October 6, 2015

Report: Clinton’s Campaign Has No Real Message

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has no single, compelling message to voters, according to a new report from The Hill. The piece quotes numerous Democrats who are struggling to find a clear, concise response to the question “Why should Hillary Clinton be president?”

Last December, Axelrod had warned that Clinton needed to show she was “running for a purpose and not just for a promotion.” He has also said, “You have to stand for something, you have to fight for something, and people need to know what that is.”

While Clinton loyalists might complain that Axelrod’s frequent barbs reflect the bad blood generated during the 2008 race, others in the Democratic Party share his concerns.

“Nothing about the campaign reads as fresh and new, but rather as cautious, risk-averse and private,” one Democratic strategist, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said of the Clinton campaign.

This is not a new problem for Clinton. In 2008, faced with a similar lack of rationale, Clinton’s team churned through a ridiculous number of campaign slogans and themes:

In January 2008, Politico’s Ben Smith listed a number of slogans that had already been used before a single state had voted. Among them were, “Let the Conversation Begin,” “Big Challenges, Real Solutions,” “Renewing the Promise of America,” “Working for Change, Working for You” and “Ready for Change, Ready to Lead.”

The persistence of this problem, dating back to her 2008 campaign, prompted one Democrat to say, “It’s shocking that, given the ‘coronation’ criticism Clinton faced since 2007, they haven’t developed a better rationale for the candidacy.”

Ouch.