More Clinton Dissection

Heilmann plays the what-if game. The more unremarked on bits:

2. Speaking of Iowa, what if Clinton had skipped the caucuses?
The idea was floated a year ago by her former deputy campaign manager, Mike Henry, who wrote, in a 1,500-word internal memo, “If she walks away from Iowa she will devalue Iowa—our consistently weakest state.” The risks here, too, were obvious enough: How could the putative front-runner forgo the first contest? With the benefit of hindsight, however, some Clinton hands concede that Henry was prescient in his fears and arguably correct in his prescription.

3. What if Clinton had apologized for her Iraq-war vote?
Her refusal to do so contained elements of both principle and calculation. But it opened the door to BHO and allowed him to argue that wisdom was more important than experience in foreign policy. And it provided Obama and John Edwards with a point of attack that drowned out Clinton’s positive message for much of 2007.

I don’t know if she ever could have won over the left-wing activists who have been cool to her all along, but it does seem that skipping Iowa would have been a big help, as it was obviously finishing 3rd there that put a dent in her inevitability campaign. Then again, how do you mount a campaign of inevitability when you aren’t contesting the first major contest?

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