Newsweek's Alter on Clinton: 'One of the Worst Run Campaigns in Modern Political History'

      Hillary Clinton’s presidential effort isn’t getting much love from MSNBC contributors these days.


     Just a week and a half after MSNBC’s David Shuster made the remark, “it seem like Chelsea's [Clinton] sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way,” MSNBC contributor and Newsweek Senior Editor Jonathan Alter had some harsh criticism of her campaign. 


     On the heels of Clinton’s losses in Wisconsin, Washington State and Hawaii on February 19 to Barack Obama, Alter said her campaign had been terribly managed when asked.


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     “Terribly,” Alter said. “I’d say it’s one of the worst run campaigns in modern political history, and she is one of the better candidates. That’s the irony – that she turned out to be a pretty darn good candidate.”


     Alter told the audience gathered at Nathan’s in the heart of the Georgetown neighborhood in Washington, D.C. on February 20 he thought many of the people running Clinton’s campaign took her nomination for granted. Obama’s campaign, he said, had more people on the ground.


     He predicted Obama to win, but said not to count Clinton out completely. He did admit to saying earlier in the day on the Ed Shultz radio show that Hillary Clinton “could go out classy or could go out ugly.”


     According to Alter, the business of media has changed, so much in fact he said there is no excuse for not be informed with the wide array of choices – regular television, cable and the Internet.  However, even if you don’t think very highly of American media, Alter said there are other options.


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     “[S]o now if you’re not getting what you feel like you need to be an informed citizen – I don’t mean to be harsh about it, but it’s your own fault, because the information is there. You can read the Guardian if you feel the American press is no good. You can read, you know, a take from the British press. Or you can sample from the local press. You can time shift if you happen to miss it.”


     Alter blamed the downfall of CBS News – a distant third in network ratings and what he said was once the “Tiffany’s” of the network news – on never having a cable news channel. He compared it to the success of NBC, which has MSNBC and CNBC.


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     “It was a terrible mistake,” Alter said. “They had been the ‘Tiffany’ of networks. They had been the dominant player for years and now they’re well behind and they have been for years.”


     Alter’s appearance was part of the restaurant’s Q&A Café newsmaker lunches, hosted by Carol Joynt.