All good strategies have an antecedent. The antecedent strategy for the Clinton campaign of 2008 is the Nixon strategy of 1968. Then, the problem was: how do you make the country's most disliked politician electable? Frank Shakespeare and Fred McWhorter started by trying to make Nixon warmer, friendlier, your next door neighbor. A young turk named Roger Ailes came in, took a look and said (and I am paraphrasing here): "forget it. No one will ever warm to the guy. He's un-likeable. We've got to change the narrative. This is about a man in the arena; this is about grit and determination and hard work and brains and perseverance." Ailes went on to create televised "Man in the Arena" town hall meetings, at which Nixon answered voter questions, by himself, being himself. Voters didn't need to like Nixon to elect him. He only needed to earn their respect.
Like Nixon, Senator Clinton is widely disliked. Like Nixon, she cannot be made warm, even by a modern-day Roger Ailes. Like Nixon, she is a politician whose resentments are always close to the surface. And like Nixon, she is a politician about whom her peers have real doubts.
But also like Nixon, she is intelligent and diligent and determined and tough and she has been through hell and back. She is experienced in a way that only her husband and President George W. Bush are experienced. She knows what it's like to get her head kicked in every day, day after day after day, for months and years on end. She endures.
That was the whole point of the 1968 Nixon campaign narrative. He wasn't perfect by any means, but he was formidable and he endured. It's a narrative that fits Senator Clinton's campaign like a glove.
Intersting. Mickey Kaus comments.
Sabi ni Ann Althouse:
Ha ha. They need to explain to us how to vote for Hillary, even though we don't want to.
But I'm not really laughing. Actually, I picture myself doing exactly that. I don't like her, and I don't want to vote for her, but somehow, I assume that in the end I will. I'm resisting now — look at all my recent Hillary posts — but it's probably because I see myself ending up doing what I don't want to do.