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Growing Backlash Against Clinton Tactics

Posted by libhom Sunday, January 27, 2008

After Kucinich received only 2% of the vote in New Hampshire, I was open to supporting other candidates. The Clinton's use of Karl Rove style tactics convinced me that defeating a political dynasty whose campaign style is as Republican as its policies was the most important priority at the moment. I have supported Obama's presidential campaign since then while enthusiastically supporting Kucinich's reelection campaign for his House Seat.

I'm not the only one who is disgusted with the Clintons.

Obama's doubling of Clinton's vote in South Carolina shows that Democratic primary voters are disgusted with the Clinton smear campaign. But, primary voters are not the only people frustrated by Clintonism. Frank Rich skewers the Clintons in his latest column and questions Ms. Clinton's electability in the present context.

IN the wake of George W. Bush, even a miracle might not be enough for the Republicans to hold on to the White House in 2008. But what about two miracles? The new year’s twin resurrections of Bill Clinton and John McCain, should they not evaporate, at last give the G.O.P. a highly plausible route to victory.

Amazingly, neither party seems to fully recognize the contours of the road map. In the Democrats’ case, the full-throttle emergence of Billary, the joint Clinton candidacy, is measured mainly within the narrow confines of the short-term horse race: Do Bill Clinton’s red-faced eruptions and fact-challenged rants enhance or diminish his wife as a woman and a candidate?

Prominent Democratic functionaries have expressed their frustrations to the Clinton smear campaign.
The war of words raged between the two campaigns amid media reports prominent Democratic figures, Senator Edward Kennedy and Representative Rahm Emanuel, had recently phoned Bill Clinton and demanded to stop bashing Obama.

Emanuel's involvement is telling, since his policy positions are almost as conservative as the Clintons'. He runs the Democratic House campaign operation and knows a divided party will get in the way of his work.

Ari Melber, writing for The Nation and posted at the Huffington Post, attacks the Clinton's strategy.
An AP article after the victory reiterated the claim by Clinton strategists that Obama has been branded "the black candidate" - a supposedly negative development that "could hurt him" as the campaign continues. This "black candidate" strategy was advanced by a "top adviser" to Clinton in another article this weekend, concluding that recent attacks have "marginalize[d] Obama as 'The Black Candidate.'" And one more top adviser to Hillary, former President Bill Clinton, flatly claimed that Obama is "getting votes" because of his race, leaving Hillary with no chance to win South Carolina. The strategy turns on the unstated premise that Hillary will get votes for her race, too, and a lot more of them are available on Super Tuesday.

The Shakesville blog has the harshest words I've yet seen for the Clintons' tactics.
I've defended your wife from harsh attacks based on her gender. But I'll defend Barack Obama no less vigilantly from attacks on his race. When your wife's campaign is saying that they're pleased you've branded Obama as "the black candidate," well, all I can say is fuck you, Bill.

And while we're at it, fuck you too, Hillary, for authorizing and endorsing and supporting these attacks. I don't for a second think Bill's just out there saying stuff, without your approval. This is your campaign, and you're using Bill as the attack dog, so you can keep your hands clean. But this stuff is beyond the pale. You've taken a lot of crap in this campaign from the media and from allies of you opponents. You don't deserve it. But that hasn't come from the Obama campaign itself, and certainly not from Obama himself, nor from his wife or anyone close to him.

Bill, you need to STFU, and Hillary, you need to repudiate these attacks, and make clear once and for all that you are not a campaign for whites only. That crap works in the Republican party, but our party kicked the racists out in the sixties, and thank God. If you want to pander to the racists, fine -- but the rest of us, the vast majority of the Democratic party, will find someone else to vote for.

The Clintons are using the GOP's Southern Strategy. Let's hope it continues to backfire.


  1. Lew Scannon Says:
  2. A Clinton presidential dynasty is as dangerous as a Bush presidential dynasty. The "35 years of change" they have brought has not been to the benefit of most Americans, only the CEOs and idle wealthy of this country.

  3. Anonymous Says:
  4. Hi,

    I linked to your blog from Ceara at lesbiansaidwhat.wordpress.com

    I come from a long line of Republicans and I tend to lean that way myself, but Barack Obama is an amazing man and I love that Caroline Kennedy has endorsed him, evoking the memory of her father. If it comes down to a choice between Clinton and McCain, I think I'll move to Canada.

    I'm pulling for Barack


  5. Bill needs to back off. He's sucking all the oxygen out of Hillary's campaign. I think Bill was one of our very best presidents, but his time has passed and now this is her campaign.

    I have been on Obama's bandwagon for a long long time, and I'm staying there as long as he has even one shot in hell of becoming the next president. When I read Caroline Kennedy's piece in the NYT this morning, I knew I had chosen the right candidate.

  6. James Says:
  7. Did you see that speech last night from Obama? It was a barn burner. He is the most exciting and inspirational candidate in my life time.

    Obama picks up independents that would otherwise walk right past Hillary Clinton and we all know that you can't with without the Indies.

    I have lost A LOT of respect for Bill who I use to look up to. I still think he was a great president but he's ruining his reputation and legacy with his viciousness.

    I too am happy about the Kennedy endorsement (Caroline and now Ted Kennedy). Ted is a major player in the Dem party and I think he can convince a lot of people that Obama is the real deal.



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