Fixing the wrong problem

A bad weekend for HRC. But firing Patti Solis Doyle seems an odd way to deal with the problem.

The Clinton campaign, having run itself aground under the able piloting of Mark Penn, has fired … Patti Solis Doyle? (That ought to play well in Texas, don’t you think?)

Maybe the strategy was to distract attention from Maine, where an almost exclusively white and overwhelmingly old and working-class Democratic electorate handed Obama a 19-point edge: his narrowest of of the weekend, but still impressive. Barring an Act of God, on Tuesday Obama will overtake Clinton in elected delegates.* Everyone has been assuming that her edge in already-committed superdelegates will tend to carry over to the superdelegates who haven’t yet made up their minds, but I would have guessed just the opposite: why would someone who hasn’t committed to HRC yet want to commit to her now?

Meanwhile, Obama’s 60 Minutes appearance was damned near pitch-perfect. He came across as relaxed, confident, cheerful, thoughtful, and genuine. The contrast between HRC’s forced-sounding laugh and Obama’s easy kilomegawatt smile has to be worth a couple of percentage points. Maybe if replacing the manager doesn’t work, the Clinton machine could consider replacing the candidate?

* Update A reader corrects me: Obama already leads in elected delegates. After Tuesday he will lead in total delegates.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: