Does anyone now doubt that Hillary Clinton is an artist of the clawing and desperate campaign tactic? One half expected her to issue a statement yesterday responding to the minor bombing at Times Square by asking if anyone knew of Michelle Obama’s whereabouts lately. And if she does finally release her tax returns, would this event be accompanied by her piloting an F-16 onto a U.S. aircraft carrier to prove her “readiness” for the Oval Office?
It seems that Clinton’s alarmist “red phone” ad did play well in Texas and Ohio. Her argument that Barack Obama’s a babe in the woods when it comes to national security was not helped by the fact that Obama’s own senior adviser Susan Rice declared both Democratic candidates “not ready to have that 3 a.m. phone call.” (Obama’s team, from Austan Goolbee to Samantha Power, is suffering from a nasty case of foot-in-mouth disease.)
Which only leaves this wondrous remark from Clinton herself, proving that if she loses the nomination, nothing she says in Obama’s favor thenceforth will seem the least bit persuasive or plausible:
“I think that since we now know Sen. (John) McCain will be the nominee for the Republican Party, national security will be front and center in this election. We all know that. And I think it’s imperative that each of us be able to demonstrate we can cross the commander-in-chief threshold,” the New York senator told reporters crowded into an infant’s bedroom-sized hotel conference room in Washington.
“I believe that I’ve done that. Certainly, Sen. McCain has done that and you’ll have to ask Sen. Obama with respect to his candidacy,” she said.
She went on to call McCain a friend and praise and his service to his country; at least she knows how to wage someone’s campaign effectively.
This is what the Democrats mean by a self-cannibalizing presidential race brokered on the somewhat paradoxical fact that, as the pundits say, the party “likes” both Barack and Hillary.
There were plenty of Clinton-loathing Republicans who rejoiced over her twin victories Tuesday, knowing that the other side’s prolonged agonies only give them more breathing space to run in a general election uncontested for months.
The Democrats are now ensnared in a sideshow of petty squabbles and fuzzy math over delegates. What can this mean to so many swing voters but that the GOP is both serious and “ready” to fight two wars and rescue the economy?
The Moderate Voice smacks its forehead at Hillary’s stupidity: “By conceding John McCain’s acumen as Commander in Chief, she has no ability to attack him on those grounds. It’s one thing to recognize his experience. It’s another to say he’s crossed the threshold into acceptance. Imagine, for a moment, if John McCain conceded the economy or health care to Hillary Clinton.”
Greg Sargent at TPM Election Central writes: “But pumping up McCain to this extent risks provoking a backlash from rank-and-file Dems. The question I have is whether Obama will be able to capitalize on this, perhaps by using it to further his efforts to tie Hillary to McCain and to present himself as the only real candidate capable of drawing a clear contrast with him.”
AMERICABlog isn’t happy either: “On the most important foreign policy decision of this decade, on the biggest foreign policy disaster in recent American history, Hillary Clinton and John McCain made the wrong call – both sided with George Bush and voted for the Iraq war. If this is the judgment they would bring to the threshold of the Oval Office, if these are the decisions Hillary and McCain are going to be making when the phone rings at 3AM, who needs either one of them.”
Michael Weiss is the New York Editor of Pajamas Media. His blog is Snarksmith.