Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Friday, February 29, 2008
Hillary Clinton and the politics of fear
It's come to this.

Hillary Clinton, faltering in her march toward the nomination after 13 straight primary losses, has turned to the tactics of Walter Mondale (with a little LBJ and Georgw W thrown in,) to try and turn things around (the tactics of Richard Nixon [experience matters! ... ignore the whelp!!!...] Bush I [smearing one's opponent ... prudent at this juncture...] and Mommie Dearest [one moment, kind and maternal, next moment ... horrible and cruel!!!] having failed her.)

Mrs. Clinton is apparently spending that $35 mil of hers (Barack has more than that, apparently...) finding new ways to eviscerate her opponent, and, it seems, to render him unelectable in the primary, unelectable in the general, and unelectable for all time. Clinton's new TV ad is a doosy (the NYT blog The Caucus analyzes it here):

In other words, vote for Hillary ... if you want your children to live...

To be fair, Camp Clinton isn't whipping up anything the McCain camp wouldn't have thought of on their own, and it's a near certainty that no matter how mean Hillary gets during the primary, the GOP and McCain will make her look like a masseuse by the fall. But ... there's something to be said for grace, and for putting the war ahead of the battle. It's getting to the point where I, at least, am wondering whether it's more important for Mrs. Clinton to be the nominee, in her camp's thinking, than for the Democrats to win in the fall.

I have had such great respect for the Clintons, especially Bill, over the years, and have been sufficiently supportive of them to consider myself a "Clinton Democrat." And while I am supporting, and voted for, Barack Obama this cycle, had he not been in, Hillary would have been my girl.

That said ... I would have much preferred to see Hillary run on her own merits, her vision for America, and the attributes that make her a good potential president, not on her team's perception of the demerits of Barack Obama. Ultimately, the goal is to win the White House in the fall. Becoming the echo chamber of the Republican Party doesn't strike me as the best way to get that accomplished.

Meanwhile, Team Obama responds:
Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) campaign manager said Friday morning that a new ad on national security from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) will backfire as it will only remind voters that Clinton voted for the Iraq war.

Entitled “Children,” the spot features sleeping children and says: “It's 3 a.m., and your children are safe and asleep. But there’s a phone in the White House, and it's ringing. Something’s happening in the world. Your vote will decide who answers that call.”

The ad, which is already being compared to the famous “Daisy” ad of the 1964 campaign, is the same strategy that Clinton has been using since losing the Iowa caucuses and has been “rejected by voters,” said David Plouffe, Obama's campaign manager, on a conference call with reporters Friday.

“Sen. Clinton already had her red phone moment,” Plouffe said. “She had it in 2002. It was on the Iraq war.”

He added: “This is about what you say when you answer that phone.”

And someone trusts Barack to be the guy answering the red phone: Senator Jay Rockefellar.

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posted by JReid @ 3:32 PM  
ReidBlog: The Obama Interview
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"I am for enhanced interrogation. I don't believe waterboarding is torture... I'll do it. I'll do it for charity." -- Sean Hannity
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