Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Clash in Carolina

Well, if you're a politics wonk like me you loved last night's Democratic debate in SC, which had Hilary and Obama lighting up the stage with verbal jabs and hooks:
"MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - A simmering feud between Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama erupted into charges of distortion and exaggeration in a gloves-off presidential debate Monday, with Clinton accusing him of representing a Chicago slumlord and Obama countering that she was a corporate lawyer for anti-union Wal-Mart.
"Even in the superheated atmosphere of their fight for the party's nomination, the statements and exchanges between Clinton and Obama were unusually acrimonious and personal. The debate came as the two campaigns continued to complain about dirty politics and disenfranchisement of voters in last Saturday's Nevada caucuses.
"As Obama tried to defend his recent comments about Republican ideas and Ronald Reagan, Clinton interrupted and said she has never criticized his remarks on Reagan.
"Your husband did," said Obama, who has accused the former president of misrepresenting his record."
But if you happen to be your average voter you probably got pissed off at the personal attacks and negative smearing. Yes, I think that Hilary instigated most of it, but after a while it was just plain ugly. Overall I'd have to say that the tone benefited Edwards who came off like an innocent bystander in a shootout, fighting tooth and nail just to get a word in, and when he did he sounded mature, chastising his opponents for not"...understand[ing], this is not about us personally. It's about what we are trying to do for this country."
Though I think Obama won the debate, he was the loser in this exchange with Hil. Trying to play at her level deadened his message of unity and when he gets negative he falls directly into her clutches. She can win playing politics as usual because that's what we expect, but people who support Obama hold him to a higher standard of integrity so when he falls he falls farther.
The moral for Obama--stop playing Sam and Diane with Hilary Clinton.

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