Bill Clinton To the Rescue? Will Bubba Cure or Kill Hillary’s Campaign?

There was more evidence today that the Hillary Clinton campaign is in serious trouble.  Hillary has a reputation for being a control-freak and her campaign is no exception.  Her strategy to run as if for re-election, as if she is the anointed one, to run a national campaign rather than a state-by-state campaign has failed.  The problem is, and Bill Clinton had a similiar problem, is that none of the top campaign officials will speak out and tell Hillary she was, and is wrong, not even Bill.  Top staff are all pushing and shoving for any favors they can get out of Hillary, from face-time, to good campaign jobs for their friends and relatives.  Even Bill Clinton will not directly confront Hillary.  He tries to use back channels within her campaign staff to effect changes, but to no effect.  If things don’t turn around soon, and Political Night Train predicts they won’t, Hillary will have no choice but to shake up her staff, bring in some of Bill’s friends.  Now ask you this, “If Hillary cannot keep her campaign staff in order, how will she run her administration staff, especially since it would be staffed with the same people as are now on the campaign staff.  What you see now is a good indication of how she will run her administration.  And, if Bill Clinton must come to the rescue, save Hillary’s campaign, what will he do when Hillary is President and gets into trouble? 

WASHINGTON – Bubba to the rescue!Alarmed by his wife’s slide in the polls and disarray within her backbiting campaign, a beside-himself Bill Clinton has leaped atop the barricades and is furiously plotting a cure – or coup.“She’s in big trouble and he knows it,” a top Democratic operative and Hillary Clinton booster told the Daily News.Sources familiar with the ex-President’s thinking say he doesn’t believe his wife’s situation is desperate. But he’s unhappy with her operation – once hailed as a juggernaut – and concerned she could lose the Democratic nomination without major alterations in strategy and staffing.Bill Clinton is mulling “a lot of different ideas and a lot of different scenarios to fix this,” an official who regularly speaks with him said. “He will come up with literally dozens of ideas. The trick will be to figure out the most important one or two to get her out of this downtrend.”Another Democrat with close connections to the Clinton campaign describes Bill Clinton as “very engaged and very agitated. He’s yelling at [chief strategist] Mark Penn a lot.”Penn laughed off the idea that he’s on the hot seat. “That’s funny,” he said. “I’ve been working with Bill Clinton through thick and thin for 10 years, exchanging views.”A source close to the former First Couple criticized recent campaign ads as lacking focus, faulting Penn the most for failing to fine-tune the message: “The key problem is not the spots, but what they’re saying.”Sources close to the former President say he and the candidate are talking constantly but sharing very little of what they’re discussing with subordinates.Several other Hillary Clinton partisans, however, aren’t so shy about critiquing the performance of her campaign – and predict a major staff purge is inevitable. Campaign officials and a source close to both Clintons flatly denied the head-rolling buzz. “Can this change by the end of the week? Yes,” the source said. “But at this point, everyone’s on solid footing.”Another Hillary Clinton operative told The News, “Nothing will happen until after Iowa,” referring to the Jan. 3 Hawkeye State caucuses. The candidate last night rejected the scuttlebutt.“These stories are false. I have the best staff in the country, and I have total and complete confidence in them,” she said.Campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle is the biggest target, sources said. She recently took over personal command of the Iowa operation, and a Clinton defeat there could damage her future.As Barack Obama has steadily narrowed Hillary Clinton’s once-impregnable lead, friction inside her headquarters has flared. One post-Thanksgiving meeting erupted into finger-pointing over the loss of her advantage.“They all want to kill each other,” said a source aware of the closed-door meeting.The backstabbing involves several high-level people in the campaign, including Penn, Mandy Grunwald, Ann Lewis and Howard Wolfson, sources said.Penn maintained, “It’s a totally false story.” Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton’s campaign abruptly shifted gears Tuesday, arguing Obama can’t beat a Republican. Until now, her attacks targeted Obama’s experience, not his electability.Pouncing on a report that revealed Obama staked out stridently liberal positions in a 1996 candidate questionnaire, Hillary Clinton’s campaign argued his past record is easy ammunition for the GOP.Obama spokesman Bill Burton fired back, “For a candidate who 50% of the country says they won’t consider voting for, raising questions about electability is a curious strategy.”

It will be very tough to boot Ann Lewis off the team.  Patti Solis Doyle has been part of the Hillary team for a long time, but with what is shaping up as a 3rd place finish in Iowa, she is likely to get dropped, and soon.  If support in Iowa keeps going south, look for her to go, and soon.  A 3rd place finish in Iowa will likely result in a Friday night purge.  Gone will be Mark Penn and his cronies.  There’s some bad blood between Bill Clinton and Penn and other top Hillary staffers.  The trouble with the staff is 1) too many hormones at work, creating a bickering, back-biting, cat-fighting working environment.  Hillary stays aloof and out of contact with the personnel issues, she’s too busy plotting and micro-managing campaign strategy and interpeting polling results.  Hillary’s problem has always been that she believes she is smarter than anyone else in  the room, including Bill Clinton.  If Bill Clinton rides in and saves the campaign, how will it look?  If Hillary can’t even run a decent campaign, how can she run the country?