A Hillary staffer comes clean
First, a little personal background… I am a female grad student in my 20’s, and a registered Democrat. During the primaries, I was a campaign worker for the Clinton candidacy. I believed in her and still do, staying all the way to the bitter end. And believe me, it was bitter. The snippets you’ve heard from various media outlets only grazed the surface.
She did this out of political survival. As a part of his overall effort to extend an olive branch to the Clinton camp and her supporters, Obama took on a few Hillary staff members into his campaign.
I was one such worker. Though I was still bitterly loyal to Hillary, I still held out hope that he would choose her as VP. In fact, there was a consensus among us transplants that in the end, he HAD to choose her. It was the only logical choice. I also was committed to the Democratic cause and without much of a second thought, transferred my allegiance to Senator Obama.
I’m doing this because I doubt much of you know the true weaknesses of Obama. Another reason for my doing this is that I am lost faith in this campaign, and feel that this choice has been forced on many people in this country.
Put simply, you are being manipulated. That was and is our job – to manipulate you (the electorate) and the media (we already had them months ago). Our goal is to create chaos with the other side, not hope.
I’ve come to the realization (as the campaign already has) that if this comes to the issues, Barack Obama doesn’t have a chance. His only chance is to foster disorganization, chaos, despair, and a sense of inevitability among the Republicans. It has worked up until now.
Joe the Plumber has put the focus on the issues again, and this scares us more than anything. Being in a position to know these things, I will rate what the Obama campaign already knows are their weak links from the most important on down.
1 – Hillary voters. Internal polling suggests that at best, we are taking 70-75% of these voters.
Other estimates are as low as 60% in some areas – particularly Ohio and western PA. My biggest problem with this campaign’s strategy was the decision NOT to offer Hillary the VP slot.
She was ready and able to take this on, and would have campaigned enthusiastically for it. This selection would have also brought virtually all of her supporters into the fold, and the Obama campaign knew it.
Though I have no way of knowing this for certain, and I do admit that I am relying on internal gossip, Senator Obama actually went against the advice of his top advisors.
They wanted him to choose her, but the only significant opposition to this within the campaign came from Barack and Michelle Obama.
In short, he let personal feelings take precedence over what was the most logical thing to do.
Biden, by the way, has been a disaster inside the campaign. Everyone cringes whenever he gives an interview, and he creates so many headaches as the campaign has to stay on their toes in order to disseminate information and spin whatever it was he was trying to say.
2 – Sarah Palin. Don’t believe what the media is telling you about how horrible a choice she was.
Again, our internal polling suggest that though she has had a minimal impact on pulling disaffected Hillary Democrats to McCain, she has done wonders in mobilizing the base for McCain. Another thing – we were completely taken by surprise with her pick.
In my capacity in the research department, I looked into the backgrounds of Leiberman, Romney, Pawlenty and Ridge, and prepared briefs. I don’t mind bragging that we had pretty good stuff on all of them.
With Leiberman, the plan was to paint him as an erratic old-timer who didn’t have a clue as to what he was doing (pretty much a clone of McCain).
In Romney, we had him pegged as an evil capitalist who cut jobs. Pawlenty was going to get the “Quayle treatment”, or more precisely: a pretty face, with no valid experience.
Tom Ridge was going to be used to provide a direct link from McCain to Bush. As you can see, we were quite enamored of all of them.
Then the unexpected happened – Sarah Palin. We had no clue as to how to handle her, and bungled it from the start.
Though through our misinformation networks, we have successfully taken some of the shine off. But let there be no doubt. She remains a major obstacle.
She has singlehanded solidified “soft” Republican support, mobilized the McCain ground game, and has even had some appeal to independents and Hillary voters. This is what our internal polling confirms.
3 – Obama’s radical connections. Standards operating procedure has been to cry “racism” whenever one of these has been brought up.
We even have a detailed strategy ready to go should McCain ever bring Rev. Wright up. Though by themselves they are of minimal worth, taken together, Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers, Father Pfelger, and now, Rashid Khalili, are exactly what the campaign does not need.
The more focus on them, the more this election becomes a referendum on Obama. The campaign strategy from the very beginning was to make this election a referendum on Bush.
Strategists have been banging their head on how successfully McCain has distanced himself from Bush.
This has worked, and right now the tide is in his favor. People are taking a new look at Barack Obama, and our experience when this happens tells us this is not good news at all.
When they take a look at him, one or more of these names are bound to be brought up. McCain has wisely not harped on this in recent weeks and let voters decide for themselves.
This was a trap we set for him, and he never fully took the bait. Senator Obama openly dared him to bring up Ayers.
This was not due to machismo on the part of Obama, but actually due to campaign strategy. Though McCain’s reference to Ayers fell flat in the last debate, people in the Obama campaign were actually disappointed that he didn’t follow through on it more and getting into it.
Our focus groups found this out: When McCain brings these connections up, voters are turned off to him. They’d rather take this into consideration themselves, and when this happens, our numbers begin to tank.
4 – The Bradley Effect. Don’t believe these polls for a second.
I just went over our numbers and found that we have next to no chance in the following states: Missouri, Indiana, North Carolina, Florida, New Hampshire and Nevada.
Ohio leans heavily to McCain, but is too close to call it for him.
Virginia, Pennsylvania, Colorado, New Mexico and Iowa are the true “toss up states”. The only two of these the campaign feels “confident” in are Iowa and New Mexico.
The reason for such polling discrepancy is the Bradley Effect, and this is a subject of much discussion in the campaign. In general, we tend to take a -10 point percentage in allowing for this, and are not comfortable until the polls give us a spread well over this mark.
This is why we are still campaigning in Virginia and Pennsylvania!
This is why Ohio is such a desperate hope for us! What truly bothers this campaign is the fact that some pollsters get up to an 80% “refuse to respond” result. You can’t possibly include these into the polls.
The truth is, people are afraid to let people know who they are voting for. The vast majority of these respondents are McCain supporters. Obama is the “hip” choice, and we all know it.
As part of my research duties, I scour right wing blogs and websites to get somewhat of a “feel” as to what is being talked about on the other side.
Much of it is nonsense, but there are some exceptions which give the campaign jitters.
A spirited campaign has been made to infiltrate many pro-Hillary sites and discredit them. A more disorganized, but genuine effort has also been made to sow doubts among the unapologetically right wing sites such as redstate.com.
Don’t you guys get it? This has been the Obama campaign’s sole strategy from the very beginning! The only way he wins is over a dispirited, disorganized, and demobilized opposition.
This is how it has been for all of his campaigns. What surprises me is that everyone has fallen for it. You may point to the polls as proof of the inevitability of all of this. If so, you have fallen for the oldest trick in the book.
How did we skew these polls, you might ask? It all starts with the media “buzz” which has been generated over the campaign.
Many stories are generated on the powerful Obama ground game, and how many new voters were registered. None of this happens by coincidence.
It is all part of the poll-skewing process. This makes pollsters change their mixes to reflect these new voters and tilt the mix more towards Democratic voters.
What is not mentioned or reported on is not the “under-reported cell phone users or young voters” we hear so much about. What is underreported is you.
I changed my somewhat positive opinion of this campaign during the unfair and sexist campaign against Sarah Palin.
I will never agree with her on the issues and will probably never vote for her, but I am embarrassed of what has happened. I can’t ignore our own hand in all of this.
What I do know is that I will not be voting for Obama this time around. Treat that as you will.