Hillary is right where she wants to be

I’m posited since the beginning of the campaign that, without any challenge, Hillary wouldn’t be able to rise to victory, win the election, and go into the convention with any momentum. . . . now, she’s nearly perfectly aligned to rise to the challenge and appear victorious later on. I think that’s why she and Bill were ebullient on the stage last night.

Seems obvious to me, but I haven’t heard that argument.

You haven’t heard it because it makes no sense. No candidate wants to be trounced in a primary, rejected by every demographic segment. And no candidate wants the media to start telling the truth and revealing the hollow basis for their campaign. Hillary wanted to be coronated, this is not at all what she was after.

Well, I bet that’s the way it’s going to play out. And it does too make sense.

I’m sure her campaign is disappointed, but according to Nate Silver, this isn’t a surprise, and she’s far ahead in the next several primaries. Things could change, of course, but we’ve known Sanders would win NH for a while, and we’ve known Clinton was leading in NV and SC (and most Super Tuesday states) for a while as well, so I think they’re still on track.

Well, I don’t know about “right where she wants to be,” as I’m sure she would have much preferred big wins in both Iowa and New Hampshire, but I wouldn’t count her out just yet. She ought to be able to go at least as far as she did in 2008 and, given Bernie’s status as a recent Democrat, will be able to draw more deeply on support from other elected Dems and their networks as the campaign moves to other states.

The most recent poll from NV was Dec 23rd, and based on that stale data the betting markets only give Clinton a 2/3 change of winning the state. Sanders has had a massive boost in name recognition in the last 30 days, and he’s got the momentum. I think NV will end up being a close race, and SC will be a Clinton win but not a NH level blowout.

Part of the problem with starting out on top is that you have nowhere to go but down, but I don’t see how Clinton can possibly be happy with the way things are going.

This win gives Bernie a boost in union states, and Nevada is one of those. Hillary is counting on the ‘Black vote’ bringing her the southern states. There’s no real basis for that except she has courted the political machine in those territories. This is all undecided now. There is a long drawn out battle brewing here.

I don’t think she’s happy either. But I still think she has a big advantage – NH and IA were about the most tailor made states for Bernie aside from VT. We don’t know how Bernie will do in states with large minority populations yet, and according to polling, the early indications are that he won’t do very well.

Six months ago I would have given Hillary a 95% chance at the nomination; now I think it’s more like 80%. Until Nate Silver says Hillary is in big trouble, I’m probably not going to believe it.

I think Hillary’s counting on her massive collection of superdelegates to make the primaries not matter.

Last night’s Democratic primary results were just the break the 2008 McCain campaign has been waiting for.

That didn’t work in 2008, and it won’t work now. The superdelegates know better than to bury the Democratic Party at a crossroads with a stake through its heart and a silver bullet in its skull by overruling the primary voters. The party could get away with that in a genuine emergency contingency (e.g. Bernie wins a majority of elected delegates, has a stroke, and starts ranting about making Wall Street run red with bankers’ blood), but pulling out this nuclear option to win a normal political battle would nuke the party in the general election.

If you think Hillary will do better as a result of facing competition then you may be correct. But you asserted that Hillary is just where she wants to be and that makes no sense. No candidate wants to lose any primary. Even if her strategy was based on facing competition along the way, it isn’t, but even if it was, it would not involve squeaking out a win in Iowa and getting stomped on in New Hampshire. If Hillary was where she wanted to be she wouldn’t have publicly announced a shakeup of her campaign staff. In addition, this fight is going to cost her money she wants to have available in the general election. There is nothing about this situation that she is happy about.

At this point in 2008, Obama was looking a lot stronger than Sanders is now. Her superdelegate advantage couldn’t overcome Obama’s huge lead in popular support, but it looks like it will be enough to overcome Sander’s small one (should one eventually materialize, which I think it will).

If things play out that way, it’ll be interesting to see what the party does. If Sanders is polling ahead of Clinton nationally and has a higher primary delegate count but a lower overall delegate count, what would they do?

My point is that there is no such thing as a predetermined “superdelegate advantage”. The superdelegates are not committed, only predisposed; in practice they will switch to whoever wins the elected delegates. To do otherwise (barring the sort of extreme contingency I described) would lead to deafening “WE WUZ ROBBED!” cries and resulting lack of enthusiasm and turnout that would doom the party in the general election.

Maybe. I fluctuated between “wants to be” and “needs to be.” But, we are dealing with the Clinton’s here, and I think Bill is a MASTER of the political game of expectations. . . he can turn a negative into a positive in a blink. What other president could get caught cheating on his wife, get impeached for his testimony about it, and get a bounce in popularity from it. I don’t they planned to lose New Hampshire, but I feel confident that Bill and Hillary are full of visions concerning how they’re going to turn this into a positive.

You are assuming Bill wants her to be president. I’m not so sure about that. He hasn’t been effective campaigning for her so far, many blame him for her fall in 2008. Don’t give Bill too much credit for the way the GOP screwed up the Lewinsky scandal. It’s certainly not the kind of thing she wants people to be thinking about.

So maybe ‘needs to be’ is the right way to look at this, assuming she sews things up on Super Tuesday. Otherwise, competition heading into the convention is not a good thing for candidates.

A narrow loss probably wouldn’t have been a bad outcome for Hillary; it would make the contest and her eventual victory look more meaningful thereby adding to her stature as a national electoral politician before the general election. A 20-point blowout however is too serious a loss. While she will still likely win in the end, there is a serious danger now that it will be a prolonged contest which will waste precious resources, pull her to the left and perhaps anger some Bernie supporters into sitting out the general election.

COULD the New England Patriots start the season 0-3, then come on strong, finish 12-4 and win the Super Bowl? Sure! But it’s silly to suggest that starting 0-3 is part of their master plan.

Hillary hoped to have the nomination sewn up early while the Republicans bickered. That hasn’t happened. She will still get the nomination, in all likelihood, but she’s started off horribly.

I can’t imagine starting the primary season with one loss and one tie is where she wants to be.

And while I don’t like her, I don’t think there is one chance in 100 that she won’t get the nominations. But it will cost her more money than she’d like, and the invincibility shield is gone.

You guys have little understanding of human nature. NO ONE likes “the presumed nominee” everyone loves “the heroic fighter!” that has risen to victory, especially after getting knocked down. It’s all about intensity. If Hillary had no competition she would have trouble generating any intensity or excitement going into the general election. This is MUCH better for her, and I feel confident that her and Bill both know it.