At this point, I would argue that Billary Clinton’s campaign can be reduced to one simple assertion:
We’re all lying, mudslinging, politicians . . . but I’m the most experienced at it!Unfortunately, repeated attacks on Barack Obama have succeeded at dragging him into the mud with her, to a level where her assertion now seems plausible to many voters.
While it’s understandable that Obama would get frustrated and feel the need to defend himself to avoid becoming a punching bag, it is also clear that Billary’s tactics have undercut his greatest strength coming out of the Iowa Caucuses – the ability to be a breath of fresh air in a polluted presidential landscape!
Obama has got to find a way to escape a seemingly endless cycle of bickering and mudslinging to return to his messages of transformational change and a new kind of leadership!
Fortunately, an opportunity to do just that has been presented by John Kerry’s endorsement, his recent call to fight the politics of “swiftboating,” and his criticism of the Clintons.
Obama needs to give a speech that includes something like this:
One of the things we learned from the 2004 election, is that when the Republican slime machine attacks, it is important to fight back with an equally aggressive assertion of the truth, and to show the voters what kind of character is behind the evil and hateful smear merchants who use such tactics.This speech could effectively cut off Billary’s primary strategy, if any time (s)he tries to goad Obama into another pissing match, he would just repeat the mantra:
On the other hand, because of the experience of my good friend, John Kerry, and because I never expected such vicious attacks coming from other Democrats, I made the mistake of engaging too quickly in this campaign, without remembering one important caveat:
Real Democrats don’t betray the team by attacking other Democrats!
Real Democrats strive to contribute their own passion and ideas to make the party stronger, rather than tearing others down to make themselves look better, at the risk of splitting the party apart.
That’s why I’m calling on both of my opponents to join me in a pledge not to engage in destructive personal attacks, but to campaign based on our own unique approaches to the issues facing the American people.
Real Democrats don’t betray the team by attacking other Democrats!Of course, he should calmly correct any mistruths that are spread about him, but if she persists by trying to pick another fight in any future debate, rather than engaging in the battle, Obama can simply smile and use some variation of Ronald Reagan’s “There you go again!”
By turning Billary’s desire to sling mud into a series of acts that are equivalent to “betraying the team,” Obama can turn her biggest advantage into a weakness, leading voters to wonder:
If Billary Clinton will attack another Democrat just for being in her way to the nomination, would she attack Democrats like me if she thought I was in her way to something else she wants?In summary, Billary Clinton’s ruthlessness can be her greatest strength, or her greatest weakness, depending on how Barack Obama responds to it!