Democratic Presidential contender Hillary Rodham Clinton plans a “campaign-wide house cleaning” if she loses the opening primary season races in Iowa and New Hampshire,” sources within here beleaguered organization tell Capitol Hill Blue.
“Heads will roll,” says one campaign operative. “The word is out.”
Campaign sources say the one-time Democratic Presidential front runner is “clearly agitated and pissed off” at a seemingly unending string of screwups and gaffes by her once smooth-running organization and has expressed her “obvious displeasure” at what she sees as sloppiness within the election effort.
“To put it mildly, she’s pissed,” says a veteran Democratic consultant. “If she loses Iowa and New Hampshire she will start chopping off heads and will bring in new blood. She has to because her campaign is in trouble.”
Before her seemingly insurmountable lead vanished, Clinton’s campaign was considered a smooth-running machine headed for an easy set of victories in the early primaries. Instead, the campaign has been rocked by resignations after embarrassing emails about opponent Barack Obama, returned donations from questionable sources and even campaign literature sent out with the wrong dates to vote.
“Hillary may become the Howard Dean of 2008,” says one Democratic activist, referring to Dean’s public meltdown after he lost the Iowa caucuses in 2004. “The machine is broken and she hasn’t found the right mechanic to fix it yet.”
One of those mechanics, husband and former President Bill Clinton, may do more damage than good.
Editorializes the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Sen. Hillary Clinton’s once-sure bid for the Democratic presidential nomination is now not so sure. Her lead vanished without warning in Iowa and New Hampshire – and maybe elsewhere as well.
Was it due to her waffling on issues like the Iraq war and driver’s licenses for illegal aliens? Or was her campaign too smug – like that of similarly sputtering Republican front-runner Rudy Giuliani – assuming she should be coronated by the polls and media rather than having to fight for the nomination tooth and nail?
Or is it just that her upbeat, confident rival, Barack Obama – with a little help from Oprah – is surging as he bests her in back-and-forth quips?
Hillary’s campaign so stalled that her advisers have tried dredging up Obama’s kindergarten essays and his admitted drug use. And now they’re resorting to flying in Bill Clinton to save the day. Some polls and conventional wisdom suggest he may yet restore his wife’s fortunes.
But Bill’s not exactly a fireman. He may instead throw gasoline on the fire.
First, his vote-getting abilities are suspect. He never won 50 percent of the vote in a presidential election. That fact and the embarrassment of his impeachment were why Vice President Al Gore kept him away from his 2000 campaign. True, Bill’s presence is said to resonate with African American voters, but most may prefer Obama anyway, as polls now show in South Carolina.
For Hillary Clinton, what once appeared to be an easy ride to the nomination is over.
Hillary Clinton on Friday denied her White House campaign was in disarray, despite sliding poll ratings and an uproar sparked by an aide who questioned her rival Barack Obama’s drug history.
“If I had listened to … the Washington chattering class, I would not be standing here would I?” Clinton told reporters, as controversy and reports of campaign turmoil swirled around her 2008 president bid.
“I believe in trusting my own instincts. I feel very, very good about the case that I am making.”
New signs of weakness in her presidential big came less than a month before the first nominating contest in the race, the Iowa caucuses, and amid an Obama surge in the polls.