Usually you hear the saying, “go big, or go home.” In Hillary’s case, she’s going small with intent on going back to the White House. I can imagine the scenario where advisers decided that to bring the her back down to earth in the eyes of voters, she’ll need to scale down the campaign and start at the grassroots level to avoid the feel of a top-down coronation.
Report from the Des Moines Register:
Much has been made about the seven-year gap she allowed to pass after her “excruciating” caucus night loss in 2008 (her word, from her latest book). But Clinton made a beeline here after announcing her candidacy Sunday, telegraphing that she’s serious about winning the caucuses. She told reporters she had “a great time.” One of her staffers, Iowa Democratic operative Brenda Kole, vouched for that, saying Clinton genuinely enjoyed being back on the trail here. “She really had fun,” Kole told the Register.
Clinton pulled off a go-small strategy, traveling to small towns that aren’t the usual candidate targets. “She achieved authenticity by being in small settings talking with everyday folks,” said Clinton backer Jerry Crawford, a Des Moines lawyer and Democratic money guy. She approached this campaign like she knows she has something to prove to voters, but at the same time proved she’s the biggest game on the Democratic side, strategists said.
As noted, Iowa and Hillary have a history back to 2008 when she lost the caucus to Barack Obama. Polls show her with the race well in hand, but I don’t think her team wants to take anything for granted and risk opening the door to a Martin O’Malley or anyone else.
She’s limiting press access, but then I’m not surprised by that. She doesn’t need the press as much as they need/want her for stories. Other, lesser-known candidates need the press to get their name and story out. Hillary has the advantage of the bully-pulpit, of sorts. She can keep the press at bay, and bring them in when she wants to make a point.