Posted by: Ray Brescia | January 31, 2016

Iowa and Hillary’s “Costanza Campaign”

Seinfeld’s discomforting and hard-to-like George Costanza generally makes terrible decisions, always says the wrong thing, and ends up in terrible situations from which it is impossible to extricate himself with anything remotely resembling grace, let alone dignity.  In one episode, however, called “The Opposite,” he has an epiphany.   He declares that “every decision I have every made in my entire life has been wrong.”

Jerry responds that “if every instinct that you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right.”

George tries doing the opposite, and it works.  He gets the girl.  Receives a job offer from the New York Yankees.  Moves out of his parents’ apartment.  What is the source of this hot streak?  He trusts his instincts, then does the exact opposite.

In a recent article, Clinton’s Plan to Win Iowa: Do the Opposite of 2008, journalist Sasha Issenberg identifies Hillary Clinton’s strategy for winning Iowa, and it would make Costanza proud: follow everything you did in 2008, and reverse it.  Instead of a top-down, impersonal campaign run by technocrats, she is working on the retail side of politics and building a bottom-up campaign, block-by-block and caucus-goer by caucus-goer.

The latest Iowa polls seem to have her out front.  We’ll know tomorrow whether this was enough to win.

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