Worst job in America this morning: Clinton campaign staffer assigned to inform Hillary of her treatment at the hands of ABC's "This Week" panel.
From moderator George Stephanopoulos to former Gore campaign manager Donna Brazile, to the husband-wife tandem of Jay Carney of Time and Claire Shipman of ABC, to conservative sage George Will, it was a decidedly downbeat take on Hillary's fortunes.
View video here.
GEORGE WILL: It's risky I should think for Mrs. Clinton to adopt Richard Nixon's slogan against Jack Kennedy: "Experience Counts." Her experience, that is, where you can point to some episode between '93 and 2001 where she clearly was in charge, one was selecting the first Attorney General, which was a train wreck, exceeded only by the train wreck of the health care plan. So I'm not sure her experience will sell in this case.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Yet, and we have seen Donna, over the last several weeks, at least in Iowa, and somewhat across the country at least among Democrats, people have been more intrigued by the idea of new ideas and change rather than by experience, and you saw Hillary this week also say, well, it's how you get change: you gotta work for it.
DONNA BRAZILE: They [the Clinton campaign] intend to use the momentum from the Des Moines Register [endorsement] to try to get her back on message with her experience. But I still believe at the end of the day, the Iowans in their infinite wisdom will vote for change and not just experience. I think it's Obama and Edwards.
JAY CARNEY: She made a terrible mistake, I think, when they launched this campaign of inevitability, where they believed their own national poll numbers to the extent that they convinced themselves . . . Where it faltered was in Iowa. Six months ago they were talking about not playing in Iowa. Now if you then suddenly push this idea that you're inevitable, you can't be inevitable in every state but the one that matters most.
CLAIRE SHIPMAN: You can't be the candidate of inevitability and suddenly be the underdog. I'm telling you, George, if you talk, despite this endorsement which has given everyone a boost, the Clinton team is demoralized. You talk to them, you can pick it up from everyone. There's finger-pointing, back-biting, rumors of wholesale change, maybe not now but after New Hampshire.
STEPHANOPOULOS: There's no question about that; it was rife throughout the campaign this week.
And a bit later . . .
STEPHANOPOULOS: A third-place finish may be better than a second-place to Barack Obama. Obama wins in Iowa, he wins in New Hampshire most likely and probably, Donna, wins in South Carolina as well.
Ouch! You know Hillary is in trouble when Stephanopoulos says the best thing that could happen to the former front-runner is to finish dead last in Iowa among the leading contenders.
BONUS COVERAGE: WILL'S WITHERING HUCK HACK
Don't mark George Will down as "undecided" on Mike Huckabee. The veteran conservative pundit made clear he'd be at wit's end if the GOP were to nominate the former Arkansas governor.
WILL: Huckabee, this week, when it was learned he that he gave more clemencies -- one every four days -- to convicted criminals in Arkansas than the three preceding governors combined, including Bill Clinton.
This week, also we learned, he goes to New Hampshire, the New Hampshire affiliate of the National Education Association [teachers' union], which is the most loyal Democratic constituency, which in 2004 endorsed Dean on the Democratic side and no one on the Republican side, this week endorsed Huckabee on the Republican side out of gratitude for his: a. support for higher taxes, which public employees usually like, and b. his opposition to school choice. If that man is nominated!
NBC'S 'SUBLIMINABLE' SUPPORT FOR HUCKABEE?
Was NBC, with the graphic it repeatedly ran in my area, trying to make things harder for Romney, in his run against an ordained Baptist minister, to convince evangelicals that he shares their values? ;-)