Liberal College Kid

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Hillary’s Baffling and Dangerous Campaign Tactics

Ever since John Edwards dropped out of the nomination race, I have stayed basically undecided between the remaining Democratic candidates, Obama and Clinton. That is, until recently.

As I discussed yesterday, the mood of this campaign has taken a decidedly negative turn, driven almost entirely by the Clinton camp. She and her advisers have decided that resorting to fear-provoking tactics is the best way to blemish Obama’s image, scaring the public into voting for her and her long history of “experience.”

I noted yesterday that this strategy is myopic on all sides, that regardless of who becomes the Democratic nominee, whether it be Clinton or Obama, it will do no good in the long run. The logical outcome of this sort of campaign is one that bolsters McCain and harms his opponent.

Today, however, Clinton has taken it to a new level. Before, with the “three a.m.” ads and the general attacks on Obama, she and her campaign were unintentionally helping John McCain (at least I assumed it was unintentional). Perhaps just insinuating the she and Senator McCain were better suited than Obama to become president was not enough, because today she said it, flat out:

Look, I have said Senator McCain will bring a lifetime of experience to the campaign, I will bring a lifetime of experience, and Senator Obama will bring a speech he made in 2002.

And:

I think that since we now know Senator McCain will be the nominee for the Republican Party, national security will be front and center in this election. We all know that. And I think it’s imperative that each of us be able to demonstrate we can cross the commander-in-chief threshold.

I believe that I’ve done that. Certainly, Senator McCain has done that, and you’ll have to ask Senator Obama with respect to his candidacy.

What, exactly, is she trying to do here? Am I the only one that thinks she sounds like McCain’s running mate? It was bad enough when she was satisfied just attempting to destroy Obama’s image. Now, she not only questions Obama’s ability to handle national security, but bewilderingly, unnecessarily, brings up John McCain and showers him with praise and attests to his preparedness. Please, someone explain to me how this strategy is supposed to pan out? How can it possibly benefit her OR Obama? All she is doing is taking on McCain’s work for him, taking cheap shots at her fellow party member and coming up with handy attacks for the McCain campaign to use in the general election.

Jonathan Alter at Newsweek.com showed, using a delegate calculator, that even in the very best of circumstances (Clinton winning every single state from here on out; some, like Pennsylvania, by staggering margins), she will still be behind Obama in the overall delegate count. If events pan out, even as positively for Clinton as they do in the Alter experiment, then the only way Clinton could clinch the nomination is through the influence of the superdelegates. Unless her advisers are completely inept, they must know this as well. Why, then, resort to this strategy of tearing apart the other Democratic candidate and boosting the image of the Republican? I cannot assume to know how the superdelegates will interpret her statements, but if any of them are concerned about the cohesion and strength of the party, they should be appalled. If I were a superdelegate, and a Democratic candidate were speaking like this, there would be absolutely no way I would support them.