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In Focus: Clinton vs. Obama – It’s Getting Dirty

Mud wrestling gets ratings, writes Sheryl Longin, but does it win elections?

by
Sheryl Longin

Bio

March 6, 2008 - 12:59 am

With the inconclusive results of Super Tuesday 2, unpredictable superdelegates in Ohio, and Michigan and Florida threatening do-overs, there’s no light on the horizon for average guy Tom Hanks and the legions of Americans who share his pain.

But when a famous actor speaks, the two Democratic contenders sit up and take notice. Okay, that’s putting the best spin possible on both campaigns’ decisions, just one day after hinting at a possible joint ticket, to spice up the election by going nasty.

While it does have the Karl Rove anticipated effect of pushing the Republican nominee off the radar, it’s a short term fix for a long term problem. Not to mention, how low can they go and still make Diane Sawyer’s dream
come true?

CNN’s helpful attempt to clarify the situation by asking viewers whether Obama should go negative only further illustrates the Democrats’ dilemma. Predictably, responses are split down the middle. Perhaps the broadcast news networks should change their graphics to “Indecision ’08″.

Who’s the biggest loser in all this chaos? My vote goes to DNC chair Howard Dean who seems to be ducking Florida Sen. Bill Nelson’s angry calls.

I only hope, in his frustration, he doesn’t let loose with another of his signature yelps.

Somewhere in Brentwood, Tom Hanks is reaching for an Extra-Strength Tylenol. America is reaching with him.

Sheryl Longin is the author of Dorian Greyhound: A Novel and co-screenwriter of the movie Dick
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