Hillary is running behind Obama in the polls in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. With the “Oprah Effect” to kick in soon, Hillary runs the risk of coming in 3rd in Iowa and 2nd in New Hampshire and South Carolina. Some polling data is showing that every time Bill Clinton speaks about himself, Hillary’s numbers go down. But Hillary’s campaign managers, some of which loath Bill, can’t shut him up. Bill operates as a totally independent person, outside the constraints of Hillary’s campaign. Senior campaign managers have been highly successful in cleaning Hillary up, getting her to dress properly, makeup, hair. They have her highly scripted, to the point that recently Chris Matthews made a special issue of pointing out how when critizing Obama, Hillary constantly looked down to read from prepared text.
So, how does Hillary beat Obama in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina?
Hillary must go extremely negative on Edwards, now, this weekend. If Hillary stays negative on Obama, she runs the risk of going, or seeming to go negative on Oprah, and if that happens, the bottom falls out of Hillary’s election hopes. Hillary will have to avoid any comment on any of Oprah’s talking points, least she is accused of a cat fight. Oprah on the other hand can say most anything she wants as she is running for nothing. Watch Oprah carefully, she won’t criticize Hillary directly, but will agree with those who do, or will support issues that directly conflict Hillary’s positions.
By going extreme negative on Edwards, Hillary may hope to draw off some of his support to herself. Hillary will also have to out “liberal” Edwards, which means flipping on some of her earlier positions.
Will a loss of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina be the end of Hillary? No, she can still win the nomination, but it will tarnish her image of front runner. In fact, she won’t be able to say others are tough on her because she is the front runner, because she won’t be.