That was the opening question of a front-page
"It's exactly the same as selling an iPhone or a soft drink or a cereal,"
A columnist less charitable -- and less constrained by the rules of a family newspaper -- might be tempted to suggest some fitting symbols for
Which is why the
They'll have their work cut out for them. More than any other politician in American life today,
Her fear of giving the wrong impression -- before she can figure out what the right impression would be -- has understandably encouraged risk aversion. Even friendly reviewers proclaimed that her book "Hard Choices" read like it was written by a subcommittee tasked with avoiding saying anything.
Fortunately, that will all change soon, now that Clinton has enlisted the help of the
Alas, Rushing is not working on the Clinton campaign, but the institute's other co-founder, marketing guru
Risking the accusation of damning Clinton with faint praise, let me say Clinton isn't litter. Nor is she a Big Mac or an iPhone.
She's a human being who has been on the public stage for nearly four decades. And yet, according to the
Brain trusts are fine, but this isn't merely that. Since her days trying to overhaul health care, Clinton has been the kind of wonk who thinks you can solve every problem by consulting enough experts and compiling enough data. There are some tasks that lend themselves to such approaches, but electoral politics isn't one of them. Her husband knew that. He may not be able to put the formula in a strategy memo, but
And so she compensates by controlling the things that she can control: an ever-expanding retinue of consultants and advisers who tell her not to worry about the missing ingredient. That's what they're there for.
The hitch is that the desperate quest to find a brand is itself a kind of branding. Former Republican
No doubt many voters -- and pundits -- will happily buy whatever they come up with for Clinton. But others will focus not on what's new in Hillary 5.0, but what is a constant in all of the versions so far: a purpose defined by the pursuit of power.