From the outset I have said that one of the main things I’ll be watching for from Hillary Clinton and her campaign is whether or not she learned anything from Barack Obama in her failed 2008 campaign or her four years working with him as Secretary of State. So far, she’s doing pretty well on that score.
The six-page memo, written by campaign manager Robby Mook and distributed in DC Monday by communications director Jennifer Palmieri, argues that there’s no reason for Clinton’s backers to panic.
“Winning campaigns have a plan and stick to it, in good times and bad. President Obama endured significant pressure in 2007 to abandon his strategy, but his campaign remained focused on winning in Iowa and ultimately prevailed,” Mook wrote.
In order to “chill” when the going gets tough, you have to have a plan that you believe in, be willing to weather the “noise,” and play the long game. That’s exactly what Mook’s memo laid out.
The “noise” these days is mostly about the email system she used while she was Secretary of State. Until Republicans (and apparently the NYT) can move from “it looks bad” to something she did that was actually wrong, that’s all it is. And you can bet your last dollar that if it wasn’t emails, they’d be trying to create some drama about something else.
From everything I can see, Clinton is playing her own game and refusing to get sucked into any attempts by the Republicans or the media to start changing that script. In some ways it’s a very different game plan than Obama’s. She doesn’t possess his oratorial skills and so she is sticking to her wonkishness and continuing to meet with voters is small groups. I like the fact that she’s playing to her strengths.
But it’s obvious that the “Chill Hill” approach is something she learned from “no drama Obama.” Although David Plouffe put it a little more colorfully.
David Plouffe, who ran Obama’s 2008 campaign, likes to admonish fellow Democrats not to be bed-wetters. Mook’s memo is aimed at ensuring the sheets are dry in the Clinton camp.