A third reason Clinton is suffering is because her campaign’s finances were mishandled — again, hardly a mark of presidential leadership. We may never know how much cash was flushed down the drain in Iowa, or how other resources were squandered, but it was considerable. To win a national campaign, you need to husband your resources and budget for the long haul — just in case. Clinton obviously never did. Her campaign is now limping into key post–Super Tuesday contests with a financial disadvantage, and she’s begging Obama to debate her virtually every week to give her free air time (a request he will undoubtedly deny).
Finally, the Clinton campaign underestimated the animus in the country against a female candidate — surprising since her gender is her calling card. Yes, Obama is going to carry the South overwhelmingly because of his hold on the African-American vote. But what’s been ignored is that, in many states in this region, he’s also doing well with the white community. That’s, in part, a tribute to his vote-getting ability, but it is undoubtedly also due to the profound and entrenched sexism in the South. Although pockets of that region still wave Confederate flags, animosity to a female presidential candidate is, on the whole, greater than it is to an African-American one. Had Hillary realized her chances of carrying most Southern states (Florida doesn’t count) were virtually zero, she might have run a very different type of campaign.
Clinton, of course, may still win. If she prevails in Ohio, Texas, and Pennsylvania, it’s hard to believe Democrats will nominate a candidate who failed to carry a single large state other than his own (Illinois). But both Obama and Clinton came into this campaign with huge question marks about their leadership and executive potential. So far, Obama has more than assuaged the doubts about himself. Clinton has only exacerbated them.
Odds: 1-15 | past week: 1-5
Odds: 30-1 | 12-1
Odds: no longer taking bets
Odds: 6-7| past week: 2-1
Odds: 7-6 | 1-2
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: Stark Ravings
, Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, Election Campaigns, More