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Hillary's Campaign Start Shows She's Learned From 2008: NYT

Hillary's Campaign Start Shows She's Learned From 2008: NYT
(Joshua Roberts/Reuters/Landov)

By    |   Wednesday, 15 April 2015 08:36 AM

Hillary Clinton's emerging presidential campaign is already showing that she's learned from the mistakes she made in the 2008 race, and that she's determined not to go down that same road again.

When she ran in 2008 — and lost to newcomer Barack Obama — Clinton was often criticized for isolating herself from voters and avoiding spontaneous situations, a New York Times analysis says Wednesday.

But the former first lady, senator, and secretary of state launched her campaign this time around with a 16-hour van trip from New York to Iowa, stopping along the way for surprise meet-and-greets at gas stations, fast-food restaurants, and other places where "everyday" Americans gather.

Even her arrival in Iowa is being marked with low-key visits to voters, not with massive, well-orchestrated rallies.

Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, have for years shown a pattern of resilience, and her second presidential campaign is no different. The couple's rise to political power has seen unbelievable highs, but has also been marked with scandal, yet they've always been able to regain power, even if it takes humbling themselves and acknowledging mistakes.

Like in 2007, Clinton this week announced her candidacy through a video message.

But in 2007, she referred to herself at least 11 times. This time around, her video started with a film of voters, and she did not appear on screen until a minute into the announcement, and then emphasized "your vote" and "your time" rather than her 2007 message of "I'm in it to win it."

Clinton's often-contentious relations with the media during her first campaign also seem to have mellowed. This time around, she's hired aides who held get-togethers for reporters in the days before she officially announced her campaign, and she also recently spoke at a political journalism banquet, reports the Times.

Even Clinton's stance on social issues is evolving to reflect the times and the American mood, reports The Atlantic.

In 1996, she backed her husband's decision when he signed the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act, but in her announcement video, one of the voter images was of a gay male couple announcing their marriage. Her views on other issues, such as abortion, single parenthood, and bilingual Americans, are also leaning far more left than in the past.

Advisers say that after Clinton left the State Department, she sought advice about the mistakes she made in the 2008 campaign and about how politics have changed in the years since she was a senator and after the time when her husband was in the White House.

"The three most important words in a relationship are 'I hear ya,'" Paul Begala, a longtime Clinton adviser, told the Times. "This is a relationship. So when she does a different kind of video or holds different types of events, she’s saying: 'I hear ya, I get it and I’m going to show you that I’ve learned and will be a better candidate and president because of it.'"

But it's not only recently that Clinton has worked to humble herself, the Times says. Back in 2001, when she came into the Senate, "we watched her go from having this heavy footprint right after her election to seeing her mellow and really become part of the old boys club," said former Utah Republican Sen. Robert Bennett.

Bennett said that when senators got annoyed with the former first lady's Secret Service entourage, she would grin and let the "senators only" elevator close out her guards, and she even wore a seersucker suit along with her colleagues to mark the start of summer, honoring a longtime Senate tradition.

Clinton also worked to team up with Republicans for bipartisan initiatives, but that ploy backfired on her when she went to run against Obama. She voted for President George W. Bush's plan to use force in Iraq, which Obama used to slam her later.

However, she also agreed to become his secretary of state, the Times pointed out, which allowed her to reinvent herself yet once again.

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Hillary Clinton's emerging presidential campaign is already showing that she's learned from the mistakes she made in the 2008 race, and that she's determined not to go down that same road again, The New York Times reports.
hillary clinton, presidency, campaign, 2016, 2008
Wednesday, 15 April 2015 08:36 AM
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