New Hampshire: The Polls Were Right And The Clinton Campaign Kicked Some Kumbaya.

The polls were conducted on January 4th, 5th and 6th. But what those throwing mud at pollsters and pundits are missing is a calendar - the election was on the 8th.
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Lost in all of the flurry of the "pollsters and pundits are idiots" narrative that developed through the late hours of Tuesday and was in full spread glory today was perhaps the simplest and most accurate explanation of what happened on Tuesday.

While a man much wiser than I was offering the first sentence, " two political dynasties died yesterday in the snows of New Hampshire" the voters were voting.

Now, for some in D.C., allow me to point out the obvious.

The polls were conducted on January 4th, 5th and 6th.

And I will forever stand by this - if the election had been held on one of those days, Barack Obama would have won, perhaps by the margins expected.

But what some are missing who are throwing mud at pollsters and pundits is a calendar - the election was on the 8th. Easily forgotten, perhaps it was the unseasonably warm weather.

The story line that dominated the news and the faces of the Clinton senior staff on Tuesday was all too real, and all too accurate. A major loss by Hillary would indeed have put the Clinton dynasty to bed, and looking at President Clinton, he, frankly, looks like he wouldn't be all that upset by the prospect of some peace and quiet.

But three things happened from the last poll call to last count of the votes. And in the 24 minute news cycle, is anyone surprised that 48 hours is an eternity?

Clearly, a wave of sympathy broke towards Hillary from a number of fronts; yes, it was the tears but it was also the words of her philandering husband, "I can't make her any younger" - if you don't think that got her some votes from women, you're insane, and the feeling that, even if you didn't like her, it's hard to watch someone's dream come to an end, and Barack is going to win anyway, so I'll vote for Hillary. I heard that exact statement from three people.

When the curtain closes and you vote, it is an entirely a personal relationship and on Tuesday, the emotion was with Hillary.

The second thing is the Clinton Campaign played hard and smart the last 24 hours.

Hard. And smart.

The news of the pending huge campaign shake-up dominated the news cycle, encouraging I think supporters because it said we're going to fight and learn and if we have to make changes, we will. There now is some mystical where did that rumor come from, well, it came from Clinton campaign surrogates talking about it directly and openly on the record to the media that's where. It's no mystery.

The Clinton Campaign has played the gender card masterfully and consciously. I was doing Radio Row almost all day on Tuesday at the Radisson, enjoying conversations and appearing on shows like Thom Hartmann. Every single Clinton surrogate I saw pulled me aside and told me how much her tears had touched them. They may not have planned the moment, but they knew the power of it. Edwards also screwed up big time, Chris Matthews fueled the fire and the sympathy vote boomed.

Hats off to the Clinton Surrogates who I say working hard that day, Senator Evan Bayh, Elizabeth Bagley, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Congressman Jim McGovern and Terry McAuliffe. I can flat out tell you they were hustling and talking to any media outlet that would listen, all day I say them working and working and working. It was impressive.

And also during the last 24 hours, there were a couple of curious incidents.

At a Clinton Campaign event, tight security with Secret Service present, a man held up a sign, about three feet by three feet saying: IRON MY SHIRT. In the front row, by the candidate.

Have you ever tried to carry a sign into a political event? A Clinton event? With Secret Service standing there? A big sign? Right to the front? Think about it.

You don't have to think about this introduction that Hillary was given, by a person chosen by the campaign.

Today, in Dover, Francine Torge, a former John Edwards supporter, said this while introducing Mrs. Clinton: "Some people compare one of the other candidates to John F. Kennedy. But he was assassinated. And Lyndon Baines Johnson was the one who actually" passed the civil rights legislation.

Hillary was standing next to Francine when she said this and, of course, the Clinton Campaign issued immediate denials.

What are the chances that someone introducing the former first lady the day before the most important day in her political life gets to wing it? About as high as walking to the front of a packed campaign event with a sign requesting laundry service.

While this was going on, even Obama supporters were noticing and worrying about the campaign's seeming indifference to the last 24 hours, a close second in New Hampshire was the dream of the Obama campaign a week ago, but now they were letting talk of 15 point win dominate the weekend. When the Clintons grabbed the last 24 hour news cycle, the Obama Campaign was talking about, well, nothing really.

When people were talking about Obama, it was about the issue of his NH Campaign Co-Chair being a lobbyist and if you are a Obama supporter, take note, the chinks in the armor that together make hope look like a marketing strategy and not a core belief are a real problem.

Hope doesn't vote present. Hope doesn't help Joe Lieberman in Connecticut. Hope doesn't have its own PAC.

More surprisingly in retrospect was that the Obama Camp wasn't playing the expectations game, lowering the bar a bit, talking about the challenges their guy faced in Iowa and New Hampshire and how a first in Iowa combined with a second in New Hampshire was a huge win.

They weren't pushing back on the Clinton Campaign Restructure story dominating and they didn't seem to be really concerned at all about the all Clinton, all the time Monday and Tuesday news cycle, or maybe they thought it was hurting her, I have no idea.

Which leads us back to the polls.

The polls were right and the Clinton Camp knew they were right. They weren't fighting like a cornered animal for the fun of it, trust me. And they played their cards masterfully and worked their asses off over the last twenty four hours.

A little luck, a lot of work, and an opponent who seemed to take twenty-fours off, add it up, and one political dynasty made it out of the melting snow just fine thank you.

As for the dynasty some feel might be in the making, today was as big a wake-up call as last Thursday was for Hillary.

We'll see if he is as fast a learner as Hillary clearly proved to be.

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