In September, I wrote:
As detailed in Jack W. Germond and Jules Witcover’s Mad As Hell: Revolt at the Ballot Box, 1992, what some may not recall these days about Bill Clinton’s “Sister Souljah Moment”, was that it had little to do with insulting a two-bit virtually unknown rapper, and everything to do with distancing himself from the failed radic chic 1970-era politics of her backer, Jesse Jackson. It was one of many gestures that allowed Clinton to position himself as much more moderate than the average Democrat presidential candidate, and went far towards cementing his candidacy.
For a moment of course, Clinton thought he needed Jackson’s imprimatur during the impeachment hearings, but ten years on, Jesse’s back to being merely a name to be demagogued by Bill.
Will it work? Michael Graham posits that it already has:
How to Defeat Obama?
Fight him. That’s what the Clintons have shown. When he is forced to fight, Sen. Obama’s inexperience shows. His record, slight as it is, is tough to defend.
He’s got a glass jaw, and he will fall into the trap of identity politics.
In fact, he already has. The “could we beat Obama?” conversation is purely academic. It’s over. The Clintons have defeated him already, because he is leaving South Carolina as “the black candidate.”
He won’t win another state. Even worse, in November Hillary will carry 90 percent of the black vote, despite their cynical, race-based campaign against the first viable black presidential candidate.
But it sounds like the scope of Obama’s victory last night may make the Clintons look increasingly small. Still, don’t count out what 17 years of battlefield prep can do for you.