This article explains what Elaine Kamarck was actually talking about in the previous blog post "gossip" but it also marks the first time that I've seen a major news outlet admit, in that "everybody knows" way they generally reserve for some piece of wisdom they've been hiding from us, that it is Clinton's Iraq war vote that cost her the nomination. Wolfson says that if the press had exposed Edwards before Iowa:
"I believe we would have won Iowa, and Clinton today would therefore have been the nominee," former Clinton Communications Director Howard Wolfson told ABC News.com.
Clinton finished third in the Iowa caucuses barely behind Edwards in second place and Obama in first. The momentum of the insurgent Obama camaign beating two better-known candidates -- not to mention an African-american winning in sucn an overwhelmingly white state -- changed the dynamics of the race forever. More...
Obama won 37.6 per cent of the vote. Edwards won 29.7 per cent and Clinton won 29.5 per cent, according to results posted by the Iowa Democratic Party.
"Our voters and Edwards' voters were the same people," Wolfson said the Clinton polls showed. "They were older, pro-union. Not all, but maybe two-thirds of them would have been for us and we would have barely beaten Obama."
Its marvellous, the discovery that another good ol' southern white boy cheats on his wife would have magically given Hillary a second "pity fuck vote" and caused Iowa to demand the return to the White House of the first good ol' southern white boy who cheated publicly on his wife. A return to the Clinton years by infidelity on the trail? Talk about Ponies all around!
Wolfson's contention is not shared by the Obama campaign, whose officials never bought the argument that Clinton was the second choice of Edwards voters. Immediately after Edwards dropped out of the race at the end of January, Obama won eleven straight contests in a row.
And Clinton's steadfast refusal to say she regretted her vote to authorize use of force in Iraq -- unlike Obama, who always opposed the war, and Edwards, who said his vote for war was a mistake -- turned off many anti-wars liberals in Iowa, who make up a disprortionate number of caucus goers.
In May 2007, Mike Henry, then Clinton's deputy campaign manager, thought the terrain so hostile to Clinton he wrote a memo to "propose skipping the Iowa caucuses and dedicating more of Senator Clinton's time and financial resources on the primary in New Hampshire on January 22, the Nevada caucus on January 19, the primaries in South Carolina and Florida on January 29, and the 20 plus state primaries on February 5th."