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Friday, March 07, 2008

What Hillary Clinton is doing:

She says:
“I think that since we now know Sen. (John) 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.”

“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,”
Hillary is not saying that she's better than Obama in this regard (i.e. competent to be CIC).

Hillary is suggesting that Obama is not qualified to be president. If you accept that claim, then he should lose in November if he becomes the nominee. Not only because he's unqualified, but because the opponent (McCain) is qualified. It's the "3:00 AM phone call" argument on steroids. If Clinton doesn't get the nomination, vote Republican this fall.

That's way out of line. In recent times, has there been any candidate for president from either party that, during the race for the nomination, said an opponent may not be qualified to be president? (serious candidates only, not fringe)

This is not campaigning to win. It's campaigning to destroy. It's also the clearest example of Clinton putting her own prospects ahead of the Democratic party and the policies she ostensibly supports. I suspect that these remarks by Clinton will cause enormous damage within the party. There will be the inevitable comparisons to Joe Lieberman (McCan fan) and Zell Miller (dissing John Kerry). Already some people are calling for Al Gore to step in on Obama's side to end the nonsense (Gore being a deus ex machina - although, to be frank, his somewhat rigid personality is more machina than deus)

Some bloggers are saying the Clinton will have to address this statement of hers. But how? She's made this assertion that she and McCain are suitable, and Obama maybe not, three times already. Judging from her body language and how the statements were orchestrated (most recently with lots of brass hats in the room), it would appear that she'll be unapologetic and not recind her remarks. It would also appear that she's doing this as a direct result of the perceived success of the "national security" pitch last week, along with a sense that it must not be allowed to fade (although the early amping-up of the charge and the resulting uproar may turn it into an albatross by the time Pennsylvania votes). And it feeds the suspicion that her plan is: Clinton in 2008 or, failing that, McCain defeating Obama - which would result in huge advantages and a second chance for her in 2012.

Nader said there was no difference between Bush and Gore. Now we have Clinton is saying McCain is better than Obama. It's never good when Ralph is your preferred commentator on the Democratic race.

Also, it's useful to note that, structurally, Hillary is arguing exactly like Jonah Goldberg, if you can believe it. Last week in the Los Angeles Times, Goldgerg wrote:
... Politico.com reported Friday that Barack Obama has loose ties to [William Ayers, once a leader in the Weather Underground]...

I don't think Obama supports domestic terrorism, and I'm sure he can offer eloquent explanations for why he shouldn't suffer any guilt by association.
Both Hillary Clinton and Jonah Goldberg:
  • Hint of some problem with Obama:
    • CLINTON: He's unfit to be CIC
    • GOLDBERG: He pals around with terrorists
  • Don't say with conviction that the alleged problem is bogus:
    • CLINTON: Only refers to herself with, "I believe that I've done that" (crossed the threshold)
    • GOLDBERG: "I don't think Obama supports domestic terrorism"
  • Put the onus on Obama to defend himself
    • CLINTON: "you'll have to ask Sen. Obama"
    • GOLDBERG: "I'm sure he can offer eloquent explanations"
    which allows the charge to linger until he gets around to addressing it.
MINOR POINT: Hillary is saying that just because McCain is the Republican candidate, that therefore national security will be a big issue this election. Clinton can assert that, but it's not an established fact. McCain is big on Indian Affairs (being a senator from Arizona). Does that mean the plight of Native Americans "will be front and center in this election"? This is 100% prime BS. The eonomy is much more likely to be the number one issue.

OTHER COMMENTARY ON THIS TOPIC: Open Left, MyDD, Josh Marshall, TPM Election Central, Yglesias, American Dash, Hilzoy, Carpetbagger Report, Esoterically.net, SLANTblog, DailyKos, The Moderate Voice (recommended), Quixotic Journal, Mahablog, Liberal College Kid, Comments from Left Field, The Reaction, The Swamp (Chicago Tribune story + reader comments), AMERICAblog video of Olbermann. Also, Steve Soto at Left Coaster has a short statement:
I’ve had enough of the Clinton fluffing of McCain, and I’m done with her. Frankly I’ve looked foolish trying to defend her and her campaign’s burn-the-house-down-to-get-the-nomination strategy, and I’m tired of seeing this message and these tactics. Politics at this level is not softball, but as I have said before, being an arsonist does not recommend one for the party’s nomination.
FINALLY: Obama gets taken to the woodshed for mumbling stuff about the late Ronald Reagan being a good politician, yet here is Clinton blowing kisses at the guaranteed Republican candidate for 2008.

[Corrected unintentional spelling error. Thanks for pointing it out, J. Goodwin!)



5 comments

Good post.

By Blogger Lou Delgado, at 3/07/2008 6:33 AM  

You may want to change "Cliton" to "Clinton." Unless it was intentional, of course.

By Blogger J.Goodwin, at 3/07/2008 7:25 AM  

I haven’t seen a politician so bitter and vindictive since Nixon. Even George W. Bush wasn’t so petty that he’d have said in 2000 that Al Gore would make a better president than John McCain. But Republicans never stray that far off the reservation. Hillary is determined to be president, and she doesn’t care if she has to destroy the Democratic Party to achieve it.

And that’s what might happen when Obama arrives at the convention with more pledged delegates. She’ll stamp her feet and whine, even cry New Hampshire tears if necessary. If the supers award her bad behavior and put her at the top of the ticket, they’ll be saying in effect, “Congratulations, Barack, on your historic victory. You’ve earned a place on the ticket. As veep.”

The result would be a public relations nightmare. The first viable African-American candidate has the nomination wrested away from him. African-Americans stay home, hardcore Obama supporters withhold support, Obama-leaning Republicans and independents vote McCain, and Billary is buried in a landslide. And even if they were to beat the odds, they’d win a selfish, Pyrrhic victory with no coattails and no mandate.

What’s most infuriating is her ceding the agenda to McCain. It’s all about national security now, she declares, because McCain says so. And that’s precisely what the GOP is praying for.

By Anonymous Screamin' Demon, at 3/07/2008 8:04 AM  

Anonymous Screamin' Demon said...

Super commet

By Blogger Lou Delgado, at 3/07/2008 8:07 AM  

Thanks, Lou

By Anonymous Screamin' Demon, at 3/07/2008 8:13 AM  

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