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                                       politics + culture

Monday, January 21, 2008

Bill, Bill, Bill...and more Bill

Josh Marshall has made a great video compilation of the punditry waxing on Bill Clinton's overdrive efforts to insert himself into his third campaign for President (you've gotta love Howard Wolfson saying with a straight face "Bill Clinton is like any other spouse in this campaign"...right.):

My point is not just that It's all about Bill, but that the strategy is deliberate. The Clintons have clearly decided that the only way to counter Barack Obama's star power and message is for Bill Clinton to suck the media oxygen out of Obama's sails. In their view, so long as the story is NOT about Barack Obama's charisma and message, they win....you see, the only way Clinton's core voters move to Obama is if they can hear and see Obama, if they can get his message.

That's not happening when Bill makes himself the center of attention.

Now, Barack Obama can't just fight back against Clinton's "distortions"...that plays into the effect. Barack Obama needs someone with heft and star power of their own to fight back against Bill directly, to say things that Barack Obama can't, won't and shouldn't say. Al Gore, Ted Kennedy, Oprah Winfry, Jimmy Carter. One of these few Americans with media pull needs to call out Bill.

And then Barack Obama needs to get out there and do what he was doing...inspiring voters to come together around his message of change and hope. That's what the Clinton's have been attacking...because that was what was working.

Barack Obama needs to get back on message and fast.

And, yes, Democratic partisans have to ask themselves a very basic question: if this is the level of "bull from Bill" the Clinton campaign is embracing in the primaries, what are we in for with Senator Clinton as the nominee or, perhaps, President?

And, given what we saw in Nevada, what does that mean for the Democratic party?



  • I'm not sure I agree with your point about it being a bad move politically for Obama to defend himself. He looked firm and composed, and showed strength of conviction. Maybe I'm reading too much into it.

    Then again, he did say "we" will attack Bill Clinton. So, well...

    BTW, Krugman has two new pieces against Obama -- a column PLUS a blog post, both misrepresenting Obama's Reagan remarks. I respect the guy heaps, but the more I looked at both these pieces, the more I have to conclude he's lost his objectivity.

    The column strung up a straw man based on nine words from the interview -- not even a complete sentence. Krugman asks, "Where in his remarks was the clear declaration that Reaganomics failed?" Well, it wasn't in the column, because Krugman cut it out.

    The blog post put more of the quote in, but still left out the crucial parts ("The Republican approach has played itself out", etc), and then had the gall to say this showed Obama was saying "Reagan was right".

    I left a comment, and am awaiting moderation. Maybe it'll even be approved. Yeah, right.

    You know, it's stuff like this that can lead to paranoia.

    Ugh!! Sorry for the long comment. I really respected Krugman, and now to catch at this kind of grade school intellectual dishonesty. Let's just say I'm very disillusioned and I needed to vent.

    By Anonymous Nigel Aimes, at 9:44 AM  

  • Well tonight we see the results of Bill's handy work. A few days ago I posted on my web site a fantasy of what Hillary should do to Bill if she were to become president.

    Even for those of us leaning pro Hillary, he is getting tiresome. I would also point out Gloria Steinem's excellent editorial in the NY Times several weeks back. If Hillary had Obama's experience she would not even be considered presidential material. So in addition to a meddling husband, gender is playing a huge role here.

    What is getting lost is Hillary's intense depth on issues. And here the media is playing the role of fifth candidate...only talking about Bill. AND the Clinton campaign ought to seriously consider putting a muzzle on him or better yet, doing what I suggested in my blog post.

    By Anonymous Deb Di Gregorio, at 5:14 PM  

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