Monday, February 25, 2008

Thank You, Hillary

Hillary and Bill seem intent on doing something that no Republican has ever been able to do: kill off the odd nostalgia for the Clinton White House.

Obama campaign manager David Plouffe accused the Clinton campaign Monday of “shameful offensive fear-mongering” by circulating a photo as an attempted smear.

Plouffe was reacting to a banner headline on the Drudge Report saying that aides to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) had e-mailed a photo calling attention to the African roots of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

“The photo, taken in 2006, shows the Democrat front-runner dressed as a Somali Elder, during his visit to Wajir, a rural area in northeastern Kenya,” the Drudge Report said. The photo created huge buzz in political circles and immediately became known as “the ‘dressed’ photo,” reflecting the Drudge terminology.

And, yes, I do believe that it was Clinton staffers who pushed the photo; and, yes, I do believe that they would have done so intent on taking advantage of fears from some Americans that Obama is more African than American or secretly Muslim. While finding ways to maintain deniability, that is exactly the kind of thing that typified Clinton political maneuvers during those presidential years.

After this kind of thing, you’d have to believe that people are starting to remember the divisiveness and nasty politics that came with the Clinton machine--and realize that the machine was a function of Bill and Hillary, not merely Bill acting alone. I had thought of pimping a bit for Hillary over the coming weeks, still believing (regardless of what my good friend, Jerry, has said) that Hillary would be an easier target for McCain. And I still believe that if a Democrat should be in the White House, a Clinton presidency would be less damaging than an Obama presidency.

But here’s the rub: he’s the better person. I can’t spend energy pushing the candidacy of a woman who I find increasingly abhorrent even though I think her policies will be closer to my own (by a fairly small margin in most cases) than her opponent.

I don’t want to see Obama in the White House, but I really don’t want another four years of the Clintons, either. This isn’t about the extra-changiness of Obama; it’s about the complete ethical bankruptcy of the Clintons. I have a feeling that more and more people will defect from the Clinton camp as they remember the reality of 1992 - 2000.

Obama is a decent man and he’s run a clean campaign. I’ll fight tooth-and-nail against his policies, but at least he would be a dignified force in the White House. I doubt that he would be a candidate for impeachment or special bimbo eruption squads of handlers designated to quell news of his indiscretions or assassinate the character of his opponents. I’m sure that he’ll play hardball--anyone who makes it to the White House has to know how to play politics a little rough--but not in the scheming, ruthless manner of the Clintons.

Read the story.


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