"This has been a very long campaign"

How many ways are there for me to say how sick to death I am of this, this sordid excuse for a campaign? Campaign, hell. It's as if there's a permanent national election, and I've been complaining about it for so long that I've forgotten when it started or when I started complaining about it.

Complaining in blog posts is a cheap form of therapy but still, I try to accept reality. While my biggest fear from day one has been that those awful Clintons might some day be returned to the White House, I have clung for dear life to my denial, and I still hope that they won't. But like a pair of twin Jasons from the movie Halloween, they just keep popping up and popping up. There is no stopping the Clintons and their driven, zombie-like relentlessness.

This is not to say that I support Barack Obama. There's one thing after another that's wrong with him, with more every day, and more to come after that. (The latest -- that his military advisor General McPeak is anti-Israel -- is something I find very disturbing.)

I understand the concerns over Obama, but few people who have themselves worked up into a lather are taking the time to think about how and why the Obama phenomenon came to happen.

In a word, timing.

By starting her campaign way, waaay too early, Hillary Clinton caused people to be way sicker of her than they would have been had she started the campaign at the normal time. She did this because she thought America would need time to get used to the idea (or get over the shock, depending on your point of view) of having a woman as president. But as issues and ideas go, having a woman in the White House is not quite as much of a thing to get used to as the reality of this particular woman, who is not just a woman, but the Clintons. Many Americans -- and in particular, many American politicians and political people on both sides -- were fatigued after eight years of the Clintons, and would just as soon have forgotten about them completely the way one forgets a bad dream.

What Hillary failed to anticipate was that by starting her campaign far too early, she would reactivate the dormant Clinton fatigue might have seemed to have been laid in its natural political grave. A grave which, it's worth remembering, the 22nd Amendment is supposed to ensure. But the 22nd Amendment failed in the case of the Clintons when Hillary's campaign resurrected them as a political force.

Getting used to the Clintons again is not the same thing as getting used to the concept of a woman president. The Clinton resurrection made the fact of Hillary's sex only a secondary feature. It was the resurrection of the Clintons that became the primary feature.

And here's where Hillary's math was wrong: the Clinton resurrection wasn't something to get used to, as it was the resurrection of Clinton fatigue -- something people were sick of.

Not only that, but it was a premature resurrection. She should have waited, but she didn't. Instead, she gave the fatigue plenty of time to trickle down and reach into every home like a thick and overpowering fog -- until at last every American family was thinking not "Hey, a woman in the White House!" but "Oh, the Clintons again," and "Oh the Clintons again." Over and over.

There's a fine line between "getting used to" and "getting sick of," but the Clinton campaign missed it completely.

And there was Obama -- a new, refreshingly fresh face offering a way out of all that prematurely resurrected but still smoldering Clinton fatigue.

OK, that's my fix on this, and I know I'm repeating myself. What set me off this morning was to read more about Hillary's latest explanation of the lie that she had come under sniper fire in Bosnia (the story won't die gracefully because, as might be expected, military leaders and Secret Service officials have been put on the defensive):

Clinton began retracting the remarks in a series of private interviews Monday and Tuesday before addressing about two dozen reporters here after a speech.

She told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "I was sleep-deprived, and I misspoke."

She told KDKA radio in Pittsburgh: "You know, I have written about this and described it in many different settings, and I did misspeak the other day. This has been a very long campaign."

Well, yes.

And who's fault is that?

(I'm thinking that conservatives who fear an Obama presidency might want to ask the same question, but that's another topic....)

UPDATE: Commenter Van Helsing points out that Jason was in Friday 13, and not Halloween. My mistake.

There's also some discussion of when the Hillary campaign began. I don't honestly know how that would be measured. Officially, she announced in January of 2007, but she was raising money through the "Friends of Hillary" for some time before that, and there were financial irregulaties reported at least as early as March of 06.

Official or unofficial, her campaign has been going on for years, and many say it dates back to her first Senate run.

posted by Eric on 03.26.08 at 08:52 AM


By starting her campaign way, waaay too early, Hillary Clinton caused people to be way sicker of her than they would have been had she started the campaign at the normal time.

Not to pick nits... but didn't Obama declare his candidacy before Hillary did? By like a week or something?

Darkmage   ·  March 26, 2008 10:29 AM

There is another unfortunate side effect to the length of campaigns. Whoever is elected in November, people will think of as taking office immediately, with the inauguration a mere formality later. Though Bush will still be president, only those that follow things closely will remember that. Also, presidents do not affect foreign policy or the economy much on their first day, but only gradually influence the large events. By the time s/he starts having even a mild effect, by, say, April, the citizenry are holding him/her entirely responsible for the war, the unemployment rate, the stock market, etc.

I think of the complete changeover as nearly two years out, at the close of 2010. Only then can you call it "President X's economy."

You will notice that immediately before that time we will have had another election, during which we will have blamed or credited the wrong politicians for where we stand.

Assistant Village Idiot   ·  March 26, 2008 10:36 AM

Liberals adored the Clintons when they were useful tools used to crush Republicans, promote Collectivism and brainwash Americans into believing Democrats were morally superior; I love how the Democrat Party is being destroyed by the very thing they promotted, financed and defended.

I'm thinking the media who hate Conservatives have much to answer for since they deceived Americans into believing either Obama and Clinton are honest, decent, worthwhile candidates.

Timing? Come on, Obama took off becasue he was endorsed by Oprah.

syn   ·  March 26, 2008 10:42 AM

More nitpicking: Jason Vorhees is from Friday the 13th, not Halloween.

Let's hope Obama fatigue sets in next. I think it's beginning already.

Van Helsing   ·  March 26, 2008 1:54 PM

Bill Clinton was always better at campaigning than he was at governing. That criticism might be applied to other Democrats. There is a difference between appealing to people and making good decisions. While campaigners check polls continually, and modify what they say according to the latest poll, good decisions need to be based on criteria other than popularity.

Gringo   ·  March 26, 2008 2:08 PM

Actually, she started her presidential campaign about the same time she ran for US Senator for New York. She & her advisors all but said that it was merely a stepping stone on her attempt to become President.

ray   ·  March 26, 2008 2:13 PM

Obama fatigue: his candidacy lacks real substance, as it's all about symbolism and emotion. His supporters want The Dream to be fulfilled and to have their BDS washed away. It's hard to say whether reality will intrude into the fantasy world built around Obama, but the longer Hillary hangs around the more likely that will happen.

It seems like every day that some new and unflattering bit of information comes out about him; I don't see how anyone not already hypnotized by his image can fall under his spell now.

Socrates   ·  March 26, 2008 2:17 PM

When I was a kid if I ever mis-spoke I got a spanking.

plutosdad   ·  March 26, 2008 2:23 PM


You've touched on something that I have been puzzling since the '00 Elections. It seems that once one election isn't even closed out, another starts. Granted, the Clintons (and their creatures) ran the Never-ending Campaign; but one does get sick and tired after a while.

William Jefferson Clinton-Rodham is the perfect politician; always everything to everyone. Hillary Rodham Clinton-Rodham is his polar opposite: always everything everyone fears.

SeniorD   ·  March 26, 2008 3:36 PM

Sen. Clinton was forced to start campaigning in earnest for the presidency by Sen. Obama's early start. She saw him picking up steam and she knew she had to get in.

I think she would have preferred to wait a few more months.

Daryl Herbert   ·  March 29, 2008 1:50 PM

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