Updated Post: Video and Mark Penn memorandum added. Don’t miss our latest polls section at right hand column with growing Hillary leads in Nevada and Iowa.
[Note: As usual join us tonight for our debate coverage. CNN 8:00 p.m. (ET)]
As the last Democratic debate was ending we detected an immediate upsurge in anger from Hillary supporters.
By the next day the anger had spilled into the open. Joy Behar, of The View, spoke for many of us. On the Friday of the week we wrote A Terrible Resolve to describe the reaction of Hillary supporters to the debate mugging.
Today a new poll empirically confirms what we surmised after that last debate. An American Research Group Iowa poll once again demonstrates that Hillary supporters have solidified their support: 92% of those saying they support Clinton say their support is definite; “50% of those saying they support Edwards say their support is definite; 41% of those saying they support Obama say their support is definite; 67% of those saying they support Richardson say their support is definite.”
During the next 49 days the political winds will smash against all the presidential campaigns. Only the strongest structure will survive. Hillary has withstood 35 years of the fiercest storms.
Losing campaigns, will desperately focus on “plants” and “waitress tips” and insider concerns about “lobbyists” and “personality”. Winning campaigns will focus on the concerns of the American people: Social Security, Health Care, War and Peace, Jobs.
Mark Penn released a memorandum today on LEADERSHIP Mark Penn is right – the Hillary campaign must not get distracted with the games little boys play – Leadership is the issue – leadership on Social Security, Health Care, War and Peace, Jobs:
What is the most important card in this race? The leadership card.
That is the card that we see in poll after poll that analyzes why people are voting for Hillary Clinton.
And so while opponents are strategizing and re-launching their campaigns with aggressive personal attacks on Sen. Clinton, one truth remains – running for president is not a qualification for president.
The voters are looking for someone who has the strength and experience to lead, and little has changed in the last few weeks outside of the massive media coverage of the attacks.
As Senator Clinton has said, change is just a word unless you have the strength and experience to make it happen.
Sidney Blumenthal resigned from Salon yesterday and announced he is joining the Hillary campaign. Here are some of his wise words:
I believe that the reason the Republicans have promoted the talking point that Hillary is unelectable is that they fear that more than any other candidate she can create a majority coalition, win and govern. They fear more than loss in one election; they fear the end of the Republican era beginning with Nixon. They know that she has the knowledge, skill and ability to govern. They know that she has already taken everything they can throw against her and is still standing.
Just as the disintegration of the Democrats brought about the rise of the Republicans, the collapse of the Republicans has created an opening for the Democrats. But the Democrats have been victims of their own false euphoria, sanctimony and illusions before. Now, only the Democrats can revive the Republicans. Nixon, Reagan and Bush were all beneficiaries of Democratic disarray and strategic incompetence. The Democrats have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory before and it can happen again, even under these circumstances, when history is turning the Democrats’ way.
The Democrats at key junctures have been seduced by the illusion of anti-politics to their own detriment. Anti-politics upholds a self-righteous ideal of purity that somehow political conflict can be transcended on angels’ wings. The consequences on the right of an assumption of moral superiority and hubris are apparent. Their plight stands as a cautionary tale, but not only as an object lesson for them. Still, the Republican will to power remains ferocious. The hard struggle will require the most capable political leadership, willing to undertake the most difficult tasks, and grace under pressure.