Sunday, February 24, 2008

You Go, Girl!

I’ll confess that I’m most certainly not a fan of Hillary Clinton by any means, for all sorts of reasons; but I have to say this plucky counterattack over some allegedly deceptive “Harry and Louise” type mailers (more detail here) distributed by Barack Obama to Ohio voters trashing Clinton’s proposal for universal healthcare was the first spark of really visceral, semi-genuine life her campaign has managed to generate to date (at least in my opinion).

Enough with the speeches, and the big rallies, then using tactics that are right out of Karl Rove’s playbook. This is wrong. And every Democrat should be outraged, because this is the kind of attack that not only undermines core Democratic values, but gives aid and comfort to very special interests and their allies in the Republican party, who are against doing what we want to do for America. Shame on you, Barack Obama. It’s time you ran a campaign consistent with your messages in public. That’s what I expect from you. Meet me in Ohio, let’s have a debate over tactics and your behavior in this campaign.

I’m not sure how this will play with the bobbleheads, although you can bet they’ll all be talking about it later on this morning, but I sure as hell liked it. A bit counterintuitive perhaps, given hard pundit wisdom up to now has been that Hillary needs to tone down her rhetoric, soften all of her hard edges, expose her vulnerable side and “humanize” her image… Eeewww. Yuck. Well, maybe she’s realized that at this point, no manner of convenient emotional meltdown a la New Hampshire is going to save her ass in Ohio and Texas, so it’s better to come out brawling. Good! This is the kind of fighting spirit the Democrats need. More at C&L.

Update: Krugman puts the boot in. “So this is just poisoning the well for health care reform. The politics of hope, indeed.” Heh. Quite so.