Clinton Needs A New Narrative
Post-primary update: I was wrong about Hillary. As Bill might say, we all make mistakes.
Salem, NH--Something happened to Hillary Clinton between Iowa and New Hampshire: she lost her message. In the final weeks of Iowa, Clinton focused almost exclusively on her record of experience and time in Washington, cloaking herself in the legacy of the 1990s and the shadow of Bill's presidency.
Experience is still virtually the only rationale for her candidacy, particularly the claim that she is the only Democrat prepared to be president on "day one"--a phrase she repeats over and over on the trail. But, in the wake of Iowa, Clinton seems dazed that voters want a fresh start. "I don't know when experience became some sort of liability in running for the highest office in the land," Clinton said last night in Salem. Maybe it's when your time in Washington is symbolized by a vote for an unpopular war, ties to big corporations and a soap opera presidency. Judging from the results in Iowa and the buzz on the ground in New Hampshire, most Democrats think Bill was a good president and Hillary is an able and astute senator, but they are ready for something different and new.