Friday, July 27, 2007

The "Obama-Clinton Flap"

An article filed by Steve Holland came out today saying, "Clinton-Obama Flap Shifts Race to Negative Tone." The flap referred to was at the YouTube debates, in which Hillary Clinton called Barak Obama "naive" to talk to foreign leaders without preconditions; Obama replied that not talking to them is simply a continuation of the Bush Doctrine. (Which it is.) Holland closes the article out by quoting notorious oppo-researcher Chris Lehane, who unsurprisingly states that Clinton came out ahead by having her foreign policy ideas called "Bush Lite." (Which they are.)

Why is this unsurprising? Oh, I dunno. Maybe because the Clinton campaign is paying its long-time operatives Chris Lehane and his partner Mark Fabiani to dig up dirt on its opponents, most specifically on Barak Obama. If they didn't have a hand in writing the less-than-renowned Steve Holland's article, they weren't doing their jobs. Here's what they dished:

The Obama camp, looking for an opening to use the feud to cut into Clinton's lead in the polls, put up an advertisement on news sites in the early U.S. voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

The ad criticizes the New York senator and former first lady for her initial vote in support of the Iraq war and asks the question, "Ready for a New Direction?"

"It's time to abandon the short-sighted, naive idea that we punish our enemies by not talking to them. It's time to let go of the thinking that got us into Iraq without a plan in the first place," the ad said.

Gee. Isn't that the most outrageous political attack ad you've ever seen? He really rolling Hillary in the hog pen there. Obama must apologize forthwith, or a duel will be demanded to protect Ms. Clinton's honor. Yeah. And here's what pros from both parties have to say about Chris Lehane:

"Chris is the best in the business. If you have damage that needs to be controlled, he's the guy to bring in," said veteran Republican campaign and public affairs consultant Dan Schnur.

Democratic consultant Roger Salazar worked with Lehane in Gore's office and on the 2000 presidential campaign. He called Lehane and his partner, Mark Fabiani, also formerly of the White House, "the masters of crisis communications — they know how to manage an issue and look at it from every conceivable angle, find all of the strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities."

I've worked with PR professionals doing damage control on some hot potatoes for one of the world's most recognized companies. They knew their art well, were intelligent and devious in the extreme, but they were Queens of the May compared to Mssrs. Lehane et Fabiani. These political assassins' fingerprints are on some of the nastiest leaks and crisis creation schemes of the past 15 years. If a gussied-up difference of opinion over a needed change of direction is all "the best in the business" are coming up with, it's a great sign for Obama.

I despised the Clintons from the first day they took office. I despised Bill. And I still despise Hillary. Now Bill almost reduces me to teary-eyed nostalgia for small-scale corruption and merely routine incompetence. I despised them not because they were from Arkansas, or for having what one could sense was a political marriage, along with some fairly obvious but normal human foibles. I despised them because they quickly proved themselves to be naive and corrupt. On their very first day in office, Good Leaders do not pick "Gays In The Military" as their opening issue to fix, as the Clintons did. And they do not try to change a completely broken health care system, one which pays for the vacation homes of Congress, by waving a magic 800-page document. As the Clintons did. They squandered the political capital entrusted to them, and if Hillary becomes President, they will do it again.


Fleming said...

Marc, I used to despise the Clintons for the same reasons you did, and for what appeared some new records in falsehoods. Isn't it strange that Bill looks so much better now? It's like getting rid of a skunk and replacing it with a rabid rat. The skunk looks so much prettier in retrospect.

MarcLord said...

It's hard to come up with a better analogy than that. I was at Harvard Yard in 2004 when Bill Clinton walked through there on foot. The Rolling Stones in 1970 could not have gotten a bigger reaction. It was a mob scene of adoration; people hugging him, girls kissing him, easily between 5-10,000 people, many of them on the edge of hysteria and screaming at the top of their lungs. By coincidence, my wife was there with our baby in a stroller, and she called me, stuck and literally afraid of getting crushed. I went and got them, and her fear was not at all irrational.

I was there, and can honestly report that the essence of skunk smelled like Chanel.