Swiftboating Obama

Someone named Taylor Marsh has been granted a spot at The Huffington Post (my favorite news site) to try to do her best to make Hillary Clinton the Democratic nominee for president. There’s nothing wrong with that — Marsh is pretty open about who she supports, she’s not posing as an objective journalist in this regard.

And I have nothing against Clinton either, really. I liked her when she was First Lady and I think she’s a smart, interesting person, and I wouldn’t even be that unhappy if she actually became the nominee — even as a cynical, manipulative political animal, she’s still a better choice by a long shot than, say, John Kerry.

What I object to is that Clinton and her supporters will do, apparently, anything to get elected, including adopting the tactics of Karl Rove to attack their opponents. The Rove doctrine says: don’t attack an opponent where he’s weakest, attack him where he’s strongest. If a man does important, high-profile work with children, start a whispering campaign that says he’s a child molester. If a man has the compassion to adopt a homeless minority child, tell all the bigots of the nation that “he has a black baby.”  And if he’s a certified war hero (and your own candidate is a proven rich-boy draft-dodger) call him a coward and a traitor.

In the case of Obama, since the man is a gifted orator able to move millions of people with his soaring rhetoric of hope and change, call him a plagiarist and say he’s a con man. Obama’s foes, who have spent the past eight years intently studying Rove’s techniques, have little else to go on. They tried at the beginning to do the “attack him where he’s strongest” game, putting out memes like “Is Obama Black Enough?” and “He Has No Ideas Behind His Rhetoric,” both of which are utter hogwash. Now this. A couple of weeks ago, there was a conservative columnist who couldn’t help wondering aloud if Obama could speak so well if he had no teleprompter. That’s right, a man whose hero, George W. Bush, cannot string two words together under any circumstances without sounding like a complete idiot, is worried that Obama might not be so great an orator as he seems to be, and therefore should not become president.

And I keep waiting, but I’m not seeing the Obama camp coming up with crap like this. There’s plenty a crafty, cynical politician could do to smear Clinton and McCain, but I don’t see Obama or his staff doing that. Which I think accounts for a lot of why Clinton isn’t doing as well as she’d like to be.

(For what it’s worth, at least at HuffPo they let other columnists answer ridiculous charges.)

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6 Responses to “Swiftboating Obama”
  1. curt_holman says:

    Something that fascinates me in the dynamic of Hillary vs. Barack supporters is the level of outrage that seems to be coming from pro-Hillary feminists, which one can detect in items like this one:

  2. mimitabu says:

    while i hope he gets he nomination and wins the election, i’m no obama fan (he’s way too centrist for my tastes). still, the “plagiarism” accusation isn’t just insulting to obama, it’s an insult to the american people.

    what hillary et al are basically saying is, “i think you yokels are stupid enough to just parrot the word ‘plagiarism’ without actually investigating my claim. i expect this to work, because you are all idiots.” the charges are preposterous. so the guy shares the same views on the power of rhetoric as his friend… that’s what ‘plagiarism’ means now? come on.

    if hillary wants to win, she needs to bolster her own campaign with positive things about herself. obama is just too strong at debate to attack (it’s like trying to debate bill clinton, ironically). i remember when i was at u.chicago i saw him debate keyes when he was running for senate. obama is a true product of the academy; he decimates people in debate.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Mrs. Clinton vs. Mr. Obama

    I am supporting Barrack Obama for President. I love his message of hope and change. I love his firm stance on being very pro-civil liberties (bring back that habeas corpus!).

    But more importantly, in a race for president between John McCain and Barrack Obama, it’s practically a no contest in favor of Obama. On the other hand, a race between McCain and Clinton is way too close to call. There are just way too many Republicans and Democrats alike that have a knee jerk hatred of Hilary (and I don’t understand it).

    • Todd says:

      Re: Mrs. Clinton vs. Mr. Obama

      They hate her because a)she’s a woman, and b)she insists on taking power anyway. A gigantic cross-section of people find that appalling right out of the box. That part doesn’t surprise me, but I’ve been really sickened by her campaign tactics this time around.