Feeling the Shrum love

0-for-8 as a presidential campaign consultant, Bob Shrum says Hillary Clinton is "building a bridge to the past."

Published August 14, 2007 1:44PM (EDT)

Bob Shrum, 0-for-8 as a consultant for Democratic presidential campaigns, says simultaneously that elections "are always about the candidates, not the consultants" and that Al Gore and John Kerry would both have been elected president if he -- Shrum -- had just "bent history a few more inches."

So how is Shrum bending history this time around? After trashing his old boss John Edwards, he's turning his sights on Hillary Clinton. As Jeffrey Toobin reports in the New Yorker, Shrum says that he likes Clinton but that she "wanted to lock up the race early, and she hasn't done it."

We'll pause here to note that it's August 2007 -- five months before the first primary or caucus votes are cast and 15 months before the 2008 presidential election -- and then we'll let Shrum continue.

"Her lead in the national polls is irrelevant," he says of Clinton. "It's all about what happens in the early primary states. She's redefining change as nostalgia. Her campaign is about building a bridge to the past, not the future, as her husband used to say."

Her husband? Shrum says Bill Clinton "didn't get to be a great president" because he was "re-elected without asking for a mandate to do anything big, and he didn't get anything big done as president." Of course, Clinton did accomplish getting elected and getting reelected, which is more than Shrum can claim for any of the presidential candidates he was paid to advise.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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