Friday, February 22, 2008

Official Prediction: Hillary Will Drop Out March 5th.

Several things have led me to this prediction:

1) The Debate The crowd last night seemed MUCH more in favor for Obama, now you could argue that this took place on a University campus (Texas...Hook'em Horns...that is so lame by the way) and thusly the young people would obviously be for Obama, but the people at these debates are usually very involved in the process and they may have been mostly younger people it was clear at several points that they were in his corner. A) When she used that "Xerox" line
Lifting whole passages from someone else's speeches is not change you can believe in, it's change you can Xerox."
, it fell flat and you could actually see the awkwardness in the room floating around. B) When he turned the Commander and Chief question into a diatribe about her vote for the Iraq War. C) When he called her on the "silly stuff" for brining up the plagiarism stuff with Deval Patrick, funnier now that we can see real comparisons between Clinton's last words (which her supporters called her STRONGEST point in the debate last night) and something John Edwards said in a debate earlier in the campaign.

2) The Polls Obama's power in the polls in incredible, and I don't think many people could disagree. Obama is now standing even with Clinton in a recent Texas poll, a place where he was down by 16 points on Valentines Day. 16 points in 8 days is pretty crazy. In Ohio Clinton was up by 21 points on 2/12 in the latest poll taken from 2/16-2/20 she is only up by 7, an improvement of 14 in 8 days as well.

3) The Money There was a terrific article in the New York Time (seems to be less likely nowadays) about campaign finance that paints the Clinton campaign as egregious spenders. Here are some excerpts.
The high-priced senior consultants to Mrs. Clinton, of New York, have emerged as particular targets of complaints, given that they conceived and executed a political strategy that has thus far proved unsuccessful.

The firm that includes Mark Penn, Mrs. Clinton’s chief strategist and pollster, and his team collected $3.8 million for fees and expenses in January; in total, including what the campaign still owes, the firm has billed more than $10 million for consulting, direct mail and other services, an amount other Democratic strategists who are not affiliated with either campaign called stunning.

Howard Wolfson, the communications director and a senior member of the advertising team, earned nearly $267,000 in January. His total, including the campaign’s debt to him, tops $730,000.

3.8 Million???? That is bat-shit crazy to be spending that much on consulting...and getting so little out of it. The campaign doesn't just splurge on consultants however the article goes to say that the Clinton campaign is big on Pizza and Dunkin Donuts.
Even small expenses piled up in January: the campaign spent more than $11,000 on pizza and $1,200 on Dunkin’ Donuts runs.
The article goes on to say that the problem Clinton has run into financially is two-fold: She created a "Top-Down" fund-raising operation where she would rely on a small amount of donors to give the maximum ($4,600) early on in the Primary race therefore her campaign would not be built for the long-haul, something that can clearly be seen as Clinton is 0-10 after Super Tuesday. The 2nd problem is that she has been running this campaign like the president, splurging on everything.
And second, Mr. Trippi said, the Clinton campaign spent money as though the race were going to be over after a handful of states had voted and was not prepared for a contest that would stretch for months. “The problem is she ran a campaign like they were staying at the Ritz-Carlton,” Mr. Trippi said. “Everything was the best. The most expensive draping at events. The biggest charter. It was like, ‘We’re going to show you how presidential we are by making our events look presidential.’ ”

For instance, during the week before the Jan. 19 caucuses in Nevada, the Clinton campaign spent more than $25,000 for rooms at the Bellagio in Las Vegas; nearly $5,000 was spent at the Four Seasons in Las Vegas that week. Some staff members also stayed at Planet Hollywood nearby.
So when you have a fund-raising style that limits how many donors you can have and you spend all that money very liberally because you expect the race
to be over before it does that could put you between a rock and hard place. And that is exactly where Hillary Clinton is.

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