Patterico's Pontifications

2/23/2008

Hillary Clinton Goes on Offense in Ohio

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 2:42 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Today in Ohio, Hillary Clinton issued one of her strongest criticisms to date of Obama and his theme of change:

“She compared Obama to President Bush during the rally, suggesting the country had already taken a gamble on an inexperienced candidate who promised change.

“People talk a lot about change. We have lived through some of the worst change that anyone could imagine the last seven years,” she said to loud applause. “People thought we were getting a compassionate conservative, didn’t they? It turned out he was neither. We have lived with the consequences of those mistakes.”

She also criticized Obama for mass mailings to Ohio residents that she argues misrepresent her policies on health care and NAFTA, and are “tactics right out of Karl Rove’s playbook.”

I don’t know if voters will see the parallels but it seems to me that highlighting comparisons between Obama and Bush is a good strategy for Clinton. Both are/were regional candidates who were largely unknown during the primaries and whose policy positions were not clearly articulated. It might have been a different race had she identified this comparison earlier in the primary season and hammered it home.

— DRJ

15 Responses to “Hillary Clinton Goes on Offense in Ohio”

  1. Queen to mirror: “Let the voters decide who is the fairest of them all!”

    Mirror to queen: “They are”

    Today, fourty-eight hours after Hillary Clinton charmed an Austin crowd by proclaiming at the close of her latest debate with Barack Obama that she was so proud to be sitting on the stage with him, Hillary has appeared in Cincinnati screaming bloody murder about her opponent.

    Obama’s offense was that his campaign sent out a couple of flyers to Ohio voters crticizing her health care plan and stance on NAFTA. Waving the flyers in the air, Hillary proclaimed, “Shame on you, Barack Obama!…….Meet me in Ohio and let’s debate your tactics!….Let’s let the voters decide!”

    Yes, folks, we’re going to have another debate (Tuesday in Cleveland). This time, it’s “for real”. One would think that after 19 debates, the Democratic voters would have made up their minds, which, perhaps, they have.

    What is so entertaining is watching Senator Clinton’s constantly changing tactics as she tries to launch one Michael Myers comeback after another. In Austin, she produced the low point in the debate when she went after the Obama plagiarism flap with an obviously prepared quip about a xerox something or other. That drew boos from the crowd, and no doubt led to the firing of whatever hapless staffer gave her that line. But according to the pundits, Hillary “saved” the evening with her gracious compliment to Obama in her closing remarks. Some pundits seemed to think it might be another turning point, like the supposed tears in New Hampshire. (You know, Hillary really is human-she really is a nice person, after all.) If this is how the Democrats decide their votes (on feelings), then God help the nation.

    But now it’s back to the Ralph and Alice Kramden routine, as Ohio voters can now anticipate a debate filled with fireworks over Health Care and NAFTA.

    When one looks at the constant highs and lows of Hillary Clinton, constant changes of direction and firings of staffers after primary losses, it would lead one to wonder: Many liberal pundits are suggesting that she has been served badly by her campaign staff. That is highly possible when you consider that she has people like LA Mayor, Tony Villaraigosa as her national co-chair. I prefer to think that the real problem is not the campaign, rather the candidate. But, of course, I am just another old fogey who believes in personal responsibility, which is kind of outmoded these days.

    More seriously, however, has Hillary’s performance in this campaign demonstrated that, as president, she would run the Ship of State with a steady hand?

    gary fouse
    fousesquawk

    fouse, gary c (5a08be)

  2. “We have lived through some of the worst change that anyone could imagine the last seven years”

    Okay, now we know she’s insane, just like most of the left.

    Jim C. (a79dbc)

  3. The lovely Mrs Clinton is simply desperate. The polls say that she’s leading in Ohio, but Mr Obama is closing the gap, and she needs not just a victory, but a big victory to have any chance at winning the nomination; if she wins by a few percentage points in Ohio and Texas, she doesn’t close the gap in delegates.

    And she’s been well tutled by her master, Bill Clinton: fight, fight, and fight some more, never give in and never show weakness. At least her master was likeable.

    Dana (556f76)

  4. The problem with defensively playing “not to lose” when you have the lead is that it allows the opponent to gather momentum and confidence.

    Champions have confidence in their ability and the gameplan; they play their game thus avoiding the pitfall altogether. Others know internally that they are pretenders punching above their weight as they watch victory escape.

    Hillary may be going through the motions of attacking Obama, but Thursday night she looked like she was relieved it would soon be over.

    capitano (03e5ec)

  5. “We have lived through some of the worst change that anyone could imagine the last seven years”

    Yeah, the massive increase to my father’s 401k due to the hugely robust stock market has been HORIIBLE…

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  6. “People thought we were getting a compassionate conservative, didn’t they? It turned out he was neither. “

    So, this means Democrats will stop referring to Bush as hard-core ultra-right wing?

    It’s amazing their heads don’t explode.

    Steverino (3cbef4)

  7. Hillary’s target right now is Democratic primary voters, who, more than anything, are far more interested in picking an electable candidate than they are in the particulars of who said what about whose policy positions. For her to win the nomination, she needs to convince primary voters that Obama is not electable, that while he makes their hearts all atwitter, voters in the general election are much less smitten (yes, the voters aren’t all that happy with her either, but hey, it’s fourth down late in the game). She needs to drive down Obama’s national poll ratings, to raise the fear among the Democratic faithful that they’re picking another Kerry, another Mondale

    Attacks such as what she said today could score, but only if she can stop focusing on the trees. She (or her surrogates) needs to couch every attack in terms of how stunts like this don’t play well come November. She needs to point out that voters punish candidates with loud opinionated spouses (ok, maybe that’s a tough sell). She needs to raise the race issue, claiming that non-Democratic America is too racist to go for the black guy, especially compared to the white war hero; at the same time, she needs to get Hispanics and women and white guys worrying that they’ll be left aside (even penalized) if the black guy wins. And most of all, she needs to go after Obama for being too liberal, for though the liberal primary voters agree with Obama more than they agree with her, what they want most of all is to win in November, and not have the entire ticket go down because America won’t vote for a black liberal with a wife who says stupid things. She needs to steal the McCain playbook and start portraying Obama as naive and too willing to abandon our troops and more likely to get us killed. She needs to claim that his tax hike plans will drive the country into recession… and so on and so on. She needs Democratic primary voters and the path to them lies with the voters who will vote this November. Make enough of them think twice about Obama and the primary voters will rethink their support of Obama.

    stevesturm (8caabf)

  8. She needs to raise the race issue, claiming that non-Democratic America is too racist to go for the black guy, especially compared to the white war hero; at the same time, she needs to get Hispanics and women and white guys worrying that they’ll be left aside (even penalized) if the black guy wins.

    #7. Excellent. Kind of an eye opener that the best abstract points are now late in the game and appearing on a blog. Maybe her speechwriters will see this and cut you a ghost writing check.

    Vermont Neighbor (c6313b)

  9. I thought the Clintons and their surrogates already tried to play the race card – several times – and it backfired.

    DRJ (3eda28)

  10. She needs to raise the race issue

    Worked real well before and after South Carolina.

    She needs to steal the McCain playbook and start portraying Obama as naive and too willing to abandon our troops and more likely to get us killed.

    Rather hard to do given that she recently decided to run to Obama’s left and attack him for not promising to get the troops out of Iraq in 60 days, in the war she voted for, having been “mislead” by George Bush.

    DWPittelli (2e1b8e)

  11. Re the race card aspect. Hillary could do it from a position of Dems= good, GOP= unenlightened.

    It’s different than the South Carolina situation because it’s framing the upcoming election. Protecting her electorate.

    For the record, I thought Bill made a good point which the media twisted around. Elections are tallied about every 5 minutes as far as what age, race, income and education level is voting for which candidate.

    There is no candidate running that I like. Tancredo would’ve been good. Guess I’m a, um… a knuckledragger.

    Vermont Neighbor (c6313b)

  12. Wow, I got it really wrong. After the last debate I figured Hillary had decided to position herself as being willing to take a back seat for the team, while waiting for the Obauble to implode, and then ride to the rescue of a party suffering from mass buyer’s remorse. The Comeback Kid rides again.

    I guess not. But it might have worked, had she posessed the self-restraint to pull it off. I guess she didn’t.

    sherlock (b4bbcc)

  13. Hillary is offensive and has been for years.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  14. The Swift Boaters are out again.

    BC (600eaa)

  15. I dont think that fox news or the rest of the media has given Hillary Clinton a fair shake, Because every thing she does is being criticize. It seems to me that is a conspiracy against her. Senator Obama has not been scrutinize at all and he is not untochable. He is runing HIS CAMPAING ON FALSE HOPE, PROMISE AND CHANGE.What kind of change are we talking about?…….That is very scary to me that a candidate with no experience what so ever can be president of the United States. Lets reconsider this before he gets elected in this primery.

    MAUNA L. ORTIZ (da26af)


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