The Clinton Crystal Ball: What About Day Two?

03/03/2008 12:06 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

She's run a sprawling national organization.
She's delegated responsibility and authority to experts to work on her behalf.
She's incorporated her husband into the organization and allowed him to use his legendary political skills to do her bidding.
She has run up against a massive unforeseen challenge to her organization.

So, yes, Hillary Clinton definitely has experience. That experience -- her only national executive experience -- has been in the running of her campaign for president. And what has been the result? A complete and utter breakdown of the organization she leads, a distracting, out-of-control husband who has ignored any and all authority, extensive and ugly infighting among her staff, angry and sarcastic outbursts by the executive herself, and a bitterly divided party in the midst of the most important election in a generation.

Hillary Clinton's campaign is nothing less than a crystal ball into the future of a Hillary Clinton presidency.

You want to know what Bill Clinton's role will be in a Hillary Clinton administration? The crystal ball was South Carolina. According to the LA Times today, he unilaterally ignored Hillary's appointed officers. He was told by the campaign to leave South Carolina to them and go to other southern states. But he said no, he had to be in South Carolina. Frustrated staffers called it a "one man mission." And that one man mission, full of race-baiting and angry rhetoric, served to alienate democrats and fueled the beginning of the exodus of the so-called Super Delegates, beginning with Ted Kennedy.

You want to know how the White House will be run under President Hillary Clinton? The crystal ball has materialized just in the past few weeks as the rumored infighting among her campaign staff has become public and much more ugly. Campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle is fired. But Harold Ickes says it's all Mark Penn's fault. Mark Penn says he has "no direct authority in the campaign" and that it's all Solis Doyle, Ickes and Mike Henry's doing. Howard Wolfson counters that it's Penn who has top responsibility. And remember Billy Shaheen? He was the first major firing after he launched a low blow against Obama several months ago.

You want to know how a Hillary Clinton White House would face the "unforeseen crisis" she alludes to at every campaign stop? The crystal ball is none other than Barack Obama. Clinton's "inevitability" campaign, as it's been called, tells us how unexpected Obama was to the Clinton organization. They didn't plan on having a serious contest so they didn't build an election organization in many of the later primary states because they didn't think the fight would go this long or be this hard. They were arrogant with the press because they didn't feel they needed them. They relied on imaginary political capital that came with their own perception of inevitability. They didn't recognize early enough that the "change" message would resonate so strongly. They didn't understand or appreciate how important "hope and change" are to a country exhausted by the headlines of George Bush, 9/11, Iraq, Katrina, Housing Crisis, Stock Market Crash, Interest Rates, Corporate Corruption, and Health Care.

But how does this would-be leader respond to the overwhelming passion exhibited by those who seek hope and change? It began when she called it "false hope," and continued as she ridiculed her opponent and his supporters in the months that followed. The "Celestial Choirs" rant was not aimed at her opponent but at all those who support him. And those people showing up by the tens of thousands to Obama rallies are not only Democrats she would need in a general election but, more importantly, are citizens she would lead if she won.

So what does the crystal ball tell us? Does it tell us she'd be ready on Day One? Maybe. But it tells us something else, too. It tells us that she's not remotely equipped for Day Two.