August 26th, 2008
09:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Castellanos: Will Clinton acknowledge her failings?

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Clinton takes the stage tonight, vowing to unite Democrats."]
I often teach young campaign managers what I view as "The Laws of Politics."

One of them is "The Law of the Ketchup Stain" - When your candidate walks into the room with a stain on his or her shirt, no one is going to listen to a word they say until it is acknowledged.

Everyone knows Hillary Clinton is going to support Barack Obama, that's not the stain on her shirt. Rather, the "ketchup stain" is that she has said Obama is inexperienced and unprepared to be president. She's got to acknowledge what every Democrat has heard her say.

How does she do it? She must say, "I know you've heard me say things in the competitive heat of battle that may cause some of you to have doubts about my support for Obama. I know that and you know that. Let me put those doubts to rest. I'm not only going to do everything I can do to elect Obama, I am going to ask you to help me, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your energy. If you believe in Hillary Clinton, believe in Obama, support him. Elect him president."

Will she do it? The Clintons have never been very good at acknowledging their failings. Unless she does, however, her support of Obama will be seen by many Democrats as a choice between the lesser of two evils - the appearance that she supports Obama only because he is not as bad John McCain.

soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. karen

    Tell me she shouldn't have been the president! I think you're great Hillary and I WISH I could vote for Obama but I just can't.

    August 26, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  2. Calico

    Hillary Clintons true support of Barack Obama will be determined or undermined by Bill Clintion's refusal to attend Obama's acceptance speech Thrusday night. As being reported, he is boycotting this speech. It seems that his feelings are hurt and he is a sore loser. He did have visions of moving into the White House again. This was spoiled by Obama winning the nomination. Perhaps someone should tell Bill Clinton to get a life.

    August 26, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  3. stone

    Hillary Clinton ; We hope you don't capitulate to Obama, Nancy Pelosi

    Kennedy. They are leading Democratic go to losing. Bill Clinton is a great president of U.S.

    August 26, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  4. gloria pitman

    mr mc cain is a good man look how he suffered when he was captured by the enemy . and you say he doesnt care about anerica im sure he does more than we all know. he is there to make things better just like mr oboma. but he has to stop the war. he knows what war is and how much suffering there is so mc cain do your best if oboma gets the election you think things are going to cnange fast believe me it will take a long time for the problems of the states get better. oboma cant solve these things by himself he will need a lot of direction from more exsperienced people. mc cain help the american people your older your wiser. thank you glo

    August 26, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  5. Mike, FL

    Castellanos is a right wing republican who loves Bush!

    August 26, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  6. herman

    Mcbush won the election when Obama chose Biden instead of Hillary.

    August 26, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
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