January 22, 2008


Democratic alarm as candidates switch into negative attack mode: Clinton accuses Obama of desperation while Monday debate rancour goes into second day and brings campaign to low ebb (Suzanne Goldenberg, January 23, 2008, The Guardian)

Democrats, including Ted Kennedy, are concerned that the Clintons' strategy is unbecoming and risks dividing the party along racial lines.

The row moved into the dangerous territory of race when the two sides argued over the legacy of Martin Luther King. In Nevada, the Clintons accused Obama of praising Ronald Reagan, and Obama's campaigners of intimidating voters. Yesterday the row extended to Florida, with Clinton supporters accusing Obama of violating a candidates' agreement not to campaign there by airing a TV ad.

By yesterday, the threat posed by the Clintons' negative campaign was so serious that the Obama campaign launched a "truth squad" in South Carolina. "It's wrong. Everybody knows it's wrong and it's got to stop," Tom Daschle, the former Senate Democratic majority leader, told reporters. "It's going to have a huge effect, a lasting effect if it doesn't stop soon."

"It's not presidential. It's not in keeping with the image of a former president."

Clinton also faces a charge she is fleeing the field of Saturday's South Carolina primary; most of its Democratic voters are African American, a community overwhelmingly behind Obama in Nevada.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 22, 2008 10:56 PM

If the nutroots cared about race, Bill Clinton would be in blackface tomorrow.

All Obama has to do is keep asking questions about the Clintons - pointed, yet graceful questions. In a week or two, Bill will look like Jimmy Carter did in October 1980: petty, mean, spiteful, churlish, and out of his depth. And it will all translate immediately to Hillary.

She should still win, but what is Bill going to do to heal the party? Spend a weekend with Oprah? Do a show at the Apollo? Give his $20 million payout from Ron Burkle to the D.C. school system? Go on BET and beg forgiveness?

Posted by: ratbert at January 22, 2008 11:59 PM

We'll know the rupture is serious if some black politicians (not the CBC types) and toney white liberals begin to question Hispanics for backing Hillary. If the Dems are forced to rank their minorities, their "coalition" will implode, especially if McCain is the GOP nominee.

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 23, 2008 8:54 AM

All this intramural tit-for tat "fighting" is just to get things dems want out in the open before the convention. It's the Dick Morris Method and Clinton has been doing it for decades. Everyone will kiss and make up in plenty of time for Democratic convention.

When the Republicans finally wake up, if they ever do, and notice that it's the dems they need to beat and start asking about these issues themselves, the answer to everything will be, oh, that’s old news. We’ve already explained all that and now we need to move on and start dumping on you.

The media will be profuse in their admiration that the dem candidate is so forthcoming and candid.

Cynical? Nah.

Posted by: erp at January 23, 2008 11:53 AM

And Clinton, after barely beating Paul Tsongas, got 42% in the general.

Posted by: oj at January 23, 2008 1:18 PM