Not Going Gently
Hillary Clinton still believes she can win this primary (she can, though it's remote), and she's hitting Barack Obama very hard on the "Harry and Louise" mailer he's continuing to send into primary states.
"I have to express my deep disappointment that he is continuing to send false and discredited mailings," Clinton said at a press conference after a speech here, holding the mailings in her hand as she railed against them. "He says one things in his speeches and then he turns around does this. It is not the new politics the speeches are about. It is not hopeful. It is destructive."
She added: "Shame on you, Barack Obama. It is time you ran a campaign consistent with your messages in public. That's not what I expect from you. Meet me in Ohio -- let's have a debate about your tactics."
"Enough about the speeches, and the big rallies, and then using tactics right out of Karl Rove's playbook," she said angrily. "This is wrong and every Democrat should be outraged."
Clinton is well within her rights to attack that mailer. I'm not pleased that Obama, instead of honestly discussing his fundamental difference on mandates, is trying to discredit them using rhetoric from the right. Clinton's plan has subsidies that would help people pay for insurance.
But come on. Democrats aren't idiots. Hillary Clinton's campaign put out mailers in New Hampshire claiming that Obama, who has a 100% voting record on choice, is unreliable on the issue, because of "present" votes in the Illinois state Senate that were at the behest of Planned Parenthood of Illinois. I have to say that is worse, in my view, than the Obama mailer. It misrepresents Obama's position totally.
Plus, it's hard for Clinton to take the moral high road when people she pays to be spokesman go out and try to stir up controversy over this:
The Hillary Clinton campaign pushed to reporters today stories about Barack Obama and his ties to former members of a radical domestic terrorist group -- but did not note that as president, Clinton's husband pardoned more than a dozen convicted violent radicals, including a member of the same group mentioned in the Obama stories.
"Wonder what the Republicans will do with this issue," mused Clinton spokesman Phil Singer in one e-mail to the media, containing a New York Sun article reporting a $200 contribution from William Ayers, a founding member of the Weather Underground, to Obama in 2001. (Obama's ties to the radical group first surfaced last week in a Bloomberg News article.)
In a separate e-mail, Singer forwarded an article from Politico.com reporting on a 1995 event at a private home that brought Obama together with Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, another former member of the radical group.
That's really the lowest thing you can do. Bill Clinton pardoned a member of the Weather Underground during his term. Most, if not all, of that group has denounced their own tactics. The idea that Barack Obama is a domestic terrorist is just sickening, and the fact that the Clinton campaign and not some Internet yahoo would push it to reporters is worse.
This could all come to a head at the next debate on Tuesday. Clinton obviously believes that focusing on the differences in health care in the strongest possible terms is a winner for her. I do feel that she's being a little reductive in attacking mailers as "Rovian", when Phil Singer is pushing an "Obama is a terrorist" meme to reporters.