September 5, 2008

SISTERHOOD:

Clinton set to strike McCain, not Palin (GLENN THRUSH, 9/5/08, Politico)

Hillary Rodham Clinton has no intention of becoming a Sarah Palin attack dog — but has no qualms going after John McCain, people close to the former first lady say.

“She’s not the answer when it comes to winning conservative women — she never was — and we’re not going to be anybody’s attack dog against Sarah Palin,” said a Clinton insider.


And she's useless against Maverick because she's had so many good things to say about him.


MORE:
Behind Obama's Palin Strategy (Jay Newton-Small, 9/05/08, TIME)

Nobody was more surprised by John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate than the people who run Barack Obama's campaign. "I can honestly say that we weren't prepared for that," says David Axelrod, Obama's top strategist. "I mean, her name wasn't on anybody's list. It was a surprise to a lot of Republicans as well."

Their shock was evident in their initial, clumsy reaction, a hard-hitting two-sentence statement from Obama spokesman Bill Burton that included this zinger: "Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency." Eighty-six minutes later, the campaign corrected course, issuing a second statement from both Obama and his running mate, Delaware Senator Joe Biden: "While we obviously have differences over how best to lead this country forward, Governor Palin is an admirable person and will add a compelling new voice to this campaign."

Later that afternoon, Obama, almost apologetically, explained the discrepancy: "You know campaigns start getting these hair triggers, and the statement that Joe and I put out reflects our sentiments." The do-si-do by the campaign reflects its initial uncertainty on how to deal with Palin, a rare moment of unsure footing for the usually flawlessly managed 19-month-old operation.

The dilemma the campaign has about the sudden emergence of this political superstar comes down to this: it can't possibly ignore her, but going after her directly could easily backfire.


Posted by Orrin Judd at September 5, 2008 4:43 PM
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