Thursday :: Jan 24, 2008

Barack Obama's Campaign Against Bill Clinton

by eriposte

Sen. Obama has recently been, um, Deeply TroubledTM by the fact that former President Bill Clinton has been factually calling him to the mat on his actual record in Congress. He made the following statement in the recent debate that he wasn't sure who he was running against - Sen. Clinton or former President Bill Clinton:

I can't tell who I'm running against sometimes.

This is not exactly a surprising statement from a candidate who has been allegedly running on the Politics of Hope, Change and OptimismTM, but has long been running a deeply negative - and often ugly - campaign against not just Sen. Clinton, but also Bill Clinton. If there's one thing you should have figured out about Sen. Obama by now, it is that you can take it to the bank that if he accuses the Clinton campaign of doing something, it is because he himself is doing much worse of the exact same thing. This is a classic Rovian and Republican tactic that Sen. Obama has been deploying repeatedly in this Democratic primary campaign. To participate in this ugliness, he luckily has some helpful surrogates in Congress and elsewhere - like the egregiously dishonest Robert Reich - who step in whenever possible to peddle horse manure on behalf of Sen. Obama - and then whine like cowards about how Bill Clinton should stop hurting their candidate with his criticisms, for the sake of Party UnityTM (I guess I was born yesterday). As it turns out, it wasn't Bill Clinton who started this fight. It was squarely Sen. Obama and his campaign who did - they have in fact been gunning for Bill Clinton for a long time, as I show in the remainder of this post - often under the radar, in order to hide their brand of ugly attack politics from the public. So, here's a Politics of Politeness and CourtesyTM-driven message to all the Establishment surrogates of Sen. Obama who are shedding crocodile tears about Party UnityTM - either you publicly call Sen. Obama to the mat on the fact that he is the original source of the ugly politics and division, or else just shove it (pardon my French, but I'm just being polite, Obama-style).

1. June 15, 2007: Bill Clinton and 9/11 Speech

2. Summer 2007 and Beyond: Bill Clinton's Alleged "Post-Presidential Sex Life"

3. December 2, 2007: Bill Clinton's Sex Life

4. December 27, 2007: The Problems Created by the Clinton Administration

1. June 15, 2007: Bill Clinton and 9/11 Speech

Greg Sargent (TPM Cafe):

We've just obtained an email that shows that the Obama campaign yesterday circulated a negative, and ultimately false, story about Bill Clinton -- that he allegedly made money giving a speech on September 11, 2006.

Campaigns, of course, circulate negative stuff about each other all the time. This email is unusual in that it is flagging something potentially negative not about a primary rival but about the former President -- one who obviously isn't running in the Democratic primary and who remains popular with Dem primary voters.

More here and here.

2. Summer 2007+: Bill Clinton's Alleged "Post-Presidential Sex Life"

Taylor Marsh quoting Marc Ambinder:

His campaign staffers, too, have become frustrated by the focus of the media’s attention, specifically that the press has not covered Clinton in the way they expected it would. During an interview this summer, Obama’s friend Valerie Jarrett said to me, unbidden, “He is a man who is devoted to his wife. There aren’t going to be any skeletons in his closet in terms of his personal life at all. Period.” And at a campaign event in Iowa, one of Obama’s aides plopped down next to me and spoke even more bluntly. He wanted to know when reporters would begin to look into Bill Clinton’s postpresidential sex life.

3. December 2, 2007: Bill Clinton's Sex Life

Denver Post:

"Every Democratic candidate in Wyoming will be painted with that same liberal, big-government brush. We will also be the target of the locker room jokes that rightfully belong to Bill Clinton," John Millin wrote in a letter to The Denver Post.

[...] Millin is a superdelegate who has thrown his support to Obama.

4. December 27, 2007: The Problems Created by the Clinton Administration

Lynn Sweet (Chicago Sun-Times):

Obama, opening a new front, suggested that the two-term Bill Clinton administration left much work undone. When Obama started his campaign in Springfield, he "started tackling problems that George Bush may have made worse but were there long before George Bush ever took office."

This is a line of attack that Sen. Obama recently expanded upon when he called out what in his view was Ronald Reagan's greater transformative power as President than Bill Clinton's. Make sure you read my post on the domestic policy legacy of the Clinton-Gore administration and you'll notice that Sen. Obama's statement was a bunch of pandering, ahistorical gibberish - something he has a propensity to dispense again and again on the campaign trail. Reagan not only had a lower average approval rating in office than Bill Clinton, the Clinton administration - while imperfect, as I discuss in the post - made great transformations on the positive side in comparison to the hard-right Reagan administration - and Clinton got higher approval ratings in his second term partly because of that.

In conclusion, all I can say is, I can see why Sen. Obama might be confused as to who he is running against, considering he made the decision to run against both the Clintons at least since ~Summer 2007.

eriposte :: 8:37 PM :: Comments (14) :: Digg It!