How is Hillary keeping her momentum?

It’s been a long time since an early frontrunner in the primaries has kept their momentum for as long as Hillary has, and it’s disappointing me a bit. I’d much rather see Obama win the nomination, and I think he’s a much more likely to actually win the election if he does, but the Hillary machine seems to be invincible.

So how is she doing it? The front runners are always under the most scrutiny, so they fall much harder when they make a goofy mistake. How could she have avoided the Tank Picture or the Victory Shout demise for so long?

The corporate media doesn’t want her to stumble. They marginalize the candidates that they don’t want to win (Edwards, Kucinich) and play her nomination up as inevitable. But I’m not so sure she won’t stumble anyway, that Iran vote is not setting well with the left.

bill clinton established an election machine and Hillary is taking advantage of it. Also, at least from where I sit, Hillary seems like the most electable democrat out there. would not surprise me in the least to see Obama on the ticket as Veep.

I think Richardson’s a better VP candidate.

All Hillary has to do, as the establishment candidate, is not fuck up. It’s not a matter of ‘the media’ or anything conspiracy-oriented as that…it’s just that she has to keep up her pitch and not commit any major gaffes.

Hell, Obama has been a media darling (I’ve written some of it) for a year and he’s just not getting traction. At least not enough to move the poll numbers. And in the end he NEEDS to win in a few of the big four states (IA, NH, NV, SC) to have any chance at all. If Hillary wins those, and she’s ahead in most (IA still being in play) then it’s a march to glory for her.

That sort of inevitability has been a part of her primary strategy all along and it’s worked.

She’s doing an efficient job of playing it safe, and her adoring party faithful are being tolerant so far.

*"Her posture during the debate was the classic front-runner pose: Don’t make waves. The question is whether she can go through the next three months saying little or nothing without jeopardizing her lead in the contest…During the debate, she rarely came out of a defensive crouch, as if determined to protect her favored position. Answering the first question, she said her goal would be to withdraw all American troops from Iraq by 2013, but “it is very difficult to know what we are going to be inheriting” from the Bush administration, so she cannot make any pledge – as Richardson and others feel free to do. Troops might be needed for counterterrorism work for many years…When Russert asked what her attitude would be toward an Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities, she refused to answer such a “hypothetical.” He insisted it was a real possibility, but she would not play. Instead, she endorsed the recent Israeli attack on Syria – a safe stand…Her greatest evasiveness occurred on the volatile issue of Social Security. Biden, the first to answer Russert’s question about steps to save the system from bankruptcy, said he would lift the cap on payroll taxes and raise additional millions from people making more than $97,000 a year.

But when it was Clinton’s turn, she argued that sound fiscal policies and economic growth could eliminate the problem – claiming that her husband’s experience proved that point. Russert knew better and corrected her math, but she was adamant: “I’m not putting anything on the proverbial table” – meaning no painful tax increases or benefit cuts – until the budgetary and overall economic fixes are attempted."*

The idea that the “corporate media” are protecting her is laughable. The news media love a horse race better than anything - but she’s not giving them much to work with aside from evasiveness. And it’s not like she’s the only Democrat lying to spare Americans from hard choices. I recall Edwards suggesting that we could have health care coverage for everyone under his plan simply by repealing the Bush tax cuts. If you believe that, I have a bridge in Minneapolis to sell you.

If you don’t think the corporate media wants Hillary to win the nomination, look how ABC News censored Dennis Kucinich.

But you sit in Shanghai, for cryin’ out loud. :slight_smile:

Hillary has been the darling of the media. It is really frustrating that the media have to this point aided and abetted Hillary’s “inevitability” strategy by underreporting on the other candidates. Sometimes it feels almost as though the media were trying to drum up a bandwagon effect for Hillary.

One thing I have noticed is that the conservative talk show hosts seem to have already resigned themselves to the idea that she will be nominated and win the election. Another thing I have noticed when listening to the radio shows (It’s a form of self-abuse for me) is that the bulk of their criticisms are personal. Mark Levin constantly refers to her as “Hillary Rotten Clinton, Her Thighness”.

I think both of these tactics, contrary to what the hosts are striving for, help her maintain her lead.

On the contrary, conservatives want to see her nominated, as she would energize the Republican base. The conservative media are definitely aiding and abetting the inevitability strategy.

As for why the other media are rolling over for Hillary, it may be a simple case of provincialism: New York media supporting the New York candidate.

I don’t think this is true in two respects. First, he hasn’t been a media darling. It’s true that he has gotten lots of photo ops, but the print media has not been particularly kind. The Times takes every possible opportunity to paint him as a hypocrite for his positions on ethics, even when they have to stretch it a bit–not to mention their atrocious coverage of his foreign policy speech. But more broadly, the media seems to have bought the lack of experience narrative and repeats it verbatim in each article without writing anything intelligent or newsworthy about the matter. They do this with other candidates, of course, covering the meta- more than the message and repeating the most banal narratives as conventional wisdom, but to call one of them a media darling is wrong.

And second, the numbers have moved. If we’re talking about polls, he’s up by 8 points in the latest poll of likely caucus-goers in Iowa. But in terms of sheer numbers, Obama has had unprecedented numbers and amounts of donations–more than Hillary in every quarter. If she’s got such a killer fundraising machine, why is she getting beat by someone who isn’t taking PAC or corporate donations?

Whew! I didn’t realize I had become an Obama partisan, but there you go.

The irony is, as a semi-Republican, I actually like Hillary more than the other canidates. Obama has done a terrible job of actually putting himself foraward as more than an empty suit, regardless of what he actually is. I can’t get any sense of what he thinks or stands for, aside from the poll of the week and being the first black president. Likewise, Edwards has managed to cover himself in sufficient shame that I’d feel ill just thinking about him. Hillary, while personally disgusting, at least doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what she is: an old-school machine poltician, greasing the wheels with cash. It’s actually rather refreshing.

I just dislike her attitude. A lot.

I’;d vote for Guiliani or Thompson, regardless of their personal politics, because I believe they’d both do what they claim their will od, if they can possible do it. I’d rather have Hillary before Ron Paul, who I very much doubt can work effectively as a President. Aside from which, his sole draw now seems to be his claim that he’s more anti-war than anyone else. I think Thompson is some ways would be more effective as Veep than anyone else, but I’d still like to see him claim the Oval Office, precisely because he’s capable of communicating clearly and effectively while articulating a direction he believes in - and his credentials as a reformer are unquestionable.

If Guilliani can handly New York, he can handle Congress as VP. Both, after all, are overly-large semi-anarchic neo-tribal societies filled with liars, swindlers, and crooks. :smiley:

What I think contributes to her success is that people continually underestimate her. People preemptorily dismiss her as a nobody who is using her husband’s name to get the Oval Office. But if you watch her debates closely, she tackles each question with reason and a three-dimensional insight that is entirely Presidential. I can’t think of one Republican candidate who could possibly win a debate with her.

  • Honesty

It’s been so long since I’ve seen her try to “tackle” a question that I honestly don’t remember what it’s like when she does. Tax increases? “We’re looking at the big picture.” Support for an Israeli attack on Iran? “It’s a hypothetical, I won’t answer it.”

Bullshit. I really, really dislike her.

I usually vote Republican. However, I like Hillary. The Republican candidates seem democrat-lite to me…and they aren’t going to win anyway. Hillary as the next President doesn’t really bother me too much.


Err… yeah, I’m with Mosier. She’s not an empty suit because she has few political interests; she knows exactly what’s going on and doesn’t care. SHe wriggles through all possible issues and avoids making any definite statements at all. When she does, it usually involves some ludicrously expensive project which no one except her target audience will consider for more than a minute.

It would bother me, but less than Ron (I’m anti-war.) Paul, Mitt Romney (who isn’t a bad man, but I think would just have too many troubles to be a good Pres), Obama, or Edwards. McCain has flip-flopped too many times and supported too many questionable causes for me; the man just can’t be trusted, although he usually eventually gets on the right bandwagon.

I dont, however, believe that Republicans can’t get elected in this cycle or any other.

How is “momentum” defined, considering no votes have yet been cast?

Answer #1: How much money they’re getting.

Answer #2: How the takling heads feel that day.

I’m not joking, and Answer #1 will eventually get analyzed to death by talking heds who long ago ceased to actually look at the issues in favor of looking at people looking at the issues. These days, they concentrate at looking at themselves looking at people looking at the issues, which creates the ludicrous situation of patting themselves on the back for “grading” presidential hopefuls on whether or not the canidates met or did not meet the goals which the pundits themselves set based on… their own blather and hype.

For starters, I’d say she’s a good campaigner, a skilled politician, and already has name recognition. And the way the election is being covered, as described by smilingbandit, plays right into her hands, since it’s much more about weekly nationwide poll numbers and fundraising, with a few scandals thrown in, than about anybody’s ideas. So she can play it safe and stay comparatively vague while her opponents get increasingly desperate and try ideas that will upset some people.

She’s keeping her fund raising lead for the simple reason that she’s running an impeccable campaign.