Someone told me yesterday he’d seen more Barack Obama bumper stickers than ones for any other Democrat. He’s probably correct. I’ve seen a few of them, too, around the Atlanta area. But come to think of it, the only bumper stickers I saw in 2004 were for Howard Dean. So if bumperstickers are any indication of a candidate’s chances, I’m sure Hillary Clinton would gladly concede the bumper sticker primary to Obama.

But she will concede little else.

Readers of my blog (and their are dozens of you now!) know that I came this close to endorsing New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson a few months back. Quite frankly, though, he has failed to impress in the two Democratic debates so far. But I have been in awe of Hillary Clinton. Her command of issues and policy have surpassed that of John Edwards. Her charisma and oratory finesse have surpassed that of Barrack Obama. And I’m not alone in thinking that because post debate poll after post debate poll indicate the same thing: Clinton takes control of the debates and never backs down.

But while her debate performances appear to have kept her well ahead of the pack, it is her campaign strategy that has separated the (wo)men from the boys. Consider what Newsweek Magazine called her “California Strategy.” Knowing that she isn’t polling well in Iowa, a state that usually votes for the more liberal element in the party and creates momentum for the rest of the primaries, Team Clinton set a chain of events in motion in California to shift the momentum to her coming into Iowa.

First, they began organizing in California early and now have a comfortable lead in state polls. Next, they convinced state authorities there to move up their presidential primary to Feb. 5. And finally, as Newsweek stated, state law will require that absentee ballots be sent to voters by January 8, 2008. Within four days of that, by Jan. 12, tracking polls (by the Clinton campaign and, the campaign hopes, by independent news organizations) will yield the first evidence of who is winning the first actual votes in the ’08 race.

And those results will be available BEFORE Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina hold their pivotal primaries and caucuses.

Are your eyes glazing over yet? Snap out if it. There’s more.

You might recall various critiques of Clinton’s debate performance in New Hampshire in which pundits described Clinton as the “uniter” on stage. She pointed out that differences among the Democratic candidates are minor but differences between them and Republicans are major. She never attacked her opponents but stood quietly between Edwards and Obama as they bickered with each other.

Was that planned? You might think so. After pundits generally agreed Clinton won that debate, and post debate polls showed her numbers increasing over Obama and Edward’s numbers dropping even lower in New Hampshire, a spokesperson for USAElectionPolls stated, “Primary voters are very tentative to vote for the candidate that they see as playing politics within the party. They want a unified party. John Edwards should know that from his second place finish in Iowa in 2004 after voters rejected Howard Dean and Dick Gephardt for attacking each other.”

The weakness for Hillary, it seemed until this morning, was her poor polling numbers in general election match ups with Republican opponents. Now, even that appears to be shifting her way. In this morning’s new Quinnipiac poll, she bests the top three GOPers.

As they say, though, there’s still a long way to go. But with the money rolling in, poll numbers rising, major endorsements daily, a top notch political operation, and two trashy smear job books tanking sales wise, there doesn’t appear to be many obstacles on Clinton’s path to the White House.

(For centrist Democratic news and opinion, visit DonkeyDigest)

Be Sociable, Share!