Monday, September 3, 2007

Democrats Campaign 2008 update: battle of ideas

Note, in this NY Times article today on Senator Clinton's campaign, this nugget concerning her major campaign speech of yesterday. Quote: "Mrs. Clinton spoke on the first day of a two-day kickoff for her fall push, which her camp is calling “The Change We Need,” a parry to Mr. Obama’s effort to position himself as the candidate of change. The stage at Mrs. Clinton’s rallies, in Concord and here in Portsmouth, included the words “Change + Experience” — an example of the Clinton camp’s argument that she is the most experienced candidate and would still represent change, as a woman and an ideological opposite of President Bush. “Some people think you should have to choose between change and experience,” Mrs. Clinton said in Concord. “Well, with me, you don’t have to choose. I have spent my entire life fighting for change.”

Problem: this shows that Mrs. Clinton is on the defensive. Senator Obama has already claimed the "change" idea for himself. Hillary up to now has discussed the notion of change some, but had not made it an emphasis of her campaign. But now she is. It smacks of "Look, I'm for change, too." That's playing defense, with the issues framed the way Obama wants them framed. It's not a good sign for the Clinton campaign. Senator Clinton is identified with Washington D.C; she's seen as an insider. Barack Obama's relative youth, the fact that he hasn't been in Washington nearly as long, will make it almost impossible for anyone to trump him in the "change" department. We'll see if he's able to take full advantage of this.