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Obama Can't Win Against a Republican-Style Campaign

Critics of Hillary Clinton's current campaign style need a wake-up call. Just do me a favor and don't wake up Obama campaign chief David Axelrod:

Advisers to Mr. Obama believe his efforts were damaged by the sharp back-and-forth between him and Mrs. Clinton. They believe that her campaign defined him in a negative way, reinforcing questions about potential weaknesses in his candidacy.

"If Senator Clinton thinks she has a legitimate chance to win the nomination, she has every reason to stay," Mr. Axelrod said aboard the campaign plane here Tuesday evening. "But if her only strategy is to try and tear down Senator Obama, I think that's going to make a lot of Democrats uncomfortable."

Really? Uncomfortable? As well it should as Clinton's successful use of these tactics indicates that Barack Obama can't defeat a 'Republican-style' campaign in Pennsylvania, and win that state for the Democrats in November.

That's one of the lessons learned from Hillary Clinton's win in Pennsylvania yesterday, that Barack loses against Republican-style campaigning, which is fine for us Democrats if John McCain drops out of the race and the GOP decides to not replace him on the ticket, but hey -- don't we want a candidate who can beat a Republican-style campaign on the ticket in November?

After days on the campaign defensive, Democrat Barack Obama accused rival Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday of leveling criticism straight from the Republican playbook and said even so, he will win the White House over John McCain and an "out of touch" GOP.

Wrong. This proves you'll lose against a Republican-style campaign in Pennsylvania.

Memo to Superdelegates:

If Obama outspends Clinton 3-1 and still can't beat her 'Republican-style' negative campaign in Pennsylvania, how much will Democrats have to spend on Obama in Pennsylvania to beat McCain's 'Republican-style' negative campaign for the November general election?

And how much will that take away from other key battleground states, and from down-ticket candidates?

Clinton_Obama.jpg

Sidebar to Axelrod:

We Democrats stand on the shoulders of those who've gone before us. It's the American way.

A Clinton-Obama ticket would have ended this and set Barack up for a term following Clinton's, but Barack said no. Maybe you should suggest he reconsider -- for the good of the party's chances in November. I suspect today it's not too late...

Tomorrow, or after another month running against Hillary Clinton... who knows. Things could be a lot worse -- look at the last 10 days and what they did for Clinton. She stopped Obama cold in his tracks, and froze the contest in Pennsylvania at precisely the 10 point margin she needed.


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Comments (9)

You raise a good question here, Lee. Worthy of some real soul-searching thought. Even though McCain is disgusted by some efforts done on his behalf, independent Republican efforts will no doubt be awful against either Democratic opponent. Whether both Democrats can equally defend against these attacks as well remains to be seen.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

You know when it comes down to winning or losing, the GOP will play as hard, fast, and as dirty as they have to in order to win.

DaveD:

Lee,
I watched the analysis on Fox News last night and it indicated that the majority of those polled thought Hillary was excessively harsh on Obama during the campaign. It is becoming more difficult for me to reconcile this trend in thinking with Hillary's reasonable success in PA. As a conservative myself you make me blush with the compliment about Republican-Style campaigning. Seriously though, do you really think the Republican white guy can afford to be too harsh on Obama when so many seem turned off by Hillary's perceived harsh treatment of the presumptive nominee?

Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Lee, what seems to be needed is pointing out there is nothing new to be thrown at Hillary. Whereas with Obama, we seem to find new things all the time. I like the fact he began his career in politics in the home of William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. His claim he is vaguely aquainted with them is another little understatement that will come back to bite him in the ass. Obama is unelectable.

McCain was only able to win the GOP nomination because conservatives could not unite behind any of his opponents, but he could well be the perfect nominee in a Democratic-leaning cycle: he has a long history both of reaching across party lines in the Senate and of annoying conservatives. He appeals to moderates and independents.

The Right is behind the curve on 527s, but will mount a better effort this time, no matter what McCain wants. As Zelsdorf notes, Hillary's weaknesses are all well known, enough so to be considered "old news." Obama's are being revealed only now, as his layers of protection are peeled away like an onion's.

So far, his response to criticism has been indignation combined with stumbling evasions. Democrats are on the verge of nominating a man with no relevant experience, no legislative record of achievement, no qualifications whatever beyond the ability to brilliantly deliver a scripted speech and duck out of the building without answering any questions, and a seriously questionable set of associations which are only now being vetted.

Normally, I would be rooting for the weaker candidate, Obama, to win the opposing party's nod. But the stakes are very high in the world today, and the chances still good a Democrat will win the White House. Hillary brings an experienced team with her, and a basically tougher and more realistic attitude towards foreign policy.

As much as I disagree with McCain, I think he's the best choice of those remaining to us. But if it must be a Democrat, Hillary is the safer choice for our country.

Lee Ward:

DaveD: I watched the analysis on Fox News last night and it indicated that the majority of those polled thought Hillary was excessively harsh on Obama during the campaign. It is becoming more difficult for me to reconcile this trend in thinking with Hillary's reasonable success in PA.

The way I read this is that Obama Democrats and some Clinton supporters don't like the fact that Clinton has gone increasingly negative - but he results indicate that it is effective. In Pennsylvania Obama went negative in return, and that hurt him in my view.

As a conservative myself you make me blush with the compliment about Republican-Style campaigning. Seriously though, do you really think the Republican white guy can afford to be too harsh on Obama when so many seem turned off by Hillary's perceived harsh treatment of the presumptive nominee?

As we're seeing in North Caroina, it really doesn't matter what McCain says - the GOP and its surrogates will go as negative as is needed .

With Clinton as the Dem nominee she'll fight back with tooth and nail, but with Obambi it creates a conundrum. Does he attack McCain - the guy who is telling his supporters to play fair? That'll make Obambi out as the big negative nooge - and underscore Obambi's hypocrisy even more.

The bottom line - politics is rough and tumble and it will be this fall in the GE as well - Obambi is a bad choice in that environment. He'll either not fight back - and lose - or he'll fight back ineffectively - and lose, or he'll fight back aggressively and be labeled a huge hypocrite -- and lose the blue-collar Dems.

Lose, loose, lose... With Obambi as the Dem nominee, we Dems will lose in November.

Zeldorf: Lee, what seems to be needed is pointing out there is nothing new to be thrown at Hillary. Whereas with Obama, we seem to find new things all the time. I like the fact he began his career in politics in the home of William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. His claim he is vaguely acquainted with them is another little understatement that will come back to bite him in the ass. Obama is unelectable.

Damn, I hate it when you and I agree, but that's exactly what I've been saying for months. I'll take the devil we know - Clinton -- over Obama - the devil who wasn't vetted, and still isn't fully vetted.

Jim: McCain was only able to win the GOP nomination because conservatives could not unite behind any of his opponents, but he could well be the perfect nominee in a Democratic-leaning cycle: he has a long history both of reaching across party lines in the Senate and of annoying conservatives. He appeals to moderates and independents.

Yep, he's the least objectionable candidate to us Dems, and therefore the strongest candidates the Repubs could run. He took a moderate approach to Immigration reform, for example, which helps him among moderates.

"Democrats are on the verge of nominating a man with no relevant experience, no legislative record of achievement, no qualifications whatever beyond the ability to brilliantly deliver a scripted speech and duck out of the building without answering any questions, and a seriously questionable set of associations which are only now being vetted."

True, and some of his better speeches include plagiarized passages to boot. He's a charismatic leader , and that does count for something, but he was too evasive early on, and not fully forthcoming on his Rezko fundraising amounts, for example - he had to adjust them up twice, from $75,000 to $150,000 to $250,000 - and the Wright crap which he lied about, and now Ayers, with more bad news on the way, I guarantee -- and Michelle Obama is a ticking time bomb on her own.

P. Bunyan:

RE #5,

Agreed.

I was (am?) thinking about registering as a Democrat in case Michigan somehow miraculously gets a re-vote but they restrict it to registered Democrats. And I would vote for Hillary, not because I approve of Rush's "operation chaos", but rather because she is the clearly better of the two candidates.

True, they are both ideologically marxist which is very bad for all Americans and for that matter the entire planet. If either of the dems actually wins this November, every American who is not a lawyer will be poorer and much worse off, but at least with Hillary we will survive and recover as we've had to do from the last two Democrat Presidencies. If Barack wins there may be nothing left but a smoldering radioactive crater.

BTW, I miss Larkin. It was fun reading Lee and him go back and forth over which candidate was the bigger liar.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Larkin has his own blog called The Infinite Truth, and he also writes on occasion for Wizbang Politics.

And Clinton is a much better liar than Obama. With Obama you can see it in his face when he's lying - Clinton is more difficult to spot.

Neither are a match for George W. Bush however.

P. Bunyan:

I agree with your second paragraph Lee. Your third? Not so much. I don't think Bush is a good liar at all.

Of course, I don't consider a difference of opinion to be a lie. So lies are about facts. Leftists may really like their opinions, but they are not facts no matter how much you and the MSM want them to be.

Obama's biggest problem is that he can't think on his feet. He's great when reading a speech(well, too cocky and arrogant for my tastes, but a lot of people eat that crap up), but when confronted with something he first tells a really bad lie, then changes his story, then changes it again and again till he finds something that might work.

Hillary can almost always get it right the first time and stick with her story. Or she simply dosen't remember. That's why the whole sniper fire thing was shocking to me--I mean that was just insane! What was she thinking? I still think she'll ultimately get the nod, but my God, that was a stupid mistake.

Even with that it's like what now? 4 to 1 in her favor?


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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