Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 12, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

THE SHAKEUP....In the Atlantic today, Josh Green writes a fairly devastating account of the recent shakeup in Hillaryland and the firing of campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle:

Even after grasping the magnitude of the [Obama] threat, the Clinton campaign didn't react quickly and stuck to the strategy of trying to project an aura of inevitability. Here, too, Solis Doyle was disastrous; her lack of skill in areas other than playing the loyal heavy began to show. The first public sign of this came just after Clinton's reelection to the Senate. Even though Clinton had faced no serious opponent, it turned out that Solis Doyle, as campaign manager, had burned through more than $30 million. As this New York Times story makes clear, the donor base was incensed. Toward the end of the Senate campaign, Solis Doyle did her best to bolster the impression of the inevitability of Hillary's nomination as the Democratic presidential candidate, spreading word that Clinton's Senate reelection fund-raising had gone so exceptionally well that $40 million to $50 million would be left after Election Day to transfer to the incipient presidential campaign. But this turned out to be a wild exaggeration — and Solis Doyle must have known it was. Disclosure filings revealed a paltry $10 million in cash on hand; far from conveying Hillary's inevitability, this had precisely the opposite effect, encouraging, rather than frightening off, potential challengers.

Rather than punish Solis Doyle or raise questions about her fitness to lead, Clinton chose her to manage the presidential campaign for reasons that should now be obvious: above all, Clinton prizes loyalty and discipline, and Solis Doyle demonstrated both traits, if little else. This suggests to me that for all the emphasis Clinton has placed on executive leadership in this campaign, her own approach is a lot closer to the current president's than her supporters might like to admit.

That's brutal. And Green is unsure whether the campaign can still recover: "Solis Doyle's replacement, Maggie Williams, is thought to possess many of the skills her predecessor lacked, while enjoying a relationship with Clinton that is every bit as close. Every reaction I've gotten from inside the campaign has been exuberance at Williams's arrival — followed by concern over whether the change was made too late."

Kevin Drum 3:46 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (91)

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Wow, if Green's analysis on what Clinton values in her people is accurate well, that's just bad on so many levels that I'm unable to snark about it.

Posted by: cyntax on February 12, 2008 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

I'd just read this online, and the linked TNR Cottle piece too (which I guess everyone but me has already read).

My only comment is that I had an idea that this was taking place--just based on the campaign's disconnect with facts on the ground and the fact that HRC kept losing when we'd been told she would keep winning . . . .

But the thundering mediocrity of the principals (watching TV soap operas in the office? the meanness and high-handedness? the inability to take necessary action). And the brazenly obtuse, arrogant, stubborn insistence on rewarding, what, loyalty and discipline and not talent?

Posted by: paxr55 on February 12, 2008 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary Clinton: Just like George W. Bush, except she's a Democrat. And not quite as incompetent and addicted to the attention of sycophants. Oh wait, scratch that, she is.

Posted by: Philip the Equal Opportunity Cynic on February 12, 2008 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

obama's got it in the bag

Posted by: californiation on February 12, 2008 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

oops, that should read:

obama's got it in the bag

Posted by: californiation on February 12, 2008 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

So this is Hillary's advantage of greater experience in action, huh? Hanging onto a dishonest, mismanaging buffoon because she's a loyalist.

Thanks, but we've had eight years of that $#!+ already.

Posted by: low-tech cyclist on February 12, 2008 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

First of all, Josh Green was the same guy whose story on Hillary was spiked by GQ so it just might be that he has an axe or two to grind.

I, for one, want to see his analysis confirmed by other people first.

Posted by: Teresa on February 12, 2008 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

I noticed that big spending in Hillary's Senate race: I thought it was stupid. You know, like when Karl Rove persuaded Bush to put time and money into California late in the 2000 campaign, even the polling showed it was bloody useless.

They may act like idiots, they may talk like idiots, but don't let that fool you.

Posted by: gcochran on February 12, 2008 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

above all, Clinton prizes loyalty and discipline

If this is even close to true it instantly disqualifies her in my mind. After seven years of Bush we cannot afford this style of thinking anywhere close to the White House.

Green may just be full of it, of course. But the facts of the campaign seem to speak for themselves.

Posted by: Mark on February 12, 2008 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

Shows what 35 years of experience will get you: hubris, incompetence, and waste.

Posted by: lampwick on February 12, 2008 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

Loyality is highly prized by conservatives.

Now I for one agree with Teresa, I don't like to place too much stock on a single (possibly biased) account.

Posted by: bigTom on February 12, 2008 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

Look at McCain's story - he was in the dumper and came back by reshuffling his staff. HRC is one top leader and will come back and show folks the muster she has. She is a fighter and is the best of the bunch to be Pres.

Posted by: abc55 on February 12, 2008 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

Once again Kevin is showing his pro-Hillary bias. We are supposed to feel sorry for her and vote for her. Very clever, Kev. But I see through your ingenious effort to make Obama look unfit to lead.

Posted by: Bush Lover on February 12, 2008 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

so if she doesn't recover he world still goes on. Obama ran a very good campaign. If he is the nominee he did it the old fashioned way, he earned it.

Posted by: aline on February 12, 2008 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

First of all, Josh Green was the same guy whose story on Hillary was spiked by GQ so it just might be that he has an axe or two to grind.

Um, no, it was spiked by GQ because they caved to pressure from the Clintons.

Posted by: junebug on February 12, 2008 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

Combined with her no vote today, Hillary's inevitable campaign may soon come to an unenviable end.

Posted by: Brojo on February 12, 2008 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

" Clinton prizes loyalty and discipline, and Solis Doyle demonstrated both traits, if little else."

I don't know, burning through $30 million in an uncontested Senate race and having no money left in the bank the week before Super Tuesday after having raised more than $100 million doesn't sound too disciplined to me.

Also, the shake-up isn't just Williams replacing Solis Doyle. Senator Clinton is also adding even more high-priced consultants, which means the cash burn is not going to abate.

Conversely, Obama, whose managerial skills are disparaged by Mrs. Clinton and her supporters, has run an extraordinarily disciplined and effective campaign that has been exceptionally well-organized, constantly headed in the right direction, competitive in every state (save Arkansas and, for reasons unknown, Oklahoma), and, most importantly, is almost never in the news, which is what campaign staffs are supposed to do.

Posted by: Scott on February 12, 2008 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

You should include fries with the Hillary steak you have just fed the Obamanians.

Posted by: optical weenie on February 12, 2008 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

For confirmation of Green's central premise, one could read the linked pieces in his story.

This one, for example, by the TNR's Michelle Cottle, written after the Iowa loss.

Posted by: paxr55 on February 12, 2008 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

At least Hillary has hired a new campaign manager. Al Gore was unable to do that.

Posted by: Brojo on February 12, 2008 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

funny thing is, this disturbs me, but I still think Hillary would beat McCain without that much trouble.

But Obama would kill that old coot. It'll be a bit of a fight, but no fear here.

Posted by: Jack Boot on February 12, 2008 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps---just perhaps we are seeing the fall girl created because everyone knows that Hillary could never lose on the merits. Just as her health care plan was defeated back in 92, not because she messed up at every turn but because of Harry and Louise. I for one prefer, if it happens, to believe that Obama's victory is because he earned it by giving people a reason to come out and support him instead of a shrug of the shoulders and a shake of the head and a belief that Hillary's victory was inevitable

Posted by: Stuart Shiffman on February 12, 2008 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Scott raises a good point. We were told how ~disciplined~ the Clinton campaign was.

But, really, what does this mean given the evidence Green laid out?

Was "discipline" a Grunwaldian message, not actually rooted in facts, put out there to suggest that Hillary was not Bill?

Posted by: paxr55 on February 12, 2008 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

Even though I am leaning towards Hillary (have'nt voted yet), I've to say that if Obama wins this one, he'd certainly have earned it.

Posted by: ppk on February 12, 2008 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

funny thing is, this disturbs me, but I still think Hillary would beat McCain without that much trouble.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that she would beat him without much trouble, but McCain wouldn't be anywhere near as formidable an opponent as Obama has turned out to be. In spite of the Green story & recent (and even incipient) results, I still think it's a wide open question as to which one of these two McCain will face.

Posted by: junebug on February 12, 2008 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

Another tapping of the stake in Clintons heart.

Mark this: Democrats believe that a man with less than two years senate experience will become the leader of the free world.

It doesn't get any better than this.

Posted by: Dublin on February 12, 2008 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

No offense, but anybody who doesn't realize that Hillary has poor management skills and that the Clinton's prize loyalty above all else has spent the last fifteen years with their head stuck in the sand. Or has the fiasco that was her health care task force (and which arguably cost the Democrats control of Congress in 1994) already been forgotten?

Much like Bush, Billary is addicted to power, and will do anything to acquire and maintain it.

Posted by: mfw13 on February 12, 2008 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

Don't get too excited folks, remember where John McCain was a few months ago and now he's most likely the Republican nominee for President. Hillary will be fine and this fight is far from over. It makes me chuckle when the Obomites get excited about stuff like this because they know Obama still has an uphill climb no matter how you slice things. Also, the press is catching onto the fact that Obama would have a tough time in a general election...stay tuned for more press on this.

Posted by: Noel on February 12, 2008 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

I really don't get why all the Obama people hate Hillary so much. You don't see the same kind of invective from the HRC supporters directed against Obama. So her campaign's having a shake up or two. These things happen. And somehow the fact that Obama is doing well in the primary must be proof of Hillary's utter incompetence and borderline insanity. It can't just be that Obama's running a great campaign and a lot of people like him.

And imagine a politician prizing and rewarding loyalty! Surely only Hitler and George W. Bush and now Hillary have ever possessed such a trait. Obama despises loyalty, I'm sure.

Posted by: Rob Mac on February 12, 2008 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

Back in 2007, even I thought the 'inevitability strategy' was a sure winner.

And if she left a ton of cash in the bank after Super Tuesday the second-guessers would be pissed about that.

Posted by: Mike on February 12, 2008 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

Obazoids unite! You will not go quietly into that good night! Now get on those Reagan coat tails and ride! RIDE!

Posted by: elmo on February 12, 2008 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

What I find odd about reading the Atlantic piece is that Hillary Clinton herself refers to "Hillaryland."

I haven't read her book, but the article makes the following quote.

“My staff prided themselves on discretion, loyalty, and camaraderie, and we had our own special ethos,” Clinton wrote in her memoir, Living History. “While the West Wing had a tendency to leak, Hillaryland never did.”

Is that an actual quote from the book? If so, am I now in "Kevinland"?

Posted by: PE on February 12, 2008 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

If Al Gore had fired Donna Brazile, he might have turned his campaign around and won an even larger majority. Hillary made the right move, but missing the FISA vote today is what she should be criticized for.

Posted by: Brojo on February 12, 2008 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK


Yes, this is piling on and it's all very unseemly. But I don't see invective, which is abusive language.

hubris, incompetence, wastefulness, thundering mediocrity, and so forth. That's not invective.

And, regarding loyalty, the point Green was making is that loyalty trumped competence.

Posted by: paxr55 on February 12, 2008 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

As far as the no vote is concerned, she didn't vote no. She wasn't there to vote. It seems to me the Majority Whip could count. They're really, really good at that.

Posted by: w2 on February 12, 2008 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

@PE: Well she is a native of Chicagoland -- what other metro area calls themselves something similar? I think it's cute. (Being a Chicagoan) but it probably also says a lot about the way the Second City syndrome pits Chicago versus the world.

Posted by: Christopher on February 12, 2008 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

Dublin: Mark this: Democrats believe that a man with less than two years senate experience will become the leader of the free world.

Don't everyone rush to remind this clown how much experience W had when he was running for the same office in 2000, or what every Bush supporter spouted in defense of that fact (he's not a Washington insider, blah blah blah).

Just curious - is it even possible to be a conservative and not be a hypocrite?

Posted by: DH Walker on February 12, 2008 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

Not to be a sexist about it, but can women cut it as managers of Presidential campaigns?

Posted by: gregor on February 12, 2008 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

The most interesting part of the story is that Solis Doyle is Hispanic and Williams is African-American. The Latino community is very, very upset at Solis Doyle's ouster, given how strongly it is supported Clinton during this primary season. It could be construed that Clinton is trying to mend some fences with the black community, at the expense of one of her strongest bulwarks of support. More racial politics for the Clitons, tsk tsk...

Posted by: Lucas on February 12, 2008 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK


In the polls less than a third support indefinite occupation. But Kevin Drum pimps the right-wing lie that this position is 'the center'.

Posted by: David Tomlin on February 12, 2008 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

err, "Clintons." Sorry.

Posted by: Lucas on February 12, 2008 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, my last comment was meant for the previous thread.

Posted by: David Tomlin on February 12, 2008 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

"Not to be a sexist about it, but can women cut it as managers of Presidential campaigns?"

Wow. Nothin' sexist about that at all.

Posted by: skyweaver on February 12, 2008 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

Great point DH and I remember those comments about Bush and his compassionate conservatism as a new change that was needed after Bill Clinton. Now look where we are, we're hearing the same shit from Obama's group. At least Bush governed the State of Texas and the Rangers, both of which he screwed up....Obama hasn't run a damn thing and they want this guy to be the next President?

Posted by: Noel on February 12, 2008 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

Brojo has it right:
Hillary made the right move, but missing the FISA vote today is what she should be criticized for.

Voted for Kyle-Lieberman, introduced a bill to outlaw flag-burning, and MISSED the vote for FISA and telecom immunity?

I think perhaps Atrios is right:


Too many Democrats simply don't have the values we imagine they do, and it lets them off the hook too much to assume they're simply craven people who need to get re-elected instead of bad people who don't share our values.

Posted by: jackifus on February 12, 2008 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

Noel, the governor of Texas could tell you how little actual power he has, but he'd have to ask the lieutenant governor and the legislature for permission first. Nice try, though.

Posted by: John E. on February 12, 2008 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think either of the top three candidates on the Democratic side (or the Republican nominee, for that matter) have run anything.

Posted by: PE on February 12, 2008 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

Brojo has a point... Obama and McCain, albeit voting differently, were both in the Senate today. (Of course, the Schmuck Talk Express was absent a week ago on the original, unemployment-extension included stimulus vote.)

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on February 12, 2008 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

Unable to fire an incompetent but loyal aide? Who do we know who has a pattern like that?

One of the biggest myths about Hillary is that she has political smarts. She doesn't. She is maladept and constantly behind the music on the political dynamics of the country.

Back in the days of Bushh's ascendency, when Hillary was dreaming of being President, she thought that it would be the smart thing to appease the righht by voting for the Iraq war, tthe Patriot Act and by sponsoring R-Lite jingoism like the flag burning law. Not so. If she had stood strong back then she wouuld have no primary opposition now.

Inspite of the rising tide of disappointment and frustration withh spineless Democrats, she still didn't get it that people were sick of appeasement when she voted for the watered down Iran Resolution.

After all the years of bad advice leading to failure after failure for our party, she still employs the same old played out connsutants like Penn.

She assumed, mistakenly, prior to the primaries, that the only way for Demcrats to hold on to power is to appeal to independents by watering down our issues. In fact it is possible to get independent votes by standing firmly on liberal issues. Independents are more oriennted toward voting for thhe person and less issue oriented than party-affliated voters are. They like straight talk and clear positions and will vote for a politician they disagree with if they like the politician's style.

She has a tin ear for the issues. In 06 when Iraq was by far the overwhelming concern, her fundraising letters, which listed issues, didn't even mention the war.

She assumed a knock out punch on Super Tuesday and had no contingency plan.

Her plan for beating McCain is to win by turning out our base. A smart politician doesn't plan to win by hoping the other team stays home. That's an especially stupid plan given that the only reason Republicans have to vote is to vote against her! A smart politician doesn't plan to win by the 50% plus one strategy, not after witnessing the results of that strategy in 2000 and 2004. A smart politicians neither panders, as she has in the past, to an imaginary middle that is right of the actual middle, nor writes off independents. A smart politicians learns how to get their votes.

Obama is a much smarter politician than Hillary. His plan is to win by overwhelming. Create a coalition of the independents, our base, and new voters and win big on our issues. He will campaign for the Presidency exactly as he is campaigning now. McCain is going to look pretty silly giving little speeches to thhe American Legion while Obama fills stadiums with enthusiatic people who will work their butts off to get him annd othher Deomcrats elected.

Posted by: wonkie on February 12, 2008 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

Gadfly, Obama and McCain were in the neighborhood. Clinton has written off Maryland, DC and Virginia. She was off to Texas or some such place to build her firewall.

What is it about New Yorkers and firewalls?

The firing looks bad in light of the drubbing Hillary has taken in the last week. If she can come close or win Virginia, it might be spun as a good move. If she loses Virginia, Maryland and DC as badly as she seems to think she is going to lose them, the shake up will look like too little, too late, and if she loses big in Wisconsin and Hawaii, the Ohio and Texas firewalls might crumble. These are bad days for Hillary.

Personally, I want to see her rally. I would love to see this campaign to go all the way to Kentucky. The excitement it is generating is first rate. After tonight Old Hundred Years War McCain is going to be an easy mark for progressive activists for about 5 months. Keep on saying it--Less Jobs, More War, Less Jobs, More War.

Posted by: Corpus Juris on February 12, 2008 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

"The Latino community is very, very upset at Solis Doyle's ouster, given how strongly it is supported Clinton during this primary season."

Really? How do you know this?

As for the fund raising, while I find it amazing that Solis-Doyle kept the money problems from Clinton and exaggerated the amount Clinton was taking in, I don't see why it's so odd that she spent so much much on her Senate re-election. The whole idea was that she was supposed to rack up a very big margin of victory to give her momentum heading into a presidential campaign. The Republicans said they were going to spend a lot of money to stop her. The New York media markets are expensive.

I'd be much more interested to know how she has spent money on her presidential campaign.

Posted by: Brian on February 12, 2008 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK


Posted by: mhr on February 12, 2008 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

Prizes loyalty and discipline?

Frosty relationship with the press?

Incredibly checkered past?

Skilled at mismanagement?

Wow...that...sounds like somebody I read about...

Posted by: Boorring on February 12, 2008 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

mhr, you and you alone are IQ deficient, with a statement like that.

Posted by: Boorring on February 12, 2008 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK
In the Atlantic today, Josh Green writes a fairly devastating account of the recent shakeup in Hillaryland.....—Kevin Drum 3:46 PM
I generally take political reporting from the Atlantic cum grano salis. Remember, it is under Andrew Sullivan who is rabidly anti-Clinton. Years ago it was under another rabid anti-Clinton editor: Michael Kelly, whose insane anti-Clinton rants should have been an embarrassment to the magazine.

Lines like ...It is revealing both because it is true and because it conveys—and even flaunts—an arrogance that I think is the key to understanding all that has gone wrong for the Clinton campaign.... are subjective opinions and not sourced from anyone within the campaign. That said, I have no idea, but I doubt Joshua Green, Potemkin pundit, does either.

This seems to be a typical example of Clinton rules Journamalism 101, and, as Krugman points out, 'bamabots jump to it gleefully.

Liberal Democrats take increasingly anti-Hispanic positions....meathead republican at 5:56 PM

You are confused by Lou Dobbs and other Republican's who demagogue Nativism for political gain.

Posted by: Mike on February 12, 2008 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently the only discipline Hillary's campaign had was keeping anything from below reaching her ears unless it's stovepiped thru the Five at the top and making sure that not a peep is leaked from any of the inside deliberations on how to proceed. I guess that's why she remained the soulless technocrat for so long and has blown this race.

Posted by: markg8 on February 12, 2008 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, an anti-Clinton hit piece! Never seen one of those before.

I voted Obama, but before taking this piece as gospel I'd like to see a bit more corroboration. After the anti-Clinton pile-on in the 90's, the DC press corps doesn't deserve automatic credibility.

Posted by: jimBOB on February 12, 2008 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for that, markg8. So that's what discipline means. It means top-down total control that in the end deprived the candidate of vital facts and advice.

Posted by: paxr55 on February 12, 2008 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

Can we just ban or pelt with bean bags the people who write comments like this:

"I voted for Obama, but Hillary is the greatest world leader of all time and this criticism of her is insane, sexist, unhinged, and worse than killing puppies. If I were you, I'd vote for Hillary. But I voted for Obama. Go Obama!"

I've seen it on the other side, too. Enough already.

Posted by: Orson on February 12, 2008 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

The telecom bill was passed today, the one that expanded administrative powers.

John McCain voted for it.
Of all people, Jim Webb voted for it.
Hillary Clinton didn't vote for it, or against it. She abstained.
Barack Obama voted against it.

I'm feeling like a donation is in order.

Posted by: Boorring on February 12, 2008 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

Talk about timing...

My husband has been stuck for hours on a major conduit from the DC Beltway to points south. Sleet and freezing rain resulted in a crash on I-95 South, causing a major backup from there back onto the Beltway. The ramp is now frozen solid. I-395 leading into DC is closed, as well. There has also been a 20-car crash in Prince George's County, Maryland on a fly-away ramp over the Beltway.

I've heard talk they're going to leave the polls open another hour, but that may not help... My husband, like many others, I'm sure, decided to wait until this evening to vote. He told me this morning he was going to vote for Obama.

Posted by: pol on February 12, 2008 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

Pol: Bless your husband's heart, that's WRETCHED. What a horrid way to spend an evening. I hope that he does manage to vote tonight.

Reading Joshua Green's article, I see a lot of parallels between Hillary Clinton and George Bush--the emphasis on personal loyalty, the arrogance, for example. And apparently in Solis-Davis, Hillary had her own Alberto Gonzales.

And in the wings is Bill Clinton, pulling his ethics-free high jinks--I'm thinking particularly of his appalling stunt in Kazakhstan that netted his foundation $30 million from his grateful crony. As a former president (and potentially future president's husband), he has a responsbility to behave with probity. I can just imagine what he'd get up to as co-president, not answerable to any electorate.

If I weren't already planning to vote for Obama, that article would have convinced me to do so. We've had more than enough of the Bush/Clinton poison in the last 15 years.

Posted by: Helena Montana on February 12, 2008 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

Maryland polls will remain open until 9:30, thanks to a judge's ruling. Hope that helps your husband, pol.

Posted by: Vincent on February 12, 2008 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

Michael Kelly

That fucker ruined the Atlantic.

Posted by: Brojo on February 12, 2008 at 8:09 PM | PERMALINK

Liberal Democrats should be very wary of journalists from the Atlantic and hacks from the National Review bashing Clinton or endorsing Obama. The right wing press must want Obama to beat Clinton for a reason, and whatever that reason is, it is not to choose the best president for these United States.

Posted by: Brojo on February 12, 2008 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK

I think the media overrates and exagerrates the talents and impact of campaign managers and consultants. Hillary is in the position she is today becauee of Hillary.

The story was very interesting in gossipy sort of way, but it really never conveyed what Doyle's strengths and weaknesses were, or what Williams supposed strengths are. I get that they are each close and loyal to Hillary. I don't get what Doyle did wrong. I can't remember seeing either Doyle or Williams being interviewed. Are they accomplished people?

Any why does Hillary need to "fire" Doyle. It could be handled in a much smoother manner. Hillary claims that Doyle is staying on and Williams is just more help. Why wasn't it announced that way? It seems like another bad tactical move by the Clintons and even has a raise issue - fire the Hispanic and promote the Black?

The rise of Williams is entertaining in a way, along with the rest of the cast, such as Ickies and even Bagala. They never go away. Williams was the one who snuck stuff out of Vince Foster's office after he committed suicide, then lied about doing it. Now, 15 years later, she is top dog in the Clinton campaign.

Posted by: brian on February 12, 2008 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

Hello Kevin,

My name is Sean Simms and I am with the Joshua Assessment Group, Inc. www.joshuag5.com. I was watching Chris Matthews on msnbc at about 7:30 pm. februsry 12, 2008, today. He had an african-american lady who I believe was a political strategist. I caught the tail-end of the interview which ended with Chris talking about the "number of watermelons would be high or numerous". Why would Mr. Matthews make "watermelon" comments while talking to an african-american. The young lady was obviously stunned by the comment. Mr. Matthews quickly ended the interview. I told my business partner, Desiree Dodson, who said that she knew you and that I should send in my comment. I also checked the bloggers to see if anyone had picked up the comment. There weren't any postings. Is this what Mr. Obama is up against in the U.S.A.?
Is there an underlying hidden river of racism in the media?
I say, shame on Chris Matthews. What say you?

Posted by: SEAN SIMMS on February 12, 2008 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK



All of us say "shame on Chris Matthews."

But I've been watching indefatigably through dinner preparation and have not seen this segment.

Methinks you need to meet Norman Rogers the satirist. He had a scenario at the Wiggly Piggly (is it Piggly Wiggly, I don't know. Denver, ya know), and a grocery cart piled high, that may resonate with you.

Great good luck!

Posted by: paxr55 on February 12, 2008 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

I did not see the comment, but if you watched Matthews, you would know he is in love with Obama and is no racist.

Posted by: brian on February 12, 2008 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

Same for me. I watched Hardball but didn't note any statements about watermelons. I could have drifted off for a minute or two though. That sounds even too crazy for Chris. Btw, the black woman was a Republican strategist.

Posted by: nepeta on February 12, 2008 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

Just googled "Chris Matthews watermelons". Lots of hits *grin* but none from today.

Posted by: nepeta on February 12, 2008 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

"The telecom bill was passed today, the one that expanded administrative powers.

John McCain voted for it.
Of all people, Jim Webb voted for it.
Hillary Clinton didn't vote for it, or against it. She abstained.
Barack Obama voted against it.

I'm feeling like a donation is in order."

I forget...how did obama vote on that kyle/lieberman bill?

Posted by: what on February 12, 2008 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary can't manage her way out of a paper bag. It showed in her Hillarycare fiasco back in the day, and it shows now in her completely dysfunctional campaign. By now it's obvious she'd be a disaster as President. She's actually much like Shrub in her management style: vindictive and interested only in loyalty from her subordinates, not competence. Both the country and the Democratic Party will be fortunate if tonight is the beginning of the end of her campaign.

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on February 12, 2008 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

I've had this feeling for a while, that H. Clinton had something disturbing in common with the current administration -- a political apparatus that's as large and active as the policy apparatus.

Posted by: Erik With A K on February 12, 2008 at 9:42 PM | PERMALINK

She is way ahead in Ohio. Let's wait and see what happens. It sounds like the campaign got off track so let's see if they can turn it around. The true character of a person comes out when they are down and loosing. We will see Hillary's ability to fight back yet again.

Posted by: Leslie on February 12, 2008 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

Two normal guys and an Obamazooid decide to go to the desert. They each bring one thing.

The first guy brings water so they don't dehydrate.

The second guy brings food so they don't starve to death.

The Obamazooid says, "I brought a car door so if it gets hot, I can just roll down the window!"

Posted by: elmo on February 12, 2008 at 10:32 PM | PERMALINK


Are you still here? I thought dad tied you to the roofrack and taped your mouth closed.

We'll check on you later.

Posted by: paxr55 on February 12, 2008 at 10:45 PM | PERMALINK

How do you get an Obamazoid off your front porch?

You pay for your pizza!

Posted by: elmo on February 12, 2008 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

elmo grow the fuck up. Paxr55, you too. Enough of these childish sniping and name calling already.

Posted by: GOD on February 12, 2008 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

Why don't Obamazooids eat barbecue beans?

Because they keep falling through the holes in the grill.

Posted by: elmo on February 12, 2008 at 11:05 PM | PERMALINK

I used to take over and managing failing projects. Usually the person that came in before me had lots of political credentials in the company. When the project began to fail, he used them to bail out.

The problem is ego related. The fact is you can't do everything or know everything or own everything and expect staff to thrive under difficult situations.

I usually gather the staff together and asked them where we were and who's doing what and what needed to be done but wasn't getting attention. I let them make a list. From that a stop gap plan was implemented. Then I studied and reviewed and sought some additional comments came up with a comprehensive list of where things are and what needed to be done.

Then I presented that list to the team and asked them if anything was left out or if something should be taken out. Then I asked them what order it should be in. Then I asked them who was going to do what. People automatically gravitedated and volunteered to do the jobs that they wanted to do. That's it. At that point they take ownership.

Any jobs that went unspoken for, then its my job to go out and get those resources.

The last thing is to talk about dates. When can things be done. Then impose the externally determined dates when things have to be done and whether or not those dates could be met.

If more resources are needed to reach those dates, it was my job to go get them.

At that point you can sit back and watch people worth there heads off, on their own volition. The only thing you have to do is have periodic meetings to see how people are doing against the list. Peer pressure is an important motivator. If all the other team members are busting their but to meet a date, the guy that's slacking feels terrible and steps up. Again, you don't have to say a thing - just let the process and the environment take care of things. Most people have eyes and ears and brains and can figure stuff out - you don't have to tell them.

Also, you have to make people feel comfortable. You embrace the goofyiest personality, that makes everyone feel safe. You must make mistakes that everyone sees and also let everyone see you work through fixing the mistake. Then they feel safe to make mistakes, and when they feel safe to make mistakes, they feel safe to take chances. You must be humble and very approachable. If someone runs into a problem you want to here about closer to the first instance than the last - because the problem may require added resources and that's your job and it has a lag time.

I used to do this all the time. All it takes is a list, getting peoples buy-in and aligning them with the right tasks and peoples buy-in. You also have to have a feel for people. But the main thing is the list made through an open process.

The project manager before me was usually hands on, and had all kinds of time lines and spread sheets and resource diagrams out the yin yang or highly detailed MS project plans, usually kind of arrogant and unapproachable and exhibited control freak tendancies. etc...

On several occasions I got called Columbo because I was usually relaxed and slightly disheveled and they thought I was letting stuff fall through the cranks, but in the end, my projects got done in half the time it took other people to fail doing the same thing.

I'm not sure how a campaign works. But if its anything like large IT projects, the key is not to be a control freak, don't assume you know everything (or have to for that matter), and be approachable for bad news.

Posted by: Pallomine on February 13, 2008 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

How do Obamazooids practice safe sex?

They get rid of all the animals that kick.

Posted by: elmo on February 13, 2008 at 1:24 AM | PERMALINK

Great post, Pallomine. Really interesting perspective.

Posted by: carl on February 13, 2008 at 2:47 AM | PERMALINK

The Obama people don't hate HRC, contrary to some comments on this thread. HRC remains very popular among Democrats generally. Some people are filled with irration anti-HRC animus. But by and large, they'd never vote for a Democrat, anyway. What you do see is a sizeable number of people who are turned off by HRC carefully constructed, polled- and focused-grouped public persona. She's a phony, and is simply grating to listen to. (She might not be a phony in private, but that's not the issue here.) I'll vote for her, if she gets the nomination--unless she steals it via Michigan and Florida, as she is actively attempting, in further testimony to her sterling character. But I don't have to like her. And no, there are plenty of other women I would vote for.

Posted by: Matt on February 13, 2008 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

She's a phony? Shut the fuck up Matt. If her intentions for becoming president are not to take the country in a better direction, then what are they? Since you are so smart and shit...

Posted by: elmo on February 13, 2008 at 9:17 AM | PERMALINK


Posted by: mhr on February 13, 2008 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

grating to listen to

I hear that a lot from W. Bush Republicans. Of course, their voices and attitudes are much more grating.

I have always enjoyed Sen. Clinton's personality. It is her votes, or non-votes, that I dislike.

Posted by: Brojo on February 13, 2008 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

Frankly, I doubt that the average voters cares much about Patti Doyle or Maggie Williams. This kind of stuff is only for hacks and junkies--like me, and most of you.

Posted by: John Petty on February 13, 2008 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

I don't think Hillary is a phony any more than any other politician, really. I think she's a political player and I think she's got a lot of baggage. For some, a political player is what they are looking for in a candidate. To me, it's a guarantee of business as usual. I want to see politics broaden to incorporate people who are not simply the next in the line of succession to get a particular job. I see Clinton as being analogous to Kerry in 2004. Experienced, groomed to be the next President by the DNC, and someone who just can't connect outside of their core constituency (sp?)

So much of the Presidency is about being the public face of the entire party, and it's not a role that I think suits Clinton. I think we'd be much better served with her as Senate Majority Leader or Secretary of State.

Just my two cents.

Posted by: Quinn on February 13, 2008 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

Now the Hispanic community (rather, the irrationally "sensitive" sector of it) is mad that Hillary fired Doyle (sounds Irish anyway, heh.) Well, many people are getting tired of those who simply refuse to see rational reasons for doing X to one of their own, even when the evidence is there.

Posted by: Neil B. on February 13, 2008 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, good. Lucas has dropped by to inform us that the "Latino community" is very upset. He doesn't say which "Latino community"--Bolivians, or Brazilians, or Chileans, or Colombians, or Costa Ricans, or Cubans, or Dominicans, or Ecuadorans, or Salvadorans, or Guatemalans, or Hondurans, or Mexicans, or Nicaraguans, or Panamanians, or Paraguayans, or Peruvians, or Puerto Ricans, or
Uruguayans, or Venezuelans--but, then, I imagine to him we all look alike.

Now, =I'm= not upset, but I'm probably one of those low-information voters who hasn't yet figured out that any act (or remark) by the Clintons--even the replacement of an ineffective campaign operative--is secretly racist. Yesterday, African-Americans bad, today us. Or is it the other way around?

By the way, I've been tipped by a clone of Lucas that the clue is to watch Senator Clinton's eyeliner--if she wears brown eyeliner, she doesn't like Latinos. If she wears black eyeliner, she doesn't like African-Americans. No eyeliner means she hates everybody. You heard it here first.

Posted by: espiritu guardian on February 13, 2008 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK



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