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Campaign (sp)in-fighting

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by Stormchaser John

I woke up this morning with a headache, downed two extra-strength aspirin and was finally able to open my eyes enough to read and write and listen to the telly and hear all about do-overs and Mark Penn and Harold Ickes:

Penn had no real people of his own on the inside and chafed whenever Solis Doyle or Ickes got involved in his sphere. At one point, he and Ickes, who have been battling each other within the Clinton orbit for a dozen years, lost their tempers during a conference call, according to two participants.

"[Expletive] you!" Ickes shouted.

"[Expletive] you!" Penn replied.

"[Expletive] you!" Ickes shouted again.

The full Washington Post article (entitled: "Even in Victory, Clinton Team is Battling").

There's a comment in the article about how the Clintons have encouraged the in-fighting. Whether that's true or not, it does raise the question whether they'd be the ones who could be focused and dispassionate enough to answer that 3AM call correctly.
One of Clinton's favorite books is "Team of Rivals," Doris Kearns Goodwin's account of Abraham Lincoln's Cabinet, and she assembled her own team of advisers knowing their mutual enmity in the belief that good ideas come from vigorous discussion. But while many campaigns are beset by backbiting and power struggles, dozens of interviews indicate that the internal problems endured by the Clinton team have been especially corrosive.
Mark Penn vs. David Axelrod and Joe Trippi (3:40 in):





I look at Senator Obama's campaign staff and see unity, competence and I ask: then why did he lose those three states on Tuesday?


I look at the numbers and find that their claims of math (an 'un-sexy' argument, to be sure, but, hey, I
like math) are accurate -- Senator Clinton's net delegate gain was negligible.

Here's a
Newsweek article that helps to explain.

I heard from a friend that a
memo from the Obama campaign a month ago accurately predicted the March 4th outcomes (nearly to the vote). They were not taken by surprise in the results. What they did not foresee: Saturday Night Live taking sides by displaying a cartoon that ties Senator Obama to Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, when neither have endorsed him. Not as obvious as the support for Senator Clinton that forced the media to fall back on their heels and do everything they could to show they were not for Senator Obama the day before a crucial primary.

That's the very same SNL that is now using Senator Clinton's "It is Saturday Night!" clip on their promos for next Saturday's show.


But, then, the numbers came in as Senator Obama's team had predicted. So, how off-guard were they?
Here's another question: How bad will things get with McCain vs. Obama? McCain vs. Clinton? It may be a good idea, whichever one becomes the candidate, that they have the opportunity to toughen up before facing the Republicans without Senator Clinton's choice to go 'nuclear' in her negativity, which is alienating Democrate and Senator Obama's campaign, whilst they did see the 'kitchen sink' coming, which did not seem to know how to position their candidate in the midst of it.

Does he rise above? Does he attack? Somewhere between? Let surrogates do the work?


David Axelrod will need to figure that out.

Senator Clinton's road-trip down the low-road was, for me, one of the most disheartening experiences of the campaign thus far. I want to like her, I want to support her if she becomes the candidate. I'm having trouble imagining how enthusiastically I will do that if she continues with more of the same.


And those
those emails calling Senator Obama a Muslim... His (correct) response: It was an insult to both his religion and to Muslims by implying there was something wrong in being Muslim. And Senator Clinton's response when she strategically paused when asked if Senator Obama was Muslim ('as far as I know'...).

A president and the accompanying staff should be calm in crisis. A president (and accompany staff) should be able to look down the road and anticipate outcomes. A president and accompanying staff should not make me cringe when I listen to them
.

Smoke-filled rooms must not decide the will of the people. Pressure put on the more popular candidate to throw in the towel (or become VP), because the less popular candidate has more power in Washington must not be the order of the day. Racial and religious smears have no place in the founding father's experiment. Nor does opposition research that outweighs the needs of the people, where political cronyism decides who gets access. Where obvious ploys make it seem like Orwell is vying for the West Wing (not just
the Justice Department...)

I have a headache.