James Forsyth

Hillary needs a convincing critique of Obama—and fast

Hillary needs a convincing critique of Obama--and fast
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Hillary Clinton’s new strategy was evident at her canvas kick off this morning. She kept stressing how she, unlike Obama, had actually delivered change. She rattled off—Gordon Brown style—the numbers of New Hampshire children, national guard members and veterans she had ‘delivered’ health care to. However, it is hard to see this line of attack bringing voters flooding to her side and I expect that as Hillary talks in Washington acronyms about her achievements she is probably reinforcing the Obama-Edwards charge that she is part of the Washington status quo. With Obama 10 points up in the latest CNN/WMUR poll, Hillary needs to find a more potent critique of him if she is stop him from repeating his Iowa triumph here.

The whole event wasn’t quite what Hillary needed. She was three quarters of an hour late and when she arrived both the microphone and the megaphone she was given didn’t work. The Clinton advance work, which had involved leading the crowd of canvassers in a string of chants which barely scanned, fell apart as the bus pulled into the lot. One has to give credit to Hillary for keeping her cool as all this went wrong around her.  As she showed last night, she is not going to have a meltdown moment, however, tough things get. Chelsea Clinton also deserves praise for stepping up to the plate while the Clinton campaign tried to address its sound issues by clowning for the photographers. Indeed, having Chelsea but not Bill by her side this morning humanised Hillary without overshadowing her. 

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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