Wednesday, February 13, 2008

This is How It’s Done!

As Hillary approaches must-win primaries in Texas and Ohio, she desperately needs two things to happen. First, she needs to find a way to throw Obama off his game. This is a prime reason behind her call for debates, so she can try to force him into a pissing match that blurs the distinction between their respective approaches to leadership, and leaves “experience” as the main reason to choose between them. Second, she needs to find a way to draw blue-collar white male voters to her side, as Obama has been consistently building his appeal with this critical swing demographic.

Today, several elements of her strategy for accomplishing these two things seemed to become apparent, and they aren’t pretty! Much like the Republicans in 2004 convinced blue-collar white male voters that John Kerry was a coward, Clinton and her surrogates are now trying to convince the same type of voter that Obama is a coward.

Here’s how they are trying to do it:

1. Hillary releases a new ad in Wisconsin, criticizing Obama for being afraid to debate her.

2. Joe Wilson releases a high profile piece on Huffington Post accusing Obama of not being tough enough to take on John McCain.

3. Mark Halperin, the same source used to leak the news of Hillary’s $5 million campaign loan, goes on a radio show and says that John Edwards thinks Obama is “a pussy!”

There may have been other components to this strategy already, and there will certainly be more attacks of this nature, as the pattern is clearly forming to try to turn Obama’s lofty and inspiring calls for change into a sign of weakness. The goal is to contrast Hillary’s carefully crafted image as a fighter, with an image of Obama as a passive weakling, who is incapable of sticking up for himself.

In his piece, Wilson goes to great lengths to characterize Obama as meek and unable to stand his ground, even though Wilson had to resort to Free Republic to find an account of what he calls “his one face-to-face encounter with Mr. McCain.”

. . . will Mr. Obama fight? His brief time on the national scene gives little comfort. Consider a February 2006 exchange of letters with Mr. McCain on the subject of ethics reform. The wrathful Mr. McCain accused Mr. Obama of being "disingenuous," to which Mr. Obama meekly replied, "The fact that you have now questioned my sincerity and my desire to put aside politics for the public interest is regrettable but does not in any way diminish my deep respect for you." Then one of McCain's aides said of Obama, "Obama wouldn't know the difference between an RPG and a bong."

Mr. McCain was insultingly dismissive but successful in intimidating his inexperienced colleague. Thus, in his one face-to-face encounter with Mr. McCain, Mr. Obama failed to stand his ground.

What gives us confidence Mr. Obama will be stronger the next time he faces Mr. McCain
Halperin’s comment was even worse (my emphasis):
HALPERIN [discussing John Edwards' potential endorsement of Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama]: I can tell you, he's really skeptical of her ability to be the kind of president he wants. But, he kinda thinks Obama is...he thinks Obama is kind of a pussy...He has real questions about Obama's toughness, his readiness for the office.
Of course, just to make sure he didn’t get the David Schuster treatment, he quickly posted the following apology:
I’m sorry. In a live radio interview this week, I used a word I shouldn’t have. The fact that I was conveying other people’s words is no excuse for my lapse in judgment. It won’t happen again. — Mark Halperin
The Page, 11:00 AM
Note that his “apology” conveniently gives him an opportunity to remind us that he wasn’t just paraphrasing, but was “conveying other peoples’ words,” when he decided it was important for us to “know” that Edwards thinks Obama is a pussy!

Clearly the next step is for Hillary to attack, attack, attack! If Obama fights back, she can call him a hypocrite whom she’s revealed to be a typical politician. If he refuses to take the bait, she can call him a coward, and claim that it shows he won’t stand up to John McCain! Either way, she hopes the blue-collar white male audience will walk away thinking Obama is like the wimpy smart kid they used to beat up in the fourth grade!

1 comment:

  1. Do believe they've forgotten that Obama comes from the trenchs in Chicago.