February 21, 2008


Clinton aides split on how to take on Obama (Adam Nagourney, February 21, 2008, NY Times)

Some — led by Mark Penn, her chief strategist — have been pushing Clinton to draw sharper and deeper contrasts with Obama, arguing that she has no other option, campaign officials said.

Others, particularly Mandy Grunwald, her media adviser, have pushed for a less aggressive approach, arguing that attacks would not help Clinton's campaign in an environment in which she is increasingly appearing to struggle, aides said.

This latest division within the campaign reflects intense frustration among Clinton's advisers as they look for ways to turn around their campaign against Obama, an opponent whose appeal and skills as a candidate caught them by surprise. So far, her own positive message has been outshone by his, and every line of attack on him has fallen short, fizzled or backfired.

In a speech in New York on Wednesday, Clinton said, in sometimes stark language, that Obama did not have the credentials to lead the world during a dangerous time. Yet rather than taking the scorched-earth approach that had been urged by some of her associates, much of what she said echoed the criticisms she has aimed at him throughout the campaign.

Her television advertising, a key barometer for testing the tenor of a campaign, includes no overt attacks on Obama at the moment, though aides said they were still debating whether to raise the volume.

You can understand why they'd be so skittish about attacking the black guy when they're party is dependent on getting 90% of the black vote at the national level, but it's pretty hard to beat an opponent if you give him a free ride. In its own way such a concession is racist. Imagine if she was up against any other first term senator with no accomplishment to his name?

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 21, 2008 7:28 AM

She cannot oppose him on the issues. What is she going to say ?

Hillary: "Obama wants to raise your taxes to levels unheard of even in Sweden". Obama's answer: "And so do you, don't you, Hillary ?"

Hillary: "Obama wants to surrender unconditionally for Bin Laden". Obama's answer: "Don't you too, Hillary ?"

Hillary: "Obama wants to close down Wal-Mart". Obama's answer: "Don't you take their money, Hillary ?"

She agrees with him on almost all issues and where she doesn't, her opinion is anathema to the modern Democratic Party.

Posted by: Peter at February 21, 2008 11:14 AM

You are hitting on all 8 cylinders on this one, OJ.

McCain should be giving speeches based off the commentary on your blog.

Posted by: Bruno at February 21, 2008 11:50 AM

Agreed, although if Hillary were running against someone like Jon Tester, she would probably get pounded personally in the campaign (and win the vote easily). With Obama, she is in the unpleasant position of being seen as Joe Lieberman in a lefty beauty contest. And she ain't winning that, NFW.

In the general election, McCain merely has to corral Obama and the moonbat lefties into a nice 35% pen, and then beat them senseless.

Posted by: ratbert at February 21, 2008 11:55 PM