A House Divided…

18 08 2008

Martin Moleski
mmoleski@igpr.com

I read one of the most fascinating presidential campaign articles this past week. Having worked on many different kinds of campaigns, I do my best to pay attention to how the presidential campaigns are running, examine what is/is not working and offer my analysis to anyone who will hear it. That mostly falls on my brother and one of our graphic designers, both of whom are ready for “Change We Can Believe In.” I’ll get back to that in a moment. First…the aforementioned article.

It's YOUR fault!!

It's YOUR fault!!

Joshua Green of the Atlantic gives the best insight, so far, into the fall of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. The article starts with this devastating paragraph:

Hillary Clinton’s campaign was undone by a clash of personalities more toxic than anyone imagined. E-mails and memos—published here for the first time—reveal the backstabbing and conflicting strategies that produced an epic meltdown.

How can you not keep reading? The e-mails and memos show a campaign in chaos that failed on multiple fronts. First, the Clinton campaign failed to establish a unifying message that eventually tore the campaign staff into two conflicting teams. Second, the campaign did not prepare for a primary season that lasted until June 3 and ignored warnings that Clinton would be unable to mathematically catch Obama after he won 11 straight contests following Super Tuesday on Feb. 5.  Finally, the campaign suffered due to a lack of understanding that tactical implementation is critical.

I’ve never worked on a presidential campaign, so I can’t even begin to imagine having to lay the groundwork for a nationwide campaign. However, if I was being paid millions of dollars to do it…i’d do my damn best to figure it out quickly. I have, though, worked on multiple campaigns in Northeast Ohio and two things never change. First, stick to your message. I’ve found great success by crafting a strategic message, based on polls, and never straying from it. Second, poor planning will eventually catch up to you. What this article shows is a campaign team that did not know who was in charge of making critical decisions and implementing the many tactics that go into running a campaign. Weeks would go by before a decision was made, and in a 24/7 news world we now live in, her campaign suffered immensely.

Back to Obama’s now famous tagline (no need to type it again). Do you now understand how important those five words are? If you don’t, try to remember Hillary Clinton’s message. Yah, I don’t know it either.

Click here to read the rest of Joshua Green’s article, The Front-Runner’s Fall.

On a side note, the article earned Green a spot on the set of Meet the Press this past Sunday. I thought he did very well, as did David Gregory, who hosted for the first time since Tim Russert’s death.  I’ve been disappointed by Tom Brokaw in previous weeks, and I thought Gregory did a good job preparing for the show and not letting his partisanship come through. He actually seemed to praise Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for how the administration was dealing with Russia’s involvement in Georgia.

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