Clinton Under Attack By Latino Leader

The headline at the New York Post is ‘Super’ Latino Slams Clinton:

A prominent member of the national Democratic Party has circulated a sharp e-mail saying the removal of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle was disloyal to Hispanics and should give “pause” to superdelegates and voters.

The e-mail from, Steven Ybarra, a California superdelegate who heads the voting-rights committee of the DNC Hispanic Caucus, was sent to fellow caucus members in the hours after word broke that Solis Doyle – the most prominent Latina in Clinton’s campaign – would be replaced by another close Clinton loyalist, Maggie Williams, who is black.

The e-mail noted that Clinton, who is looking to Latino voters for a boost in the Texas and Ohio primaries on March 4, scored heavily with Hispanics in her California win.

“Apparently, loyalty is not a two-way street,” he wrote. “Latino superdelegates like myself . . . will have cause to pause.”

It is questionable if the decision really had anything to do with race as opposed to job performance, but this is the price Clinton will pay for her attempt to base her campaign on identity politics. Clinton’s campaign has been based largely on sexism and racism as she has appealed to female voters due to being female, regardless of who is the best candidate, and attempted to dissuade white and Latino voters from voting for Obama because she is black. This strategy has largely worked with woman voters, but fortunately many whites are looking beyond race and evaluating the candidates on their merits. Clinton has had some success in her use of identity politics with Latino voters, but it remains to be seen whether she will maintain this advantage in Texas.

There are several accounts of the Clinton campaign shake up on line, such as this report at The Atlantic. The downfall of Solis is attributed largely to arrogance, but this arrogance is seen in the underlying campaign strategy of seeing Clinton’s victory as inevitable:

Such arrogance led directly to the idea that Clinton could simply project an air of inevitability and be assured her party’s nomination. If she wins—as she very well might—it will be in spite of her original approach. As one former Clinton staffer put it to me last spring: “There was an assumption that if you were a major donor and wanted to be an ambassador, go to state dinners with the queen—unless you were an outright fool, you were going to go with Hillary, whether you liked her or not. The attitude was ‘Where else are they going to go?’”

It’s important to emphasize that Solis Doyle was not the architect of the Clinton strategy. It was devised and agreed to by many of the campaign’s top staffers, and the candidate herself signed off on it. But in all my reporting and personal experience with the campaign, Solis Doyle probably embodied it more than anyone else. It’s not unfair that she lost her job; but it is unfair that no other senior staffers appear to be in danger of losing theirs.

Ultimately the accounts of how poorly Clinton’s campaign is managed raise the question of whether Clinton is really the great hands on manager she portrays herself. This, like the idea that her victory is inevitable, looks like just another myth being spread by the Clinton campaign.

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