A Curious "Tier One/Tier Two" Obama Campaign - Against Hillary
Apparently, the Obama campaign is running its own "Tier One/Tier Two" effort, but against its Democratic opponents for the nomination. Obama positions himself as someone who wants to move away from the politics of destruction to a new form of public dialogue and he is a good messenger for this. Yet it seems his campaign hasn’t gotten that memo and believes it needs to run a Tier Two attack campaign against Hillary and her husband. The NYT reports today that the Obama campaign is making hay over the Clinton financial records filed with the FEC.
The Obama campaign sent out a hit sheet to reporters yesterday on the Clinton's financial filings, tagging Hillary for taking speaking fees from Cisco when the company has been outsourcing jobs. According to the Times, the Obama campaign wanted their role to be kept off the record. Greg Sargent now points out that Obama’s campaign went so far as to peddle to reporters (on background no less) a questionable story about Bill Clinton giving a speech for cash on the fifth anniversary of 9/11.
Look, as Taylor Marsh points out, negative campaigning against your primary opponents is nothing new, and not a disqualifier against Obama, except that he wants to decry the “smallness of our politics” while his staff runs the Tier Two effort to take down his opponents. I'm not talking here about effective debate counterpunching, like Obama did to Edwards in the last debate. Nor is anyone going to shed a tear over Team Clinton facing the music for the inconsistency between her record on trade, the war, and Beltway schmoozing; and her appeals to the party faithful. It's just that it seems a little early for one campaign to take the knives out for a fellow Democrat, but perhaps I am naive.
Since the Obama campaign raised this point, it begs the question: has Obama ever received fees or campaign contributions from companies that have outsourced jobs? Well, he has received contributions to his PAC from executives from Seagate and Qualcomm. In fact, Cisco has given money to 24 of Obama’s fellow Democratic senators, as well as over a hundred thousand dollars to the Democratic Senate and Congressional campaign committees since 2003.
But with so many easy arguments to make against the Bush record and the GOP's 2008 nominees, do we want to see the Democrats violating Reagan's "11th Commandment" by launching into attack campaigns against each other six months before Iowa?
Update: Well, the Obama campaign hit piece sent to the media has now caused problems for the campaign.