No one wants what the Clinton’s are selling
No one is happy. Not Bill. Not Hillary. Not the Democrats. No one. Apparently.
This afternoon Politico that the Clinton campaign is considering a substantial staffing shakeup following what looks to be a loss in tomorrow’s New Hampshire’s primary.
Hillary and Bill Clinton are so dissatisfied with their campaign’s messaging and digital operations they are considering staffing and strategy changes after what’s expected to be a loss in Tuesday’s primary here, according to a half-dozen people with direct knowledge of the situation.
The Clintons — stung by her narrow victory in Iowa — had been planning to reassess staffing at the campaign’s Brooklyn headquarters after the first four primaries, but the Clintons have become increasingly caustic in their criticism of aides and demanded the reassessment sooner, a source told POLITICO.
The talk of shake-up echoes what happened in 2008 – when Clinton was on the verge of sacking her campaign manager and several top communications officials – before her surprise win here bailed out her beleaguered staff. Over time, however she slowly layered over top officials, essentially hiring old hands – like Hillaryland stalwart Maggie Williams and pollster Geoff Garin – to run the campaign while the previous staff were quietly relegated to subsidiary positions.
It’s not clear if that will happen again, but several people close to the situation said Clinton would be loathe to fire anyone outright and more inclined to add new staff.
“The Clintons are not happy, and have been letting all of us know that,” said one Democratic official who speaks regularly to both. “The idea is that we need a more forward-looking message, for the primary – but also for the general election too… There’s no sense of panic, but there is an urgency to fix these problems right now.”
Ultimately, the disorganization is the candidate’s own decision-making, which lurches from hands-off delegation in times of success to hands-around-the-throat micromanagement when things go south.
At the heart of problem this time, staffers, donors and Clinton-allied operatives say, was the Clinton’s decision not to appoint a single empowered chief strategist – a role the forceful but controversial Mark Penn played in 2008 – and disperse decision-making responsibility to a sprawling team with fuzzy lines of authority.
The announcement is not entirely shocking. Various reports of donor dissatisfaction with Hillary’s inability to gain traction have been bouncing around for months. Then of course, there was this handy chart published by the WaPo last month:
These campaign ills are all too familiar.
2008 called, they want their campaign problems back.
Wow. 8 years and 4 days apart. pic.twitter.com/p0yhaGxhMa
— Rory Cooper (@rorycooper) February 8, 2016
And you know what they say about those who refuse to understand history…
That one’s going to leave a mark:
— GOP (@GOP) February 8, 2016
Maybe the problem isn’t with how they’re marketing the product but with the product itself.
— Chris Cillizza (@TheFix) February 8, 2016
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