Writings and observations

Arriving to capacity

The Clinton campaign did this earlier this week too in its visit to Oregon, when the speaker was former President Bill Clinton; They booked venues clearly too small for the event. At the events in Portland and Salem, a large chunk of the turned-out crowd was left waiting outside the main hall. And today when presidential candidate Hillary Clinton came to Hillsboro (in the Portland metro area) and booked a high school which would accommodate 2,600 people, they had to know they were underbooking. And, from appearances, in Eugene today too.

There’s a rule in politics that you don’t want a lot of empty seats visible when you show up at a place; it looks like the crowd you were expecting instead evaporated. And if the Clinton campaign thought they wouldn’t be able to fill the arenas their opposition, Illinois Senator Barack Obama, has, then it makes sense to downsize a bit. But what sort of game is being played by undersizing so much?

And no, this morning’s explanation in the Oregonian suggesting a Clinton preference for more intimate venues really didn’t seem to wash. Do you really think she wouldn’t in a heartbeat swap the crowd size Obama’s been drawing for those she has?

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