Tuesday, January 08, 2008

How Do You Mount A Comeback When You're The Frontrunner? With a Little Help from Iowa, CNN and FOX News

With apologies to L.L. Cool J, DO call it a comeback. In 1992, an overlooked Bill Clinton began a massive surge to the Presidency when he shocked the world with a second place finish in New Hampshire, causing him to be annointed "The Comeback Kid."

But it seemed that for Hillary, there would be no energizing "Comeback Moment." How could there be? Hillary was the presumptive frontrunner, and even a second place finish might be viewed as a devastating loss.

But then something changed. Polls showed Obama not only gaining ground, but taking the lead over Clinton. A CNN poll showing Obama as a 9 percent favorite was viewed by Fox "analysts" (in whose hands the poll lead magically morphed into "12 or 13 percent") as a massive defeat for Clinton. the Fox pundits gleefully readied themselves to desecrate Clinton's corpse. Other news agencies quickly followed suit.

Even I, who predicted Hillary's nomination a year ago, was beginning to feel some cracks in my armor of confidence. But I never should have doubted the Clinton machine.

Whether it was targeting younger voters, preparing a shakeup of staff, or Clinton's showing of actual emotion at a speech in New Hampshire (see below), she pulled it off, not only winning in New Hampshire but turning herself into a comeback kid.

All I can say is. Look out Obama.

While Edwards claims he is in this to the end, I think the handwriting is on the wall. Clinton's best move now would be to reach out to Edwards with a VP spot on her ticket as soon as possible and lock him up before he throws his weight on Obama's side. Hillary, if you're reading this, give John a call.

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