Friday, February 29, 2008

Hillary about to join Rudy on the sidelines

What a difference 6 months makes. Rudy and Hillary were both the expected party nominees just a few months back. The primaries were just a formality that had to be gotten out of the way, right?

Now here we sit on the verge of "Super Tuesday II", which will likely be the knock-out blow for Hillary, just as Super Tuesday I was for Rudy. What happened?

The commonalities between the two seem to be overconfidence, leading to complacency, and lack of fight.

Rudy knew he had strong support in big states. He counted on that to such an extent that he decided to save the money others were spending on the early, small states and start his campaign in Florida. Of course he totally discounted the "bandwagon" factor. People like to vote for winners. By the time Florida came around, McCain, Romney, Huckabee all had wins under their belts. Rudy had none. He was also very non-confrontational in his approach to his opponents. All of this served to keep him largely out of the news. Rudy became an interesting sidenote and wasn't even a contender come Florida.

Hillary and company were certain that they would have the nomination in the bag by Super Tuesday I. There was no need to go directly after Obama. Why take the chance of making yourself look mean. After all, he's got no shot. They grossly underestimated their opponent, and by the time they realized it, Super Tuesday was upon them. There was no strategy for a post-Super Tuesday competitive campaign because there wasn't supposed to be one. Now they had to try going on the attack. The problem is, since they hadn't been attacking the whole time, starting in now smells like desperation. As the line from "Wall Street" states "A desperate salesman is a dead salesman."

On the bright side for the pair, both Hillary and Rudy "Love NY". Now they'll have lots more time to spend there.

The moral of the story? Never take victory for granted and show the people you're ready, willing and able to fight for your agenda. People don't necessarily want leaders that start fights. But they sure want to know that you can win them. If you can't put away McCain, Romney, Huckabee, Edwards and/or Obama, how are you going to fare against Putin, Ahmadinijad, Kim Jung Il, Yugo Chavez and George Soros?

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