Hillary’s problem Children

No, not Chelsea. In fact, she shows more class than the whole group of campaign staffers, especially those on top.

It is clear that Hillary has a problem. No, several problems. Money, dead growth patterns, fading poll indicators, and trends that not just worrisome, but deadly for a campaign. Let’s start with $$, then move on the the IDs of her problem children.

Obama has raised 6.8 million in 1.5 days since the Tuesday superprimary. Hillary claims 2+ million. Obama earned 32 million in January, Hillary was so cash short, she loaned 5 million to her campaign.
Obama did well in caucuses, Hillary overspent so badly in Iowa, that her budget is blown.

She dropped her separate plane. She forced top aids, except for Mark Penn, to take paycuts or work for free. She has stopped polling in January (after spending close to 3 million spent on them in November and December) She has not had a focus group in January. And she spent 4 million on Penn. TV Ad buys are out for February, and they are holding off filming any new ones until the March dates come closer.

Bad news, no matter how you spin it.

Now, for the cause of her woes, Hillary’s problem children.

Patti Soliz Doyle
Mark Penn
Howard Wolfson
Bill Clinton

Campaign Manager Soliz Doyle
Soliz Doyle is an idiot. She is inexperienced, and she makes up for that defect by turning up her already aggresssive, attacking, demanding, and insulting behavior. Her selection shocked people, who expected an experienced, steady hand to run her campaign, especially when you had massive egos to deal with.

Hillary is in a catch-22. Soliz Doyle aggressively controls access to Hillary, so it is hard for outsiders to warn Hill about her top aide. Even if she did know, firing the top ranking Hispanic in charge of a national campaign would threaten Hill’s somewhat shaky majority support from the Hispanic community. Firing her might be a great internal policy move, but it would also be a PR disaster.

Pollster and policy maker Mark Penn.
Seeing him on TV has convinced me that he has a unique genetic make-up. He is physically incapable of answering a question directly. You can tell when he spins a lie because his lips move. Penn, notorious for trianglating Bill’s presidency, with the help of that toe-sucker Morris, is doing the same for Hillary’s campaign. He personally has earned 4 million to date, and spent close to 3 million more on polls last year. He refuses to cut his fees or price tag.

Again, Hillary selected Morris-Penn for Bill’s presidency. It is inconceivable that she would drop him now. In fact, consider Hillary’s 5 mill loan to her campaign more of a pledge to Mark Penn, that she will follow his advice and continue to pay his fees.

Howard Wolfson
The best thing that can be said for Howard is that he pisses people off at only half the rate that Penn does, and only about a quarter as much as Soliz-Doyle. His insights are said to be more of a mirror of Hillary, than a separate, independent voice. Not quite sycophantic, but neither is he a voice of reason, of insight, or of creative difference.

He is experienced, he has been FOH as long as he was a FOB. Given the stress, the demands, the need for close support, especially in a 24/7 cycle during the primary season, it is also inconceivable that she would kick out a supporter with such a loyal pedigree.

Bill Clinton
Of all her children, he is the most problematic.
His recent good behavior, based on threats, cajoling, threats, and demands from Hillary and all top staffers, will last no later than February 12, 2008, (one week past Sper Tuesday) when his patience (already limited) and his conviction that he knows best (growing with each bit of bad news), combined with his ego, will result in yet another “sly as a fox” attack on Obama, at the worst possible time. Bill has already convinced many indie and moderates that they don’t WANT HIM back in the White House. One more explosion, guaranteed to happen, may be enough to force him off the campaign trail.

But she can’t. She cannot control him, nor can she kick him of the campaign. For one thing, he won’t let her. Not only would he not agree, if forced, he might simply go off on his own, on his own terms. That tiny bit of control that the campaign still has over Bill would be shattered forever. At least, by keeping him deep within the fold, they can try to minimize his bad boy act.

Much has been written elsewhere about the cognitive and structural dissidence that has permeated the Clinton campaign from day 1. Soliz-Doyle bears much of the blame. But just as bad, Wolfson, Penn, and Bill all have huge egos, and are used to simply getting their way. When they do march in lockstep to the benefit of the campaign, she does well. But the reason you never see admirals, army, air force, and marine generals march together, is because each of them think that their cadence alone is the right one. And that image is precisely why Hillary has so many problems deep inside her campaign.