Monday, June 04, 2007

Not Leading In The Polls Is Good News At This Point

  • You have nowhere to go but up.
  • Voters love the underdog.
  • You paint Hillary as an insider, and yourself as a outsider in more ways than one.
  • As the leader of the pack, her mistakes are more visible.
  • She will not increase her lead.
  • If her lead narrows, that will be news material.
  • Team Hillary is going to become complacent. They don't have an opponent, who do they fight?
  • Early lead means you flame out early. Remember Howard Dean?
  • All the underdog candidates target the lead candidate while you sharpen your claws in the wings.
  • You are more relaxed as you work hard, prepare hard. It is easier for you to keep working the fundamentals. A more intense media glare might have come in the way.
What Should Be The Strategy?

Assign one top staffer to follow Bill Clinton like a shadow. That guy will do a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g to get his wife elected. Barack Obama registered voters in Chicago for Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign. It is possible Obama is in awe. And that is normal. Bill Clinton is as good as they come. But now he is an opponent.

Bill Clinton can't afford to hog the show. He knows that. But that guy can hit you when he is sound asleep. He has been cultivating his reflexes for so long.

In Selma, Bill Clinton arranged for Obama to share the dais with him when he was awarded a major civil rights prize. You might be black, but what have you done for blacks? I have.

On Larry King Live, Bill Clinton hit hard. He said "unlike some people who can't wait to get out of the US Senate." That was not a 30 second hit job. It was a five second hit job. And it worked wonders. It is like this Fox news spit where the news anchor is talking about Obama and showing a sex offender sign on the screen. That works especially for those who are not warm about Obama.

My first choice is Obama-Hillary. My second choice is Hillary-Obama.

You don't run for second place.

Obama evened out Hillary in the first quarter. But then he let his guard down. He slackened.

Hits Will Come, They Already Have

A new kind of politics is a good idea. You don't engage in the politics of personal destruction. But just because I might be having a good day does not mean the law of gravity has gone out the window.

When you get hit, do you become aware you got hit? Or do you go in denial? When you get hit, do you hit back? Rapid response does not have to be mean, but it can not be absent.

Hit: "Unlike some people who can't wait to get out of the US Senate."
Response: "I announced my candidacy in response to the calling I felt as I crisscrossed the country for the 2006 election. I felt this hunger for leadership among the people. Besides I am older than Bill Clinton was in 1992."

Hit: "I am not ceding any vote anywhere to anyone."
Response: An event to show you are wildly popular on Wall Street.

Money, Message, Organization

Keep working rapid response. But the competition is on substance. And that is good.

The June 9 cross country Walk For Change is a great idea and will give us a huge boost.

Camp Obama is another great idea. You train volunteers.

Obama raised more money than Hillary during the first quarter. That shows he is starting out on even ground. People love him. Race is not an issue. He is not biracial. His appeal is that he is postracial.

So if he does not keep raising more money than Hillary, it will be because he failed in the other two departments.

When you got hit, did you see you got hit? If you did not, voters are going to lose respect for you. When you got hit, did you hit back? If you did not, voters are going to lose respect for you. And this has been Obama's number one weakness post-first quarter. That is why he lost so much ground.

If you can't protect yourself, you will not be able to protect the American people. You might have Bill Clinton. But the American people have Al Qaeda. I don't blame the American people if they abandon you because you come across as a guy who will not fight his ground.

If you can't handle Bill Clinton as an opponent - and he is a nice, progressive guy squarely in our camp - how can you handle the Al Qaeda, an organization whose one point agenda is to inflict physical harm on America?

This is basic. A political campaign without a rapid response mechanism is something else, maybe it is an ice hockey team, but not a political campaign.

But it is not too late, not too late at all. We got time.

Money and organization work in the background. If they don't work well, message alone will not carry the day. But out front and center is the message.

Hillary will make you work hard, and that is the way it should be. She is smart, hardworking, practical, seasoned. You got to innovate.

There are some obvious Obama advantages.

Hillary's vote to launch the Iraq War, now that is the albatross around her neck.

Albatross - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

If she manages to turn her Iraq War vote into a nonissue, she wins. But she can not be allowed to do that. How can her vote that launched the war be a nonissue in an election where that war is front and center?

Hillary lost this election in 2002. It is a judgment issue. She lacks the wisdom, the judgment, the foresight.

The second big issue is health care. Hillary says she will deliver in eight years. You say four. You hammer that point. You say Hillary's health care plan sounds like a reelection campaign, and she has not even been elected yet. Why do you need eight? If you can't do it in four, chances are you can't do it in eight either. It is not about having more time. It is about having the guts, the skills, the gameplan.

In The News

Craig Crawford’s Trail Mix: Clinton Keeps Her Lead in New ... New York Times Clinton did more than hold her own in the face-off aired by CNN. She won. ...... the New York Democrat came across as the boss. Her opponents frequently paid their respects to Clinton and her husband .... In two of the most telling moments of the night, Clinton all but took control of the debate as moderator Wolf Blitzer entangled other candidates with hypothetical scenarios about pursuing terrorists. In both cases she interrupted the discussion to defend her foes on the grounds that such speculative questions were out of line, gaining the applause of the studio audience and admiring glances from the other hopefuls. At those moments you could see that until someone finds a way to change things, Clinton owns this nomination race.
Carl Bernstein Book: Hillary Clinton is 'Soulless' her deep fears that she would be indicted in the scandals involving her Whitewater land deal in Arkansas or the missing billing records from the law firm where she worked. .... the book outlines a journey that took the former first lady from being a passionate advocate of deeply held causes to an insincere, soulless politician. ..... Bernstein sees Clinton as having lost much of the advocacy and genuineness that early in her career made her a passionate attorney and campaigner. Now, he says her tenure in the U.S. Senate has been "poll-driven, focus group-driven and devoid of controversy." ...... The book joins scads of books written about Clinton, from her own autobiography to hatchet jobs by political foes.
The missing candidate Boston Globe THE NEXT time the Democrats debate, they should pull out a chair for Bill Clinton. ..... When asked to give his "definition of rich," Senator Barack Obama of Illinois referenced tax policy "back to when Clinton was in office."
Why Americans don't like Hillary Clinton Town Hall, DC a sense of this woman that already turns so many off. Cold, ruthless, manipulative, dishonest. .... a hard core left winger dressed up as a moderate for public consumption. ..... Current law, Roe V. Wade, that permits abortion, is supported by barely more than half the country. Seventy percent of those polled say that partial birth abortion, the late-term destruction of the infant, should be illegal. ..... broken government systems that are failing Americans (our inner city public schools, our social security system, Medicare, Medicaid) .... When I stand in the security lines in the airport, I think about what it will be like in the health clinics in the era of Hillary Care.
The Reviews on Clinton Are In Campaigns & Elections (press release) She presented herself as a uniter within the party. She had a sense of humor. She was charming. She got a great laugh with her Goldwater line about shooting straight. I thought it was her best performance ....... it was Hillary Clinton’s night. I thought she won this debate ...... "I thought it was Hillary's best night as a public figure. Issue after issue, she was dominant." ..... “Senator Clinton went in as the frontrunner, coming out as the frontrunner…I thought she might have even made some points tonight.” ..... “Interesting how Clinton is handling some of these exchanges -- like she did with healthcare, she's welcoming the rest of the field to where she has been for some time. Makes her look, dare we say, presidential…I think Clinton is doing what she sought out to do -- riding slightly above the conversation on stage, and weighing in forcefully when necessary.” ....... Clinton came across natural, forceful, knowledgeable and kept her cool when put under the microscope

Greenspan: Book Has Surprises The former Fed chief hit BookExpo America to promote his forthcoming memoir, for which he reportedly nabbed an $8.5 million advance ....... Greenspan was the keynote speaker at BookExpo America, the book-publishing industry's annual trade show ..... Reflecting on his frequent bouts of Congressional testimony, Greenspan admitted to intentional obfuscation. ...... Richard Nixon, he said, suffered from "a split personality" that Greenspan found unsettling. Gerald Ford was, he said, "a marvelous man" who didn't really have the drive to be President. Ronald Reagan, he said, was "not a dunce" as many have suggested, but that he simply "did not get into complexities." And Greenspan told of a meeting with Bill Clinton that he found "absolutely fascinating," as they discussed a wide range of policy matters. ........ The key lesson of 9/11, said Greenspan, is that the U.S. economy is far more flexible and resilient that he'd ever imagined. .... admitted to writing much of his book in longhand while sitting in the bathtub ..... 640 pages long and describes it as a combination memoir and assessment of the global economy.
GE: Still Holding Women Back? He wants his businesses to help save the environment, he waxes eloquent about China and obscure markets in the Middle East, and he talks often about the necessity of diversity in the top ranks ....... claims she—and other executive-level women at GE—are systematically discriminated against. ..... Not only does the company underpay women in comparable jobs held by men, she says, but it promotes them at a slower rate ...... the challenges of tearing down an old-boy culture ...... The new chief executive of GE Infrastructure-Rail, John Dineen, would interrupt women in meetings, she charges, and simply talk over their heads. Junior male colleagues were invited to poker games with senior executives while she was left out. Women allegedly were not invited to a number of important meetings and didn't enjoy them when they were. "He tended to yell and curse," Schaefer told BusinessWeek on May 31. "He felt much more comfortable with men." ............ it's hard to believe that yelling and all-male poker games are accepted hallmarks of management at a company that these days prides itself on innovation and social responsibility ........ the idea that GE has absolute transparency with employees on where they stand and what their prospects are. ....... 14.5% of officers and 15% of the top 400 senior executives now women, vs. 9% and 10% in 2001
Dell's Road to Recovery
an announcement that Dell would cut 10% of its workforce, sparked a 6% rally in the company's stock .... m
Counterfeit Goods Flood Europe

Where The VCs Are Flocking Now
Picking the Perfect Company Headquarters

JFK plot 'to kill thousands'
Dawn of the Ultra-Mobile PC
BusinessWeek GRiDPad, one of the first tablet computers; PalmPilot, the first hit personal digital assistant; and the Treo smartphone ....... his latest brainstorm: Foleo. ...... will sell for $499 after a rebate ...... a nearly full-size keyboard, a 10-inch display, and comes with a selection of applications including a word processor and spreadsheet ...... will be most useful when people also carry smartphones, like Treos or BlackBerrys ...... the electronics industry is determined to create a new category of mobile computing devices ...... products that are smaller than laptops yet larger than smartphones. ..... Laptop computers are more popular than ever, far outpacing the sales growth of desktops, with more than 81 million sold in 2006. ......... The smallest laptops, called subnotebooks, weigh as little as 2 lbs. .... demand is plummeting for PDAs because they can't make phone calls or run many desktop computing applications. ...... Are people really looking for a companion to their phone? Will hard-core business types choose a computer that runs the Linux open-source operating systems rather than Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows? "The yet-another-device philosophy doesn't carry, so to speak, and it's sure as hell not the future of mobile computing," sniffed blogger Ryan Block on the popular Engadget technology Web site. ...... The computer industry is looking for new things to sell as the traditional PC market matures, revenue growth slows, and profit margins become even thinner. ..... the backroom power brokers are Microsoft and Intel ...... weigh less than 3 lbs., have displays smaller than 7 in. across diagonally, and run Windows. ...... so far, UMPC sales haven't made a blip on the industry radar screen ..... The major hangup is Windows. Devices loaded with Vista are expensive, operate sluggishly, and have short battery lives. ....... All the largest PC companies—Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Dell (DELL), and Lenovo (LNVGY)—have been sizing up the 'tweener opportunity, yet none has taken the plunge. "At the moment, we have decided there's no balance between weight, screen size, battery life, and price that would give us something that's meaningful to the end user," says Marc Godin, vice-president of product development for Lenovo's portable division. ....... Palm's Hawkins has faced skepticism about the Foleo concept ever since he began talking it up to colleagues five years ago.
Barack Obama Launches Fragrance for Fundraising The Spoof (satire) With that surge of support, and with innovative campaign finance ideas from younger members of the team, Obama is now launching a cologne with the popular name MyBO.
In Iowa, Clinton Sits at Table 44 New York Times “I plan to spend so much time in Iowa,” she told the crowd, “I’ll be able to caucus for myself before it’s over!” .... the presence of the Clinton campaign seemed to outweigh the other candidates. ..... Standing a few feet away, practically alone, a young man was handing out Obama stickers. That was the extent of the visibility of Senator Barack Obama’s campaign here at the dinner. (His campaign workers had the night off and he was on the West Coast raising money.)
Clinton's woes in Iowa give credence to campaign memo's assessment Tucson Citizen
Poll: Clinton leads Dems; GOP more unsettled AZ
Clinton tell-alls may heat up debate
Newsday the second of eight scheduled showdowns in this year ..... The first debate .... Clinton fared well, Barack Obama struggled and the former first lady has enjoyed a modest bump in national polls since. .... The five current or former senators in the field also are likely to face questions about their decisions to skip reading the 90-plus-page top secret National Intelligence Estimate before voting for the war in 2002. ...... Clinton's refusal to read the document, suggesting her "yes" vote was, in part, motivated by her need to project a strong image. ....... Clinton's rapid-response team, aided by Clinton-connected surrogates

4 Men Charged in Plot to Bomb Kennedy Airport New York Times the four men determined to carry out their attack, having conducted “precise and extensive” surveillance of the airport using photographs, the recollections of the ex-cargo worker and satellite images downloaded from Google Earth. They said the men also traveled repeatedly to Guyana and Trinidad in recent months, seeking to obtain the blessing and financial backing of an extremist Muslim group based in Trinidad and Tobago called Jamaat al-Muslimeen, which was behind a failed coup attempt in Trinidad in 1990. ...... The motive behind the planned attack, Mr. Mershon said, “was a pattern of hatred toward the United States and the West in general.” ..... intelligence officials became aware of the plot in January 2006 ..... An informant with a criminal history including drug trafficking and racketeering agreed to work with investigators on the case, in exchange for payments and a reduced sentence. ..... Though Mr. Defreitas had lived in Brooklyn and Queens, he told the informant that his resentment of the United States hardened into hatred during his years as a cargo worker at the airport. ........ “They love John F. Kennedy,” he said. “If you hit that, this whole country will be in mourning. It’s like you kill the man twice.” ....... Authorities in the United States and Trindad have closely watched the group’s activities since the 9/11 attacks ....... He sold books on a street corner in Queens and would ask his friends to give him their broken air-conditioners and refrigerators. He shipped the items to his girlfriend’s sister in Guyana so she could repair and sell them
At Camp Obama it’s not about sun, fun; it’s about politics Boston Herald
Will MySpace show Barack Obama the money? blogs Hillary Clinton officially has 83,715 MySpace friends; Obama bests the front runner with 90,914 official MySpace friends.

As aide's memo predicted, Iowa not wild about Clinton Houston Chronicle Memo to Hillary Rodham Clinton: Your deputy campaign manager was right. ..... Iowa is "our consistently weakest state." ...... Obama, has drawn large crowds and hired a team of experienced organizers with a deep knowledge of Iowa's arcane caucus system. ........ The state's last three winners captured the Democratic nomination .... Tom Vilsack, the former Iowa governor and national co-chair of Clinton's campaign.
Iowa Presents Problems For Clinton Guardian Unlimited

Obama Web Site Seeks to Rally The Faithful Washington Post Obama is the first of the Democratic presidential contenders to launch a religious outreach Web site
Obama confident he'll gain more Nevada support Reno Gazette Journal Obama said that while other candidates, such as Clinton, have more early endorsements in the state, he will catch up with grass-roots support. ...... "If people feel you're respectful and taking the time to talk to them, if you care about the things they care about, then you can do well regardless of what your background is," Obama said.
Barack Obama addresses thousands at Seattle rally KOMO, WA 3,500 people
Barack Obama Gets Haircut The Spoof (satire), UK

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