What went wrong?

The New York Times (free registration required) has a series of articles on the demise of the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton. My favorite quote comes from Bob Kerrey, a former presidential candidate himself:

Focusing on her mistakes is an exercise in making someone who is already miserable even more so. As is true with every other walk of life, mistakes in politics shrink to insignificance if you win and are magnified beyond their actual importance if you lose.

The thrill of victory. The agony of defeat.

How so very true.


9 thoughts on “What went wrong?

  1. as posted on “Clinton DC speech open thread”
    vjp said, on June 7th, 2008 at 1:12 pm
    “Every moment wasted looking back keeps us from moving forward. Life is too short, time is too precious, and the stakes are too high, to dwell on what could have been. And that’s why I will work my heart out to make sure that Barack Obama is our next president. And I hope all of you will join me.”


  2. The sentiment is correct as it relates to this time and this general election coming up. It is what it is. I heard Congressman Scott yesterday say, “We say if Democrats only campaigned in Virginia we can win in Virginia. They have called our bluff as there will be an aggressive campaign in Virgina”. Now you need to prove me wrong that BO is not a weak GE candidate that could lead us to President McBush.

    However, a failure to look back and understand we have a seriously flawed system can doom us to the same mistakes to be made. This process is undemocratic and unrepresentative, PERIOD. And yes, that was the system going in, just as punch ballots were the system going in to the 2000 GE in Florida. Maybe the SCOTUS should step in under the equal protection clause and appoint HRC our nominee 🙂

    Here is an analysis of the results:

    * The 37 primary states account for more than 97% of the vote, 35 million participants — yet only 85.2% of the delegates. Hillary garnered a net 67 delegates from the primaries

    * The 13 caucus states account for less than 3% of the vote, 1 million participants — yet for 14.8% of the delegates. BO garnered a net 205 delegates from the caucuses.

    * The average turnout in primary states has been 18.7%. This is more than four-fold the average turnout in caucus states, which has been 4.5%

    * In the 37 primaries, Hillary Clinton is up 500,000 votes (counting Florida and Michigan; She is up by 350,000 votes if Obama is given 75% of the uncommitted vote in Michigan). In the 13 caucus states, Obama is up 300,000 votes

    The reading is quite interesting and here is the PDF file link.


    So I do say the will of the people was thwarted and it is wrong and needs to be fixed. So yes, it is time to move on the the GE.

    Lastly, I STILL stand with Michigan in their efforts to break the stranglehold of Iowa and NH on the process. Go Blue and Thank You Red Wings, Hockeytown’s Heroes!

  3. In sports, teams always try to improve from one season to the next. When they make off-season moves to be a better club they expect to be in a better position to win more games in the new season. Yet, if the competition also improves, expectations can be mowed down by the new reality.

    To some, Hillary Clinton was supposed to win this year. Although she seemed a better candidate than the last two Democratic nominees, she fell short of defeating Obama. But Clinton didn’t let her supporters down. She gave it her all.

    In this season, Obama simply proved to be the better candidate. That’s due in great part to his following with the youngest Democrats. Top competitors, athletes and politicians, have their time in the sun. Then they are replaced by younger players. It isn’t necessary to see Clinton’s narrow defeat as a rejection of her, or her gender.

    It’s more a matter of the times changing. Obama is a phenom. This is his year.

    No doubt, Hillary Clinton and other women in politics helped to pave the way for Obama’s remarkable success, just as pioneering black politicians did. Now, for Democrats, it’s about winning in November.

    Isn’t it?

  4. I hesitate to post her but I will only say, and and one who posted here knows what I have said “If Bill had stayed home, it would have been a different story”.

    Hillary is a strong campaigner. She won in NY by herself.

    When Bill inserted himself into the process, it made it a difference.

    Hillary is a wonderful person. She has done so much for our country.

    Bill should have been told to stay home.

    That made me go to Obama.

  5. The shallowness of decision making as expressed here – Bill should have stayed home, its Obama’s year, and so on – is also coming from voters from all over the country. This is why Americans get stuck with such bad Presidents for the most important job in the world. Whether it is the ill-equipped Obama or ill-looking McCain, we are in for some rough years ahead.

  6. “Obama is a phenom. This is his year.”

    Style over substance. We will see in November whether the rest of the nation works that way.

  7. Linda….We are family and no need to hesitate to post. I have drawn the ire of many of my family members (party and actual family!) becasue of the passion we bring to the process. If we did not have strong opinions, we would not be in the trenches day in and day out trying to elect Democrats to local, state and national office, even if they are the wrong ones :). You are Denver bound and it certainly was because you did not hesitate going for it. Congratulations!

  8. whoops…I forgot to add that I strongly disagree with your Bill argument….for another time and place! I will just say it is strange that the same thing that drew you in for BO was the exact reasons I became a passionate defender and supporter of both HRC and BC, interesting.

  9. For all those readers who fail to understand what I meant when I said

    So yes, it is time to move on the the GE.


    The sentiment (time to move on to the general election) is correct as it relates to this time and this general election coming up.


    Fall in love in the primary and fall in line for the general is no better rule to live by, especially this historic year!

    The PDF reading was of tremendous interest (it appeals to the geek in me) as an analysis of how we ended up where we are and not an insult to Obama and his supporters. I also think it was rather pertinent to the discussion in this thread “What Went Wrong” towards understanding that changes to the process might be in order. So as one last gesture towards unity, How about if we change the thread to “What Went Right” and use the analysis to help explain that! 🙂

Comments are closed.