According to sources close to Hillary Clinton and her campaign staff, newly-announced candidate for president recently had an epic Clinton-esque meltdown over the disastrous roll-out of her campaign as well as, by implication, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity’s coverage of same. While choosing to remain anonymous for fear of obvious reprisal, the source described the mood among staffers as uptight and anxious.
After announcing her candidacy for president on Sunday, April 11, Clinton’s campaign has experienced a number of missteps and miscalculations. From being accused of using Democratic operatives as regular, everyday people to her apparently less-than-cordial interaction with employees at an Ohio fast-food restaurant, the candidate has been portrayed by Limbaugh and Hannity as not just out-of-touch, but actively aggressive, with the common, everyday and ordinary American citizen. Listen to Hannity, for example, and one hears an almost three-hour litany of accusations that Clinton is arrogant, brash, rude, unduly ambitious, overly political, calculating and outright hostile toward the very people she claims to want to represent.
Both Limbaugh and Hannity have detailed Clinton’s record in politics while portraying her as being in the race for very selfish purposes. While the two top-rated radio personalities are themselves known for their own bombast and agenda-driven rhetoric, Clinton feels they are taking personal liberties with their over-the-top criticisms.
The problem, the source suggests, is that Clinton expected from the outset, after a painstaking pre-announcement process that included poll numbers and demographic information on an almost infinite amount of topics and issues, that she had her ducks in a row. However, consistent with her portrayal in numerous sources, Clinton refuses to admit culpability in anything that goes wrong. The epic meltdown directed at staff, Limbaugh and Hannity appears to validate this claim.
Her staff, recently mobilized for campaign duty, could see this coming, as every aspect of the roll-out had been choreographed, vetted and objectified. It was always clear that, because the process and logistics were so detailed and micro-managed by Clinton, that something would not go as planned, but the epic nature of the missteps and miscalculations have been stunning.
Clinton’s poll numbers are not where she herself has demanded they be, and, because her disastrous rollout has been so intensely covered, she feels as if the campaign has unnecessarily gifted conservative radio, the Republican establishment and general haters, a loaded gun. To counter the growing negative perception and energy surrounding her campaign, the plan is to, in coming days, stage events that have the feel of the extemporaneous. The curious irony here appears to be lost only on the candidate herself.
For journalists covering the campaign, there is always the threat of falling into the mundane and routine. Campaign coverage is, for many journalists, the best and worst kind of work. On the one hand, there is a certain romance associated with following a front runner and seeing history in the making. On the other hand, it can be the most feared of assignments, as the routine can become the stuff of mind-altering boredom and dreams and fantasies of far-off places. As her latest Clinton-esque meltdown directed at staff, Limbaugh and Hannity, et al, can attest, this particular campaign may end up being the best gig in town.
Opinion By Matthew R. Fellows
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