Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Always the Underdog?

At times I bought into the fundraising pitches. On March 1st and 4th I donated to the Clinton campaign in response to a pair of online fundraising pleas they made before the "Mini Tuesday" voting days in Texas and Ohio.

The case the Clinton camp made then was that the Obama campaign had won big in Wisconsin and Washington because they had outspent the Clintons more than 4-to-1 on television advertising. It was clear to me: if I wanted Hillary to have a better chance of winning in Ohio and Texas, they needed as much money as they could get for their own advertisements.'s homepage was a side by side comparison of the Obama campaign's spending in Ohio vs. the Clintons' spending. Every donation, including mine, caused Hillary's bar to jump just a little bit higher. I, along with other Clinton supporters I know, donated that week. As it was, the Clinton campaign strategy never had Ohio or Texas in its plans from the beginning, and they needed some extra help.

Now, however, after months of knowing that Pennsylvania could be their last stand, the Clinton campaign is still playing the underdog card. Bill Clinton sent out an email yesterday to supporters asking for money and said, "The Obama campaign is already on the air with their first ad in Pennsylvania, putting their fundraising advantage to work. They're going to spend every dollar they've got to end this race in Pennsylvania, and we can't let that happen."

All this makes me think Hillary Clinton likes being perceived as the underdog in every new state that votes—it's a strategy that's worked well for her of late.

After enjoying that fundraising pitch before, I'm beginning to tire of the "we're going to be outspent!" line. So, I've designed a fundraising button of my own that I wish the Clinton campaign would use. Instead of giving money to Hillary Clinton because Barack is raising and spending more, I think Clinton supporters would rally around the idea of showing WHY they support Hillary. Whether it be ending the war in Iraq or working to provide universal health care, having supporters connect their contributions to the issues Ms. Clinton supports would show the campaign what really matters in the eyes of voters.

Check it out:

To the Clinton campaign: Use your candidate's strengths on issues, not her disadvantage in advertising, to gain and maintain support.



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