Dr. Pitney on Clinton & Obama Strategy

From Mary Anne Ostrom’s article in the San Jose Mercury News:

“When there’s bad news to deliver, you want a familiar face,” said Jack Pitney, professor of political science at Claremont McKenna College. Most voters agree that Obama, because of his racial heritage and his call for political harmony, would bring more change to Washington. But, adds Pitney, Clinton has cleverly positioned herself in two camps: She campaigns on going back to the future, returning to the boom times of a decade ago. For many voters, “She’s really the restoration candidate,” he said.

From James Rainey and Maria LaGanga’s article in the Los Angeles Times:

John J. Pitney Jr., a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College, said the shift of the election to economics should benefit Clinton. “This is an issue where the Clinton brand has the greatest impact,” Pitney said. “It points to the most popular aspects of Bill Clinton’s administration — a booming stock market, low unemployment, low inflation.”

From Ben Evans’ AP report:

“Obama’s trying to do two things at once. On the one hand, energize the liberal base, but also attract independents who are looking for a bipartisan problem-solver,” said JackPitney, a former deputy research director for the Republican National Committee and a government professor at Claremont McKenna College in California. “That’s a very difficult balance, and (Hillary) Clinton is trying to highlight the contradiction there.”

Pitney and others said turnout will probably be high among independents because of the wide-open contests in each party. But it’s tricky to predict the impact, they said.
“It makes a difference at the margin,” Pitney said. “I don’t know of any cases where independents by themselves have decided a nomination, but in a very close contest, they might be able to tip it one way or another.”

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