Clinton Camp Memo on Why Clinton is the Democrat to Beat McCain
Mark Halperin, The Page
To: Interested Parties
From: Mark Penn, Chief Strategist
Date: Monday, February 11, 2008
RE: Why Hillary, Not Sen. Obama, Is the Democrat to Beat McCain
During this campaign, one of the key arguments for Hillary’s candidacy is that she’s tested, vetted and ready to lead on day one. How does this factor into voters’ decisions now that it appears John McCain will be the Republican nominee? Let’s envision how a general election between the Democratic nominee and John McCain will unfold, based on recent elections:
The GOP Attack Machine Will Redefine the Democratic Candidate; Hillary Has Withstood That Process. As soon as the Democratic nominee is selected, the entire force of the GOP attack machine will bear down on that nominee. This attack machine has been built and honed over decades; it is formidable, and employs all forms of media, from talk radio to major newspaper columns to television, email, blogs, websites, direct mail, and extensive ground networks. It was able to skew public perceptions of two well-respected Democrats, Al Gore and John Kerry, creating impressions about them that were wildly out of step with reality. Hillary Clinton has withstood the full brunt of that machine and actually emerged stronger.