February 29, 2008

The last-ditch effort to save the Clinton candidacy.

Adam Nagourney delivers the message: There is a reason Hillary Clinton has not been able to deliver the full attack against Barack Obama, but if he becomes the candidate, when it is too late, that attack will come. I expect to see this message everywhere over the weekend. Watch for it.

32 comments:

AShiningCity said...
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AShiningCity said...

Oh, yes. The Republican attacks will come.

I tell my law school buddies, who are in love with the guy, to watch out... things will change in the general.

But they don't believe me... they are too wrapped up in Obamamania.

MadisonMan said...

So Hillary! should be the candidate because there are (unstated, but obviously really really bad) things that the Republican Noise Machine will say about Obama? The unstated fact is that we already know all the many many many many many many many bad things that they can say about Hillary!?

Better the devil you know?

Bob said...

His gun control position will kill him in the South and West, and it's barely being mentioned *cough*buried*cough* by the MSM. I think he's on record as not opposing partial-birth abortions, either. I think he'll have a hard time getting evangelicals to vote for him, too.

George said...

“They will try to rerun old races and battles and divide along traditional lines,” Mr. Axelrod said. “I think the country is eager for something else."

“I understand very, very well how facts can be manipulated."

Interesting quotes from Obama's prime message man Axelrod or "narrator" as the NYT called him in a major profile....

"Axelrod says that the way to cut through all the noise is to see campaigns as an author might, to understand that you need not just ideas but also a credible and authentic character, a distinct politics rooted in personality. (“David breaks them down,” Peter Giangreco, a Chicago direct-mail consultant who often works with Axelrod, told me. “Who is your mother? Who is your father? Why are you doing this?”) This, Axelrod says, is what Karl Rove understood about George W. Bush. “One of the reasons Bush has succeeded in two elections,” Axelrod says, “is that in his own rough-hewn way he has conveyed a sense of this is who I am, warts and all.”

The key words above are "author" and "credible and authentic character," especially the word "character." Fascinating that he does not use the word "person" or "indvididual." Obama is a "character."

The questions "Who is your mother? Who is your father?" will indeed be asked over and over and over.

demian said...

Prof., your portrait photo is a nice addition to the blog. It looks professionally shot. May I suggest, though, a picture in which you're smiling? Your expression here looks rather smug, and I know from your blog and videocasts that isn't representative of your usual demeanor.

Palladian said...

"Your expression here looks rather smug, and I know from your blog and videocasts that isn't representative of your usual demeanor."

Althouse is the queen of smug!

John Lynch said...

It's really simple. Obama is a liberal. Hillary can't attack him for being more liberal than she is. McCain can.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hillary can't attack him for being more liberal than she is.

Is any question or criticism of a political opponent's policies deemed an 'attack'?

Rich B said...

And the last time the voters elected a President who was an unapologetic liberal, er progressive, was? FDR?

Sloanasaurus said...

The truth is that Obama has not waged a campaign agains a serious opposition candidate before. He is open to attack on many of the issues that haven't worked for Dems in recent history such as gun control. One of the most striking things is Obamas support for live birth abortion. Not just support, but his leadership in opposing it in the Illinois legislature.

Worst of all however, will be the idea that is now building around Obama is that he would be a president that will not keep his word. So far he wants to withdraw from Iraq and opt out of trade agreements. No one will trust him, and America will become much poorer for it.

Obama will bring a bigger risk of more future wars. America stands as a shadow over the worlds war monger. We have a reputation of military victory and intervention. This reputation deters trouble making. However, Obama has declared himself a dove and in opposition to America's interventiionist record. As such, he will be tested by the world's aggressive powers the moment he is in office. This will eventually lead to more war as every tin pot dictator gets the green light to move. In contrast, McCain has proven that he stands like a stone- wall in the face of opposition (i.e. the surge). Thus, McCain will not be tested in this way, which means our chances for peace are far greater with McCain.

As both Chamberlain and Reagan proved, strength leads to peace and weakness to war.

Roger said...

Obama does have a track record of liberalism; granted he is an inspirational speaker; but Obama's problem is going to be moving to the center--I frankly don't see how he is going to be able to do that, even with his MSM "cover." (and why do I feel some sympathy--although not very much--for the Clinton's experience with what seems to me to be an Obama biased press. I love the smell of schadenfreude in the AM)

Balfegor said...

So Hillary! should be the candidate because there are (unstated, but obviously really really bad) things that the Republican Noise Machine will say about Obama? The unstated fact is that we already know all the many many many many many many many bad things that they can say about Hillary!?

Not only does everybody know them, Republicans have spent the last fifteen years repeating them every chance they get!

titusarabesque said...

I am now officially bored with the campaign.

I found it excited when we didn't know who the final two candidates were.

Now that we have I can't imagine listening to 8 months of this crap.

I think I may need to focus on hog exclusively and tune back in around September to the election.

MadisonMan said...

I don't think she looks smug at all in the new picture. She looks like she's laughing.

Roger said...

Titus: I would like to point out that your use of the term "hog" is starting to affect me in strange ways--I noticed Professor A had a link on her bloglist entitle "hog on ice." I confess that I clicked on it, and was disappointed.

Original Mike said...

Ahh, but MM, who is she laughing at? Us?

Original Mike said...

Hoosier Daddy asked: Is any question or criticism of a political opponent's policies deemed an 'attack'?

By the MSM, yes. This has bugged me no end for years. What the hell are candidates suppose to do?

titusarabesque said...

My apologies Roger for planting the word hog in your head.

I just think it is the most appropriate term for the male genitalia.

Pogo said...

Just hope it's not a wart hog.

Roger said...

"Just hope it's not a wart hog. Pogo: and YOU, a doctor.....Flagrant pun, 15 yards and loss of down.

peter hoh said...

This might be a better argument if Obama was running against someone like Biden. Clinton herself is especially vulnerable to smear tactics. I have seen no evidence that she is good at fending off these kinds of attacks. I suspect there is a great deal of material still to be uncovered about her.

peter hoh said...

Regarding the current blog photo: I see amused detachment.

Balfegor said...

This might be a better argument if Obama was running against someone like Biden. Clinton herself is especially vulnerable to smear tactics. I have seen no evidence that she is good at fending off these kinds of attacks. I suspect there is a great deal of material still to be uncovered about her.

Really? Fifteen years of digging have not yet exhausted the supply? The only untapped source I am aware of is her workpapers from her husband's Presidency, and she controls the release of those materials.

Elliott A said...

There is a difference between attacking a clear divide over an issue such as gun control or partial birth abortion or attacking an individual with invented smears. Clinton is good (was) at the latter, but cannot do any of the former since most of her positions are indistinguishable from Obama's. McCain will not have those problems. He can "respect" Obama and mercilessly attack his positions. That is the nature of political debate.

Roger said...
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Roger said...

It will be interesting to see if Hillary goes after Obama on his economics advisors contacts with the canadian consulate in Chicago--CTV stood by its story and named names. Professor Goolsbee is referring inquiries to the Obama campaign who are now in generic denial mode (probably subsitituting embassy with consulate--fake but accurate so to speak). I guess this is the politics of hope! and change. The Financial Times also ripped into the candidates NAFTA pandering today.

Pogo said...

Flagrant pun, 15 yards and loss of down.

Hey, 'avoid the wart hog' is important medical advice.

froggyprager said...

Althouse- You are a fair and intelligent person and you write a blog read by many on the left and the right. Regardless of who you decide to support in the general election, I hope that as the right-wing machine throws bombs at Obama, you will do your part to call out the inappropriate mud and mean spirited criticism when you see it.

former law student said...

My impression is that Obama is not wedded to all of his left-wing positions, while Hillary is grimly serious about hers. Unless you're John Dingell, you don't get Democratic votes by being pro-gun. Nor do you get Democratic votes by being anti-abortion. He's going to have to go moderate to win the election.

McCain's biggest liability is his age. He's already lived longer than his father and grandfather. Moreover, Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer's shortly after leaving office. McCain's mental agility will be a major concern, especially compared to a man in the prime of life. McCain's persona as maverick makes it unlikely that he will surround himself with advisors to consult with a la Reagan or W.

Balfegor said...

My impression is that Obama is not wedded to all of his left-wing positions, while Hillary is grimly serious about hers.

I've actually got more the reverse impression. Well, except for the "grimly" bit. Because Hillary Clinton is always grim.

For example, on the Canada issue, I'm pretty sure that Goolsbee did talk to the Canadian embassy and did assure them that Obama is just lying about NAFTA to get the votes of gullible fools who vote in Democratic primaries . . . but I also suspect that Goolsbee may be fooling himself about the true instincts of the candidate he's chosen to advise. Or may be overestimating his ability to talk his candidate down from the ledge.

If I were more confident that Obama were, in fact, the inveterate liar that some of his supporters (e.g. Megan McArdle @ the Atlantic) seem to hope he is, I might not be so opposed to him. But honestly, while I think he's been shading the truth of his positions a bit to win the Democratic nomination, I don't think he's twisting his positions that much. What we see, when he lashes out at free trade, may well be what we get. True, it might not be what we get. The hopes of his more moderate supporters might well be realised! But I don't think we have enough of a history on him to conclude so.

I'm much more comfortable concluding that Clinton II, for all her harsh anti-market rhetoric, is actually lying through her teeth. Indeed, to win the Democratic nomination, she needs to ratchet the rhetoric up to 110%, because Democratic voters are dimly beginning to realise that not only did her husband severely weaken the Democratic party electorally, he also sold them out on most of the issues dear to their heart. Like NAFTA. And I discount her rhetoric accordingly. In the Senate, while she has certainly not been uniformly supportive of free trade and all that, she's tended to vote for free trade agreements in a way that her rhetoric about how the market is failed and evil would . . . not have suggested. Her words are extremist, but her actions are fairly moderate.

Middle Class Guy said...

Hoosier Daddy said...
Hillary can't attack him for being more liberal than she is.

Is any question or criticism of a political opponent's policies deemed an 'attack'?



Yes and always; if you question and criticize the Clintons it is an attack.

If they attack you it is legitimate campagining.