Obama. The power of youth combined with the internet is largely responsible for this Reaganesque tectonic shift. HRC just missed the trend which now seems so obvious.

Posted by: Mike | June 4, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I checked HillaryClinton.com before I went to bed and there were only 1400 people blogging there and when I checked this morning she only logged a couple dozen more.

Posted by: speakupny | June 4, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Chris for these insights. I can only think of two things I would add:

1) She threw her base under the bus. I was appalled to see her waiving guns in Pennsylvania and I got very tired of hearing that I had college education so I should just shut up. That was hard to swallow.

2) Whatever she and Bill say about unfair media, they dissed the media and treated them like tabloid paparazzi. Obama might have kept his distance, but he was courteous. The Clinton campaign spent alot of time wagging fingers in their faces or just ignoring them.

3) there were moments that called for statesmanship and Hillary chose to remain a politician. The Rev. Wright controversy would have worked better for her if she had shown some solidarity with Obama and said, "No". he's my opponent but this is unfair. Instead, she remained silent, even while he gave that amazing speech. then said he wouldn't have been her pastor. That's not presidential...

Posted by: Jane Blevins | June 4, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Chris,
My comment? THE WAR! You write an analysis about Clinton's failure to win the nomination and you stop at 18 months ago. HOW ABOUT THE IRAQ WAR VOTE! It wasn't just the "anti war nature" of Iowa Democrats, it was the anti-war attitude of half of America and most Democrats. When Hillary cast that vote, and never backed off that vote, never, and then supported Bush on Iran, many Democrats went looking for a new candidate.
Clinton's failures are many, she ran for the wrong election, looking ahead to November 2008, because she expected to easily win the primary of Spring, 2008, she ran as an incumbent(experience) in a change year, she ran a "persona" campaign as in "I, I, I Hillary" causing the average voters to ask "I know youthink its about you Hillary, but what's in it for me?"
But first and foremost, I would start with her Iraq war vote. Sealed her fate way back when.

Posted by: daver9 | June 4, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I agree with most of Chris' assessment of why Hillary lost. I live in Chicago and I've been an Obama supporter from Day One, but I always thought the nomination was hers to lose -- and lose it she did.

On one point, I differ from Chris. Her loss comes down to the one state that provided Obama the momentum going into Super Tuesday -- South Carolina. Going into that campaign, HRC counted on the support of a majority of African-Americans there and nationwide. Obama's base was the upper middle class, "change"-oriented whites that principally got him elected to the Senate here in Illinois. People tend to forget the debate from 6-9 months ago about whether Obama was "black enough" for black voters; maybe the debate was irrelevant to white voters at the time. Indeed, his black support at that time was hardly a given, but his support from highly-educated upper middle class whites was. But the insensitive and racially-coded words of her husband and campaign pushed black voters away from her, for good.

Obama was then able to build the same kind of coalition that got him elected to the Senate -- upper-middle class whites, a supermajority of the African-American vote that came to him late, and a smattering of middle-class suburbanites. If HRC had been better with the black community in South Carolina, she likely would've dismissed Obama as a wine-track liberal in the same vein as Howard Dean, Bill Bradley and Paul Tsongas.

I think people would be wise to look at Obama's rise in Illinois politics as a blueprint for his nomination and possible election.

Posted by: peterock | June 4, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Another reason HRC lost the nomination is because her entire political career is based on the fact that she is a spouse. No offense to spouses - I am one. But there is no getting around the fact that she would not be where she is if she were not a former first lady. My analysis does not denigrate her accomplishments, but it speaks to the fact that she has never really earned her place in the political arena. People are not fooled by the "I am one of you" pitch. And "true" feminist should look to "true" female politicians who have earned their stripes the old fashioned way - hard work and not riding someone else's coattails!

Posted by: D. Davis | June 4, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

While I agree with those who feel that Clinton ran as the constant front-runner and as though she deserved/was owed the nomination are essentially correct, it misses something.

Clinton was the front-runner and the nomination was hers to lose, but she should ahve run as a dark horse. The essence of America is pulling one's self up by one's bootstraps.

In other words, Americans don't like corronations. She may have been the front-runner, but she still should have campaigned harder than anyone and earned the nomination.

Posted by: Thin Man | June 4, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Politics all comes down to holding your nose and voting for the person who just might be the devil you know, as opposed to the one you do not know. Looks like many D's, R's, I's, and Lord only knows who else, will be doing just that come November.

One thing, as a tepid Obama guy I've noticed all his spin people keep saying "we'll come together come the election." Ok, start showing how he can bring all those who did not vote for him to his side. So far, little action and all talk. But, I'm open to anyting to see all the Bushies go to Elba.

Posted by: TinPot | June 4, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Chris & Co,

Has anyone had a chance to check hillaryclinton.com this morning?

I recalled from her speech last night how she asked everyone, "Go to my Web site at HillaryClinton.com and share your thoughts with me", so I decided to check it out.

I have to admit I was only slightly surprised to find myself assaulted with a form that is indelibly marked, "I'm with you Hillary, and I am proud of everything you are fighting for."

It had a nice little spot for me to write my name and give my email with an "optional" message of support.

Seems like Hillary doesn't really want to "know [our] thoughts", she just wants us to sign on to what she thinks they should be.

Do you think she thinks she can gain leverage in this finished race with a silly internet petition??

Hmm... it worked to get Family Guy back on air. Why not?

Scott from Chicago

Posted by: Scott, Chicago | June 4, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton's popular vote totals give truth to the adage "you can fool half of the people all of the time". Particularly cute was her mid campaign change into become the populist candidate, (emulating John Edwards) to seek the uneducated white vote.

Obama will completely lose the "change Washington" vote if he accepts Hillary and Bill and their tag along K Street lobbyists and political Washington friends as his VP running mate. After 16 years of Clinton and Bush, why would anyone, looking for change, vote an Obama/Clinton ticket?

Now an Obama/Richardson ticket is something a lot of young and educated people could really get behind....

Posted by: calbears | June 4, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

The main reason Clinton lost was due to the fact that she lied. It was not always an outright lie, like Bosnia, but she changed the goal posts and some positions so many times just to appease the crowd, that it came back to bite her. In addition, her refusal to apologize for her Iraq vote was a total turnoff.

I am a New York, white, middle aged woman who values honesty. The fact that she still will not concede makes me ill. She has so blatantly showed that she was in it only for herself, that she has alienated huge amounts of people. I certainly hope that she removes herself from this race sooner rather than later.

Posted by: susan in new york city | June 4, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"What part of "it's the war" don't you people get?"

Stupid. Hillary never supported the war. She voted for the joint resolution on the use of force that a whole bunch of other Democrats voted for as well. When your country is about to go to war and you don't have the votes to stop it you have to ask yourself if it is better to vote your conscience or try to unite the country. If you are Russ Feigold or Dennis Kucinich the choice is easy. For everyone else it is a little tougher. Obama's claim on this issue is nothing more than arm chair quaterbacking. Who really knows what he would have done if he were in the Senate?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

aS a woman, I wonder if hrc hasn't given the worst disservice to the advancemebt of female politicians; we shall be depicted as shrill, whiny, always playing the sexist card etc.
now as a democrat, if Obama feels he needs to have HRC on his ticket so be it and I certainly shall vote for him.
though it says much that her vaunted campaign was not able to foresee the events to come, and does not bode well of her vaunted startegy as she was routed
oh the battle was hard , but at the end, whatever happens either BHO on TOP ticket with HRC as veep and on the part of all Obama voters we shall support and even gladly help her to sort out her financial woes or she takes it to the convention, we are aware we shall lose but we shall not lose alone if you get my gist. The sister better thinks twice before playing slizzy.

Posted by: Biting the bullet | June 4, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

aS a woman, I wonder if hrc hasn't given the worst disservice to the advancemebt of female politicians; we shall be depicted as shrill, whiny, always playing the sexist card etc.
now as a democrat, if Obama feels he needs to have HRC on his ticket so be it and I certainly shall vote for him.
though it says much that her vaunted campaign was not able to foresee the events to come, and does not bode well of her vaunted startegy as she was routed
oh the battle was hard , but at the end, whatever happens either BHO on TOP ticket with HRC as veep and on the part of all Obama voters we shall support and even gladly help her to sort out her financial woes or she takes it to the convention, we are aware we shall lose but we shall not lose alone if you get my gist. The sister better thinks twice before playing slizzy.

Posted by: Biting the bullet | June 4, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Hillary consistently touts the the "us against them" theories. This strategy divides instead of unites. Political
expediency over personal committment is not the solution for this country's problems. Experience? How much did George Bush have? Kennedy? Nixon? Experience won't count if you compromise your princples for favorable poll ratings. When are politicians going to learn that when you make mistakes,say so,and move on. Our children are watching. Saying you were just dodging bullets is not "misspeak". That's an outright lie. We don't need any more liars in leadership positions. We got enough of that now.Give credit to the intelligence of "the people" and not give in to personal attacks among the supposedly same party. Ask the women who'll refuse to vote or who will vote Republican in November to face the families who've lost loved ones in this obscene war that was based on the lies of the imbecile we have now in the White House to justify their decision. If ever we were in doubt about what her real priorities are, look to last night's begging for "help"($) and further selfishness that was on display. Yet for all the mean-spirited positioning, Obama took the high road. When will we ever be able to disregard a person's color and place his/her character and vision front and center. Who of us who attend church agree with everything their clergy says? I say if you take time to think things out, common sense and rationality will arise for most. If not, we'll never get out from Iraq. Be careful what you ask for...!

Posted by: RKitchen | June 4, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

What went wrong? What are you talking about? Hillary is winning! She says so! She's going all the way! In November, after the election, she will move into the White House and tell everyone she won!

When the Obamas get there, she will already be in the Oval Office shredding papers, and giving out pardons.

Posted by: DeNial | June 4, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

To all of Senator Clinton's supporters it is time to accept the fact that she was politically outmaneuvered by a charismatic outsider from Illinois who played the game better. Her political team did not serve her well. I was an early supporter of Sen. Clinton and truly believed it was past time for a woman to govern this great country. However much I am saddened that she lost the nomination, I am energized by the fact that there has been a break from the political past and that perhaps now true political change can take place. I could have lived with with either Clinton or Obama being president. The end game is having a Democrat in the White House, not who lost the nomination or why. To that end we all have to support Obama 1000%. The alternative is four more years of having a white male Republican war monger sitting in the Oval office. It is time for absolute change to occur in this country. Obama will hopefully provide it, McCain will certainly not.

PS: To Sal and others who predict Clinton will wait patiently in the wings for Obama to fail, only to re-emerge to grab the nomination in August. Please float back to Earth.

Posted by: redstar1 | June 4, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

As to Hillary's claims of "experience," I think Chris Rock responded most cogently: "if my wife were up here you wouldn't be laughin', she ain't funny!"

Posted by: Hboat | June 4, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

If the Democrats lost this election, I will blame you, Hillary. It IS all about the war, which wrecks our economy, our country's standing in the world, and citizens' morale. Your unwillingness to do anything to stop it (while many of us were writing legislators and demonstrating) makes you a compromised candidate who is not trustworthy. Your speech last night also reveals a lack of grace and humanity that I seek in a President.

Posted by: Anne Landis | June 4, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Excellent analysis, Chris. I'd only add that Bill was wholly human (as ever!) in overreacting to a situation new to him, that of a spouse powerlessness but to stand by, like wives traditionally have done.

Posted by: jhbyer | June 4, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I find it laughable when someone posts about Obama's lack of experience. Where is Hillarys? She has only 4 more senatorial years on him and passed no major legislation. Just remember this if Rudy didnt get prostate cancer in 2000 Hillary would never had won her Senate seat and all this would be moot.

Posted by: American First | June 4, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

What went wrong for Clinton?

In a word - Clinton.
She is what she is and she can't be otherwise. And the people, no matter how much cool aid they drink, just CANNOT elect another Clinton.

Posted by: nofluer | June 4, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I forgot, and so did Chris: the biggest thing that undermined the Clinton candidacy is the vast left-wing conspiracy.

Or is it the right-wing one?

Posted by: bondjedi | June 4, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Can we call her speech last night what it is -- a concession speech? Asides from sounding petty, shrill, and misinformed, Mrs. Clinton was speaking to her supporters.

Obama's gracious and magnanimous speech, however, was given to the entire nation.

I scoff at the clumsy manner in which she attempted to blackmail her way into the vice-presidency or extort Obama for the campaign cash she misspent, hinting that she can command 17 million people to vote for McDumbass out of spite. If these throngs are willing to choose McBush over Obama, it further calls into question the fuzzy math the Clintons devised just to get this far: were the Democratic votes Clinton is waving, real or otherwise, actually cast by true Democrats?

The 500+ members of the House and assorted senators up for reelection will have something to say about their electoral chances jeopardized by the Clintons' narcissism; in fact, Pelosi and Reid are already taking all necessary steps to kick the Clintons to the curb by the end of the week.

Posted by: bondjedi | June 4, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

What part of "it's the war" don't you people get? Yes, Hillary made other mistakes, but without her stupid, cowardly vote on the stupid, wasteful war, she'd have had the field to herself. She could have had a room full of Mark Penn style idiots giving her bad advice and she still would have won in a walk, because Obama would not have run.

Oh, and Hillary did not win the popular vote. Stop the stupid.

Posted by: peejay | June 4, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

The problem isn't that she voted for the war. It was that it took her far too long to make it clear that she would pull out of Iraq. For the longest time she tried to play this game where she used very neutral language. She thought the nomination was in the bag and was afraid to take a stance one way or another and then risk that stance becoming unpopular come the general election. For Democratic primary voters in Iowa who's top issue at the time was Iraq it made her an unknown quantity on that issue. Why would anyone strongly against the war vote for a candidate wishy-washy on their stance when they had an eloquent candidate who made one of his top issues to definitely pull out? Once she lost Iowa everything snowballed from there.

It wasn't just Iraq. Hillary constantly tried to play this game where on controversial issues she'd try to word it so neutrally that she could change her stance at any point depending on what stance was popular during the general election. That point became most clear in the debate where she stumbled terribly on the question of whether she supported her governor's attempt to give illegal immigrants driver's licenses in NY. I really feel that if there was ever a point in the campaign where her campaign really started to falter it was that debate, that moment.

Posted by: Max | June 4, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Judging from the posts, you can see that it is very hard for us when our candidate doesn't make it. I can still remember 1968 and 2004. The good news for Clinton enthusiasts should be that all the major issues which their candidate stands for, Obama stands for as well. I hope the media will continue to point out that the popular vote, while very close, went to Obama unless you count a Soviet view of Michigan and discount caucus voters.

Posted by: Eugene | June 4, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

"The fact that the Clintons have resorted to such hypocritical and ethically dubious tactics in a last minute attempt to claim these states' delegates really says a lot about what another Clinton administration would look like."

Come on now. Obama hasn't done the same? Think way back to when Obama was saying that Super Delegates votes should be tied to how their districts/states voted. His campaign seemed to believe this with all of their hearts. They aren't saying that anymore because it does not benefit them. Obama always gets the benefit of a double standard. He is the wizard.

Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain.

Posted by: hdimig | June 4, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

The problem Clinton encountered had nothing to do with her -- except for the immense amount of vile spewed her way by the GOP hate machine since 1991. That takes its toll and smart Democrats knew she is totally unelectable in a general election. Conversely, it had everything to do with Obama's very well run campaign and a candidate that truly is a break from the nasty partisanship that has ensnarled Washington since the rise of hate talk radio.

Posted by: drkvc | June 4, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Two sentences written by reputable journalist summarize it all:

'The Clinton's have a difficult relationship with the truth'

'Deranged Narcissism'

Posted by: PCM 01 | June 4, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

A couple of weeks ago at Trinity Church when all those people in the congregation were clapping and whooping it up at the expense of Hillary as the Priest Pfleger treated her like trash on his shoe you were shown the true character of Obama. There is no way he spent 20 years in that church and was not a part of that. Do you really think all the people that voted for him up front would still vote for him? I doubt it.

Can you imagine if Hillary attended a church where someone got on the pulpit and yelled out, "Oh, damn....There's a black man stealing my show!" The Black Community would be up in arms; Sharpton, Jackson, and every other black activitist would be on all the cable news stations, they would be holding demonstrations in front of the church. They would involve the NAACP and the ACLU, there would be lawsuits filed for discrimination. If the congregant was clapping and urging it on I can't even imagine, there would probably be riots. In other words, it would not be tolerated, but the blacks expect us to tolerate it. That is not going to go over with voters in a general election. It definitely is not going over with me. I believe Barack Obama is not qualified to be our President at this time and I feel his and his campaigns treatment of Hillary throughout this primary has been horrid, especially the constant pulling of the race card.

If Obama loses in the Fall it is because he is not the Uniter he claims to be, it is not my fault, nor Hillary's or anyone else's but Obama's.

Obama said he would be a different kind of politician, that it would not be about distractions or putting the other opponent down, what a joke that turned out to be:

1. Obama said his campaign would not be about that, but it was, his own campaign was out there trashing her daily. During the debate right after Drudge posted the picture of Obama in Kenyan garb and tried to say Hillary's campaign had sent it out while he would not offer up the proof. At the next debate Obama said the he didn't believe that Hillary sent it out and then two to three weeks later at a rally in Mississippi he, Obama himself, told the audience that her campaign had sent it out to discredit him to rally up his base. Obama is a flip flopper, he says one thing and does another. I also don't want a President that tells me that what I can eat, what I can't, how warm or cool I can keep my house and where I can drive. I am a grown up now who takes responsibility for my own actions, I don't need a nanny President to tell me what to do, I remember the Carter years - Obama is just like him.

Obama's campaign playing the race card, just a few examples:

2. a.The over reaction of the "Fairy Tale" comment as if thought Bill Clinton was talking about Obama's campaign when he was talking specifically about the Iraq war comments. b. Jesse Jackson, Jr, Obama's Camp going on national news saying that Hillary didn't care about Iraq, Katrina victims or blacks because she didn't cry over those issues. c. Turning Bill Clinton's comment about Jesse Jackson winning South Carolina into a slur. d. Obama's campaign sending out a four page press release to all the press outlets just prior to the SC primary trying to make everything the Clinton's said into something racial and then denying they sent out the press release until it was put into Obama's face at a debate at which time he said, "In hindsight, that probably wasn't a good idea," while offering no apology or acknowledgement of him and his campaign pushing the race card. After all the Clinton's did for the Africian American commnuity in their lifetime to denigrate them so will never be forgiven, Obama can't apologize or give one of his loathy speeches that say nothing to get past this one. d. Michelle's "Ain't no blacks in Iowa" and her comment in SC before a black audience, "It's our turn now."

Obama's lack of experience:

3. He has been a US Senator for exactly three years and in those three years he has been campaigning two of them after lying to his constituents saying he would not be running for President. He hardly did any work in the Senate in the time he was there, never voting on any controversial or politically sensitive issues. His time in the Illinois Senate was a part time position in which he voted present more than just about anything else or pushed the wrong button according to him as Emil Jones turned other people's legislation over to him. Tell us, what did Obama do besides run for the next office in all his time in public service? How did he improve the South side of Chicago as he supported causes of slum lord Rezko? He also lost every debate and does not have a command of the issues, he can't talk off the cuff without his prepared speech or teleprompter, we have one of those in the WH that we are trying to rid ourselves of. We have a "uniter" that wanted "change" in the WH too, I didn't vote for him because I thought he was full of it, I feel the same about Obama.

Not only will I not be supporting Obama, I will be actively working against him in his campaign. I don't know what his "change" is, he has no record to see what he does. I do not trust him in the Presidency with a Democratic Congress to make the right choices for America, he has not shown us he knows how to do that in his history of perpetual candidacy while trying to play off his life story as one of hardship being a community organizer. The Democrats have lost my vote for this year all because Obama broke the foundation of the Democratic Party.

I am not voting with my feelings, I am voting with intelligence and Hillary is the best candidate. I don't believe Obama is qualified to be President, especially with a Democratic Congress, he has no real record to know what he would actually do. I am not breaking up the party, Obama did a fine job of that himself. Do you really believe that his supporters will come out in the numbers they did for him for candidates in the future? I doubt it. So, tell us where does that leave the party? I think the divisiveness has come from the Obama campaign and his supporters. The base of the Democratic party has been supporting Hillary, the upstarts have come in and tried to trample over them. Once you break the foundation of a structure the only way for it to go is down, and Obama supporters have already caused it to fracture. Have you been reading the horrible things Obama and his campaign and his supporters have been saying about the only Democratic President elected in the past 40 years who brought the longest period of peace and prosperity to this nation during his campaign? Do you really think that didn't fracture the party?

You do know the DNC doesn't have the money they need for the convention, right? Could it be because they have treated Hillary so poorly the base is no longer donating to them while Obama regularly and consistently tried to compare Bill Clinton's Presidency to the Bush years.. Why aren't the Obama supporters sending them money? Do you really think Blacks would have come out in the numbers they have if a black man was not running? Or that 17-25 year olds that are supporting him at this point when many of them aren't even supporting themselves and they have yet to truly decide on their life values are there for good? That is something you should really think about. When you stomp on the foundation for the new flashy stuff that doesn't last as long you end up hurting only yourself. Do you really think those same people are going to come back to the polls to vote in other Democrats, I doubt it. Who is going to do all the Democratic parties footwork in the future, Obama threw those people out with the bath water as he denigrated Hillary's supporters and allowed his campaign and supporters to carry the message of denigration on for months in his effort to satisfy his own ambitions. Obama will not be getting my vote, I know many others feel like me, he will not be able to change our minds, and I hope many more feel the same. No Obama in 2008.

On the January 22nd 2006 edition of "Meet the Press," Tim Russert and Obama had the following exchange:

Russert: "When we talked back in November of '04 after your election, I said, 'There's been enormous speculation about your political future. Will you serve your six-year term as United States senator from Illinois?'"

Obama: "I will serve out my full six-year term. You know, Tim, if you get asked enough, sooner or later you get weary and you start looking for new ways of saying things. But my thinking has not changed."

Russert: "So you will not run for president or vice president in 2008?"

Obama: "I will not."

Posted by: Danielle | June 4, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

This is a good analysis and I agree with the issues you discussed, but I'm surprised you didn't mention gender. Not taking Hillary Clinton's gender into account is like ignoring Obama's race or McCain's age when examining voter attitudes. What other presidential candidate was criticized for what he wore, his "nagging" voice, or labeled an onslaught of discriminating gender-related names ... What other candidate has been questioned on his plausibility based on a menstrual cycle? Many people seemed to ignore circulating posters labeling Hillary Clinton as a witch, a monster, and much worse. Some people even depicted her as a president who should be beaten up, or one who would become wrathful because of PMS. These trends hurt and insult women. Other Washington Post articles (and a few by The New York Times) addressed the gender issue, so it must have been important to readers.

Posted by: Lindsay | June 4, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Firstly, it is great to see so many posts actually ON TOPIC.

Secondly, I think a huge factor was that Obama realised that Millennials (or Generation Y) are a POLITICALLY ACTIVE generation, far different from their Gen X predecessors. They are disillusioned with institutions and political parties - but they will buy in to the PERSON... and if they do, well just watch them go.

Aside from his personality appeal, compelling narrative and rock-star status, Obama brought the best INTERNET STRATEGY... a strategy that genuinely connected supporters together and raised truckloads of cash in small donations.

In contrast, Hillary ran a top-down campaign - built around her and Bill as the institution that was inevitable. No theme of change, nothing for Gen Y to buy into. So, adios Clintons.

Make no mistake - Gen Y WILL turn out to vote in the general election, and in record numbers. Just watch.

Posted by: Boutan | June 4, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

It is impossible to improve on the many insightful comments before this. However, one more thing should be mentioned. Hillary tried to change her identity in the middle of the race. She began as a highly educated, wealthy, woman with extensive political experience. Midstream, to appeal to blue collar worker, she tried to present herself as one of them. She even changed her accent and vocabulary. She seemed to be trying to give the impression that she had been a waitress in a diner.

It backfired. People can detect a phony a mile away.

FDR was able to earn the adoration of the working class without pretending to be anything other than what he was. Truman achieved one of the greatest political upsets of all time by emphasizing his simple and straightforward personality, not by changing it.

Posted by: JCM in Berkeley | June 4, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

It's the war, stupid!!!!

Posted by: Joe Klein's conscience | June 4, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Time for Hillary to call it quits and get in line to support Obama. She lost, get over it and lets focus on November.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | June 4, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

In the end, what doomed the Clinton campaign was early over-confidence that lead to complacency. Had the world learned about Rev. Wright in December 2007 or January 2008, that would have been the end of the Obama campaign. Early over-confidence leading to complacency and consequent failure has been a recurring theme in Clinton's life, whether it was flunking the DC bar (the only way for a Yale Law grad to flunk the bar is if he/she fails to study for it -- it is highly unusual for a Yale grad to flunk the bar exam), her health care plan, or her presidential campaign.

The nation is probably better off without her in the White House. We've just had 8 years of somebody who never does his homework. Having someone who does their homework after the deadline isn't that much better.

Posted by: Solomon Grundy | June 4, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

"Yes, Obama won the the Democratic nomination according to the voodoo math. Under the Republican format, Hillary would have won hands down. Realists will also note that Obama staggered across the finish line essentially tied with the much reviled Clinton in the popular vote."

There is no denying that more people voted for HRC than Obama. You can spin it and say Obama withdrew his name from the MI ballot and some caucus states don't release full numbers, but the facts are the facts. More actual people punched their ballots for Hillary than Obama.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Her biggest problem was and is unlikeability due to her ability to say whatever she needs to say to suit that moment. Nonetheless, the moneyed folks in the Party and NYC and DC pushed her with money and praise, with able assistance by the mainstream media that she was inevitable nominee, scaring the moderates from entering the race. But alas, the people did not want her and so they turned to Obama, whose elegant rhetoric on change resonated. The irony will be that only a moderate can win a national election and the Democrats squandered their gift.

Posted by: merganser | June 4, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

The way the Clintons have seized on the Florida and Michigan primaries as some example of electoral injustice stuns me.

The DEMOCRATIC PARTY determined what the order of the primaries would be and agreed what the consequences would be when Florida and Michigan decided to ignore the rules.

At the time these decisions were made Hilary Clinton and her supporters went along. There was hardly a plot by Obama or any other candidate to use these rules to cheat the Clintons. In fact, at the time the rules and decisions were agreed upon, Obama was way behind in the polls and everyone was rushing to annoint Hillary.

The fact that the Clintons have resorted to such hypocritical and ethically dubious tactics in a last minute attempt to claim these states' delegates really says a lot about what another Clinton administration would look like.

Posted by: Old Sloaner | June 4, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

One reason that is not well represented in these comments: Her obvious personality flaws. Hillary Clinton is an intensely negative person. Most of her positions were transparently self-serving. She was clearly in her element only when she was campaigning in the negative - such as when she was holding up a flyer and scolding her opponent: "Shame on you, Barack Obama!" During the debates her smile looked so forced to remain on her face that I thought she must have been in pain. She could show no grace to her opponent. Her speech when the nomination was lost was about HER. She repeated the same tired falsehood that she received more votes. This is a woman who dreamed up a "vast right-wing conspiracy" against her husband, and now she is ready to slam the left for denying her the presidency. This is a self-obsessed, negative, power hungry person who constantly shifted her message in an attempt to gain power. This is someone who never apologizes, never admits mistakes unless forced to, like the Iraq war vote, and "can't understand" why voters would back an "inexperienced" candidate like Obama, when her own experience in ELECTED office was insignificant. It illustrates her sense of entitlement to the presidency. She was not a good campaign manager - her campaign was in disarray and debt almost from the start. She was incapable of being someone to vote FOR, except as a symbol, and while she whined about being mistreated by "the men" in debates, and "always taking the first question" and mentioning an SNL skit in a serious debate, and hinting at mysogyny as a reason for her failures, she still would have us believe that she was a strong person, a "fighter". She clearly considered any positive mention of Obama as a negative attack on her. Her actions put the lie to her words.
Her negative personality was too obvious for the voters to miss, and that was a big factor in her defeat.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

The Clintons throughout this campaign have shown the Americans how selfish they really are. Hillary has tried every trick in the book and failed. Now we are waiting for the other shoe to drop on Obama. When are you people going to wake up and realize that the Clintons are not the Demorcratic Party but are also members like you. Bill's presidency was good but had a lot of flaws, why would you want them back in the White House? Just like the Americans gave Bill a chance and supported him throughout his foolishness, why don't you also give Obama a chance and hope that he does not behave in such a manner as Bill did. Obama should not offer Hillary the V.P. she or Bill cannot be trusted.

Posted by: Vernice James | June 4, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Arrogance, arrogance, arrogance.... and Bill.

'nuf said.

Posted by: Harry, Los Angeles, CA | June 4, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Nexxus7

your state should have waited and played by the rules. Too bad for you now....creep.

Posted by: Ronn | June 4, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

What went wrong for Hillary?

Hubris.

End of story.

Posted by: Stax | June 4, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

In losing the nomination, Hillary heaped prais upon herself last night. In winning the nomination, Obama heaped prais upon Hillary Clinton last night.

Therein lies the difference between the two candidates and the reason why Obama won and Hillary lost.

Obama chooses the path of humility, Hillary chooses the path of hubris.

Posted by: JesseW | June 4, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

as a Florida voter for Clinton where the DNC thought it was cute to cute my vote in half, I reject the notion that Obama is the nominee. I and a Democrat who won't vote for the creep NObama, nor will many others.

How can any one say NObama is the winner when 2 states were tampered with?

Posted by: Nexxus7 | June 4, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Hillary emphasized her ability ("Yes, she can"), while Barak emphasized *our," the citizens', ability ("Yes, we can"). The latter resonated with more voters because it includes them as agents of change.

Posted by: Ruth | June 4, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Sal,

The "S" is not anywhere near the "B" on the keyboard; your swipe is infantile. As is your math...

Posted by: Ronn | June 4, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Senator Clinton didn't lose because of the war. If everyone had voted this way 12-18 months ago -- maybe. But the war isn't the issue it was a year ago, and anyone in the party who can't see that shouldn't be involved in the Democratic presidential campaign.

David Axelrod hit the nail on the head: the vast majority of Americans don't vote -- or, equally, decide not to vote -- based on issues. The senior strategists of the party have always argued this, but it is patently false. Most Americans make the choice to vote for a particular candidate based entirely on their feelings about that candidate: "Does he speak for me? Do I want him to represent me to the world? Do I like him?"

Fundamentally, Senator Clinton isn't likable. Her greatest chance in the campaign came during her "breakdown" in the NH primary -- when she showed that she was human, that she had emotion, and that maybe, just maybe, there was a soul buried under that Thatcherite exterior.

Senator Obama was able to tap into this -- he was long on passion, short on "substance" (ie, issues), and capable of phenomenal rhetoric when needed. In essence, he took the party faithful, and newer, traditionally apathetic voters, back to the past -- but it was the past of MLK and JFK, not the '90s.

Senator Obama had one other advantage, which he may have lost now -- the advantage of perceived honesty and, for lack of a better word, purity. No one outside the rank-and-file really believes Senator Clinton is out for anyone other than herself. Her narcissism is palpable. Until the Rev Wright issue -- which, strawman or not, is playing much bigger in Peoria than the Dems care to admit -- Senator Obama had the moral high ground here. It will be interesting to see if he is able to recover it in the general election.

Of course, the most interesting aspect of the Democratic campaign hasn't even begun to be answered yet -- the question of Senator McCain. Is he the John McCain of 2000, the one for whom millions of Democrats secretly would have voted if given the chance? Or has he fundamentally changed?

Should be interesting.

Posted by: jb | June 4, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

How can any one ask "what went wrong"? when Clinton won the popular vote as well as the swing states, and overwhelming wins in the latest elections?

You should not be asking "what went wrong" when Clinton accomplished this despite media bias for Osama, despite not having Obama's rich campaign contributors like Oprah, despite the media pundits hatred for her as a woman running for Pres. and a large chunk of men who will not vote for a woman, despite cutting two states in half, MI and FL, where Clinton won.

Clearly when Florida and Michigan are added in, Clinton is the winner.

Obama can declare himself Frosty the Snowman if he so chooses but that does not mean a Superdelegate will vote for him at the convention.

I think Clinton will lay low now and watch the media turn on Obama. After a few months of that, Clinton will win the nomination in August. As it is, Clinton superdelegates will not vote for Obama, just like Clinton voters will not vote for Obama. Sorry, but to us, Obama is an Obaminable mistake.

Posted by: Sal | June 4, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Much of Clinton's downfall was due to her racism. First, they dealt with Obama with kid gloves. Because he was black. Then, they went 180 and EVERYTHING was about race: her campaign staffers sent out emails about him being a closet Muslim, there was Bill's fairy tale crack, her LBJ comment, Bill's Jesse Jackson crack. There were the well-timed cracks about Wright (ANYTHING to get scrutiny off the Bosnia sniper lie). Donna Brazile will tell you, white Dem politicos are still awkward when it comes to dealing with blacks in/with power. If Clinton treats Obama as a pol, and not a black pol, her tactics regarding him aer completely different. Just imagine how much different she would have been had Edwards emerged as her primary challenger.

Also, his fundraising ability really turned the tide. Much has been made of her debt, and rightly so, but his fundraising prowess enabled him to maintain effective field organizations, which particularly paid off in the caucus states. He doesn't get the donations, he can't afford to out-organize her.

He had a better team than hers. Her team was pretty much Clinton Admin second-stringers. His team was composed of experienced Chicago pols (where its all about money and organization). All things being equal, the experienced machine pols will eat the lunch of second-stringers every day of the week.

It's a tactical error to go negative long-term. She smeared him, but she also built up bitterness towards her among his supporters -- you know, the voters she'd need to support her and not Nader in the GE. Constantly demonizing him has resulted in the polarization we see now. And frankly, she did better when she abandoned that tack and simply talked about who she championed and what she offered. The "experienced" line always rang false; she abandons that in February, and runs on what she offers, she does better. Ultimately, she didn't have faith in her program, until it was way too late.

She also could have been a little more decent towards Obama, particularly at key moments. For instance, if she doesn't join Gibson and Stephanopolous in piling on Obama, if she says "hey, wait a minute, that's unfair" (a) she helps reform her image as ruthless and driven by nothing but personal ambition and (b) maybe Obama doesn't blow off future debates, and she gets one before NC. Instead she uttered the he's not a Muslim "as far as I know" line that helped her with no one. Meanwhile McCain is defending Obama's character vis a vis Wright, saying, that's not the guy I know. That was smart politics. Hillary's many things, she's yet to prove to be a smart politician. SHe knew she needed to moderate her image, but she didn't know how. That was how.

Finally, he's a better campaigner. He made, as I recall, one gaffe: the bitter comments. Other than that, his problems revolved around who he was tied to. And throw in Michelle's "proud" comment. The Clintons committed one a week, it seemed: LBJ, fairy tale, Bosnia, Jesse Jackson, RFK. She generally got the benefit of the doubt for all of them (her press was nearly as harsh on her GIVEN HER ISSUES as it could have been or as she and her backers would like to believe) but they were stupid in the extreme and hurt her momentum. Also, she basically conceded he was a better speaker. But if you're the frontrunner, you ignore the challenger as much as you can. (just like you stop debating when you're way ahead.) Her minimizing his inspirational ability really only reinforced the fact that he's inspirational.

PS CC, FGS, please stop with the wiggle words. "some interpreted as racially charged"? Next time some Holocaust doubter wriggles up from the muck, will you use the words "some interpreted as anti-Semitic"? Grow a pair. And, BTW, analysis is not telling us thatwhich we already know because we saw it with our own two eyes.

Posted by: gbooksdc | June 4, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

She voted for the war.

It's the reason why I and tens of thousands of others didn't vote for her in the 2006 NY Senate Primary (Tasini!), and it's the reason why I wouldn't consider voting for her this time.

Surprised that didn't make it onto your list.

Posted by: north_aufzoo | June 4, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Iraq, Iran and Mark Penn.

Posted by: Greg in LA | June 4, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

There are many reasons why the Clinton campaign fell short. But, the truth is, it's time. The past 100+ years of American Presidential Elections are filled with sea changes brought about by the voters. 1896- McKinley. 1912- Wilson. 1932- FDR. 1960- JFK. 1980- Reagan. The women and men that go into the booth every four years have their fingers on the pulse of this nation. They know when they've had enough of government trending in one direction or another. At the moment, people appear to be tired of Reagan-dominated, trickle-down, bombastic, fight-filled politics. The G.O.P. have dominated the limelight at either end of the Pennsylvania Avenue for 28 years and the American people appear on the verge of showing them the door. Bill and Hillary Clinton are part of that era and they bring with them the baggage of impeachment, government shutdowns and Republican Revolutions. President Clinton was extremely effective when you remember he was elected with a plurality and had an opposition Congress six of his eight years. We stand on the precipice of a new, more diverse era. Sometimes, it isn't the nitty gritty, every day conflicts that lifts one campaign over another. It may just be a the tidal wave of history.

Posted by: Steve | June 4, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

There are many reasons why the Clinton campaign fell short. But, the truth is, it's time. The past 100+ years of American Presidential Elections are filled with sea changes brought about by the voters. 1896- McKinley. 1912- Wilson. 1932- FDR. 1960- JFK. 1980- Reagan. The women and men that go into the booth every four years have their fingers on the pulse of this nation. They know when they've had enough of government trending in one direction or another. At the moment, people appear to be tired of Reagan-dominated, trickle-down, bombastic, fight-filled politics. The G.O.P. have dominated the limelight at either end of the Pennsylvania Avenue for 28 years and the American people appear on the verge of showing them the door. Bill and Hillary Clinton are part of that era and they bring with them the baggage of impeachment, government shutdowns and Republican Revolutions. President Clinton was extremely effective when you remember he was elected with a plurality and had an opposition Congress six of his eight years. We stand on the precipice of a new, more diverse era in our history. Sometimes, it isn't about the nitty gritty, every day conflicts that life one campaign over another. It may just be a tidal wave started by the populace.

Posted by: Steve | June 4, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Hillary supported the war which was stupid, craven, and wrong. That she came so close to winning the nomination anyway is the real shock.

Posted by: lowellfield | June 4, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I think the Hillary camp assumed that there was a massive voter base ready to vote for her, which was true. However, at the beginning, no one payed much attention to the fact that Obama was building a base instead of relying on what was there. This was a voter and $ base of support that sustained him after super tuesday. I think the same happened with John Kerry. He also tried to rely on the existing dem turnout as opposed to renewing the grassroots movement; without realizing that Bush had actually done otherwise back in 2000. In retrospect, the dem party was very unorganized,and what was truly needed was the grassroots organizing itself--a movement that Hillary was unable to engage, but that Obama did successfully at some degree.

Posted by: jlm062002 | June 4, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Scrivener- stop taking crazy pills.

Posted by: Aaron | June 4, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

a post by charles laffiteau is worth reflection on why hilary lost : senator obama's management skills combined strategy and tactics to focus, organize and execute plans. such talents are major requirements for running america and contributed to his win.

chris cillizza's summary is accurate and his insights into the day-to-day operations of clinton's campaign are correct.

nonetheless, hillary's egocentric performance last night is a clear reflection on her character. now senator obama will have to use all his skills to deflect her, unite the democratic party and keep the clinton's as far away from the white house as possible. obama needs hillary to help usher legislation thru congress. period.

but i'd bet the farm under no circumstances will she be the vp nominee. i like joe biden...he's diplomatic and could lend weight to foreign policy...

Posted by: alan reubel | June 4, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

When I think of Hillary Clinton I think habitual.... you can fill in the blank. While she was living in the White House she penned a book about how "It Takes a Village" to raise children. It has also taken a village to continue to obfuscate the truth in the last three months. And I mean that in contributing to this melee of confusion was not only her husband and daughter but a whole cast of advisors who played the role of enablers. The latest proclamation of winning the popular vote is like the Redskins losing to the Cowboys but proclaiming at the press conference at the end of the game that they had more yardage than the Cowboys. If the rules of the Primary were about winning the popular vote ..guess what.. Obama would have set out and probably won the popular vote. The strategy to focus on caucus states, take his name off the Michigan ballot was all set to win within the rules. Hillary needs to start thinking about her next book "It takes a Village for the Democrats to Win" and start playing her part

Posted by: Tom Washington DC | June 4, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Chris, as you (and other posters) have pointed out she lost for many reasons. To me one significant blunder was her campaign's poor expectation management. She try to promote a ridiculous claim that she was inevitable before a single vote had been cast. And worse, her campaign bought into their own slogan, she and they believed Clinton was inevitable. They got cocky and missed Obama's charge and they didn't even bother to strategize a true route to the nomination. They basically didn't compete for caucas states and had no strategy post super tuesday when Obama really caught fire. But unfortunately, Clinton and her supporters are still living in dream land. She should have conceded last night the fight is over, but as usual Hillary only thinks about Hillary. I think her "continued" campaign should remove her from Obama's VP list. She will do nothing but weigh him down in the general.

Posted by: JNoel002 | June 4, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Per zephyy99: "Under the Republican format, Hillary would have won hands down."

This really inspired me. Here are a few other "hands down" formats that would have worked:

* Under the traditional golf scoring format...

* Under the being named "Clinton" format...

* Under the not-winning-according-to-established-format format...

Any other takers? The possibilities are kind of limitless!

Posted by: Goombay | June 4, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

This is an interesting post. The Clinton campaign suffered drastically from being structured and run in the style and manner of typical campaigns of the eighties/nineties and failed completely to understand and take into account the way information is shared and spread like the speed of light via the Interenet, Youtube blogs, social sites, etc as well as the more traditional media methods.

Never was this more clearly demonstrated than the now infamous RFK remarks made by Senator Clinton when meeting with the editorial board of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader which were being streamed live. I truly believe Senator Clinton hadn't a clue what being streamed live meant. I believe she thought simply thought she was in a room talking to the half dozen or so there and made the remarks, knowingly or otherwise, without understanding they were being beamed out live as she said them.

The travelling press corps, not present at the editorial board meeting, was already in place at the Supermarket for Senator Clinton's next engagement. By the time she reached them word was out, on the Net, in the media, on blogs and the travelling corps assorted editors were ringing them like crazy to get comments. No wonder Senator Clinton looked ashen faced and totally stunned when asked to comment.

That she did not understand streaming herself is possibly excusable. But her media advisors, or those with her, should have understood and warned her to be careful.

From the start of his campaign Obama has wisely surrounded himself with experts who have understood and successfully harnessed this technology. Also Senator Clinton has been very much an "I, and "Me" person whereas Senator Obama has been very "We" and "Us" and many psychologists note the latter is usually more effective in interaction with others.

It may be a simplification but Senator Clinton, whilst possessing a sharp brain, is perceived by many as a 'celebrity' candidate owing to her high profile as an Ex-First Lady. Senator Obama's intellect is the more formidable and, bearing in mind he came from nowhere, he has been relatively unknown to most Americans let alone the rest of the world. Yet for all this his message has struck a chord deep in the soul of millions of Americans yearning for a change not only within America but in the rest of the World and reached and involved many younger voters by the non traditional methods.

It is clear Clinton's campaign underestimated Obama. There appears to have been no long term plan. It seems reasonable, on all the evidence, to believe the Clintons simply had no vision at all that any candidate up against their formidable machine could possibly survive let alone race past them. Hence her campaign, and indeed her personality, has varied from day to day. Perhaps some of fun of this contest has been to wonder what personality Senator Clinton will wear for the day, ranging from the tears, the turnarounds and even some tantrums and ill concealed anger in the body language as events have not gone her way.

It is interesting to look back at so many of the events and notice the difference in style. Clinton, being an Ex-First Lady, has been used to 'holding areas'; faking looks for the cameras (i.e. 'surprised' looks at a camera when reporters have recorded there was no-one there ); planted questions; and the whole representing very much as it was when she appeared anywhere as First Lady.

Obama has often looked like the unpretentious and in many ways unassuming man that he is. One senses very little of the fakery of a staged event, especially in the early days. Clinton seldom stops 'playing' to the crowds from the second she appears at the top of an aircraft steps, or steps out of a car and it often seems contrived and, as has been reported, often turned out to be contrived, particularly in recent weeks. Obama has an aura of a far more natural and genuine appearance. He appears comfortable in his own skin without any needs for histrionics, grimaces or faked emotions.

Awful though it must be for the Clintons to accept, at the end of the day the more effective, consistent and better run campaign, combined with a truly extraordinary candidate, has been the winner.

Posted by: Geoffrey | June 4, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

IT WON'T BE LONG BEFORE THE BIG OTHER SHOE DROPS ON OBAMA. HILLARY ALREADY MAY KNOW ABOUT THE COMING JUNE SURPRISE. THAT'S WHY SHE'S SO OBSTINANT.

UNTIL THAT HAPPENS, YOU WON'T SEE AL GORE ENDORSING THE PRESUMPTIVE NOMINEE (OR SHOULD WE SAY THE "PRESUMPTUOUS" NOMINEE?

Your analysis, Chris, is spot on, but you neglect to mention one key fact:

Hillary knows that the power elite will not accept the notion of an inexperienced, untested liberal elitist as potus.

More than that, she knows Obama will be unable to weather the coming storm, because it reinforces the narrative: The candidate's past associations and his failure to distance himself from controversial figures disqualifies him from the top job.

Talk of whether Hillary wants the VP slot is nothing more than an irrelevant distraction. Her refusal to acknowledge Obama's mathematical clinch shows that she has no genuine interest in becoming Obama's stepmaid. She asked for "respect" from Obama while simultaneously disrespecting him. Obama has demonstrated a penchant for responding to a personal slight with pathetic attempts at accomodation. But even he will not kowtow to someone incapable of giving him his propers on such a historic occasion.

So how can Hillary be so tone-deaf? Yes, she is arrogant and self-consumed. But she also knows something is coming, something that will finally cement the notion that Obama is unelectable. She already may know what that something is. Hillary also knows that her self-centered obstinance has alienated key Dem constituencies. So she cannot replace Obama as the party standard-bearer.

But others within the party share Hillary's disquieting unease. She and Bill know other party elders are silently applauding their refusal to cede the party to the Obamanauts. So she and Bill will play the role of party power brokers. As I have stated repeatedly, Billary, when the timing is right, will throw their delegate support behind an alternate candidate, most likely, Al Gore.

This won't happen until the other big shoe drops on Obama. That could happen within a matter of days.

And that is why Al Gore has not joined the somewhat weak stream of supers who have moved to endorse Obama. Gore is the gentleman in waiting. And it won't be long now.

Posted by: scrivener | June 4, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

In Macholandia, no woman can ever hope for or even dream of being a President. That is why Hillary could never have possibly won.

Posted by: Gustavo | June 4, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

This is an interesting post. The Clinton campaign suffered drastically from being structured and run in the style and manner of typical campaigns of the eighties/nineties and failed completely to understand and take into account the way information is shared and spread like the speed of light via the Interenet, Youtube blogs, social sites, etc as well as the more traditional media methods.

Never was this more clearly demonstrated than the now infamous RFK remarks made by Senator Clinton when meeting with the editorial board of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader which were being streamed live. I truly believe Senator Clinton hadn't a clue what being streamed live meant. I believe she thought simply thought she was in a room talking to the half dozen or so there and made the remarks, knowingly or otherwise, without understanding they were being beamed out live as she said them.

The travelling press corps, not present at the editorial board meeting, was already in place at the Supermarket for Senator Clinton's next engagement. By the time she reached them word was out, on the Net, in the media, on blogs and the travelling corps assorted editors were ringing them like crazy to get comments. No wonder Senator Clinton looked ashen faced and totally stunned when asked to comment.

That she did not understand streaming herself is possibly excusable. But her media advisors, or those with her, should have understood and warned her to be careful.

From the start of his campaign Obama has wisely surrounded himself with experts who have understood and successfully harnessed this technology. Also Senator Clinton has been very much an "I, and "Me" person whereas Senator Obama has been very "We" and "Us" and many psychologists note the latter is usually more effective in interaction with others.

It may be a simplification but Senator Clinton, whilst possessing a sharp brain, is perceived by many as a 'celebrity' candidate owing to her high profile as an Ex-First Lady. Senator Obama's intellect is the more formidable and, bearing in mind he came from nowhere, he has been relatively unknown to most Americans let alone the rest of the world. Yet for all this his message has struck a chord deep in the soul of millions of Americans yearning for a change not only within America but in the rest of the World and reached and involved many younger voters by the non traditional methods.

It is clear Clinton's campaign underestimated Obama. There appears to have been no long term plan. It seems reasonable, on all the evidence, to believe the Clintons simply had no vision at all that any candidate up against their formidable machine could possibly survive let alone race past them. Hence her campaign, and indeed her personality, has varied from day to day. Perhaps some of fun of this contest has been to wonder what personality Senator Clinton will wear for the day, ranging from the tears, the turnarounds and even some tantrums and ill concealed anger in the body language as events have not gone her way.

It is interesting to look back at so many of the events and notice the difference in style. Clinton, being an Ex-First Lady, has been used to 'holding areas'; faking looks for the cameras (i.e. 'surprised' looks at a camera when reporters have recorded there was no-one there ); planted questions; and the whole representing very much as it was when she appeared anywhere as First Lady.

Obama has often looked like the unpretentious and in many ways unassuming man that he is. One senses very little of the fakery of a staged event, especially in the early days. Clinton seldom stops 'playing' to the crowds from the second she appears at the top of an aircraft steps, or steps out of a car and it often seems contrived and, as has been reported, often turned out to be contrived, particularly in recent weeks. Obama has an aura of a far more natural and genuine appearance. He appears comfortable in his own skin without any needs for histrionics, grimaces or faked emotions.

Awful though it must be for the Clintons to accept, at the end of the day the more effective, consistent and better run campaign, combined with a truly extraordinary candidate, has been the winner.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Chris, you keep doing this: He's a "legislator" -- not a "legislature". You did it the other day as well.

Posted by: Ryan | June 4, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

More than anything else, the media and the democratis establishment joined the Obama campaign to deny Hillary the nomination. The democratic party is bound to regret what it did because it is difficult to sell the myth of a JFK clone for a six-month campaign period. It lasted for a few months and then Obama started his slide from Texas and Ohio. Unless he is really willing to work for unity by asking her to join his ticket, the Hillary supporters are going to sit home or cross over. If McCain wins as a result, Obama would have lost his golden chance, and would never be able to come back. The republican caricature of his candidacy hasn't even started, and McCain is already competitive with him. We will se what happens in november if Obama goes his arrogant way.

Posted by: Nathan | June 4, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

"Yes, Obama won the the Democratic nomination according to the voodoo math. Under the Republican format, Hillary would have won hands down. Realists will also note that Obama staggered across the finish line essentially tied with the much reviled Clinton in the popular vote."

Correct. Here are the results since March 4th when HRC got her second wind.

HRC: Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, Puerto Rico, South Dakota (approx 563 delegates).

Obama: Vermont, Wyoming, Mississippi, Guam, North Carolina, Oregon, Montana (approx 492 delegates)

Obama was getting routinely thumped.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Chris,

It appears there is a lot of basic agreement with the points you make. It speaks volumes that Obama can run a campaign better than HRC. Make no mistake, however, the vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq really brought her judgment into question, no matter how much the vote was made to represent the people of New York who took the worst hit in the 9/11 attacks. It looks like the better candidate won the primary selection process.

Apologies to Bob Barr, Newt Gringrich, Lindsey Graham and Henry Hyde. They still look despicable to me, but during the primaries, I think we saw the Bill and Hillary those guys saw all those years ago.

Posted by: Timelordnot | June 4, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Its the "Change" stupid

Posted by: Craig | June 4, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

When we get down the road a few years and gain some perspective, it will be clear that the fateful moment came in early 2007 on Clinton's first visit to New Hampshire, when she refused, as Edwards shortly later wisely did, to admit she made a mistake in voting for the war. Voters would have forgiven her for her bad vote on the war. But the refusal to do so opened up a race that never would have, or should have, been open in the first place. That split her base of women supporters. She would have gotten nearly 100% of the women's vote otherwise. If she had held women voters, it would have been numerically impossible for anyone else. It also drove away the progressive and anti-war wing of the party, which might not have liked her, but probably would have accepted her, in the higher interest of taking back the White House.

Posted by: Larry | June 4, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

"The number one thing that went wrong was that she showed spectacularly bad judgment in voting to authorize this war."

The left will never forgive any person in the USA that wants to win a war. They say the chices are stop the war now or have war forever.

I think the real choices are to win or lose.

Posted by: Gary E. Masters | June 4, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Ten years or more ago, a friend working in the Clinton White House reported that First Lady Hillary was vindictive and mean spirited. He said her subordinates were terrified of her. At one time she issued an order that no one was to make eye contact with her when they encountered her anywhere. At another she expressed an order -- ignored by saner heads -- that all uniformed personnel (security guards, military people, etc.) were to be posted where their presence would be minimized. Tourists in uniform were to be taken aside and made as inconspicuous as possible, etc.

The charges seemed so outrageous that I didn't believe them. Then came travelgate, the NAFTA denials, the sniper fire, the subtle race references, the convoluted math that only she could compute, etc., etc. Now I'm not so sure.

My take on Hillary and the press: it was Hillary that was given the pass. She was not held to account for any of the obvious lies she spouted. If the press had been doing her the same way they were doing Obama, her Bosnian sniper fire story would've been aired at least as often as the Reverend Wright snippet. (And wasn't she quick to pounce on that! Obama, on the other hand, was careful NOT to mention that Hillary's pastor has been convicted of sexual misdemeanor.) The press "neglected" to point out that Hillary wasn't wearingl a flag pin either, etc., etc. What a farce!

I think Hillary did herself in by willfully confirming every misogynist rant: Women can't do math; Women are incapable of recognizing reality; Women are inherently devious and manipulative, etc., etc. Thanks to her, no woman politician, no matter how competent, can aspire to higher elected office without having to fight those miconceptions all over again. Makes me wonder why some women's groups haven't seen that.

Posted by: Allen | June 4, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Abdul makes a good point. The only reason most of the country knows Hillary's name is simply because she was married to Bill. That's it. She's very intelligent, but she has no other claim to national fame besides her conjugal affiliation with Bill. Then we have to ask why would any self-respecting woman continue to stay married to a womanizer. This is a political marriage, and most people cannot relate to a motivation as such for matrimony.

Posted by: dcp | June 4, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

This article has a very good analysis of campaign strategy-- but from my own perspective (and I believe that this is a common experience), Hillary revealed herself as a conniving, two-faced, will-do-anything disgusting cheater with no regard whatsoever from the Democratic party.

This was no campaign failure, this was not the creation of the Obama campaign-- it was Bill & Hillary's own character flaws inevitably transpiring through the PR machine. The campaign was lipstick on a pig, and a lot of us eventually saw through it.

Posted by: Don't forget the obvious | June 4, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

What went wrong is Hillary assumed she had it in the bag and treated people especially the press poorly. She would try to manipulate press conferences with planted questions and ride roughshod over anyone that got in her way! It was the perfect storm for a smooth talking, no substance, con artist like Obama to walk into.

Posted by: donmac | June 4, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

The pundits hate Clinton. The same bunch that attacks McCain has put her in their targets and (not surprising have used the same rhetoric they use against him and even President Bush. I guess words can be recycled. But she reuused to fold.


I wonder how many real delegates and how many super delegates they are counting now. Better be all real delegates. The supers can vote for anyone they like.

That would be bigger than "Dewey wins!"

Posted by: Gary E. Masters | June 4, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

To all the dejected women supporters of Hillary who vow they will vote for McSame or stay home....remember this...the next President will likely appoint two Supreme court Justices.

You can bet the ranch that McSame will appoint justices in the mold of alito, Scalia and Thomas (not to mention Roberts).

If you want to keep your hard won reproductive rights better get behind the party Nominee.

Just a reminder.

Posted by: retired frank | June 4, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

To all the dejected women supporters of Hillary who vow they will vote for McSame or stay home....remember this...the next President will likely appoint two Supreme court Justices.

You can bet the ranch that McSame will appoint justices in the mold of alito, Scalia and Thomas (not to mention Roberts).

If you want to keep your hard won reproductive rights better get behind the party Nominee.

Just a reminder.

Posted by: retired frank | June 4, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Give Obama credit. He represents something different and he connected with young voters and with new voters who had previously remained on the sidelines along with those like me (superannuated male caucasian) who are looking for a real change.

Let's also give Obama credit for out organizing all his opponents and for his ability to raise funds through the Internet and other non-traditional means. For all the Clintons' supposed competence and experience their campaign was not well run.

We had eight years of Clinton and we've had twelve years of Bush. Another Clinton administration is the last thing we need

I hope Obama will agree to pay Hiary's debts, promise her a Supreme Court seat, appoint her czar of whatever she wants...just don't offer her the Vice President slot!


Posted by: No Mas Clintonistas | June 4, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Boice,

Thank you for that post. I am not young, and not as old as you both are. But it is good to see elderly people thinking about the future of others and this country.

if more of us thought like you, and did not vote 90% according to the size of our wallets, maybe the country would be in better shape than it is today.

God bless you both and all others like you!

Posted by: Ronn | June 4, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Add "bad opposition research" to the list of Clinton mistakes. Wright's sermon's had been available on DVD for a long time, just waiting to be discovered. If Clinton's team had found and released them a couple weeks before Iowa, I doubt Obama would be where he is today. I say this as an Obama supporter.

Posted by: PDM | June 4, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

At crucial times Clinton showed poor judgement/miscalculation.

1. She went along with the Iraq war authorization. I live in the sticks but could tell from a bizarre mass-mailed letter I received from Sen. Kit Bond that the justification was propaganda. It's not that I am brilliant, it's just that didn't see it or chose to go along. It was plainly a "dumb war."

2. Clinton's time to run was 2004.

Posted by: Paul D | June 4, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

"The Clinton campaign never figured out a way to tell that story to voters and, as a result, never closed the passion gap." Guess who tells the stories, Chris? It is not the campaign but the media, which will never hold a mirror to the absolutely horrendous way it has portrayed Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: FactChecker1 | June 4, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

My husband and I pretty much see this alike -
(he's 86 and I'm 75 so we're not starry-eyed kids by any means!) The longer this campaign went on, the less we "liked" Hillary and the more we liked Obama - he is inspirational, she is not! We both were totally outraged at the treatment the Clintons got while in the White House - from the "vast, right-wing conspiracy". We're disappointed in Bill's role in this campaign also. I don't understand why older women who think of themselves as
feminists don't see that Hillary would not be where she is today if she hadn't been married to The President! Of course she's smart and all of those usual descriptions, but no way would she have been able to be where she is on her own! There is huge support for Hillary from her "following", but there are also any number of voters who really, really don't like her! Plus, we just didn't want another family dynasty in the White House - the Bush family has been more than enough! Time for The Clinton Family to retreat to the sidelines and a supportive role in the affairs of this country!

Posted by: Pat Boice | June 4, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

@ Sharon | June 4, 2008 8:59 AM
"People who support Clinton who live on the coasts didn't seem to realise how deep the dislike is for Hillary Clinton in the "little" states."

I agree with you entirely. I recall visiting Alabama and Florida in the 1995 and there was still a palpable loathing of her there. Like you, I thought it completely unwarranted and sexist in nature. But this campaign has taught me that this visceral revulsion towards Clinton is not, in fact, inappropriate.

She has proved beyond doubt that she does indeed harbor a vile streak of narcissism and entitlement, and that she will never act gracefully if that means going against her immediate self-interests.

It's time for Nancy Pelosi to step up and administer the public coup de grace. Only Ms. Pelosi has the power and resolve to do it, and only a woman can do it without being labelled sexist.


Posted by: Sharkey | June 4, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

The number one thing that went wrong was that she showed spectacularly bad judgment in voting to authorize this war. And by refusing to acknowledge that as a mistake, and then in voting for the Kyl-Leiberman resolution, she showed that the AUMF vote was not a momentary lack of judgment. Her view of American military power is, fundamentally, untenably hawkish.

Posted by: Mac | June 4, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Why did she lose?
FEBRUARY!!!

By not contesting caucuses and being ready to compete in post-super Tuesday states she let Obama build an insurmountable lead.

All of the other stuff written in these posts may be true but if she had competed in these states it might have turned out much different for her.

Posted by: PeninsulaMatt | June 4, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Chris that credit needs to be given where credit is due. Barack Obama combined his obvious charisma with an extraordinarily well run campaign and capitalised on a groundswell for the idea of change.

Had it not been for this wonderful combination, it is possible that Hillary would have won. In fact it ought to be remembered that this was NOT in any way a thrashing. How different might the race have been if it was run in reverse starting with montana and going back through SD, PR and so on. The momentum may have been slightly different. Surely it has to be recognised that there was at least a degree of luck that BO's demographic suited the order of the primaries and the concept of a caucus.

I think the main thing to learn from this race is how vitriolic nastiness can go on inside even the democratic party. It was heartbreaking to read the nasty, nasty language directed towards Hillary. It was a shame that supporters of BO felt they had to degrade the legacy of one of their very few two term presidents. Likewise it was a shame to see supporters of Hillary saying things about BO, bringing up the Pastor issues, allowing dialogue about patriotism, and especially seeing some declarie that they will vote instead for McCain.

I would implore everyone to think about this manner of supporting their candidate. It sounds like rantings of the uneducated members of the right (this is the only time I will use one of those excessive terms to support an argument). Forget about trying to find racism among innocent comments. Forget about perceived sexism. Forget about media bias. Democrats unite. You really ALL need each other. Winning a democratic nomination means appealing to people nominally to the left of politics or further. Winning the presidency requires winning over constituents crossing over the centre and then a little bit to the right. THIS is why you need each other. Work together. This coalition, as a team, can work to resurrect the great democracy that the USA can be.

Posted by: adamjacobbryant | June 4, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Haha June yes, those 3AM ads....I can imagine the following scenario:

03:00AM
phone rings in White House

Hilarry alone heard.....

" what did you say you name was?
Bubba! Nice name.
Ok Bubba what can I do for you?
your a pig farmer. That's nice Bubba.
More subsidies for pig famers, ok. I will take care of that in the morning Bubba. You sleep tight too."

03:38AM
phone rings in White House

"Hello Hillary speaking.
Yes I have heard Iowa. You want to have a cake bake in the school.
OK Marianne, how can I help?
well ok you tell your daughter she should be proud of her mom and help you.
You're welcome honey"

03:58 AM
phone rings in White House

"Helloooooooo. Hillary speaking.
Who is this? Hewlitt? Oh Clint.
Clint Packard. OK CP, what can I do for you?
Mexicans? OK you don't worry about a thing we will build bigger walls next year."


Posted by: Ronn | June 4, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

All symptoms Chris...

She lost because of one word...

.

.

.

Iraq!!!

Although she could have overcome that vote with a good campaign, but if she would have had the foresight in 2002 to vote against a war strongly denounced by Senators not running for President(interesting huh?), Barack Obama would have never had an opportunity to build any momentum..

Posted by: justmy2 | June 4, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Chris...here's my analysis of what went wrong with Hillary's campaign

1) Hillary's stance on the Iraq War...Hillary was never apologetic or willing to admit her vote for the Iraq war was a mistake.

2) Hillary's high negatives were reinforced...Hillary's campaign between October 2007 to May 2008 reinforced the initial high negatives that Hillary had. Stories from Bosnia sniper to Gas Tax Holiday to the Illegal Immigrant NY Driver's licenses flip-flop reinforced the idea of a dishonest politician willing to say-or-do-anything to win.

3) Hillary's experience argument never cemented...Early on in the campaign season Hillary used generic terms about being an experienced leader, but in the middle of the campaign season, all of the examples that Hillary and her surrogates tried to use as experience were dismissed. When Hillary spoke of health care it brought back the 1990s failure. When Hillary spoke of being a major player in the Ireland peace accords, a Nobel Peace Prize winner involved in the peace accords corrected Hillary. When Hillary spoke of NAFTA, her own schedule and public record from the 1990s corrected her. When Hillary spoke about avoiding sniper in Bosnia, the video footage took her totally off message.

4) Hillary's poor nomination strategy...The Clinton campaign was initially focused on winning the early primaries in New Hampshire and South Carolina, and then go into SuperTuesday and win the majority of delegates, and coast along the remaining primaries/caucuses until she reached the magic number of 2025 to be the nominee. That was clear from how she raised money and message she espoused.

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | June 4, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

The war, the war, the war. If Clinton had voted against it, Obama wouldn't have been able to lay a glove on her.

Posted by: Jay Gold | June 4, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I went to the fabled HillaryClinton.com website to express my disapproval of her performance last night, only to find that you couldn't send the campaign a comment except that it was already headed with a message of support. That sense of a canned message, one that could be easily manipulated, is the feeling her campaign left with me.

Posted by: Scott | June 4, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

The reason she lost is so simple. As an Iowan I could point to it from the very beginning, Then one day last month I heard Chris Mathews( of all people) say Hillary lost because of her vote on the war, and I was like Olympia Dukakis in Moonstruck- that's it! That's it!
She lost because she voted for the war, and that sent Iowa party activists shopping for a new candidate. We just were not going to compromise on this issue that we had fought so hard against.Obama's advisors, being from neighboring Illinois, knew all to well the anti-war sentiment in Iowa. Not one of my very politically active female friends even considered caucusing for Hillary. From the beginning.
Then when Obama won Iowa and African Americans saw that white people would vote for a black men she started bleeding black voters. Well and Bill didn't help.
The reason she started winning was the economy imploded and the war took a back seat. If the war were on the front burner, Obama would have won many more primaries but with the economy on the forefront people want a known quantity to get them out of a hole.

Posted by: misskaty | June 4, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Obama won the the Democratic nomination according to the voodoo math. Under the Republican format, Hillary would have won hands down. Realists will also note that Obama staggered across the finish line essentially tied with the much reviled Clinton in the popular vote.

Posted by: zephyy99 | June 4, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Clinton lost the campaign because she was exposed as a pandering, waffling, equivocating spin miester. Her refusal to admit her vote on Iraq was a mistake until it was politically expedient to do so, was the first step. Second, she was exposed a classless person, like Bill.

Let's see how long this "marriage" lasts now that Hillary's political career is ruined.

Posted by: Is there a NY divorce lawyer in the House? | June 4, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Face it; Hillary is , was , and continues to be the establishment candidate! It is the Capital machination squads who provide the Advertising expertise to "sell" the candidates that is behind the continued Rovian assault on decency and common sense! Hillary represents the Democratic wing of the Capitalist Fascists; and to make hash of a bad situation, Hillary like George is a extremely poor chooser of people! In point of fact, Hillary has done just about everything to demonstrate that she is a very poor choice to be a leader of anything; much less America which which is close to being destroyed by the Fascist forces of which she is a part!

Without the angry and pissed off women who can not fathom that people would choose even a "Black" man over a women, any women; Hillary would be revealed to be the very, very flawed candidate that she is! She exhibits the worse of the "manly" sterotypes in a manner somewhat similar to George and seems to have the same solution to the "problem"; namely being the baddest "man" in Texas; kick some ass, blow up some buildings, slug back that shot, sneer at the wimpy peaceniks, and wave the flag!

No Thanks!

Posted by: Chatician | June 4, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Let's not forget those "It's 3AM" ads. Most of the country's tragic events happened during the mid-morning hours(9/11, Virginia Tech), or went on all day long (Katrina). People want their leaders to be ready 24/7, not just at 3AM.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Dear Lylepink

you wrote:

The Media with their close to 100% support and flat out FALSE reporting.

Which false reporting are you referring to? Do you mean Obama's pastor NEVER really said all those things that were reported in the press for such a length of time it almost made us believe he was crazed???

Wowow...thanks for putting that right, much appreciated. Maybe he is not really half black even.

Or maybe Hillary is half black!? No, that can't be. She would never have gotten where she is today.

Those bastards the press!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

As I read these posts, it seems they agree with Father Fleger`s sermon. We agree....he gets villified....Obama has to reject. What a strange brew this is !

Posted by: Bill P. | June 4, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

i was disappointed in hrc in her speech last night due to it was not about her. she was out of the race approx 1 month ago through out this contest he has been very gracious to her and she has been very abusive to him and last night was the final straw in my opinion she could not even acknowledge he won it was his night it was important milestone in history that i watched with my daughter with pride but she tried steal that thunder, demanding to be placed on the ticket as a VP .. the winner should ask not the loser. she has never been humbled herself. i feel he can win without her on the ticket due to their values are different and she wants to be co- pres , not a silent partner. i had supported him from the begining due to i wanted to see the country go in a different direction a positive. we need to heal i see that in him i did not see that in her.

Posted by: bailey | June 4, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Clinton lost because not enough people needed pardons. Or couldn't afford the price.

Posted by: Tabletop | June 4, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I think the assessment of the campaign is about right, but I would be hesistant to refer to Hillary as just another "also-ran." Her role in this election year is not over yet and cannot truly be evaluated even the day after she definitively lost the nomination for the presidency. Whatever else she may do in coming months, I expect this race is one for the history books and Clinton's experience will likely stand out more than most other "also-rans."

Posted by: dwatson01 | June 4, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

One trend the media has ignored is that a good number of those who support or voted for Obama may have done so not so much for love of Obama, but for intense dislike of Hilary for whatever reason(other than those polls of Obama supporters who would vote for Mc Cain over Clinton).

I also think that her support of the gas tax suspension over the summer hurt her campaign because it showed a desperate willingness to pander for votes to compete with McCain rather than challenge Obama's cogent conclusion that the suspension would do more harm than good to the country, the economy and to our transportation system. Equally idiotic were those in Congress who suppported her stand, which indicates that they may not be aware (or care) that the Federal transportation funding they vote on is mostly supported by the gas tax!!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Hillary lost the race due to two major Factors, the Repub strategy of stopping her and supporting Obama, because they thought he was the weakest of all the Dems as I found out about in January, and The Media with their close to 100% support and flat out FALSE reporting. I hope she will come out soon and refuse the VP slot, for I think there is much more BAD STUFF to come about this guy and these SDs can always change their minds before the actual Vote at the Convention.

Posted by: lylepink | June 4, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Chris forgot about her "misspeaks" such as running from Bosnia sniper fire (which cast her as the liar she is). Aaaaannnnddd, the gas tax holiday farce. Americans saw right through that. She didn't just underestimate Barack; she underestimated the American people.

Posted by: dcp | June 4, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

By voting for Bush's war, HRC sealed her fate. The incredibly scary thing is that she nearly got the nomination anyway.

Posted by: Dustbin of History | June 4, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

What went wrong? The Clinton Campaign was only about them! Her Speech last night just proved it to those who wanted to see a dignified Senator but she just picked up her shovel and keep on digging that grave!
Senator Clinton, is intelligent but she didn't leave her ego at the door! She slipped by the way side, when she started to DIVIDE into that Negative Dirty Old School Politician!
As a 60+ White Female the day to see a Female Candidate was thrilling, but after awhile, she fell from grace and honestly took the female gender back 100 years!
I'm sure out there in the arena of VP we can find someone with Dignity and Honesty, either a Female or Male - but it has to be the RIGHT Candidate!

Posted by: simplewidsom | June 4, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

the real reason Hillary lost is because of the creeps at MSNBC....Matthews, Obermann, Shuster, affected Mika and Gregory......and they are still running her down.....talk about Mysogynists...........GET OVER YOURSELVES and get a life.

Posted by: jane | June 4, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

She lost because she was not prepared. This was obvious after Super Tuesday and put the lie to her whole campaign, which branded itself as experienced and "ready on day one." Whatever her experience, she wasn't ready, and it poisoned the deal at its basis. All the rest--the lies, the dirt, the pandering, the hate--were an attempt to delay the inevitable. People who were leaning toward her realized that, when it comes to Hillary Clinton, there is no "there" there.

Posted by: edwcorey | June 4, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Billary lost because the media, on whom the Clintons had always been able to count in the past, turned on them and supported the Big O instead.
-Wm Tate
http://www.atimelikethis.us/

Posted by: Wm Tate | June 4, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

""(T)hey will see John McCain (undisputed national hero) as a reasonable alternate choice to Obama (aka ukulele) who is surrounded by middle-America-hater like you."

I can see why you posted this anonymously. I certainly wouldn't want my name associated with such mindless drivel, either. A little scary to think that someone whose IQ is smaller than his hat size is allowed to vote.

"Undisputed national hero" - You mean lying, flip-flopping, shallow suit who divorced his first wife to marry into money that has bankrolled his entire political career - including his involvement in the Keating Five scandal - and who while running the "straight talk express" and posing as a champion of campaign finance reform has accepted more lobbyist donations than any other candidate? You mean that undisputed national hero. You can sure pick 'em, Skeezix...

Posted by: jjcomet | June 4, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Hillary's lack of grace in failing to concede is disappointing but the real issue lurking in the background is Bill. He frittered away a good portion of his second term through foolish indiscretions that a more disciplined leader would never have risked. Bill Clinton is a HUGE risk for the Democratic party and talented as Hillary is, her husband's capacy for scandal and ethical lapses is a risk the Democrats cannot afford.

Posted by: female and 65 | June 4, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Lots of spot-on comments here today. The AUMF vote and her refusal to apologize for it, the lack of a solid primary strategy, her refusal to take Obama seriously until it was too late, all of those point to one thing:

Hillary *assumed* she would coast to the Democratic nomination. She was running a GE campaign from the start. It's like a center fielder taking his eye off a fly ball to see what the runner at third is doing. You have to catch the ball first and then throw. Hillary took her eye off the ball. And she lost because of it.

Posted by: novamatt | June 4, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

What went wrong hapenned in October when the Obama campaign matched the Clinton campaign in the third quarter finance report. Clinton apparently had never heard of internet donations. She was running a 1990's campaign. Her campaign contributions were massive, historic and duly matched by Obama.

From the third quarter financial report and thereon, Obama had the upper hand. His campaign was driven by small donors signaling a revolution in campaign dynamics and narrative. He never looked back. She had to loan $11.5 million to herself, she had maxed out her 1990's fat cat amigos, she was finished.

The revolution Obama brought was that the little people were voting with their wallets. That's what went right and sank the Clinton jalopy early in the race.

Just look at McCain's campaign donations and tell me he has a chance against Obama.

Posted by: piktor | June 4, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Mrs. Clinton's loss and Obama's victory boiled down to semantics.She always said "I" will do this, "I" have what it takes. From the beginning, Barack said "we" need to implement change, "we" are the change we've been waiting for...very empowering.PEW research analyzed news media stories: Obama 70% positive to Clinton's 73% positive. Let's quit whining and get behind him.

Posted by: Nonie | June 4, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

She lost for many, many reasons. There will no doubt be months of analysis and articles on how she could have choked away this nomination.

The big points were mentioned in the blog and by other commentors. But in reality, so many Americans were shown how untruthful she is and how she and her husband will say and do anything to win. By the time Obama won 11 straight states, she just looked over and over like a spoiled brat who was getting her cupcake taken away.

She kept digging deeper holes too, with her ridiculous embellishments of her nonexistent "experience." Taking credit for the Northern Ireland peace process (something the Irish & British Governments and even people on her own staff quickly refuted) and then the complete disaster over the Bosnia "sniper fire" lies.

Thank God this woman, who can't even run a smart campaign and basically lost a primary she should have easily won, will never get near the White House again.

My only hope is that her monstrous ego and complete lack of respect for Obama and her Party hasn't doomed the Democrats come November. What should have been a slam-dunk, easy Democrat win will now be a tooth and nail battle with McCain.

Posted by: Molseed | June 4, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Hillary & Bill lost because they are self-centered people without insight; the campaign was all about them --NOT about the needs of a country!

Posted by: Rose | June 4, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

While your analysis is a good one, CC, you miss one very basic point:

Obama appealed to our best angels and highest aspirations while Clinton pandered to our worst demons and basest fears.

Posted by: Thin Man | June 4, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Robert you write

"The media were like the congregation at the church of Obama nodding and smiling through the vacous "CHANGE" sermon, never questioning anything being said, just sitting there with their eyes glazed over and the their mouths open in complete adoration."

You are finny man, what newspapers have you been reading?

Oh yes, Mr. Magoo is NOT a newspaper


Posted by: Ronn | June 4, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

She should have won in a walk. Instead she made history by blowing the biggest lead in history.

The media made this a 2-person race long before Iowa. This meant that John Edwards had to win Iowa outright to keep the money flowing. It wasn't enough to finish second, even though as we entered 2008 his issue -- the economy -- moved front and center.

Hillary suddenly turned herself into Appalachian Annie to sweep up the Edwards voters. That's how she kept going. Obama stuck to his original message but his failure to go into full-bore pander mode (see "gas tax holiday") cost him votes among those who fall for such tricks.

It's over now for Hillary. Too bad she can't admit she blew it.

Posted by: Hey Bo Diddley | June 4, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Hillary lost because the Democrats are tired of the mes that the Clintons made of their party. The Clintons were Moderates and pushed through welfare reform and NAFTA. The Clintons also opened the door to the GOP to take over Congress in 1994 and gave George W Bush the presidency, which has been a disaster for this country. The resurgence of the Democrat Party was led by true liberals such as Pelosi and Reed, and the rejection of Hillary is an affirmation of this new breed of Democrat.

Posted by: Kreplakistan | June 4, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

"That is erroneous. Some states do not divulge election results as to numbers of votes cast for each candidate and as everyone knows in one state Obama was not on the ticket. It is well known also had Obama been alloted the votes in that latter state cast for "other", he would still have the majority."

What? I get HRC=267 Obama=227 even without Michigan and Florida. She simply won more large states. I am talking about electoral votes not the popular vote.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

I am not a religious person but I like the so called "serenity prayer" that goes "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference".

Hillary should have serenely realized at least a while back and, most certainly last night, that she could not change the outcome and hence exited gracefully.

Posted by: Satya | June 4, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Michael Andalman, that is pretty much what happened to me, as i had high hopes for her also

(albeit within the previously mentioned limits of what is actually possible at all in Washington politics...)

Posted by: Ronn | June 4, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Running a nationwide presidential campaign is far different than running a Senate campaign or managing a Senate staff. It is a test of one's CEO skills and the job of US President is the biggest CEO job in the world. If you examine the manner in which they conducted their campaigns both Clinton and McCain began as front-runners with advantages in name recognition and voter identification within their respective parties as well as a significant edge in campaign cash and wealthy supporters.

Within months McCain had demonstrated his lack of CEO skills because his campaign had run into a ditch and had to placed on life support. He won the nomination inspite of this because of a perfect storm of events beyond his control that accentuated the weaknesses of his opponents, not because of superior campaign strategies and tactics or execution.

Clinton likewise demonstrated her lack of CEO skills by allowing her campaign to run off the road 6 months after McCain's did and did not step in to correct the problems until it was too late.

On the other hand Obama demonstrated the strong CEO skills required of a US President by maintaining a consistent strategy and message from start to finish despite being urged to change them when he was mired in 3rd place in the polls at the midpoint of his 18 month quest for the nomination. He made decisions when he needed to but solicited a wide range of opinions prior to doing so. He made mistakes but adapted and learned from them and sought to turn problems into opportunities whenever possible.

Clinton and McCain only made decisions in reaction to problems that had festered and then blown up, finally forcing them to make changes that should have been made much sooner than they were.

Managing a staff of a thousand employees and millions of dollars in campaign contributions requires discipline and decisiveness, skills that an American President must also have. Despite having less legislative experience and national exposure than Clinton and McCain, Obama demonstrated through his management of his Presidential campaign that he nonetheless possessed the requisite CEO skills a US President needs while McCain and Clinton demonstrated that they do not have such skills even though both were older and more experienced national campaigners.

Posted by: charles laffiteau | June 4, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

People who support Clinton who live on the coasts didn't seem to realise how deep the dislike is for Hillary Clinton in the "little" states. When I first moved to Colorado I was upset by the antipathy people freely expressed about her. Then as I watched her candidacy I began to wonder if in some ways it was warranted. Her attacks on the most amazing Democratic politician of his generation were snarky and often racist. Her refusal to concede and the way she has subtly encouraged the mania among her supporters for a floor fight in Denver, and accused her opponent of sexism is appalling. Not a class act -- I think Obama will have a much easier time campaigning against McCain than Clinton.

Posted by: Sharon | June 4, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Chris, by focusing on campaign tactics and personalities -- as you Beltway types tend to do -- you've overlooked the most glaringly obvious factor:

Hillary voted for the war -- and never said it was a mistake.

Oh yeah, and Obama raised way more money.

Posted by: KC | June 4, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

I think Hillary lost mainly because the media as the SNL skit said were in the tank for Obama. Every thing she said or did was amplified and twisted into the worst light whereas everything Obama said or did was glorified by the media. All of Obamas flaws and weaknesses were ignored. The media were like the congregation at the church of Obama nodding and smiling through the vacous "CHANGE" sermon, never questioning anything being said, just sitting there with their eyes glazed over and the their mouths open in complete adoration.

Posted by: Robert | June 4, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Hillary can't sell anything. She is a product of her husband's career. A woman who actually rose to power through her own efforts and politicking would have fared better.

Posted by: abdul rahim | June 4, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

I started the primary season with passion only for a victory in November and good feelings for both Obama and Clinton. I was dismayed at Clinton's speech on the night of the Iowa caucus where she ignored Obama's victory (like last night) and went into her stump speech. She was arrogant and disrespectful and got increasingly more so on both counts as the campaign went on. The arrogance peeked for me and turned me into a Clinton enemy during the So. Carolina campaign. Arrogance was her downfall and still is.

Posted by: Michael Andalman | June 4, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

no-name you write: "Very good point. By winner take all, Hillary would have won easily. Check it out on any Electoral Vote calculator."

That is erroneous. Some states do not divulge election results as to numbers of votes cast for each candidate and as everyone knows in one state Obama was not on the ticket. It is well known also had Obama been alloted the votes in that latter state cast for "other", he would still have the majority.

Posted by: Ronn | June 4, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

I'd prefer to reflect on what went right for America:

For me, the morning after is satisfaction and reflection. Satisfaction that there is finally a general election candidate that I can support whole-heartedly, someone whose values are close to my own, someone with policy priorities I'll be able to support, and someone who can inspire me to find new and more effective ways to help my brother and sister Americans.

Reflection back to my idealistic college days. A time of another endless war, another sub-par republican president. I was alive in 1972. I don't mean that in the biological way. I mean spiritually alive with a strong desire for a peaceful country. And, I had found my candidate in George McGovern, had even volunteered for him and kicked in a few bucks from my scant means into the hat. 1972 was the first presidential election for voters 18 to 20 and I was a proud member of that historic group.

I was disappointed with the results of that election, and as each election season after that one approached, I would summon up my enthusiasm and pick my candidate to support. And in each primary season until this one, my candidate would invariably lose to a more moderate democrat. So I reflect over all those years of disappointment with the satisfaction of knowing that my wait is over, that I've again reached that level of excitement I felt when McGovern became the democratic nominee. And I'm filled with anticipation that for the first time in my life, I will have as my president in a few months, the candidate I supported from the very beginning.

Apart from these selfish reflections of mine, we are also treading historic grounds in nominating a black man. 45 years ago, Martin Luther King led a march on Washington and presented a promissory note to the leaders asking for payment in full for a disenfranchised people. 40 years ago, George Wallace would run as a third party candidate and win the electoral votes of the deep south against the suggestion of that payment. In the intervening 40 years, some interest has been paid on that note, but when Barack Obama ascends that podium and gives his acceptance speech on the 45th anniversary of King's speech, we will have finally started to make principal payments. We will have again chosen the path of inclusion and greatness for America.

Posted by: Optimyst | June 4, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Yup. It was the war. And she sealed the deal by unutterably foolish talk about "obliterating" Iran.

Posted by: Hugh Gordon | June 4, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Being from Chicago, I was always in the Obama camp. I have to say that in the beginning I admired Hillary as strong woman and role model. All of the reasons, mentioned above did contribute to her loss, ie the war vote, lack of control of her campaign staff, changing her views to suit the time, and moving the bar on what constituted victory. The factor that meant the most for me was the way she personally ran her campaign in what I consider to be a "dirty" manner. This was such a contrast to Obama. I was often struck with how the press often took her side after one of her famous comments, with "she didn't mean it" or lambasting those who made a fuss over nothing. We all know the things she said about Obama and her ability to never apologize. I am sad that I may never see a woman elected president, but I want the right woman! Obama 08

Posted by: Rence1 | June 4, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Tim, Tim, Tim....you really should calm down now; it's OVER!

you write:

"Clinton's platform and ideas and almost identical to Obamas. To say she took the black vote for granted is pure bullsh*t! Perhaps it's the black community that took the Clinton's for granted...especially with empty comments like yours and many of the so called news commentators."

If you are right and the platforms are more similar than anything else, you should ask yourself why she lost this race. The voters voted, and that's that, and suggesting blacks voted according to race is idiocy after this country has had whites voting for whites only. For God's sake man, a few decades ago we (yes, I am white and ashamed of this part of our collective history) would not even allow black people to ride the same bus, use the same toilet or go to the same schools.

Get it right now, please...back off.

Posted by: Ronn | June 4, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

THE PRESS THE PRESS THE PRESS.HILLARY DIED BECAUSE OF THE THOUSAND SUBLIMANAL MESSAGES THE PRESS AND THE GOP TALK SHOW HOSTS DID TO HILLARY. SHE WEARS PANTS HER NECKLINE IS TO LOW SHE IS FAT SHE IS TRYING TO LOOK YOUNG BILL WILL RUN THE WHITE HOUSE AND OF COURSE HILLARY HAS BAGGAGE...ON AND 0N IT GOES. MAKE NO BONES ABOUT IT THE PRESS DID HER IN.. MIKE FROM PA..

Posted by: mike magula | June 4, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Her war vote and her unwillingess to apologize for it is the reason she is not the democratic canidate.

Posted by: pemco | June 4, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Defining moment for the Clinton Campaign: winning the popular vote in Texas then resting on their laurels in complacency and losing the caucuses so bad that Obama won the majority of Texas' pledged delegates. She ran a bad campaign. And yes you can say her people ran a bad campaign, but this is a run for the presidency the buck stops with her. She picked the people to run her campaign therefore she is responsible. It was a nice try and she would have wiped the floor with McCain just like Obama will.

Posted by: GC4Life | June 4, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

"Becoming elected President does not follow the same formula to get the Democratic Nomination. There is no proportional allocation of Electoral College votes, except in Nebraska. Everywhere else, its winner take all. The African American vote in the South will not be enough to carry any Southern State. If Obama does not run well in the Rural South, West and Midwest, he can do in the General Election what he has done in the Primaries and then follow in the footsteps of President McGovern, President Mondale, President Dukakis and President Kerry."

Very good point. By winner take all, Hillary would have won easily. Check it out on any Electoral Vote calculator.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

I feel Clinton indulged too much in self- praise during her campaign, forgetting the old proverb that self-praise is no recommendation. It irked me and probably a lot of others.

Posted by: Amrit Lall | June 4, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Hillary thought it was her destiny, her right and privledge as a Clinton. So did Bill.

Posted by: Mike | June 4, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Gusman you are either a nut-case.....or, I suspect a southern white boy gun totin' bigot who's pissed them there you know watchas are actually finally finding a place in YOUR society...

Posted by: Ronn | June 4, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

1. She voted for Bush's War
2. No matter what the punditry says, PEOPLE HATE BUSH'S WAR.
3. She, like John McCain, didn't bother to even read the NIE.
4. The War
5. The War
6. The War
7. The War
8. The War
9. The War
10. The War

Posted by: Attaturk | June 4, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

I only know why *I* couldn't support her - it was the war.

Posted by: sfgary | June 4, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

What went wrong for Clinton??
A major pillar of the Clinton electoral machine has been its African American base. Take away that base, and Obama took it away cleanly, and you will arrive at another more meaningful question.

How did Clinton survive till the end, winning primaries to the last day without the traditional base upon which Clintons have always won?

How did she do it? She made an unexpectedly strong appeal to White working class Democrats. It was a bet that the Obama strategists lost. They thought, and I think with all reasonableness that if Obama could win in Iowa and show the Black political organizations in the Southern States that Obama, an African American, could win over White Voters, that Obama could take the Black vote away from Clinton in the South on SuperTuesday, February 5 and from that crippling blow, do her in.

Well, the crippling blow was struck on February 5 followed by an uncontested run in the Western caucases in which Clinton had not planned to compete and that should have done Clinton in, except that she caught on with White voters and pulled off some impressive wins, running strong late.

As Obama did in Illinois, he did a very good job of understanding the rules of the game, the nominating rules and played at the margins to pull off the win, using African American vote to win the South, MoveOn and Jim Dean to do the caucus organizing in the West and then taking his 40% in the States Clinton won in the North East and Midwest, with proportional allocation of delegates, he did it.

Becoming elected President does not follow the same formula to get the Democratic Nomination. There is no proportional allocation of Electoral College votes, except in Nebraska. Everywhere else, its winner take all. The African American vote in the South will not be enough to carry any Southern State. If Obama does not run well in the Rural South, West and Midwest, he can do in the General Election what he has done in the Primaries and then follow in the footsteps of President McGovern, President Mondale, President Dukakis and President Kerry.

Posted by: Beiruti | June 4, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

To Mario,

Clinton's platform and ideas and almost identical to Obamas. To say she took the black vote for granted is pure bullsh*t! Perhaps it's the black community that took the Clinton's for granted...especially with empty comments like yours and many of the so called news commentators.

Posted by: Tim | June 4, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

She voted for the war -- and never once, throughout the entire campaign, did she convincingly say it was a mistake to do so.

Posted by: Nick S | June 4, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Good article, I hope some of these Clinton supporters take an honest look at her campaign and realize that some of reasons she was defeated had to do with her. It is easy to blame the press but no other candidate cld have lost 11 straight races and still been portrayed as a potential winner. If Obama had lost that many in a row the media wld have run him out on a rail. She has a lot of baggage, she is dishonest and manipulating, and her and her husbands arrogance was obvious to all who had eyes to see. One crucial mistake they made was dismissing Obama in a way that had racial overtones. If you remember Hillary had more black support than Obama until Bill started dissing him. The strategy shld have been compliment him, lose some black voters and try to keep 35% support in the black community. If she had won 35% of the black support she wld be the nominee today, she cldnt afford to lose to him 92-8 and still win.
Also, she confirmed the opinion of her that she has little character or conviction. She did and said what she thought it took to win. To watch her deny her role in Nafta to a group of working class and union groups was shameful, to see these groups buy it was remarkable. Her phony attack on the DNC for the Michigan and Florida options was just another example of her not being an honest and trustworthy person.She agreed with the decision until SHE needed them and then it was the new civil rights movement. And finally her response last nite was typical Clinton no graciousness or class. As much as she brings to the table in being a woman with foreign policy expertise I think Obama will make a big mistake putting her and Bill on the ticket.

Posted by: robbe p | June 4, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Media bias is THE main reason. Clinton's
every gaffe is blown out of proportion.
Obama is given a pass again and again.

Cacus demographic bias. African American Racism/pride favoring an African American.

Posted by: Gusman | June 4, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

It's Iraq stupid

And it's why McCain will have his ass handed to him.


Posted by: Luther Brixton | June 4, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Sen. Clinton never figured out how to retain the "black" vote. Like all Dems she took that voting block for granted, and didn't have a message that applied to a group that she once had (and has to have to win any election)in her pocket.

Posted by: Mario Charles | June 4, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Tyrone your posting is totally right, as people speak about the black candidate. Funny how someone half black and half white becomes black. Well we know how and why but let's let bygones be bygones and old wounds heal.

Personally I pray with you, hoping for the best and fearing the worst; convinced this may our last ditch effort not to lose the war against the real evil of wolves dressed in sheeps' clothing.

May Obama succeed and start this country anew.....

Posted by: Ronn | June 4, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

BILL CLINTON needs to loan Hillary $10 million dollars to pay the outstanding debt and bills.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

What Went Wrong for Clinton?


Good question and she knows well what went wrong for her. She displayed it seemed her personal hatred towards Obama to the point that it diminished her every possibility to move forward. She trapped herself in a box and somehow sealed the opening and couldn't get out. What a mess. And it would be the same mess if she's on the ticket for vp, because she showed a taste of it in her speech. Apparently she needs help adjusting to the fact that the yesterdays politics have no place in the hearts of the rising generations and so many others today. We are striving for a better tommorrow for all, not for this or that group , but for all. If she really cared about the America people and their concerns, she would embark with Obama, embrace his change platform and contribute positive attributes that all will manifest for the best for all. She best hope that those people that she is claiming to be 'hers' don't get tired of going backwards and realize that they may be in the midst of the 'blind leading the blind' scenario.

Posted by: Nisey01 | June 4, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

I think what is probably on her mind is something like "heck, Bill's a bigger liar and he could bamboozle them for eight years; why couldn't I ?!"

Posted by: Ronn | June 4, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

It's time for change! Time for this nation to be led by a person that is intelligent and caring about all people. Obama is also white and most who describe him leave this out as if they can't comprehend this fact.
I pray he wins the election and changes racist hearts through the desire he has to bring us all together. If he is unsuccessful because his racial make-up will be voted against, America will most likely never have the opportunity again to change it's racist past and present and trully be a nation concerned about all of it's people. Politics as usual need to end or this country will not survive as a world leader.

Posted by: Tyrone | June 4, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Competent? Capable? I do not think so. HRC has led two major national undertakings...health care reform shortly after Bill was first elected President and now her campaign for President. Her administrative weakness was apparent in both.

Posted by: steve54 | June 4, 2008 8:22 AM | Report abuse

dc you post"

Bush
Clinton
Clinton
Bush
Bush

and ask if we see a pattern.

Actually not, i see a PAST PATTERN there.

Thank God it's friday...

Posted by: ronn | June 4, 2008 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Bush
Clinton
Clinton
Bush
Bush

Anyone see a pattern there? That was the biggest issue facing Clinton that everyone has forgotten about.

Posted by: dc | June 4, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Any analysis that does not discuss her Iraq votes is, shall we say, incomplete.

Her other big problem was that she is a moderate running in a year when the liberal wing of the party believes that it has been fully vindicated and that the Republicans have destroyed their brand. Therefore they are fully energized and unwilling to accept a moderate no matter how good the name recognition.

Finally give full credit to Obama, while the change strategy he used is hardly new, he is a gifted campaigner and his team has run a near perfect campaign.

Posted by: Carl | June 4, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

She relied on two things that crippled her campaign from the beginning: a.) The idea that she was an inevitable force destined to win the presidency this year. And b.) Bill Clinton. It was just a tired campaign, at least until the final month or so.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: matt | June 4, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse


I think your precis regarding the mechanisms by which Hillary lost were both right on target - and exceptionally charitable.

The caucuses - Bill - her internal campaign staffing problems, et al - all where the mechanics of her defeat, but that defeat probably wouldn't have happened had Hillary been a different person.

As others before me so ably wrote, Hillary was her own worst enemy.

Her hubris. Her divisiveness. Her pettiness. Her complete lack of grasp of reality. How many people - forget candidates for the top spot in the land - have to be 'humanized' in their 60's?

She was willing - no, she IS willing - to destroy her party, her supporters, her cause, even her country - just to gratify her rapacious emotional needs and uncontrollable Clinton-sized ego.

She not only snatched defeat from the jaws of victory - last night she claimed the victory that she herself was responsible for squandering.


Posted by: Thank God for Barry | June 4, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Personally I thought the press was rather tough on Obama...

Oh no, does that mean unconsciously maybe I am a leftist extremist commie bomb totin' Arab Muslim fanatic Mexican illegal intellectual ex-weatherman democrat spy from Cuba!!!!!!!

I confess: I believe in universal health care.....

Posted by: Ronn | June 4, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Obami will not win the GE. McCain has studied him for months and knows his tactics. Except for the AAs and the uber-liberals, McCain has a realistic chance with moderate Democrats. McCain has distanced himself from Bush. His speech yesterday spoke directly to Hillary supporters and those who are fixed on putting the best person, not the party, into the WH, will be persuaded.

Posted by: No-way-Obami | June 4, 2008 8:06 AM | Report abuse

You wrote
"-- an ambitious liberal state legislature seeking a promotion too quickly -- "
where you meant "legislator".

Casting BHO as "liberal" would not have won HRC the hearts-and-minds battle in the Dem party.

Your second guessing is not as good as Bhoomes' today. HRC had high negatives to overcome and she damned near did, against the field. In the end, one could easily say it was BHO's year - right candidate at the right time, and leave it at that.

Posted by: MoreAndBetterPolls | June 4, 2008 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Hillary lost because the public recognized her for her essence, that of a person who has never earned her way but has lived off the achievements of her husband, all the while insisting that a woman is capable of succeeding at to whatever she puts her mind.

A woman is capable of whatever she decides to do, of course, just not this woman. She does not possess "thirty-five years of experience advocating for women and children" etc. She worked briefly as a law professor, worked as a lawyer for a bit more, and has spent the remainder of her time enjoying the power and control of political office won by her husband.

Hillary did not win the Democrat Party primaries' popular vote, as claimed by many of her supporters. I am a registered Democrat in Michigan, I voted in the primary, and the ballot did not contain Obama's name. The entire Michigan Democrat primary vote should be disallowed.

Hillary's continual fight for the nomination will damage Obama's Presidential hopes and will forever prevent her from a serious run for the Presidency.

McCain will win the Presidency by at least 10 points, maybe more.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 8:06 AM | Report abuse

I think Clinton went wrong on several levels.

The first is that she was just out maneuvered. She was running a traditional campaign in the traditional way. Had Obama tried to do the same thing she would have won. Instead he put together a campaign that turned conventional wisdom on its head; he went for the small states to hold off the big states.

She misread the mood of the country. She was running on being an Washington Insider when Americans wanted anything but.

She didn't get the Internet. She ran a 20th century campaign in the 21st century.

Biggest of all, I think she underestimated the power of the press. She treated them like an enemy rather then another super delegate to be won over. The love fest between Obama and the press wasn't accidental. He cultivated the press while she spurned it. I think that is what lost her the election in the end.

Posted by: Megaduck | June 4, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Liebelle you write:

"Things won't change until "we the people" demand it, a fairer, unfettered PRESS, that is committed to bringing us "the facts", the "unvarnished truth". Then we will indeed be free."

I disagree with you believing that all it would take would be a free press. It would take a lot more changes than a free press. And certainly Hillary deserved less critical press at times, but more so at others.

The press is never free, really. Somebody controls what is going onto the page. And that is not the editor but the owners.

Who do the owners live next to? What schools do they send their children to? Who do they vacation and dine with? With other people do their bank accounts match up with? The wealthy, is the answer to all those questions.

The owners of the press will not allow anything to go to the public that might endanger their own place in this society, which they want to perpetuate because real change would mean they too might have to climb down a bit.

Reporters are themselves employees that have a limited scope for going out and getting information that does not fit the agenda. Sometimes they are fearful of losing their jobs, or hoping for glory, or themselves rising up and added zeros to their bank accounts. Occasionally someone tries to go good, but it will rarely get very far.

There is a lot more to change than the journalists running around blindly repeating what is expected of them.


Posted by: Ronn | June 4, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

"Do you really think, once people see them side-by-side--John McSame and Barack Obama--that those gaps will widen? "

Yes, they will see John McCain (undisputed national hero) as a reasonable alternate choice to Obama (aka ukulele) who is surrounded by middle-America-hater like you.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Hillary's comments last night show, once again, that if Obama picked her as his running mate, he have to watch his back after they win in November.

It has been said that there is nothing more dangerous than civic revolutions that do not carry out the postulates they themselves generate, and nothing more unfaithful than the public man who, when at the height of power, shows himself to be in disagreement with the doctrines that he sustained when he was in the political wilderness, and that had determined his ascent.

Barack Obama, authentic!

No Hillary!

Posted by: martin edwin andersen | June 4, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

The Obamaites should savor their moment because the word in the blogosphere is that there is an incendiary tape of Michelle Obama doing her "all evil is America's fault" rant and rave against Bill Clinton and whites at a 2004 conference sponsored by Trinity Church. The details are so specific that I believe it's real and it is in keeping with her undergraduate thesis and recent statements implicating her separatist view of the US. It is a matter of time the Republicans show case the tape with a starry role for MO. They are probably icing it until October so they can torpedo the Dems.
The Dems should do everything they can NOW and find this tape, deal with it before the earth opens up and swallows them whole. Juxtaposing BO-MO against McCain, a genuine war hero, ex-POW, public servant - you get my drift.
MSM - do your job and vet the Obamas.

Posted by: alee21 | June 4, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton is just as crazy as a bedbug and a transparent liar and cheater to boot--that's why she lost.

Posted by: Helena Montana | June 4, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse

HC started her campaign with a message of "experience" and "ready from day one." This made no sense as a campaign message while most of her opponents -- Biden, Dodd, Richardson -- obviously had much more experience and more impressive resumes than she did.

After the really experienced people dropped out, her message started to get more traction, and at the same time she honed a subtle racial message that also resonated, unfortunately. It was easy to go from an appeal to women ("vote for one of us") to an appeal to white people ("vote for one of us").

By the time her campaign got its footing she had been out-maneuvered by Obama and his well-run campaign, and her delegate deficit was insurmountable.

Posted by: Mitch | June 4, 2008 7:57 AM | Report abuse

1) As smart as Hillary is she can't run a campaign against SERIOUS opposition (not talking about Rick Lazio). She ran her campaign the same way she ran healthcare reform. When faced with a serious threat, she circles the wagons, doesn't listen, doesn't show grace, can't adapt, won't listen to what people opposed to her are saying, ect.

2) She also had a tough road because she voted for the war. Nuff said!

3) The biggest mistake the national media made was not looking at one part of the Clinton years. The democratic party under them withered. Look at the 1994 election losses. The democratic party in non-blue states HATE the clintons for that. That is why Obama got such large victories in places like Idaho. He had his ear closer to the ground, hers was in washington. The last straw for these people was her decision to spend $35 million to win re-election in NY. If she had spent $15 of that to help democrats across the country in 1996 (people like under funded Larry Kissel who lost in NC by 400 votes) she would have been in the state parties good graces.

Posted by: dopper0189 | June 4, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Let the blame games begin! Hillary is of course world champion: it was the press, the wrong managers, the wrong strategists, the Black voters, the bloggers, the media, a vast left-wing conspiracy, perhaps it was even Bill's fault, but nevernevernever Hillary's.

Posted by: BODO | June 4, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

I think Hillary, the politician defeated Hillary, the candidate. I started off being indifferent between Hillary and Obama. But Obama's steady refusal to dig out any of the Clinton baggage during the campaign embodied change. Hillary Clinton's sleazy attempts to take advantage of the trivial scandals that plagued him made her look mean spirited and sleazy. Her unprincipled use of the race and gender card didn't help either. It seemed to me that she had learned the lessons from the Karl Rove playbook all to well! She proved that she was not the candidate that I and it seemed, most Americans were looking for.

Posted by: usedtobehillaryfan | June 4, 2008 7:54 AM | Report abuse

The Democrats need to move on and forget about Hilary - she lost. She is too bitter and selfish to make a good vice-president.

Posted by: TIRED OF HILARY | June 4, 2008 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Davidkc you wite:

"Clinton did not understand how strong the hunger for change is among the American populace. Clinton represented politics as usual in Washington, a candidate of the past, and her campaign only served to reinforce that image."

Is that really the case? Nobody outside the USA really believes us any longer and even I have my doubts. We have been bamboozled about "change" so many times we probably don't know what it is any more.

How wonderful it would be were Obama to actually initiate change and then after eight years the Democratic Party would itself change and become more independent and forceful for the PEOPLE of this country.

We are hated abroad, our embassies all over the world protected like fortresses; we have 35 million people living within our borders below the poverty line; people can die because of lack of health care, and; we vote people out of office because they might propose a few cents per gallon could pay for a better society for the poor.

We tend to vote according to our pocketbooks and stupidly, usually believe the biggest and best liar who makes us think helping big business and lowering taxes the wealthy alone benefit from will mean better lives for us.

We rant and rave about the right to bear arms but for what? To overthrow a corrupt government one day? It's hear, and although I certainly do not condone violence, I do think we need to wake up and point, not our guns, but our accusations in the right direction.

Change is definitely what we need, but that might have to start within ourselves, when we become less greedy, more aware of the injustices we live with and a lot less collectively paranoid about race and foreigners.

Posted by: Ronn | June 4, 2008 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Hillary has lost. We wish Obama well. To have lost Hillary, we have lost a star. We will be the poorer for it. Hillary despite, "he said, she said", a product of all campaigns, remains a smart, caring, dedicated woman. What beat her was the merciless beating she has taken from THE PRESS. That is not sour grapes. THE PRESS asked no hard questions when we went into Iraq, perhaps traumatized as we all were by 9/11. Hillary has been made the patsy for that. THE PRESS allowed a flawed election to go forward and asked few questions. THE PRESS plays a role in the divisions in this country. It is not enough to report the news, as Srgt. Friday would say, "Just the facts, ma'am", THE PRESS analyzes, dissects, directs, controls the news. Indeed, "THE POWER OF THE PRESS" is true. It creates "THE STORY", to compete with other PRESS, that is the goal, nevermind fairness, truth, neutrality. Sadly, the people are led like sheep to the voting booths. Shame on us. The stories about abuses in the government, the plight of so many of our poor people, hard-working people without health care, the loss of interest in the war and the men and women fighting it. Somehow these stories never make it to Page One. Things won't change until "we the people" demand it, a fairer, unfettered PRESS, that is committed to bringing us "the facts", the "unvarnished truth". Then we will indeed be free.

Posted by: Liebele | June 4, 2008 7:48 AM | Report abuse

I would like to thank Obama for letting me realize that reverse racism is not only present, but allowable now, thanks to him and his church, er, ex church. I'm glad that the dimwitocratic party alienated two states again (will they ever learn from the past?) Of which, my home state of Florida was treated like a stepchild again. Thank you dimwitocrats for making me realize that my vote is better served by either a) not voting or b) voting for McCain. If Obama thinks that he can change Washington, good luck. He'll have to go to all 57 states (as he claimed) and change all of the reps and senators sent here from those holding to religion and guns. yeah, way to go. GO MCCAIN!!

Posted by: Dave in Dc | June 4, 2008 7:47 AM | Report abuse

From Day One, the Clinton's have only been about themselves. Their actual party is the Clinton Party. For the last 16 years, that happened to coincide nicely (for them) with the Democratic Party. No more. Stick a fork in her.

If Obama loses in November, it will be in no small part due to the despicable primary campaign she has run. She and Bill should be shunted off stage for good.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 7:45 AM | Report abuse

No one is talking about disqualifications of early primaries by Michigan and Florida by DNC.. It turns out DNC rules committees are fully loaded by blacks like Donna Brazile and supporters of OJ Simpson. They were represented 15 times more in these committees than actual black population in America. Of course, they wanted South Carolina in the early primary than other states. If Michigan and Florida votes were counted, Obama would be history by now.

Bye the way, when I saw DNC rules committee members, I had to switch to Independent Party and I did. They just do not represent my values and beliefs in life.

Posted by: New Proud Independent | June 4, 2008 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Chris,

Don't forget the money. Back in late 2006, one of the central premises of the Clinton candidacy was that she was going to be able to spend her opposition into the ground. That very well may have been a reason that Mark Warner, Evan Bayh, and Tom Vilsack aborted their candidacies. Obama's shocking q1 2007 fundraising numbers and his overall total for the year fundamentally altered the structure of the race. Keep in mind: Obama basically outspent Clinton everywhere including Iowa (excluding New Hampshire and California). Viewed from the financial perspective, Obama and Clinton were always CO-frontrunners.

Posted by: dry_fish | June 4, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

The key factor that led many Democrats, including myself to look for an alternative to Clinton was her stance on the war, i.e. her vote for the war, and more important her inability to apologize for that vote when other candidates such as John Edwards, were far more contrite. This had far too many echos of Bush and his inability to say he has ever done anything wrong. Thus, in the minds of many Democrats the worst type of association was made. Clinton and Bush. With the college educated voters she would never get over this hurdle. She did it to herself!

Posted by: Paul Groom | June 4, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Clinton did not understand how strong the hunger for change is among the American populace. Clinton represented politics as usual in Washington, a candidate of the past, and her campaign only served to reinforce that image. She didn't realize that her claims of "experience" (which were always puffed up anyway) could be interpreted as more of the same in the White House. She didn't understand that her use of the same old political tactics -- cynical divisive strategies that tried to slice and dice the electorate and pit one group of voters against another -- are exactly the type of tactics that voters are tired of. Hillary also relied on outdated strategies for fundraising, and she relied on the same old Democratic tactics of just trying to win a few key states -- and forget the other 40 or so. To reinforce that Hillary was the candidate of the past, she didn't understand how to harnass the full power of the Internet, not just for fundraising but for creating a social network of supporters.

Posted by: davidkc | June 4, 2008 7:42 AM | Report abuse

"Thank God Senator Obama has worked so hard to organize a campaign that is free from this behind the scenes manipulation of our government"

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

Posted by: hdimig | June 4, 2008 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Hilary chose to campaign on tactics and not leadership or vision

Posted by: Cliff Claven | June 4, 2008 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Ronn
Jennie that was me wrote that last comment quoting you

Ronn

Posted by: Ronn | June 4, 2008 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Clinton's Iraq vote ruled her out from the beginning for many of us.

Posted by: patrican | June 4, 2008 7:37 AM | Report abuse

As I read the posted comments, it is just amazing that almost all of the comments are so vitriolic in their criticism of Senator Clinton. These are the electorate that wants: "CHANGE" in Washington and in politics - by bringing people together and people working together in a synergetic manner?

Posted by: Roy | June 4, 2008 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Jennie hi, you write:

"Thank God Senator Obama has worked so hard to organize a campaign that is free from this behind the scenes manipulation of our government"

and that's the probable difficulty he will have if he reaches the White House. Can ANYBODY carry out important change?

I seriously believe the last man to have been able to do so in theory at least was Robert Kennedy.

The powerful players behind the scenes are not likely to allow one man to do much. I pray God I am wrong but fear for the worst.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Great comparison MW, couldn't agree with you more.

Posted by: bhoomes | June 4, 2008 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Hillary lost because she did not accept the fact that the angry, bitter leftists -- people like me who read firedoglake and are secure in their gender identity -- are the real power these days within the Democratic Party. Or at least the Democratic Underground.

Posted by: twin_peaks_nikki | June 4, 2008 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Obama faced very serious attacks and handled every one of them superbly. He consistently took the hight road. He demonstrated, through his actions not just words, that he is a born leader. Hillary ran on bogus executive experience, used every dirty trick in the book, lacks the born leader charisma Obama has, and, let's face it, would never have been a candidate if she wasn't Bill's wife. She is a spoiled spoiler - the woman's arrogance and hubris is a turn off to so many people. I hope Obama finds a way to not let her pressure him into offering the VP spot. She and Bill would be a stone around his neck.

Posted by: AJBF | June 4, 2008 7:31 AM | Report abuse

The BIG hero behind B.O's victory: the fund raising genuius behind his machine, whoever that might be. He/she fully embraced the overarching campaign strategy and ran a parallel fund raising strategy. Beautiful work on someone's part!

Posted by: David | June 4, 2008 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Senator Clinton is highly enmeshed with corporate interests. Her decision to hire Mark Penn who is connected to Charlied Black through the nest of firms under the Burson-Marsteller umbrella should have been a scandal: one huge lobbyist/corporate strategy firm in two U.S. Presidential candidacies.

Her lack of transparency further belies this.
Both she and McCain are corporate candidates.

Her current behavior only makes sense when you consider that the real losers are the giant corporations and international money backing two candidates in this race. Obama got free of corporate backing and has mounted a successful campaign. He is the only candidate who is not a corporate puppet.

Senator Clinton's lack of graciousness, wallowing in dirty and destructive, hurtful tactics demonstrate less regard for American voters, but devotion to her real constituency; corporate money and power, and the international elites who back her campaign.

She will now do her best to hurt Obama in order to secure the nomination for John McCain, who is the other corporate candidate.

Sadly, her followers are romanticizing a woman candidate, rather than taking a good hard look at what she has voted for, and who funds her.

She voted for a war that has damaged and forever harmed 94,000 lives because she wasn't interested in reading the N.I.E. report and was too busy with a book tour to pay attention to her constituents and the massive outpouring of concern. She won't release her donor lists because many of her donors profit from that war.

Thank God Senator Obama has worked so hard to organize a campaign that is free from this behind the scenes manipulation of our government.

Posted by: Jennie | June 4, 2008 7:25 AM | Report abuse

"In November, we the people will find find, Obama turned out to be worst than McGovern. McGovern was a war-hero and Obama is a middle-america-hater."

What are you, an objective observer? For all you people who are--whatever your personal issues--grating at the thought of President Obama, I have some frightening news: the latest polls show the man running ahead of McCain in pretty much every blue state plus Iowa, Virginia, New Mexico, and Colorado. And Obama is within striking distance in Nevada, Michigan, Missouri, and North Carolina. And the general election hasn't even started yet. Do you really think, once people see them side-by-side--John McSame and Barack Obama--that those gaps will widen? If so, you're deluding yourself. The US has suffered through eight years of obnoxious right wing demagoguery, an administration that twists facts and indulges in hair-splitting legalisms to justify war and torture; and the country is definitely hungry for something new.

Posted by: the shootist | June 4, 2008 7:24 AM | Report abuse

"In the early days of the cycle, Clinton's campaign could have done much to define Obama in a less favorable light -- an ambitious liberal state legislature seeking a promotion too quickly -- that would have, perhaps, slowed his rise to the transformational candidate he eventually became. But by the time the Clinton campaign realized the reality of the Obama threat, it was too late -- the movement had begun."

You have to be fair on this one. At the begining of the campaign it was almost impossible to critcize Obama. The media and Democratic establishment held him in such awe and reverance that no criticism would stick and every attack was considered negative. Eventually Hillary figured out how to hit him effectively, but it was too late. Unfortunately, McCain will benefit from HRC's experience. The reality is that Obama backed into the nomination. Mississipi, North Carlolina, Oregon, Montana, and Guam are not near as impressive as Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Puerto Rico, and South Dakota. Sorry, but that is a fact.

Posted by: hdimig | June 4, 2008 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Everything went wrong


Certainly Mike Henry played a role because he had a better strategy and the campaign staff was unable to have great ideas take over the direction.

However, Hillary did this to herself - she built a horrible reputation for herself over the years - and one of the things she did was brutally apply affirmative action - knocking out many people who deserved positions.

The affirmative action people were loyal to affirmative action programs, not to her.

Finally, she offended people - she did not work with them or appreciate them - three US Senators ran against her (if you want to count Obama who really has not been a Senater - he has been on leave) - The people she needed to win were for her at some point and she drove them away.

.

Posted by: Words of Wisdom | June 4, 2008 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Everything went wrong


Certainly Mike Henry played a role because he had a better strategy and the campaign staff was unable to have great ideas take over the direction.

However, Hillary did this to herself - she built a horrible reputation for herself over the years - and one of the things she did was brutally apply affirmative action - knocking out many people who deserved positions.

The affirmative action people were loyal to affirmative action programs, not to her.

Finally, she offended people - she did not work with them or appreciate them - three US Senators ran against her (if you want to count Obama who really has not been a Senater - he has been on leave) - The people she needed to win were for her at some point and she drove them away.

.

Posted by: Words of Wisdom | June 4, 2008 7:20 AM | Report abuse

to "no-name" who wrote the following:

"SHE GOT THE MOST VOTES!

CONGRATULATIONS HILLARY, CONGRATULATIONS!!!"


please, get real and buy a calculator, then think beyond the numbers you come up with. Oh sorry, you are evidently a hard line Clinton supporter. better you dig in the attic and find that old school slide-rule....

PS Just a numbers game for basic intelligence: two cars go from point A to point B, and back.

Car #1 up at 40mph and back at 60mph

Car #2 up at 50 and back at 50

First do your averages

Then do the math individually, for each run

What does this mean and how does it apply to this primary? Well, you figure that out...

Posted by: Ronn | June 4, 2008 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton is the Richard Nixon of the Democratic Party. Smart and capable, but also mean, vindictive, and untruthful; capable of doing anything to win. Obama is like Reagan, a superior communicator, with questions about his competence.

Posted by: mw | June 4, 2008 7:18 AM | Report abuse

This is an excellent analysis of why Hillary Clinton lost, I hope she reads it. She is a very ambitious woman and appeared blinded by her ambition. I would not be in the least bit surprised to learn that when Monica Lewinsky hit the fan she came to deal with Bill that she would stand by him in return for him assisting her in her political ambitions. I was saddened by her speech last night because it illustrated that she is in denial. It has been obvious for some time that it was only a matter of time before Obama gained a majority of delegates. She should have been ready for that without the need to go away and think. If she is both a good Democrat and a believer in democracy she must know that it is her responsibility to acknowledge the winner and do all she can to support him. However, I fear that her ambition will drive her to do whatever he can for herself even if the Democratic Party suffers. I also fear that you will not be sorry if McCain wins the presidential election because she will take great pleasure in saying I told you so.

Posted by: Chrisle | June 4, 2008 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Pretty thoughtful blog, Chris, although it missed some big points. Still, since I post this with my newly arrived Fix-T proudly on my back, I'll be more gentle than usual.

The unending garbage runs from MSNBC towards HRC and Bill were her ultimate undoing. Sure, I buy that a first year of her "inevitablilty" crap, long standing hostility towards Billary, and smart early strategy by Obama were important. But in a race this close, the vitriol of Chris Matthews and the snideness of Olbermann tipped the balance as this once-upon-a-time really fair and moderate network tipped to the far left. Whether Hillary could have won in the autumn may never be known (don't totally count her out on the top of the ticket yet,) but the weaknesses of Obama should give the GOP the White House as the argument gets through to Americans that this country cannot afford a too-far-left government controlled by Reid and Pelosi on one side of Pa Ave and Obama on the other. One senses true panic among the Dem hierarchy over the Michelle/Barack past which apparently has not been totally exposed if the bloggers on the internet are to be believed. But no matter what, it is obvious that this couple are far from the mainstream. More obvious, when Hillary was able to paint herself as the darling of the white DEM working class primary voter, you knew where the Reagan Dems were going to wind up in Nov.

Just as I, for one, wound up watching as much Fox News as MSNBC with an equal amount spent at CNN (and for the record, the latter is the one I trust the most.)

Posted by: j | June 4, 2008 7:16 AM | Report abuse

I think that the American electorate is easy to sway, to swift boat if you will, and that the average voter really doesn't care about things like who a campaign manager is or whether or not HRC wears pant suits or not. From the beginning Obama received tremendously positive coverage, indeed it was the historical significance of his bid that received the attention, as the main stream media and the American public crooned over itself saying "look what we've done." His qualifications took back stage until way into the race, until he had an insurmountable lead, as it turns out. The press created a great number of excuses for those who had already made up their mind to claim as a reason for deserting the most deserving nominee (racism this, tantrum that, hitting below the belt - come on people, you're adults, that has been politics since the very beginning). I think eventually the press caught on, and started trying to be a bit more even in its coverage, but it was too late. Not so much what went wrong with Hillary - despite attempts by partisan haters to claim some percieved victory in the defeat of "clintonism" - but what America wanted (a black candidate for president). Obama will need her as VP to win, because even though Democrats will nominate a black president out of their guilty white conscience, Republicans will not. Obama needs the 17 million people that voted based on resume, not race guilt. Obama has a tough battle ahead, I for one don't have faith that the media will stick with him like it did during the nomination process (because it was fashionable to hate HRC, but the same is not true for John McSame).

Posted by: D.Poniatowski | June 4, 2008 7:12 AM | Report abuse

The negativity of the press continues: what went WRONG with Clinton, blah, blah, blah!

How about what went RIGHT with Clinton? She stood for the voters! That has been her INSPIRATION....empowerment of self-believing voters! And SHE GOT THE MOST VOTES!

CONGRATULATIONS HILLARY, CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 7:11 AM | Report abuse

Hillary's campaign turned to personal attacks and sarcasm. It should have been beneath her. A Karl Rove strategy for winning in the Democratic primary was not to be. Democrats, by and large, are more diplomatic and polite than this.

Hillary missed a BIG moment last night. My vision was for the Clintons and Hillary's top campaign officials and the Obamas and his top campaign officials to appear together in Minneapolis to show unity from yesterday forward. Obama's speech was close to perfect. Hillary's speech fell flat after a good start. She missed her chance.

I agree with the decision to terminate McCain's speech on MSNBC and CNN. He was going nowhere. The tone of his speech and what he was saying were not matching - a fact not lost on the audience who had a difficult time knowing how to respond and when. A replay of this event should embarrass the Republican Party. Afterall, why give air time to a major party candidate who cannot garner more than a few hundred to listen to him while Obama and Clinton were surrounded by thousands -- Obama's overall crowd estimated at 35,000.

Obama has the time and the skill to finish the job he started 16 months ago. Yes, America, a new day is dawning. Rejoice and be glad in it!

Posted by: Earl C | June 4, 2008 7:11 AM | Report abuse

Does this mean that the Dems have lost Ann Colture and Rush's vote? Life is so unfair

Posted by: Freedive | June 4, 2008 7:09 AM | Report abuse

One problem that Hillary Clinton shares with Al Gore and John McCain is that you never know which of multiple personae will show up next in the rotation. On top of this, she looks like she is simultaneously performing and evaluating her own performance.

Obama appears to just be his confident self. This alone is a strong advantage.

Posted by: brian_scva | June 4, 2008 7:07 AM | Report abuse

You can disect it a hundred different ways and all of them would be correct but I do not believe any tactical mistakes did her in, I just believe the majority of americans have had enough of the Clintons and want them to ride off into the sunset. If Obama picks her as VP, then he fails the judgement test he claims to have.

Posted by: bhoomes | June 4, 2008 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Repeatedly, Clinton showed she was a road builder, not a path breaker, more a vocal follower of trends, than a leader creating them.

Again and again she failed -- in respect to the organization of her own campaign, in failing to see how her words and positions (e.g. the commander in chief test foolishness) helped McCain more than they hurt Obama, her position on Iraq, her position regarding lobbyists, domestic wiretapping, and so forth.

Now look at how she's positioning herself. Instead of a graceful and visionary exit that unites and heals, she pulls again at the threads of the coalition she could help create, so that the fabric that might hold it together, just sits there, flapping in the wind.

Hillary Clinton's energy is more destructive than healing, more self-oriented than leading.

Posted by: teedawg | June 4, 2008 7:05 AM | Report abuse

Clinton's negatives were too high from the outset, even in the Democratic party. She has been working with a hard ceiling and a very thin margin, and that was with an assumed majority of the African-American vote. Take that away and the math became prohibitive.

There was a mistaken assumption about the party loyalty to the Clinton's. Much of their support has been for pragmatic reasons. Bill Clinton's selfishness led directly to GW Bush's disastrous presidency. For many Democrats, choosing Obama was not that difficult.

Posted by: DEfarmer | June 4, 2008 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton LOST because of Hillary Clinton. She made some very serious JUDGMENT errors that lead to her demise.

1. She ignored the caucus states, BIG MISTAKE

2. She hired a bunch of losers to support and bring her message home during the campaign (ie.e. Mark Penn). Her own staffers contradicted her very message. She OWES too much money to Mark Penn who she should have FIRED months ago!! BIG MISTAKE

3. She DID NOT manage her money, she was in DEBT majority of her campaign. How is she going to manage the country when she can't even manage her own campaign funds? Hummm. BIG MISTAKE

4. Her campaign did NOT do their homework, they ignored the will of the people. How can you NOT research the will of the people?

5. Bill Clinton RAN his mouth way too many times. HE made some serious comments that lost the African American votes. The SAME votes that put him in the White House twice. The Clintons should have KNOWN BETTER, that you DON'T piss off the very same people your trying to get vote for your wife!! His distractions became her liabilities. BIG MISTAKE.

6. Hillary Clinton used the gender, sexist, the race and the kitchen sink cards and they ALL backfired on HER big time. She came off as playing the "victim" after waving the "I'm a fighter" banner. You CAN'T have it both ways. YOU can't make the claim that a woman can DO everything a MAN can do and better, then turn around and start crying the blues when they play "hard ball" with YOU!! BIG MISTAKE.

7. She came off as a SORE LOSER. Both Bill and Hillary KNEW for weeks they were losing. They've been around LONG enough to know how the game is played. They chose to ignore the advises from close supporters and friends. She ignored the BIG warning signs leading up to her LOST. So in retrospect, Sen. Clinton is just playing the "poor me, I'm the victim, this should be ALL ABOUT ME" blues card.

I think overall, I have NO pitty whatsoever for Hillary Clinton. She MADE these BIG MISTAKES all by herself. She ignore all the signs and thought that she could get away with her own spin and twists for the past 6 weeks. IT DID NOT WORK.

Americans have spoken, they do NOT want Sen. Clinton back in the White House. They do NOT want her as the VP.

I personally feel like the Clintons would be a serious liability to Sen. Obama in the White House. They would be defiant and cause too much "drama" that would undermine Sen. Obama's Administration. Sen. Clinton would act like SHE was the President. I don't think offering the VP is a good idea. Bottom line.

Posted by: Ellie B. Carter | June 4, 2008 7:00 AM | Report abuse

There was also the fact that she was running to be leader of the free world be couldn't even be leader of her own campaign.

The power struggle among the people she put into leadership positions pointed to the fact that Hillary had to leadership even within her own campaign. When there is a clear leader, you don't have five or six people trying to show who's in charge. Her inability to control those people spoke volumes.

Nobody believed she was better than her campaign. The way she ran her campaign - in-fighting, lashing out against people who spoke the truth, spending money she didn't have, always trying to play the victim against imagined conspiracies - most people didn't want that kind of President or Presidency.

In the way she ran her campaign, she showed herself to be an ineffective leader, disorganized, and weak. Those are not Presidential qualities.

Posted by: CJKatl | June 4, 2008 7:00 AM | Report abuse

How about hubris of a self-anointed candidate and a staff campaigning for positions in the presumed Clinton Administration instead of working on the campaign?

Posted by: kcbob | June 4, 2008 6:56 AM | Report abuse

What went wrong?

We've seen it all along. Last night's speech by her, described by Jeff Toobin as "deranged narcissism", was predicted below on May 23rd:


Why Hillary should not be VP:


From "Head of State"
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/05/head-of-state-reasons-that-hillary.html

Friday, May 23, 2008
Head of State: The Reasons That Hillary Should Not Be Vice President

Regarding Hillary Clinton as Barack Obama's running mate:

Originally, this seemed to be a potentially plausible choice--and if presented in the following way, could turn her divisive campaign into a potential coup as a VP candidate. The thinking was the following:

Hillary has run a divisive campaign. Now, just as the nation should mend its divisions in favor a greater unity that would serve the greater needs of our country, so now they would explicitly put these divisions behind them, in the interests of the unity that this nation, after a bitter and divisive Administration, so requires. This would serve as a powerful and vibrant example of the very ability to unify that Obama both offers and represents.

However, this would require a candidate that was willing to take such a position of relative shared selflessness in the interests of a greater good. While the Vice Presidency certainly offers its honors (now far beyond the "warm pitcher" of John Vance Garner's famous phrase) and positioning for later Presidential aspirations, such a plan would require the ability to think in terms of a shared effort based on the betterment of the nation, rather than in more grasping, combative and singular terms.

The Clinton camp's behavior over this past week has made such a positive scenario clearly untenable, showcasing the same characteristics that have signified her campaign throughout its long, chaotic march--its contradictions of previous statements when such changes have a slight possibility of adding a week or two of vitality, its sudden and implausible use of populist guises and specious historical parallels for transparently opportunistic purposes, its near-hallucinogenic transmogrifications of personality and central bases for continuation,
and the central campaign tendency to place personal attainment over virtually all values that lay in its path.

These characteristics--self over nation, positioning over a consistent presentation of position, values and even self, the willingness to put personal viability over the need to transcend and transform the vast wreckage of state and international relations that remains at this critical time--are as present now, at a moment when wisdom rather than a remorseless, obdurate desperation could fill this gap, as they have been throughout much of the campaign. They would continue to make themselves present during a Clinton campaign for vice president-- complicating, diminishing and often distracting from, in trivial internecine battles, the message of unity and change.

Perhaps Clinton could adopt a more unifying, integrated and less grasping position on the VP subject. However, thus far, the actions of the Clinton camp have made it clear: It's time to clean the slate. Hillary Clinton should not be the Vice Presidential candidate.

Cite:
Head of State
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/05/head-of-state-reasons-that-hillary.html


Posted by: Robert Hewson | June 4, 2008 6:52 AM | Report abuse

Having been an early H. Clinton supporter who six months ago began having doubts, I finally cut loose when she and Bill and her campaign began hitting below the belt. There manipulative efforts to scare voters and paint Obama black (no pun intended) backfired.

Had she managed to maintain her poise and show integrity she might have been able to pull it off. She dropped the ball, and tried to finish the game playing unfair. She deserves losing.

Am I an Obama supporter now? yes and no. I believe in his sincerity but am unconvinced when it comes to believing he can really bring about change. Not that I believed Hillary could, but the little changes possible within the extreme limits of Washington politics might have been better served by Hillary Clinton; but not the same woman that today goes by that name...

Posted by: Ronn | June 4, 2008 6:49 AM | Report abuse

My question is "what is wrong with Democratic Party"?

Every four years they select losers like Kerry, Duakakis and Obama. These leftists can not win in general election.

Obama is the weakest candidate they have picked since McGovern. In November, we the people will find find, Obama turned out to be worst than McGovern. McGovern was a war-hero and Obama is a middle-america-hater.

Expect four more years of McCain in the White House again.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 6:48 AM | Report abuse

You missed the big one - the Clintons just aren't very truthful, and that bothers most voters.

Claiming experience when she had none. Claiming leadership when she has never been a leader. Claiming compentence while running a horrid campaign. Claiming to be against things like NAFTA for which she had publicly spoken in favor. Claiming she was ahead in the popular vote when she wasn't. Claiming the delegate race was close when in fact it wasn't. Claiming to bring peace to Northern Ireland. Claiming to dodge bullets in Bosnia. Claiming to be against the war when she handed Bush the authorization. Claiming she could win when the math clearly showed she couldn't. And we know the list of half-truths, parsed words, technicalities, and outright lies could go on and on.

Oh, yeah, and the race baiting didn't help, either.

Bottom line, much like acid washed jeans, the Clintons were best left as a memory of the last century and not worn today.

Posted by: CJKatl | June 4, 2008 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton's NY Speech was so defiant. She has proved that she is truly a "sore loser". She continues to be a negative distraction and she continues to speak as though she is still running in the primary. SHE LOST. The disrespect was when she DID NOT officially congratulate Sen. Obama on being the NOMINEE. That was a serious slap in the face. She claims "I will do whatever it takes to unify the party", but her actions say something totally different. ALL she talk about is HER, HER, HER, HER.. She touted what her voters did the popular vote (which does NOT count in the primary) and makes the claim that more people voted for HER than Sen. Obama. That's a LIE she keeps spinning.

I was very floored and disgusted by Sen. Clinton's LACK of honor and respect as a team player and her overall speech that focus mainly on HER. It's NO longer about her, the RACE is OVER and she needs to come to grips with that FACT. Sen. Clinton needs to back up her claims and get behind Sen. Obama and call her supporters to UNITE.

I honestly DON'T think she deserves the VP slot after she slapped Sen. Obama in the face by ignoring his nomination last night. I think Hillary Clinton HAD the perfect opportunity to SHOW that she was a team player by unifying the party and once again she DID NOT DO the honorable thing. So what else is NEW, she's set on destroying the party no matter what and last night PROVED this fact. She's known she's been losing for weeks, she's HAD weeks to prepare herself for this LOST, but she BLEW IT. She came off as a sore loser still talking about HER....HER..... HER..

Posted by: Gracie | June 4, 2008 6:45 AM | Report abuse

Smart? Yes; Competent? Yes; Capable? Yes; Qualified? Yes.

Well liked? No... She wasn't liked as First Lady and a couple hundred million dollars later, many in the country still don't like her and many, rightly or wrongly, despise her. She was and remains a polarizing figure.

She would unite Republicans faster than any ticket McCain could put together. Some Democrats felt that Obama was the stronger candidate in November to win.

Clinton's team never had a strategy after Super Tuesday. Obama's team had a better campaign strategy from day one.

Posted by: Layne | June 4, 2008 6:44 AM | Report abuse

Clinton failed to quickly, cleanly, and directly divorce herself from Bush's war. Obama not only opposed the war, he understood that it arose from a fundamentally flawed foreign policy. He said so unequivocally, while Clinton seemed to be posturing on this critical issue. The message was clear in the 2006 congressional elections: Most Americans and an overwhelming majority of democrats want us out of Iraq. Clinton loyalists accepted on faith that she would end the war. The rest of us responded to a candidate who had the credentials to prove it.

Posted by: Tom | June 4, 2008 6:43 AM | Report abuse

The big question now - it has been there for quite a while - is NOT what happened to Clinton, but what happens to Clinton, or even the ClintonS.

There's a real solution. It's a bit radical, but so is the situation. Obama needs NOT to distance women or others who support Clinton ardently.

Copy Abraham Lincoln, who placed BOTH his major rivals from the 1860 campaign in his cabinet.

Announce, as soon as she is ready to concede, that he has already selected his highest-level (yes, this is true) cabinet officer: His Secretary of State. Her negatives in the U.S. - a lot of people cannot stand her - are the opposite abroad: she and her husband are revered. Those who dislike her would know that she's not in the White House, or in charge of "NATIONAL" policies, but she's fully able to campaign as a key member of the team. Obama can then choose, as his running mate, one of the other very-competent women, such as the governor of Kansas. We don't WANT two senators in the White House.

And, as Secretary of State, she/Obama could appoint her husband as a roaming goodwill international Ambassador, even solving problems, the way George Mitchell did.

Everyone wins.

Posted by: Jack | June 4, 2008 6:37 AM | Report abuse

In 2002, if Hillary Clinton had stood up to George Bush and opposed the war, she would have faced only token opposition. She and many other Democrats in Congress were complicit with Bush in sending thousands of people to their deaths. Millions of us haven't forgotten.

Posted by: SullyDem | June 4, 2008 6:35 AM | Report abuse

My take on the reasons Mrs. Clinto lost:
(1) Many Republicans crossed over to vote against her - impact of the "Stop Hillary Express"?
(2) Many people in this country are angry, still, that she did not divorce Bill. And, thus, she's less of a person and unworthy of our affection.
(3) BHO was nominated because of his race, not inspite of it.
The fall campaign should be brutal. And we all know "politics as usual" includes all politicians, not just the President. Whoever wins will have to use "politics as usual" to get things done.
So much for change!

Posted by: JohnS | June 4, 2008 6:34 AM | Report abuse

Dan is absolutely right and you and the rest of the media continue to ignore the 800 pound gorilla in the room. Clinton was only vulnerable because of her vote for the war and, perhaps more importantly, her unwillingness to concede that she was wrong on that vote. Obama, whose policies are otherwise largely indistinguishable from Clinton's, had the political space to run because of the war. Had she voted against the war she would have wrapped up the nomination after NH and we would be talking about the Clinton's third term.

Posted by: DMH | June 4, 2008 6:32 AM | Report abuse

Add in the massive funding gap. In the beginning of the campaign they spent like they were assured of the nomination. An early stumble in Iowa, and the money dried up, and they were never able to compete effectively. Of course the fact that Obama was able to out-raise any other candidate just speaks to how appealing he is as a person. And she struggled to rasie funding for the same reason: her personality.

Posted by: glenn | June 4, 2008 6:31 AM | Report abuse

Back in 2002, it seemed quite clear that Hillary opposed the war and wanted to vote against giving Bush the authority to go to war. She voted for the resolution though because her advisors told her that for a woman to win the White House, she must appear strong & willing to use the military (like margaret thatcher).

At the time, it made perfect sense. In retrospect, it is what did her in. In a year of 'change', that decision showed her to be a typical politician - in spite of not supporting the war personally, she voted to authorize war solely for political expediency, solely for the right to grab political power.

If the war had been won quickly, she would be the nominee now. Even the biggest Bush opponents at the time could not have predicted how badly he would have bungled everything. But as a result, that is where she lost the nomination - the day she reinforced the notion that democratic Clinton (both bill and hillary) detractors have argued for years - that they care more about power for themselves than for the ideals of the democratic party.

Posted by: dr9944 | June 4, 2008 6:31 AM | Report abuse

It is historical fact that Senators are at a disadvantage in Presidential elections. It is because of past "history". I realize both are Senators, but Obama has very little past to judge him by and to many was unknown. Clinton on the other hand... Add to this the fact that many voters are disgusted and looking for change and it all played into Obamas campaigne. Look at our recent Presidents. Who was well known and a fixture in Washington prior to coming here ? The problem with this is you don't really know what you are going to get if you elect an unknown. Look at Bush and Carter as examples. Both little known nationally and disasters as President. There have been good results in this regard also however. Just remember, running on change doesn't mean competent government. It could be just more of the same.

Posted by: Falmouth1 | June 4, 2008 6:30 AM | Report abuse

Hillary's biggest mistake was not divorcing the fool when he messed around with Monica. She made women look weak, especially herself.

Posted by: fireassay | June 4, 2008 6:10 AM | Report abuse

I would add two more reasons for the failure of the Clinton candidacy:
1. Personality gap. Obama was calming; Clinton was edgy. And it was something that you could even hear in their speaking styles and voices.
2. Management ability. Though Clinton talked "experience," her many campaign gaffes belied that. Obama showed himself much more capable of running an efficient "office," if you will.

Posted by: SJW | June 4, 2008 6:10 AM | Report abuse

Chris,

You forget the single most important reason why Hillary lost. She voted for the war in Iraq in 2002. That gave Obama the opening. That gave many of us who really hated Mrs. Clinton for voting for the war an opportunity to vote for someone in power who did not vote for that dumb war.

She voted for the war, so I did not vote for her.

Posted by: Dan | June 4, 2008 6:06 AM | Report abuse

I got turned off by Clinton's willingness to move the goalposts in the nomination battle. She trumpeted "delegate count" when she was in the early lead. Then it became "electibility" and "creative counting" of previously discounted MI and FL. In the end "popular vote" became her measure of success.

Clinton's first postion was correct; the rest were spin. The spin was annoying and reminded me that she did not always speak in a forthright manner. Add Bosnia and her switch on Nafta and multiply by Bill's upstaging and you get SECOND PLACE.

Posted by: Ceee | June 4, 2008 6:04 AM | Report abuse

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