With the Pennsylvania primary on the way this April 22, Hillary's got to learn from her mistakes—and fast. Here, a cheat sheet on what didn't work this week.
1.) Sniper-fire jokes.
It was not good when Clinton had to admit—after a video surfaced showing the contrary—that she'd misspoken about dodging "sniper fire" on a pretty tame trip she made to Bosnia while she was First Lady. She 'fessed up, said she'd been exhausted when she said it, and we were ready to move on. But to go on Leno and make a joke about it ("I was so worried I wasn't going to make it. I was pinned down by sniper fire") is a lame way to seem like she's laughing it off as if it doesn't matter. And if her ultimate hope is to beat Barack and end up going head-to-head against McCain—a former POW—turning sniper fire into a joke, especially while we're embroiled in Iraq, isn't good strategy.
2.) Identifying with Rocky.
Yes, in the planning stages, it probably seemed like it'd be an incredibly dramatic gesture to give an "I'm a fighter"-type speech on those infamous Philly steps. But did anyone tell Hillary that the original Rocky, um, loses his big heavyweight fight?
3.) Creating a He-Said-She-Said Fray.
When former Clintonian Bill Richardson endorsed Obama instead of Hillary, reporters rushed to get Hillary's side of the story. They asked if she'd ever told Richardson that Barack couldn't win the general election. She responded with "That would be a no," causing journalists like ABC News' George Stephanopoulos to think that meant she had said Barack couldn't win; her aides later insisted that she did not mean it that way, and that her "no" meant she was declining to talk about that conversation. "I don't talk about private conversations but I have consistently made the case that I can win," she said in a later press conference. But if Clinton is already being criticized for going negative, why not just lay it out there, as plain as day, and publicly declare that she can win and her opponent can't?
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