Clinton vs. Media Hype in Iowa

The Wall Street Journal today wrote, “In two recent polls of likely Iowa caucus-goers, Sen. Clinton was slightly ahead in one, but her chief rival, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, had retaken the edge in the other. A decisive Clinton victory in Iowa potentially could clinch the nomination; a loss, or even a close call, makes her vulnerable in the states that follow.”

Such analysis, in the view of one of Clinton’s top fund-raisers, may be a greater threat to her campaign than any of her opponents.

Robert Zimmerman, a Democratic National Committeeman and major Clinton supporter, said that the media was setting her up for a fall, and that the idea that Hillary Clinton is a front-runner losing ground in Iowa “is the greatest fiction of the entire presidential race.”

“Senator Clinton started out in third place in Iowa,” he told me. “A distant third place. Governor Vilsack told me, when he declared support for her, that she was in a distant third in Iowa. Obviously it’s going to be a close race. It always was and will be a close race. I think too many of the Clinton supporters took this nomination for granted and I think for the Clinton supporters this is a powerful wake up call. But the real issue here is not how Senator Clinton does in comparison to Edwards and Obama. The real issue here is how does Hillary Clinton do compared to media expectations. That’s her competition in Iowa. Not Edwards and Obama. Media expectations. I think she is showing a lot of courage by focusing on Iowa, staying in the race in Iowa, and campaigning there, versus Giuliani and McCain and others who have simply walked away from the race in Iowa.”