PoliticalGround >> The political genius of Hiillary
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|1/9/08 4:50 AM|
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Or more correctly, of the people masterminding her road to the Presidency.
Analysis: Clinton battles back in N.H.
By BETH FOUHY, Associated Press Writer Wed Jan 9, 12:34 AM ET WASHINGTON - Maybe it was the sight of a strong woman finally showing some emotion. ADVERTISEMENT Or maybe it was the "guys" beating her up in a weekend debate. Hillary Rodham Clinton, rocked in Iowa just days ago, scored an upset victory against Barack Obama in the state that salvaged her husband's first run for president 16 years ago. It was female voters who breathed new life into her campaign. Weekend polling indicated Clinton and Barack Obama were running about even among women, but the former first lady went on to best Obama among women by 13-percentage points. Women also voted in much larger numbers than men. What changed during that brief period? Clinton -- looking vulnerable and human. She choked up Monday when asked how she mustered the energy to campaign each day -- a startling display from a woman so tough she appears at times to be cloaked in armor. Many skeptics viewed the unexpected show of emotion as more Clintonian calculation, especially since it came as she delivered a stinging rebuke of Obama. "I just don't want to see us fall backward as a nation," she said, voice breaking. But another totemic moment came in a televised debate Saturday, when she defended herself against Obama and John Edwards as they appeared to double-team against her. And an Obama crack at Clinton about her likability -- "You're likable enough" -- seemed gratuitous and ungracious. To be sure, Obama's message of change continued to be a powerful draw -- a matter Clinton will have to contend with as she retools her message going forward. More than half of Democratic voters were looking for a candidate who could bring changes, while only 20 percent said they were looking for experience. It's been a nagging problem for Clinton, whose long career in public life has made her an unlikely standard-bearer for the kind of transformation voters crave. But fewer young voters turned out for Obama as they did in Iowa, depriving Obama of crucial support. And he lost many independents to Republican John McCain, who won his party's primary in the state. Clinton advisers are now scrambling to determine their strategy after their surprise emergence from the post-Iowa freefall. Clinton was expected to huddle with them Wednesday about her plans going forward before returning to the campaign trail Thursday. Since her loss in Iowa, Clinton's team has been working to retool her message to be more forward-looking and less nostalgic about her husband's White House years. New faces are coming aboard to help craft strategy, including longtime confidante Maggie Williams and Doug Sosnik, who served as political director for President Clinton. They also hope for stronger media scrutiny of Obama in the weeks going forward and are openly furious at what they perceive to have been fawning media coverage of him thus far. Bill Clinton, who campaigned doggedly throughout New Hampshire for his wife, complained bitterly Monday that she had been unfairly treated while Obama had been given a free pass. "The idea that one of these campaigns is positive and the other is negative when I know the reverse is true and I have seen it and I have been blistered by it for months is a little tough to take," the former president said at a campaign forum at Dartmouth College. "Just because of the sanitizing coverage that's in the media doesn't mean the facts aren't out there." And her advisers intend to step up their scrutiny of Obama's record in the coming days and are likely to begin airing negative ads -- the first in what has been a remarkably civil TV battle so far. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080109/ap_on_el_pr/primary_dem_analysis
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