The campaign was experience vs. change. And it wasn’t just change. It was change wrapped in smiling charm. I’m of course talking about 1992. Bill Clinton faced off with George H.W. Bush. There was no doubt that Bush was more experienced. But darn it people just liked Bill Clinton, who seemed like…well…one of the folks. The Clinton campaign rode Bill’s roguish likeability all the way to the White House.
That’s why it’s so suprising that Hillary’s campaign has decided to march under the banner of experience. It didn’t work then. It may not work now.
I’ve read in a few places that Bill Clinton is very frustrated with the campaign and will be taking a more assertive role in the campaign. This would seem to be a major mistake. What Bill doesn’t understand is that what he did can’t be repeated by just anyobody.
In the same vein, Magic Johnson will never be a great NBA coach. Magic Johnson was…well…magic. He didn’t have to think. He somehow just knew where the ball had to go at just the right time. He probably couldn’t explain it.
On the other hand, a stellar player for the North Carolina Tar Heels in the early 1960s, the 5′ 9″ Lary Brown was too small to play in the NBA and so began his professional career with the NABL’s Akron Wingfoots. He later led the ABA in assists. Larry Brown knows who the ball needs to go to and why because he studied it. What he lacked in natural ability he made up for with practice and study. He can explain it. He can teach it. And he became one of the most succesful coaches in the history of the game.
And I think Bill Clinton has more Magic Johnson in him than he has Larry Brown. Bill’s going to tell Hillary to go out there and be likeable. I don’t think Hillary knows how to do that. I think Hillary somewhere along the line sacrificed a little bit of herself to get to the White House the first time.
Her tears yesterday sparked a controversy. Were they real? Contrived? I believe they were completely real. She was crying about herself. Someone (perhaps another planted question) asked her how she stayed so wonderful. I’m not kidding. That was the question. And she cried about how hard she had it. She cried because she was misunderstood. She cried because she might not get to be President. She cried, darn it, because the people weren’t following her plan.
I still believe Clinton will be her party’s nominee. The media will turn on Obama and call Hillary “The Comeback Kid Redux” and every news story will be her smiling again and giving thumbs up to phantom people in the crowd. And the media will point to some moment which changed everything but in fact, it will be because the media got bored with Obama. She will have gone through the media cycle for Democrats of being lauded, scorned, pitied and finally admired.