If you go back and read my posts I generally try to point out when the Obama campaigns does something I disagree with. I had problems with how they handled the Kenya picture mess. I also have issues with the fact that they seem to be getting overly confident, even cocky, and it’s turning me off.
I failed to mention it before, but I think they dropped the ball on the Canada/NAFTA dust up. Had they handled it properly I don’t think it would have lost them Ohio, which I think it did (at least by such a large margin). I also think they need to be less petulant with regards to questions about Tony Rezko. Yes, they’ve answered those questions a million times, but that’s the nature of a campaign; becoming bratty about it does no one any good.
This is not a perfect campaign by any means. But I rationalize it. I tell myself that any campaign will have these moments and that the Obama campaign has, in general, performed above and beyond all expectations.
And because I’m so fair minded, I then wonder what a Clinton supporter does in similar circumstances.
How do you rationalize going dirty against a candidate who has focused on staying above it (if not always succeeding)? Do you write off the arrogance of proclaiming in December that the race would be over by February 5th as necessary confidence for a potential commander in chief?
And let’s look at the specifics. Just yesterday CNN pointed out that, while Clinton claims to have been involved with the opening of Macedonia’s borders for Kosovo refugees, she didn’t actually arrive to that region until AFTER the border had re-opened.
While she made an impassioned and brave speech in China in 1995, a former National Security Council official in the Clinton administration says Clinton didn’t attend NSC meetings.
But what about Northern Ireland? Surely all of her claims to foreign policy experience can’t be exaggerated, can they? Well, there’s this:
Hillary Clinton had no direct role in bringing peace to Northern Ireland and is a “wee bit silly” for exaggerating the part she played, according to Lord Trimble of Lisnagarvey, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and former First Minister of the province.
“I don’t know there was much she did apart from accompanying Bill [Clinton] going around,” he said. Her recent statements about being deeply involved were merely “the sort of thing people put in their canvassing leaflets” during elections. “She visited when things were happening, saw what was going on, she can certainly say it was part of her experience. I don’t want to rain on the thing for her but being a cheerleader for something is slightly different from being a principal player.”
And what about the process itself? There’s the fact that Clinton had no problems with the ruling on Michigan and Florida until she found herself behind in delegates. There’s the fact that she cannot mathematically catch up to Obama (even if, as Jonathan Alter said in the article I linked to a few days ago, she wins the next 16 contests AND Michigan and Florida), yet continues on unabated. There’s the fact that only the super delegates can give her the nomination.
Most importantly, there’s the fact that since the elections in Ohio, Texas, Vermont, and Rhode Island, Clinton has come up with a new sound bite, the gist of which is that both she and John McCain have the experience needed for a “red phone” scenario, while Obama “has a speech he gave in 2002.”
Let me simplify that: Hillary is now complimenting the Republican nominee to preface an attack on the other Democratic candidate in the primary.
In other words, she will build up McCain if it helps her take down Obama. That’s party unity right there, my friends (pun intended). No, she’s not in it for herself at all…
So how do you rationalize all of these things? How do you rationalize the attacks and the lies, the obvious attempts at twisting the system for personal gain, and the complete disregard for party and people? How do you maintain the high ground when the Clinton campaign is so firmly entrenched in the weeds?
With all of these questions, and with the poll I linked to a few days ago that indicated that 25% of Hillary supporters would vote for McCain if Obama won the nomination, you really begin to see a Cult of Hillary forming.
Does this mean Obama can start mocking her supporters the same way she’s done to his?