Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Ill-Served GET Served.

Yes-Men...Toadies...And Check-grabbers. The Surest Signs Of A Dot-Bomb...Campaign.

Whether one is a fan, supporter, financial backer, or simply a voter who thinks her the best candidate for the office of the Presidency, there is one incontrovertible truth about Senator Hillary Clinton's campaign that all can pretty much agree on. And when I say all, that would include even Obama supporters. Let us be fair here and look at what is laid out before us. Objectively, and without bias—and evident to anyone with eyes to see, and a brain to understand...

Senator Clinton has been not merely ill-served by supposed “professionals” running her campaign, but they have in fact been utterly incompetent, mismanaged the campaign and its monies and should NEVER, EVER be trusted by anyone aspiring to public office to do so much as staple-gun wooden handles to campaign placards.

I'm talking about the dollar-gorging hacks Mark Penn and Howard Wolfson—who call themselves campaign consultants and spokespeople, but have acted more like oversized sandbags and then fat, air-shot darts at what could have been an ascendant candidacy.

Now yes, it's fairly apparent that the Senator has her own deficiencies that worked against her—her IWR vote that cannot be explained away with bureaucratic, parliamentary mumbo-jumbo. It was a colossal fuck-up. Add in a certain annoying hubris in her inability to firstsee it for what it was, as countless Americans did, protested and wrote about here in the blogosphere, and second—either apologize for the sordid, death-okaying vote or at least show a bit of remorse for it. We know she's not a great speaker. Few people actually are, which is what doubly sets her opponent Barack Obama apart from her and a great many politicos. Another major factor working against her is something she has absolutely no control over—namely an over-familiarity with her on the part of the voters. With a wave of change being ridden by Obama—a wave not necessarily of his own making, but rather—spawned in large part by a desire of many to run 180 degrees away from the last eight years of George Bush's blight of a presidency, Senator Clinton's time on the scene through the good and the bad, seems to ride horizon-ward as the HMS “Same old, same old” against that crashing change “wave” rolling in.

These are negatives for her...negatives that have wounded her rightfully...

...And yet...

They are NOT necessarily political dirt-nap offenses.

Obama's campaign has to fight off the various obvious assaults that have nut-kicked every campaign run by a person of color over the years.

Black. Untrustworthy. Closet radical. Clandestine terrorist. In-authentic. Not progressive enough. Piloted by a “Shadow Chamber” as he is not smart enough to lead himself. Sellout. Druggie. Criminally inclined.

And look where his combination of organizational ground-game, a canny harnessing of charisma, and simple nuts-and-bolts primary strategy have gotten him.

Look at McCain, written off for dead—even by me—months ago. (Although I still think of him as an electoral cadaver in the GE), and the way his people have managed his leaky ship of a campaign through tough waters and rocky shoals.

Old. Crazy. Loudmouth. Untrustworthy. Uninspiring. Wedded to the war. Retrograde. Dumb. In-authentic (to conservatives). Ill-tempered. Flip-flopper. Physically in-able. Damaged goods.

And yet...there he stands, albeit stiffly, on the verge of nomination.

What the hell happened to Senator Clinton's campaign?

An anecdote: Last year, I played in a softball league that featured one team that had a lot of buzz about its supposed excellence. On that team was one particular fellow—we'll call him “Evan”. Evan looked the picture-perfect ballplayer. Lean and muscular. Broad shoulders, thick forearms. Eyeblack perfectly applied and his uniform fitting in that way that real “ballers” unis do. Some guys look “hitter-ish” when they stride to the plate, and some guys look hitterish just walking up and down the dugout. “Evan” was one such guy. His teammates had bought in as well, cheering him like the conquering fucking hero every time he cock-walked to the plate.

And then...we saw Evan play...or rather, try to.

One of the rules in this co-ed league was that men and women had to bat alternately—and to discourage teams from walking tough hitting guys to get to the lighter-hitting women, if you walked a dude with runners on to get to a girl, she could opt to instead of hitting—simply take first base and hand the at-bat off to the next male behind her. Evan routinely, in spite of his appearance of being “a player”, would walk with runners on instead of competing and swinging the bat with the authority his look conveyed. So eventually, we started grooving balls to him just to get him to put the ball in play.

This fucker flailed at the ball like a three-year-old beating a rug with an oversized snowshoe.

He couldn't hit worth a damn. One of our pitchers, a girl named Amanda happened to be on the mound in three games we played against his side and faced him each of those times. She's no great athlete herself, but she utterly embarrassed him at the plate—either striking him out on big, looping rainbow pitches (the league was slow-pitch!) or getting him out on over-watered, Flavoraid-weak grounders just past the plate.

Evan further exposed his ineptitude in the field. He was always stationed in short-center and the regular CF would routinely take most balls in center. Evan we found in the cases where a ball came his way, couldn't catch, and had an arm like a wet noodle way past “al denté”. Stephen Hawking had a better gun. I remember me and my brother, our backs to the field and laughing at this clown—“Jesus Christ! This mother-fucker can NOT fucking play! What the fuck!” my brother mused with a chuckle of incredulity.

How does this tie into Wolfson and Penn and the Clinton campaign?

Those two are political consultant equals of the no-talent exposed “Evan”.

For all their pedigree, and appearance as “real players” in this game, these two posers revealed themselves as utter stumblebums. Strategy-wise—they're helmeted, short-bus riders. What idiot-ass not only proposed the idea of foregoing the Goddamned caucuses, but then signed off on it and then kept up doing it as it was shown to be a pigfuck of a plan? Who's the dipshit who okayed that hellish two-week period where the campaign went down that dark alleyway, kicking around the broken glass and toxic waste of race-tinged politics scattered about there and turbo-charging the rush of Black voters away from the usually “Black-friendly” Clinton camp? And thus pissed off one of their biggest advocates in the Black South, South Carolina's Jim Clyburn? And stupidly typed up the “druggie” and “kindergarten ambition” talking points that failed as spectacularly as an ACME product in a Road Runner cartoon?

What brilliantines came up with and said “Yah!” to the silly-ass tacks of pushing the plagiarism angle which blew up in her face with the “Xerox” and closing “I'll be fine” lines? And this week's sadly shoe-horned in “Barack would like an extra pillow” lift from an SNL sketch that induced groans like a plate of bad clams and a just-chugged, lukewarm Yoo-Hoo™?

I lay the blame at the four left feet of her alleged campaign's “Chief Strategist” Penn, who's picking her campaign coffers clean getting paid a hefty sum of $4.3 million dollars, and her communication director Howard Wolfson—her campaign's PR face who it seems cannot go on TV without channeling a churlish, antagonistic, management-fellating/fuck everybody else corporate-weasel. These are her key people and they're both so amazingly inept at their job descriptions that it almost seems they're intentionally working against Senator Clinton.

But that's not it at all. They're just not really working for her. Working for her would mean keeping an ear to the ground about the trending—what message is hot and what's not. It's about keeping her within herself and being herself—not crappily doing an “Obama-lite” thing when trying to rally crowds. It's about being real and saying “fuck my 'rep' and 'loyalty'—my job is to tell you when shit stinks, and not simply going 'yeah, that's good' when a plan is swirling 'round the crapper. It's about accentuating the candidate's positives and diminishing the negatives. Signing off on Ms. Clinton's stiffly hand-grenading alleged “zingers” that sound like they were cribbed from a retired Bob Hope jokesmith living in a “golden years” village in Palo Alto is NOT working for her in terms of helping her campaign.

Whether you're for her or not—it's painfully clear that this duo of “do-nothing” have basically reached into her wallet and stolen money in return for not doing chore the first worth a damn.

“Big Guns” my Black ass. These are the kind of dudes who when the team is being touted as being “the shiznit” have all the mouth in the world and look like world-beaters running out of the tunnel. Let their team get down a touchdown late and all of a sudden, it's them with the penalties, missed coverages and getting pancaked (knocked on their asses) on every play. You reveal yourself fully not when times are flush—but when the flak is heavy, and these so-called tough guys couldn't break a thumbhold from a trembling Barney Fife.

It's that dumb dot-bomb mentality again. Big talk, high pay, setback after setback, defensive “trust the strategy”-speak—and then at the end, a thimble-full of invisible to everyone but them—vaporware. But of course, they still make sure they get their checks. Fuckers.

As I said in a previous post,...

“...the Clinton (campaign's) early-game strategy of hanging back and letting Obama shoot without a hand in his face during the caucuses was so Goddamned dumb that her advisers and handlers—the Mark Penns and Howard Wolfsons of the world...need to be sued for mal-fucking-practice. Then, beaten with a rusty boat chain.”

I stand by that, and further increase the volume. Not as a supporter, but as a simple observer. To blow through $130 million campaign dollars while pocketing over 3% of that (Penn's cut plus God-only-knows what Wolfson's getting—it ain't chicken feed.) and losing 11 straight contests in crunch time, is to scream from the rooftops “I am...a goniff—and don't particularly give a rat's ass what you think of me or how I handle things—just as long as I get “my cut”.

Their job was to help her, guide, advise and show her at her best publicly. These were her right hands—chief strategist and chief spokesperson and they have blatantly failed at those three objectives they were tasked with.

She's done her own part in damaging her candidacy, yes..., but these guys' job was to counter those weaknesses, as Obama's and McCain's people have. Hubris, greed and simple sloth have rendered them as much a campaign liability as her innate faults—the things they were supposed to work against and paper over.

The moral? “The ill-served get served.” Not as in “by a waiter” but rather as in“You Got Served”—the ass-kicked ,“What happened to my $130,000,000 and my double-digit poll leads, and seeming inevitablity” sense.

The game got late and big hits were needed.

Her “Evans” it turned out couldn't so much as buy a hit and apparently kept every “Benjamin” anyway.

And ironically, like George W, Bush who she has been excoriating so spiritedly of late, she has also fallen victim to the myopia of at-all-costs over-loyalty to people who have outlived their usefulness to her “cause” and effectively either stopped doing or never did their jobs with any level of efficiency.

Exactly what we've seen over the last eight, excruciating years...and apparently the approach of these last eight years is what has sparked this new “lust for change” that's gripped so many Americans this campaign season.

Which sadly, kind of explains why things...are as they are right about now, doesn't it?