Tuesday, February 12, 2008

My Obama Worry

On Sunday, 60 Minutes featured dueling interviews with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton [large swaths of the transcripts here] and while it didn't change my mind from preferring Obama over Clinton, I think Clinton made some good points and Obama showed a key weakness. The big question is electability, and here is Hillary's basic pitch:

"Until you have been through this experience, you have no idea what it's like," said the former first lady, 60.. "And I think that I am much better prepared and ready to, you know, withstand whatever comes my way."
She certainly has been through the wringer; it's difficult to imagine the Wide Stance party finding new mud to sling, and it's at least arguable that they'll just rehash all the usual crap (Whitewater, Vince Foster, Lewinsky, "it takes a village," "stand by your man," hurtful cackles, tears that Andrew Sullivan knows to be fake, etc.) and alienate voters by repeating stories that were already driven deep into the ground at least ten years ago.

And here is Obama's reply to the point at hand:
In a separate interview with the show, Illinois Senator Obama, 46, said running against Clinton has been good practice if he wins the nomination because "going up against the Clinton machine is no cakewalk."
If Obama really believes this, he is dangerously naive. The slime the Clintons have thrown at him -- mentioning him in the same breath as Jesse Jackson, citing his relative lack of experience, dropping the name of a Chicago "slumlord" in his past -- is nothing compared with what the Wide Stance will throw at him.

The image above is not just your average overweight retarded woman but one of the delegates on the floor of the 2004 Wide Stance convention, and the bandage decorated with a heart isn't just obscuring her lady-stubble but mocking the purple hearts John Kerry earned from multiple combat wounds while serving voluntarily in Vietnam. And this is an example of slime that the Wide Stance was willing to put on camera in prime time.

To raise John McCain and lower Barack Obama, the Wide Stance presidential campaign will lie endlessly, shamelessly, and tirelessly. They will attack in bad faith without regard to decorum, decency, fairness, or fair play. They will gleefully turn the debate into a filthy wallow, knowing that turning off voters can only help their chances.

The news media, meanwhile, will do nothing more than follow the lead of the two sides. If the Wide Stance is hurling brazen lies, they'll dutifully repeat them, and perhaps issue a caveat-laden "fact check" here and there, below the fold and way outside prime time. Obama cannot make the stupid mistake Kerry made of assuming the news media will behave responsibly and check the lies. They won't.

Obama must be prepared to fight strongly and persistently. He should not lie as they do, but his campaign organization has to be prepared to name names and call bullshit without hesitation, hemming, or hawing. It will be a fight, like it or not, and an ugly one, like it or not.


LRO said...

I think Obama will hold his own, and I love your blog, but the dark background with the white print is making me go blind.

Dale said...

LRO, congratulations you are caller #99. I was already thinking of changing the color scheme and you've given me that last li'l push. Look for those changes shortly ... and thanks for stopping by.