Damage Control: Clinton Campaign Website Issues Updated To Include Entry On Immigration Reform

[Republished from 2008Central.net]

Following Hillary Clinton's trouble Tuesday night with drivers licenses for illegal immigrants question, the Clinton campaign has been spinning all day long.  If there was any doubt that the campaign is seriously worried about the impact of Clinton's answer that doubt can end now...

At some point today, the Clinton campaign website was updated to include a new entry in the issues section called "Reforming our Immigration System." Given that up until today, this list only had 10 topics on it, the rapid addition of the immigration issue can only mean one thing - damage control.  I spotted this addition based on memory, but verified by comparing a cached version of website from October 27, 2007 to the current version. [As an aside, this is the kind of situation that exemplifies why I was and am so frustrated with the Edwards campaign for their intentional blocking of the archiving of their website].

The entry itself is nondescript, containing mostly vague generalities on the topic.  The haste in which it was drawn up is evident from the typos and the fact that it doesn't even have an entry on the index page for her issues yet.  However, the intended purpose to mitigate the damage of yesterday's confusing response is pretty clear.  Some selected quoted:

"Hillary has consistently called for comprehensive immigration reform that respects our immigrant heritage and honors the rule of law."

"Hillary strongly believes we need to do more to know who is in our country by securing our borders and ensuring that employers comply with the law against hiring and exploitating [sic] undocumented workers."

"Along with these changes, Hillary believes we need to repair those broken portions of our immigration system that irrevocably damage families and force citizens and lawful immigrants to choose between their newly adopted country and living with their spouse or children."

"And Hillary understands that our immigration policies have a direct impact on American workers. She opposes a guest worker program that exploits workers and creates a supply of cheap labor that undermines the wages of U.S. workers. Hillary believes all workers deserve safe conditions and decent wages."


I recognize the need for the campaign to address this issue head on now that it has become a bit of a hot button issue.  That said, one of the major critiques of Sen. Clinton's response yesterday evening was that it was vague, non-committal and confusing.  I think many of the same criticisms could be said of this new addition to Sen. Clinton's website.  It's one thing to get called out for behaving too much like a politician.  Sure the pundits will go nuts and the voters will grumble a bit, but at the end of the day the criticism of being too political probably won't hurt a candidate THAT much.  However, Sen. Clinton's response last night and now this new addition to the issues section makes her susceptible to a new criticism - incompetence.  Running for president and being called "political" is one thing, but running for president and being called incompetent is something totally different.  To use a line from Biden last night, "when you're in a hole - stop digging." The Clinton campaign needs to stop trying to rapidly respond to this issue, stop trying to triangulate on this issue and put together both a better response to the question and to the media.

Related at 2008Central.net:

Tags: 2008 election, Democratic Candidates, Hillary Clinton, immigration, issues (all tags)

Comments

4 Comments

Re: Damage Control: Clinton Campaign Website Issue

Adding a new section on a website in response to an issue that is suddenly getting a lot of political attention is not "spinning".  It's called intelligent use of the Web to get your message across.

Don't any of the other campaigns update their websites?  Don't they add information on issues that are getting attention?  Isn't that a big advantage of the web (compared, for example, to print media) -- that it can be updated as necessary?

Is that the new standard--that our candidates should not update their websites to address issues of interest to the public and media?  

If that's your view, fine.  I suggest you write a memo to the candidates: "Don't update your websites.  Or, if you do choose to udpate, only update on topics that are of little interest to the public and the media.  Don't dare update on anything that the public and the media are showing attention to."  Maybe you can convince your candidate to adopt such a policy.

by markjay 2007-11-01 09:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Damage Control: Clinton Campaign Website

It's good they're addressing this on their site.  It's a big issue and now with added relevancy.

I've been watching all the candidates for a few months now.  If Hillary's our front runner and eventual nominee, I would much rather she be asked and give the answer she gave to the driver license question from the other night than either Obama or Edwards.  I'm not confident how well they could sustain what she's sustaining.  She's resilient, and that's what we need for a nominee against the Republicans.

Most of all, we need a Democrat in the White House in 2009.

by Decided Voter 2007-11-01 09:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Damage Control:

This diary is stupid - I love how the anti-Hillary people are always trolling over at her website.  I've never even been to Obama's website and only went to Edwards once.

by reasonwarrior 2007-11-01 11:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Damage Control: Clinton Campaign Website Issue

Would you kindly specify what about this post makes it "anti-Hillary"?  I'm simply unclear...

The post states...

1) a fact (that the update on the website demonstrates that the campaign is taking this seriously)

2) that the update contains many of the same problems as her answer

3) and notes that this addition opens her up to more criticism

4) Underscores why it's problematic that Edwards doesn't allow archiving of his website.

How is that "anti" anything?  Serious question.

by 2008 Central 2007-11-01 12:14PM | 0 recs

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