Thursday, March 06, 2008

Some Constructive Criticism for the Clinton Campaign

In an earlier draft of my previous post, I wrote of a second option Hillary might decide to use to beat Barack, but decided to delete it because it didn't a.) help her win the nomination, and b.) didn't really suspect of her of being this Machiavellian. Turns out I probably should have included it.

This is what I almost included: "Hillary may attempt to weaken Obama so badly that McCain defeats him in the general election, thus leaving Hillary as the Democratic heir-presumptive in 2012."

As of today, an argument can be made that this crazy, scorched earth, throw the Democratic party under the bus game-plan is now part of the Clinton campaign's new strategy. Evidence, you ask?

This is what she said today:

“I think that since we now know Sen. McCain will be the nominee for the Republican Party, national security will be front and center in this election. We all know that. And I think it’s imperative that each of us be able to demonstrate we can cross the commander-in-chief threshold,” the New York senator told reporters crowded into a bedroom-sized hotel conference room in Washington.

“I believe that I’ve done that. Certainly, Sen. McCain has done that and you’ll have to ask Sen. Obama with respect to his candidacy,” she said.

Calling McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee a good friend and a “distinguished man with a great history of service to our country,” Clinton said, “[Both McCain and I] will be on that stage having crossed that [commander-in-chief] threshold."

So when Obama's the nominee, does anyone think the McCain campaign won't be sending out talking points to all of the right-wing pundits use saying, "Even Hillary Clinton, a member of his own party, thinks John McCain's more qualified to be commander-in-chief then Barack Obama." This statement, along with her fear-mongering 3 a.m. phone call ad, her calculated "as far as I know" on the question of whether Obama is or isn't a muslim, is doing real damage to the party, and I think Hillary and her campaign need to dial it back and find others ways to claw their way to the nomination. In my view, the path they're on now is the worst possible route to get there.


dirtylikemine said...

It'll be funny when this ends like Top Gun, with Hillary and Obama locking in an embrace after the convention in Denver.

Obama: You can be my wingman any time.

Clinton: Bullshit. You can be mine.

The ticket will be Clinton/Obama, decided at the convention after Hillary wins Pennsylvania and they decide to seat the Florida delegates. The decision then will fall into the hands of party leaders, the superdelegates, and most will go with Clinton because of her (relative) seniority. She'll put Obama on the ticket as an olive branch to the blecks, who will cry foul, rightly believing that the election was stolen from the black candidate. For once, the race-baiters like Sharpton and Jackson will be correct in playing the victim card. Race relations could get knocked back another 30 years in this country after it's all said and done. We are simply doomed. The sky is falling, friends.

Vote Republican and eat more pussy.

Anonymous said...

"Stop trying and let Obama win already."

That what your "constructive" criticism of Hillary's campaign just amounted to.

Brian said...

You may end up being right, dirtylikemine. If they end up on a joint-ticket, they're each going to distance themselves from everything they've said over the course of the primary and talk each other up. But the fewer statements they have to explain away in the general the better.

Also, I take your point, anonymous. I am an Obama partisan and that colors my view of the race. But I think there's "trying", and then there's what Sen. Clinton's doing. You try by convincing people that your ideas are better then the other guy's, not that the other guy is so bad (and he isn't) that you ought to vote for the guy from the other party before you think about voting for him. Does that mean she's being less than truthful when she says, "What's most important is electing a Democrat to the White House"? Personally, I think that IS the most important thing that can happen this year. If Hillary manages to get the nomination, I'll vote for her, but I worry about the party she'll leave in her wake.

Hillary was smart today, I have to give her credit. Samantha Power, described as Obama's Condoleeza Rice, called Hillary a "monster" in an interview with a UK newspaper. This is an obviously ridiculous statement to make, and evidence of how far afield from reality both hermetically-sealed campaigns have gone in how each views their opponents' camps. Hillary is no more a "monster" than a President Obama's going to answer the phone at 3 a.m. and say "I don't know what to do! Help me someone!"

So Samantha Power's gone and that was the right move for the Obama campaign. Hillary's people called on her to resign knowing Obama would have to do it or risk looking hypocritical when he calls for a "new politics." This can't be anything but helpful to Clinton, and that's smart politics. Capitalize on the flubs your opponent makes to your advantage. Getting Power to resign was an excellent way for Hillary to "try" and win. But for her to say that the Republican nominee's better qualified to be president than her Democratic opponent is inarguably bad for the party. And for a Democrat to use fear to scare up votes (a la the "3 a.m. ad) makes Democrats seem as bad as the Bush Republicans.

But Obama's going to have to start making some news of his own if he wants to change the dynamic in this race. If he wins Wyoming tomorrow and Mississippi on Tuesday, that will go a ways in changing the story, but he ought to talk less about "the math" and more about why he'd make the best president.