I’ve been working at the other blog (you guys might like this; also this), where I’m getting into as much trouble with readers (see comments to this) as I do elsewhere. I must be an awful person.

Anyway, I leave the spiritual world to come back to the political one, and what do I find but this:

Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., debuted a campaign ad on Friday with ominous undertones.

“It’s 3:00am and your children are asleep,” a voice over says in the ad entitled “Children”. “There’s a phone in the White House, and it’s ringing. Something is happening in the world. Your vote will decide who answers that call.”

“Whether someone knows the world’s leaders, knows the military, someone tested and ready to lead. It’s 3am and your children are safe and asleep. Who do you want answering the phone?” the ad concludes.

I’d vote for the Dalai Lama, but he’s not running for president.

I don’t have much to say about the ad that Pam of the House Blend and DHinMI haven’t said. I also agree with Steve Benen:

Maybe I’ve become desensitized a bit, but this one didn’t really faze me that much. It feels like a regular ol’ Republican ad, except a) this is from a Dem; and b) the ad doesn’t show any brown people we’re supposed to be afraid of.

Paddy at Cliff Schecter’s place has Obama’s response ad, if you’re interested.

Reactions on the Left Blogosphere are divided between “How pathetic is this?” (Obama supporters) and “Obama is mean, too” (Clinton supporters). Oh, and also Gavin’s take.

So if we end up with a Clinton-McCain general election, is the contest going to come down to which one can scare us the most? And won’t that be jolly?

Elsewhere are stories that the Clinton campaign may sue somebody because the Texas primary/caucus rules are so convoluted. Other stories say the Clinton campaign is putting out advanced spin on the next round of primaries — if Obama doesn’t win states in which Clinton is currently favored, then it’s because people are having second thoughts about him. Ezra Klein explains that this is dumb.

Well, all’s fair in politics. Either these tricks will work, or they won’t. We’ll see.

Which brings me to E.J. Dionne’s column. Dionne compares what is happening in the Democratic Party now with what happened in the Republican Party in 1980 —

The Reagan metaphor explains why Hillary Clinton was in trouble from the moment she failed to knock Obama out of the race in Iowa. During the past two months, Democrats in large numbers have reached the same conclusion that so many Republicans did in 1980: Now is the time to go for broke, to challenge not only the ruling party but also the governing ideas of the previous political era and the political coalition that allowed them to dominate public life.

“This is our time,” Obama says in a short sentence full of meaning. The conservative age is as dead now as the liberal age was in 1980. Jimmy Carter, in many ways not a liberal at all, became the whipping boy for the end of liberalism. George W. Bush, no pure conservative, has come to symbolize the collapse of conservatism. “It is time to turn the page and write a new chapter in American history,” Obama says — exactly the sentiment of the Ronald Reagan who invoked Tom Paine.

The frustration of the Clinton campaign is understandable. Like George H.W. Bush, whom Reagan defeated for the presidential nomination in 1980, Hillary Clinton has worked very hard, knows government from the inside out and would clearly provide the country with a safe set of hands. The Clintonites argue, fairly, that there is no way to know if Obama can live up to The Promise of Obama.

That’s right; we do not know. But will the scare tactics chase voters to Clinton, or will they reinforce the sense that’s it’s way time for something completely different?

12 thoughts on “Boo!

  1. I’m going with “it’s way time for something completely different”.

    I was all for Edwards. I was undecided about who’s left, but the Hillary camp seems to being trying for the Republican Lite mantle. Its a shame, really.

  2. Maybe there Maha, but Bill Clinton was the best president of our adult lifetimes….it’s horrid the way people throw the word “Republican” around in this race.

  3. I’ll gravitate toward hope with uncertainty before I embrace assurances fostered from fear.

    And I can’t tell you how repulsive it is to hear John McCain spouting his, ” they want to wave the white flag of surrender” bullshit. What an insult to creative thinking and to the world of hope and possibility. He precludes by way of his crippled mindset any possibility for hope of a better tomorrow. And Hillary is not far behind him, my friends.

  4. Who do you want answering the phone?” the ad concludes.

    I’d vote for the Dalai Lama, but he’s not running for president.

    I picture an albino Elvis-y snarl on Putin’s face if at 3 a.m. McCain answered, “Ahoy-hoy,” in the manner of C. Montgomery Burns.

    Because by now it’s starting to seem like that’s what Clinton really wants.

    Dionne compares what is happening in the Democratic Party now with what happened in the Republican Party in 1980.

    So we’re the 1980 Republicans, and they’re the 1968 Democrats? We are so gonna kick their asses.

  5. “Will the scare tactics scare voters to Clinton or….”

    I think you have to say no. The voters who have signed on to Clinton are likely to stay in that camp; likewise Obama’s camp. The positions of each candidate are similar; there is no knockout on issues. Suppose Tuesday goes down as the polls show.

    A tie in Texas, splitting the delegate count there, a narrow win for Clinton in Ohio; she picks up a few delegates. Obama ahead in VT & RI for bragging rights. Bottom line: Obama will be ahead in the delegate count by 100 total, 150 in pledged (earned) delegates.

    Primaries after Tues. are going to be meaningless; Clinton can make a lot of noise about PA, the last big delegate state, but there’s not 100 delegates to be had as long as they proportionately split. All the delegates in all the remaining states could not put either candidate over 2025.

    What options are there?

    Clinton could decide to bow out gracefully.

    Clinton could force the issue on FL & IL. Though I usually consider stupidity to be a comodity in endlesss supply, I do not think party leaders would sanction a blatent act of larceny when the result would bitterly split the party that could otherwise exit the convention united.The only compromise would be a caucus in those states, which I doubt Clinton would agree to because Obama excels in that format.

    The party leaders could force an understanding in advance of the convention if they have enough influence with superdelegates.

    The whole thing could go to the convention floor, with the decision in question until every vote is tallied there.

    If anyone sees a different option, I want to hear it.

  6. Comment #3:

    Perhaps Bill Clinton was the best president in your adult lifetime but not in mine. Don’t forget about us oldies but goodies.

  7. Granny – you’d have to go back to Harry Truman – can’t give ya LBJ (downside greater than the upside though a great president in the larger sense) or even JFK (alas, too short).

  8. I heard a bit of that ad, and I thought, uh, gee, but isn’t McCain the one of the three that best fits the description “someone knows the world’s leaders, knows the military, someone tested and ready to lead”?

    Like so many of Clinton’s stances, this one only works if you already believe in what she’s asserting. But the idea that Clinton “knows the military” doesn’t seem obvious to me. What’s the evidence? She’s not a veteran. And exactly which 3am world crises has she personally handled? I don’t recall any.

    I realize that living through the GOP assault and Monica was damn hard, but I think a lot of people would say North Vietnamese torture has it beat on the list of life’s ‘tests’.

    Again I’m left with the feeling that the Clinton campaign is drinking too much of its own kool-aid, a quality I find unappealing in a presidential campaign.

  9. Granny..If I remember correctly didn’t you mention your age once before in a comment to this blog. And if my memory serves me correctly of you being a septuagenarian than it’s feasable that FDR might qualify as a president during your young adulthood. My apologies if I mistakenly put more years on you than you are willing to bear.

  10. OK, I confess, I am a young 68. Don’t remember FDR. I was young when Truman was president. I recall liking him because he resembled my father physically. I think it was mainly the glasses. JFK was the first president I voted for and even though his presidency was short, he was my favorite. Of course, I did not know about all his faults at that time and if he had lived, I might have been disillusioned. I think Clinton was a fairly good president and perhaps he could have done a lot more if he had not been preoccupied with other matters.

    Today, the times are different and I am putting my “hope” in Obama. As Maha says, if he gets in, he may disappoint us all. However, at age 68, I think I can handle it. In any case, the higher powers take care of all these things most of the time and I don’t have to worry my pretty little old head about it.

    By the way, it’s grannyeagle, not granny.

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