THE BLOG
03/01/2008 12:43 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Hillary's Biggest Failure

I think Hillary Clinton is absolutely right to suggest that she's been criticized in the press more than any other candidate, but the way I see it, her fame is a two-edged sword. While she gets held to a different standard due to her fame, she wouldn't be where she is now if it weren't for her name recognition and the fact that she inherited her husband's political machine. Just as it's puzzling that she somehow deserves credit for all the good things that happened during the 90's but none of the bad, if she's willing to capitalize on the unique advantages of her position as the inheritor of the legacy of the previous president (and all the political and fundraising power that comes along with it), she should have been prepared to deal with the unique challenges that come along with that as well.

For a candidate who constantly touts herself for being "prepared" to be president, Clinton's lack of preparation in dealing with an antagonistic media doesn't bode well for her prospects in a general election (much less her ability to govern). A smart campaign would take media bias as a given and come up with a plan to mitigate these negatives, yet this week, Hillary has settled on the strategy of whining about the press being mean to her, seemingly blind to the fact that this is an industry full of yellow journalists who have spent the past fifteen years printing and broadcasting some truly shameful muck. Was the Clinton campaign really naive enough to think they'd be any different this year?

With hindsight being 20/20, it seems to me that the Clinton campaign's strategy should have been to treat their candidate like an underdog all along, highlighting every trivial item written about Hillary and using her quasi-bully pulpit to use these examples as "proof" that the media it out to get her. Instead, they spent most of the past year insisting on Hillary's "inevitability" and reveling in the press's willingness to help them write the storyline. Yet for all their media savvy in using early polling and press laziness to declare the nomination over before it began, they seem to have made the mistake of believing their own bullshit and got caught off-guard when the pendulum of press opinion predictably swung back and hit them in the ass. Once again, this doesn't really do much to convince me that she'd be a good general election candidate or that she'd be "ready on day one" to deal with an hostile press.

Thankfully, a Clinton candidacy is something we won't need to worry about for much longer.