The most skilled and smart politicians I have observed and known generally follow an election result by asking one of two questions: If they won, they want to figure out any tactics or words they used in the campaign that might that cause them problems down the line. “What wounds did I inflict to win that I now have to heal?”If they lost, they want to figure out every opportunity that the loss might have created any new doors that might have been opened when the others closed. “Is there something new I can try?”
So if Hillary wins any combination of primaries and ultimately the nomination, she’ll have to assess the damage done by the negative campaigning that exit polls show many people resented. Hillary will ask: “Who did I alienate and how do I fix that? How do I get Obama supporters?
If Obama wins, he’ll need to come to terms with how and why his strategy did well with white males and African Americans, yet was largely unable to attract older white women, a fairly large demographic group. Barack will ask: “Did sexism drive the votes of some of my supporters and what do I have to do about that? How do I get Clinton supporters?
McCain, now the nominee, has to come to terms with the extent to which his courting of the extreme right might have alienated centrists and how much his courting of the centrists might have alienated conservatives. McCain will ask: How do I move back toward the center without alienating people.
Winning a nomination creates as many problems as it solves.