Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Inside Clinton's Campaign Shake Up

In the weeks after Obama's New Hamsphire loss, I read an article on line about Clinton's campaign manager. I remembered two facts - that she often got caught up in the weeds, deciding things like whether bagels should be served at an event or not. But more damaging, this:
No one denies that Solis Doyle's authority stems less from her expertise or political savvy (though defenders insist she has an abundance of both) than from her bond with Hillary. The result, say critics, is a toxic blend of insecurity (about her abilities) and arrogance (about her proximity to the boss). As they tell it, an overwhelmed Solis Doyle has become increasingly temperamental--playing favorites and abusing her relationship with Hillary to control information flow and enhance her own power.
Lord! That sounded exactly like my first boss - on Capital Hill, the wife of a congressman, who I eventually determined was crazy.

And in the days since Doyle was fired, I'd tried to no avail to remember where I'd read that. Well, with the help of a similarly fascinating piece about Clinton's campaign difficulties, I found Putsch in Hillaryland: Inside the silent shake up. It was in The New Republic and appeared on January 24th.

Inside the Clinton Shake Up - the public edition - is even better and written by Joshua Green over at The Atlantic Monthly. The author also wrote the GQ piece that was to appear last December but didn't because the Clinton campaign strong-armed the publishers with threats. So he's been following the inner machinations of the Clinton campaign for some time and he provides interesting context - including fascinating quotes about how Bill would affect her campaign. And according to Green, The New Republic piece was widely read inside her campaign "because it’s so accurate." and a "the best blow by blow."

Here's my highlight:
Rather than punish Solis Doyle or raise questions about her fitness to lead, Clinton chose her to manage the presidential campaign for reasons that should now be obvious: above all, Clinton prizes loyalty and discipline, and Solis Doyle demonstrated both traits, if little else. This suggests to me that for all the emphasis Clinton has placed on executive leadership in this campaign, her own approach is a lot closer to the current president’s than her supporters might like to admit.
Back in September 2007 I highlighted the similarities between Hillary Clinton and George W. Bush, which echoes the above.

Both are worth a read, provide unique insights and are not long.

No comments: