In Chris Matthews's book Hardball we learned to hang a lantern on our problems: if you get to them before your opponent does, you can define them, highlight them, and pull the rug out from under your would-be attacker.
This only works, however, if you actually hang a lantern on the problem, not if you simply act in a way that exposes a weakness and leaves it wide open and begging for the wrong kind of interpretation. Need an example? Let's see. Oh right, this should do.
Hillary has replaced her campaign manager. But don't worry, it was planned awhile ago and it was her choice and she loves the new manager and Hillary loves her and it's fine, totally, pay no attention to that candidate behind the curtain who swept the weekend's contests and is expected to win everything through the end of Februrary according to the LAT article linked above. No, everything is cool!
When noting that the decision was made before Super Tuesday, the article also makes a point of saying now former manager Patti Solis Doyle has two small children. And? So? Is she leaving to spend more time with the family? Did the job get to be too much, what with bake sales and the upcoming Garden Friends Pagent for which she has to make the youngest one's ladybug costume still? No, that's all bullshit, of course it doesn't say that, but I feel like it's in there. Am I being too woman-y again?
Either way, I'm proving why it was stupid of the Clinton camp to let this be a story because now I'm latching onto a process piece and using it to comment on the susbtantive battle. Which is 100% what Hill & Co. does not need right now.
Now is the time when it makes more sense to comment on a possible shift in momentum. The expectations game has been upset. But that only helps Obama, doesn't it? From the start hasn't everyone been waiting for permission to leave Hillary and "The Clintons" behind and just move forward?
This election is stressful, isn't it.
Oh, and does the relative quieting of the Republican race mean that we'd be better served cutting to the chase and selecting a nominee? Or, is it better that Dems get all the attention - articles about which of OUR policies are better, which of OUR candidates will win - if nothing is going on over in Reep-ville, they get less ink, less screen time, less love generally? McCain has to split his attack, and 2 fronts is a bad thing, yeah?
Bet everyone wishes they had chilled the hell out in 2007 so they'd have more energy for the actual election year. I'm glad I saved myself.