Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Hillary's Campaign Turned A Corner, But That's Not Necessarily Good News

“What’s important is that this campaign has turned a corner,” Hillary Clinton said after her triple victories on March 4, but maybe not in the way she wants us to believe. You could argue that she turned a corner by turning her campaign ugly, and by so doing turning off a lot of potential voters - democrats, republicans and independents - who otherwise might have voted for her in case she was nominated.

So what did she do that was so bad?

  • Well, she's been waffling when asked on CBS's "60 Minutes" if she thinks Obama is a Muslim (a preposterous question in itself, which she of course answered with a no, while at the same time slipping in a qualifier, "I take him on the basis of what he says...... There's nothing to base that on - as far as I know.") That not so subtle hedging was a wink to those who listen to Internet's rumor mills. And she knew exactly what she was doing. Shame on who? For the truth of the matter, see this AP story that USA Today ran today. Also check Snopes for more debunking of Obama rumors.

  • Then she ran the Red Scare-style Red Phone-ad: ”It's 3:00 AM and your children are asleep”, which was ridiculous, but not in its intent. Did she hire Karl Rove, or what?

  • And finally we have her statement that she and McCain are the experienced candidates. "I think that I have a lifetime of experience that I will bring to the White House. I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience to the White House. And Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002," she said right before the March 4 primaries.
***

Here is a story from Los Angeles Times about Hillary's hardening.

Going negative proved positive in Clinton's comeback


”In winning New Hampshire a few weeks ago, Hillary Rodham Clinton declared, "I found my own voice." But it was a much different voice in the closing days before Tuesday's voting that carried her to victory in Ohio and Texas -- and which now lets her make a strong case for extending the Democratic presidential race into the spring and possibly beyond.

Gone was the misty-eyed Clinton who scored points showing her human side. Gone was the gracious Clinton who, just two weeks ago, drew thunderous applause for expressing her pride in running against Barack Obama.

The new voice was angrier, sharper and far more negative......” Peter Wallsten wrote in Los Angeles Times (March 5, 2008).

But it’s not just that she is angry and negative that is striking, it’s the dishonesty.

Which could leave us with a choice (if she manage to capture the nomination) between a cool and dishonest progressive, and a warm and honest reactionary.

And guess who are the best ”realists” in this world? Yes, you got it, people who don’t want change. There are always good reasons for status quo, as any change involves taking chances and betting on something or somebody relatively new and unknown. If you can’t allow yourself to dream a bit, you will never take that leap.

Which brings us back to the fall line-up:

From the right:
A conservative "realist" with a long record, and who successfully projects honesty and decency.

From the left: A progressive "realist" with a long, but less impressive record, and a closet full of skeletons, and a history of bending the truth when expedient.

One significant fact about Obama's campaign is the fact that he has been able to capture so many republican and independents support. Chances are that McCain will capture a large part of these votes if the Democratic alternative is a return of the Clintons to the White House. 

Here is one of them in an online comment to the article in Los Angeles Times I quoted above:

I'm honestly one of those "less likely to embrace the other candidate" voters. Obama has my vote already, and will again if he wins the nomination ... and I'm a Republican! But Clinton has now convinced me that she is not competent to lead this nation. For almost eight years, our President has been a massively incompetent, fundamentally paranoid, and deeply cynical failure -- George Bush. The one thing we do not need to follow his abysmal record is an angry, negative, divisive, and embittered President with entitlement issues who thinks she has something to prove. If Clinton wins the Democratic nod, my vote and my money goes to McCain. (Submitted by: Eric Scott)

Hans Sandberg

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