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3/5/2008
THE COMEBACK KID?

My latest column is up at Pajamas Media. I take a look at Hillary Clinton’s surprising showing last night and wonder what happened to Obama.

A sample:

Americans admire bulldog tenacity in their politicians. And they hate quitters. If you can say nothing else about Hillary Clinton’s night, it is that she rose to a very steep challenge and fought through to victories in Rhode Island and Ohio, breaking the spell Obama had on the voters, stifling his momentum, and at least slowing his march to the nomination that seemed so inevitable just a few days ago.

It could very well be that on the threshold of the biggest night of Barack Obama’s life, Democratic voters drew in their breath and said “not yet” to the senator from Illinois. Nagging questions raised successfully by the Clinton campaign about Obama’s experience with a controversial ad as well as the appearance of the first chink in his squeaky clean armor — the result of a curious meeting between representatives of the Canadian consulate in Chicago and Obama’s top economic policy advisor. A press report suggested that the advisor, Austan Goolsbee, told the Canadians not to pay attention to the anti-NAFTA rhetoric from Obama because he was simply pandering to Ohio voters and that once in office, there would be few changes to the agreement.

Whether the story is accurate is not the issue. The Obama camp was slow off the mark and confused in their response. They denied such a meeting took place only to have a memo of the conversation leaked to the Associated Press proving that it did, in fact, occur. They denied the substance of the story but the memo suggested otherwise — at least to some extent.

In short, it was a stumble at absolutely the worst time for the campaign. Obama had tremendous momentum in Ohio. He was closing the gap on Clinton and seemed poised to once again pull off a big win. The NAFTA gaffe angered many Ohioans and probably made the difference for Clinton.

And then there was “the ad.” It’s now infamous portrayal of a phone ringing in the White House at 3:00 AM while showing pictures of cute kids fast asleep and a voice over asking who the voter wants answering that phone may have been a clumsy evocation of Lyndon Johnson’s “Daisy” ad (a child counting petals she is pulling off a flower morphing into a countdown to launch a nuclear missile), but nevertheless appears to have had an impact. This is especially true in hawkish Texas where Clinton arrested a slide and clawed her way back into the race. (As of midnight Eastern time, Texas is still too close to call).

Yes, it was a very late night indeed.

By: Rick Moran at 5:00 pm
4 Responses to “THE COMEBACK KID?”
  1. 1
    Oecolampadius Said:
    7:35 pm 

    I’m sorry to darken your door after I had promised to depart, but I felt that this followup on a previous discussion is appropriate. It is now clear that the entire NAFTA-gate issue was a manufactured falsehood. The Canadian government and the Canadian Embassy have issued blanket denials of the whole story, admitted that the supposed memo misrepresented the facts, and apologized to Mr. Obama. Here’s a CBC story about it:

    http://www.cbc.ca/mrl3/8752/vsu/wmv-hi/macdonald-obama-memo080303.wmv

    And of course, the Canadian government would never lie about such a thing. You’re even more naive than you are a talking point bot. It was clear as early as last weekend that the Canaidian government was desperate to undo the damage of the leaked memo and Goolsbee visit.

    Keep living in your little bubble. It must be very comforting.

    Ed

  2. 2
    retire05 Said:
    8:37 pm 

    Rick, yes, we Texans care about national security since we are on the front lines of the open borders war.
    But you seem to have missed an ad that Obama ran in Texas and the Democrat friends I have did not like it one bit.
    Here is a quote from that ad:

    “If there is an Arab American family being rounded up without the benefit of an attorney, it threatens my civil liberties.”

    With all the rumors of his being a Muslim (which he says he’s not and I believe him), him having a Muslim name, and the number of American soldiers from Texas that have been killed by Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq, that ad did not sit well with my Democratic friends.

    Now, it is true that Obama said Arab and not Muslim, but to many, they are one and the same.

    And just where are these Arab families that are being rounded up? Do we have some secret internment camp outside of Cut N’ Shoot, Texas? And when he is pandering in Texas, trying to garner the Hispanic vote, why would he use “Arab” instead of Hispanic (i.e. deportation)?

  3. 3
    Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator Trackbacked With:
    10:37 pm 

    Analysis: Why Hillary Won…

    Senator Hillary Clinton pulled out victories in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island tonight showing the sam…

  4. 4
    bobwire Said:
    10:47 pm 

    God, Rick, why do I feel you are pandering to your own blog? Why am I the first to say anything? My next-to-worthless comments may be archived long enough to pique inquisitive relatives.

    Somebody’s gotta step up here, and be pithy. Dog knows I just don’t have it in me, save “So how’s the delegate count going?”

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