Hillary Ups Fear Factor

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This has to stop.

Hillary has every right to tout her experience — it’s probably her biggest selling point in this election. But she’s got to find a way to do it without heightening the fear, discussing our “dangerous world,” or constantly reminding voters that we are at war. These may or may not be true, but including them in her stump speech only serves to shift public opinion towards solutions that emphasize guns and bombs over diplomacy and cooperation.
I’m headed to New York this weekend to see the ultra-popular (and ultra-vulgar) Russian ska-punk-folk band Leningrad, a fave of mine while I was in Russia. That reminds me: I wasn’t pleased with either Clinton’s or Obama’s answer to the Russia question last week and I’m not crazy about McCain’s stance either. More on that next week.
— Scott Paul

Comments

52 comments on “Hillary Ups Fear Factor

  1. Tahoe Editor says:

    Obama upped the fear factor by a factor of 2 to 1 when he plagiarized Hillary’s “3 a.m.” ad and then flooded the airwaves with it. That is tanked so disastrously says a lot.

    Reply

  2. DonS says:

    This is all getting a bit surreal.
    David Levy still in the ME??
    Looking forward to Steve and David’s observations on the eswcalation of brutality.
    Here’s a link from FDL. I haven’t finished reading the comments.
    http://firedoglake.com/2008/03/02/collective-punishment/
    That comment up thread by “erichwwk” about commodity blodgs specualting ofnt he breakup of the U.S. really brings things into perspective. True I just watched a very dark movie (“Eastern Promises”), but I’m really looking for something to encourage a more positive outlook.

    Reply

  3. Carroll says:

    Wanna see a dead 5 month old baby? Hit by an Israeli missile while he slept in his own bed?
    Andrew Sullivan has his picture up at his site..
    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/02/face-of-the–24.html
    When you look at this child , if you do, remember the US congress makes it possible for Israel to kill all the children they please…in the name of protecting Jews. I don’t know a Jew that’s worth a 5 month old baby. If there were only two Jews left in the world both of them together woudn’t be worth a 5 month old baby.
    My country makes me vomit.

    Reply

  4. David N says:

    Those of us holding out for a politician who never stretches the truth, never asks for money, never acts only in his/her own self interest . . . .
    Well, we’ll be waiting a long time, I suspect. And in the meantime, because we aren’t voting, Bush steals the elections and sets up a system, with the Justice Department as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the RNC and Diebold in charge of ‘counting’ votes, that reveals the real meaning of ‘permanent majority.’
    Were there but one politician who would run on truth, it might surprise us how well that person would do. But with the permanent political class reinforcing the lies of the conventional wisdom, and the corporate media ensuring that the truth is met with ridicule, it ain’t easy.
    So we go with the best we can get.
    What people are saying about Obama’s judgement is in fact a case in point:
    Part of the terror campaign of the RNC was the old ‘mushroom cloud’ scenario that didn’t exist. But they have never done anything to actually act against the threat of a nuclear attack. They don’t care about securing the loose nukes in the CIS, and don’t do a thing about port security.
    ::: It’s all part of the master plan :::
    Republicans run on three general issues:
    1. Acting on behalf of the wealthy and powerful, and the corporate interests. That they do.
    2. Promising to pass the fundamentalist agenda of the religious conservatives. That they don’t do, because if they do, say, overturn Roe v. Wade, there would be more people willing to vote them out of office than they could steal the election from. And they could no longer count on the wing nuts once their agenda were achieved.
    3. National security. Same as 2. The fact is, Republicans suck at national security. They have not protected us; they ignored the warnings prior to 9/11, and thought that the only key to security was SDI. But they have been able to use the WoT as an excuse to overturn the Bill of Rights.
    It’s simple. We were attacked because the Republicans dropped the ball on National Security. So let’s vote Republican, because they are ‘tough’ on National Security.
    Kind of like voting Republican because they do such a good job taking care of people after natural disasters. This is what passes for ‘wisdom’ of the ‘conventional variety.
    One last point. The neocons are supposed to be the guys who are clear-eyed and objective about the threats. They have been wrong at every point in their history, from Team B to Iraq. So why does a single person pay attention to a word they say?
    Beats me .. .. .. ..

    Reply

  5. jim miller says:

    Carroll,
    But Hillary invented the children’s defense fund and bakes snickerdoodles…she wouldnt trade children’s lives for power?
    She has no history of protecting predators for power…tear…sniffle…she is a fighter for children, not a shrewd butcher….

    Reply

  6. jim miller says:

    Carroll,
    But Hillary invented the children’s defense fund and bakes snickerdoodles…she wouldnt trade children’s lives for power?
    She has no history of protecting predators for power…tear…sniffle…she is a fighter for children, not a shrewd butcher….

    Reply

  7. jim miller says:

    Carroll,
    But Hillary invented the children’s defense fund and bakes snickerdoodles…she wouldnt trade children’s lives for power?
    She has no history of protecting predators for power…tear…sniffle…she is a fighter for children, not a shrewd butcher….

    Reply

  8. Carroll says:

    Israel’s revenge on Gaza
    AFP/Getty Images
    By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem
    Friday, 29 February 2008
    Four boys playing football have been killed in Gaza by Israeli air strikes, according to Palestinian officials, as Israel responded to the death of a man from a barrage of rocket attacks with a bloody escalation of violence.
    At least 16 Palestinians – including the four children – were killed yesterday as Israel responded to the deadly attacks the previous day.
    While the Israeli military said it had been targeting militants and rocket-launching squads, the officials said the boys were playing football close to their homes in Jabalya, northern Gaza.
    A relative, Ahmed Dardouna, 42, said the family had located the bodies of the boys – reportedly two brothers and their cousins – at a local hospital after they failed to return home.
    >>>>>>>>>>
    Hillary, Queen of the NY and AIPAC Jews and proud defender of the 400 to 1 kill rate of Israel. 465 children under the age of 16 killed in two years. Over 1000 children killed since 2002.

    Reply

  9. Carroll says:

    Well, let me tell you what it is about Hillary, Tahoe.
    It’s her ludicrous hypocrisy.
    Ludicrous as in…obvious absurdity, incongruity, meriting derisive laughter or scorn.
    Hypocrisy as in ..insincerity by virtue of pretending to have qualities or beliefs that you do not really have.
    I had some respect for the woman years ago and until this campaign. But her pandering to the Israeli nazis in one breath and proclaiming how precious all children are and her lifelong commitment to them in another breath is a feat to behold.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7270650.stm
    Matan Vilnai said Palestinians risked a “shoah”, the Hebrew word for a big disaster – and for the Nazi Holocaust.
    Mr Vilnai made the comments after rockets hit the city of Ashkelon, 10km (six miles) from Gaza. His colleagues insisted he had not meant “genocide”.
    Israeli air strikes have killed about 30 Palestinians in the past three days.
    The string of attacks came a day after a rocket fired by Hamas killed an Israeli student on the outskirts of Sderot, about a mile from Gaza, the first such death in nine months.
    Speaking on Israel Army Radio, Mr Vilnai said if Palestinians increased rocket fire, they would bring upon themselves a “shoah”.
    The BBC’s Katya Adler in Jerusalem says many of Mr Vilnai’s colleagues have quickly distanced themselves from his comments and also tried to downplay, them saying he did not mean genocide.
    “We’re getting close to using our full strength. Until now, we’ve used a small percentage of the army’s power because of the nature of the territory,” he added.
    Hamas which seized control of Gaza in June, has said it will cease fire if Israel stops its military operations in Palestinian areas and ends the blockade of the territory which has cut essential supplies to its 1.5m inhabitants.”
    Israeli Airstrike in Gaza Destroys Medical Relief Head Office, Kills Baby
    An Israeli airstrike aimed at the ministry of interior building in Gaza City also destroyed the nearby Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS) head office in Gaza and killed a 5-month-old baby in a residential building in the same area.”
    Obama has at least alluded to American values, the American values that reject the above….Hillary has tried to buy us by telling us what she is going to do for us, with our own taxpayer money yet. LOL
    No baybcakes, every day she becomes more a political whore extraordinae. She would drop a cluster bomb in a newborn’s crib if it would further her political ambitions. In fact she championed doing just that last year in Lebanon.
    She’s like the old joke about having already established the woman is a hooker and only wondering about her price…we know Hillary’s price.

    Reply

  10. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, if you want to quake in fear, you might wanna point out to these warmongering assholes in Washington that over 60% of California’s National Guard Equipment has been shipped to the ME to be used in the Bush honored tradition of killing those nasty terrist ragheads.
    Anyone looked at the IRIS website lately? The Ring of Fire is raging. A 7.0 or larger on the San Andreas will make Katrina seem like a minor little hiccup.
    Generators, water trucks, heavy machinery, etc., shipped out. All flushed down this monkey Bush’s toilet. All the things we are gonna need here if we have a major event.
    With the economy in the state its in, could our nation withstand a major hit on the West Coast? Could we get the National Guard assets back here from the Middle East fast enough to save lives?
    When pigs fly.
    Impeaching him ain’t enough.
    But he’s gonna skate.
    You don’t have to be accountable if you’re some fourth generation elitist scumbag carpetbagging warmongering cowardly piece of shit.
    You only gotta be accountable if you’re financing these dirtwads with 60% of your paycheck.

    Reply

  11. Carroll says:

    Yes Scott…very good post.
    Keep an eye on all of them for us.

    Reply

  12. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Let’s me just ask….JUST WHAT IS THE HUGE DANGEROUS, SCARY THREAT TO AMERICA?”
    Our pieces of shit politicians, a media that makes TASS look fair and balanced, and the resultant uninformed ignorance of the average citizen.

    Reply

  13. calling all toasters says:

    This is one funny video. Really, one would expect to see McCain at the end. But Hillary? Except for Kucinich, I don’t know a single candidate who would be less credible as the surprise answer at the end. This is ripe for parody if it isn’t one already.

    Reply

  14. Cee says:

    It seems that Clinton is using a McCain ad.
    McCain
    http://www.jabberwonk.com/flinker.cfm?cl iid=p00gw
    Clinton
    http://www.jabberwonk.com/flinker.cfm?cl iid=1c7x27

    Reply

  15. J. Singh says:

    Nice post Scott.
    Interesting fact: the music behind that ad (which Hillary has used in previous campaign ads) was a jingle often used on Larry King Live (I know this because I had a LKL episode recorded on DVR, which featured Steven Breyer). Not sure if jingle-lifting rises to the level of plagarism (!) — and the rights were probably purchased — but odd enough to point out.

    Reply

  16. susan says:

    Here is Barack Obama’s response to Hillary Clinton’s “Children” ad, entitled “Ringing.” This ad is airing in Texas.
    http://tinyurl.com/2onfta

    Reply

  17. Tahoe Editor says:

    Obama is now running a counter ad that uses “in a dangerous world” as well. So I think this is all moot. Seems everyone can agree that for every CareBear there’s a gremlin. This is a non-issue.

    Reply

  18. Tahoe Editor says:

    Yeah I know but you’ve rung the “we can’t say the world is dangerous” bell many times.

    Reply

  19. Steve Clemons says:

    Tahoe Editor — Just wanted you to know that this piece was written by Scott Paul rather than me. I’m headed back to DC shortly though and look forward to being back in my home base time zone.

    Reply

  20. DonS says:

    I think the point is that if it were a republican ad, or if we were not in the middle of a primary campaign season, the fervor for macho posturing would be embarrassing to any reasonable person.

    Reply

  21. Tahoe Editor says:

    I think the point is that there are unpredictable crises all over the world that go way beyond Muslims & nukes. “Muslims & nukes” seem to be your projection.

    Reply

  22. Carroll says:

    Well to answer my own question.
    No one is talking about the real threat to the US.
    Which is how to back out of our financial mess and debt before we further piss off those in a position to knock us down further down economicaly in response to our universal rampage and king of the world act.
    I would think it is obvious that no one is going to need a nuke to neuter the US, they can just let us bleed to death.
    Right now Americanss chances of starving are higher than their chances of ever being hit with nukes. If you want to scare people tell them the truth about what the US financial condition means to our security.
    Oh wait…they can’t do that cause DC caused that threat…I guess that’s why they have to depend on scary Muslims, shadow unnamed enemies and nukes.

    Reply

  23. DonS says:

    I like the way Atrios puts it.
    “Just don’t talk to the world as if it’s as stupid as George Bush.”
    http://atrios.blogspot.com/2008_02_24_archive.html#2568058855291083188

    Reply

  24. Carroll says:

    Let’s me just ask….JUST WHAT IS THE HUGE DANGEROUS, SCARY THREAT TO AMERICA?
    That we are gonna be taken out by terrier nukes? Invaded by Islam?…..what exactly is “THE THREAT”?

    Reply

  25. Tahoe Editor says:

    Yes — let’s not pretend that the White House phone rings day and night with crises. Hush hush, there’s no danger; stop asking questions and join The Movement.
    “Accentuate the positive; eliminate the negative”
    “Don’t worry, be happy!”
    CareBears & Rainbows! Obama ’08!

    Reply

  26. DonS says:

    On the “substance” I am in the camp that does not want the president rolling out of bed at 3 in the morning and hitting the nuclear button.
    Can anyone give a realisitc scenario where that would make sense? Of course if there were a nuclear attack by a nuclear power with an identifiable zip code, all this John Wayne crap might have some salience. But otherwise, aren’t the terriers fingerprints a little harder to identify and respond to? Unless they’re just trying to up the provocation.
    On the “process”, Obama clearly saw the attack in the ad; he said he didn’t think the ad would work. Given that, his response about judgment seemed the proper one.
    Here’s a link via Talkleft (which is nothing if not tone deaf on the matter and, I might add, on any criticism of Israel) that includes Obama’s response
    http://www.talkleft.com/story/2008/2/29/144827/990

    Reply

  27. Linda says:

    David N,
    Thanks for correcting my hurried error as the 1964 ad was LBJ’s against Goldwater and not vice-versa as I quickly wrote. It is good that we think about what a President will do when awakened in the middle of the night or everyday when he/she has hot line phones and the codes to nuclear response always near by. I’ve been to both Clinton’s and Obama’s website and read extensively what they have to say about nuclear weapons and nuclear proliferation.
    The problem is that I can’t find a word about this on Hillary’s website or McCain’s. Obama, however, has nuclear weapons as one of this five main foreign policy issues:
    The following is from Obama’s website:
    “Nuclear Weapons
    A Record of Results: The gravest danger to the American people is the threat of a terrorist attack with a nuclear weapon and the spread of nuclear weapons to dangerous regimes. Obama has taken bipartisan action to secure nuclear weapons and materials:
    He joined Senator Dick Lugar in passing a law to help the United States and our allies detect and stop the smuggling of weapons of mass destruction throughout the world.
    He joined Senator Chuck Hagel to introduce a bill that seeks to prevent nuclear terrorism, reduce global nuclear arsenals, and stop the spread of nuclear weapons.
    And while other candidates have insisted that we should threaten to drop nuclear bombs on terrorist training camps, Obama believes that we must talk openly about nuclear weapons – because the best way to keep America safe is not to threaten terrorists with nuclear weapons, it’s to keep nuclear weapons away from terrorists.
    Secure Loose Nuclear Materials from Terrorists: Obama will secure all loose nuclear materials in the world within four years. While we work to secure existing stockpiles of nuclear material, Obama will negotiate a verifiable global ban on the production of new nuclear weapons material. This will deny terrorists the ability to steal or buy loose nuclear materials.
    Strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty: Obama will crack down on nuclear proliferation by strengthening the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty so that countries like North Korea and Iran that break the rules will automatically face strong international sanctions.
    Toward a Nuclear Free World: Obama will set a goal of a world without nuclear weapons, and pursue it. Obama will always maintain a strong deterrent as long as nuclear weapons exist. But he will take several steps down the long road toward eliminating nuclear weapons. He will stop the development of new nuclear weapons; work with Russia to take U.S. and Russian ballistic missiles off hair trigger alert; seek dramatic reductions in U.S. and Russian stockpiles of nuclear weapons and material; and set a goal to expand the U.S.-Russian ban on intermediate- range missiles so that the agreement is global.”
    End of quote
    Ronald Reagan worked and talked with the Soviets about nuclear disarmament and proliferation, but we have gone backward on this in the past 20 years, particularly in the past seven years. This happens to be one of the most important issues to me; so I support Obama because he at least has thought about it and has considered it important.

    Reply

  28. Carroll says:

    Posted by Tahoe Editor at February 29, 2008 03:49 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    There “are” millions of Americans more qualified than McCain to be president…LOL
    What are McCain’s qualifications to be Commander in Chief? That he was a POW? That experience seems to be what he used to build his political career on..but that’s not a necessarily a qualification to be a Senator much less President.

    Reply

  29. JamesL says:

    “Tough” for the next prez is going to have to be less hauling out the military and more negotiating with friends and rivals, so we’ll need someone who can do more than talk tough. Rummy excused himself for sloppy planning by saying you have to use the army you have. Well, 80% of the military officers polled think the army is used up, broken, needs rest and repair $$$$$$$$ and that we can’t count on prevailing (meaning we would lose) if we engage in another war. Avoiding another war might not be an option, so we need to be doing more than thinking about recovering our military strength and reserves, which means a shift from what the US are doing now. And there still are plenty of fools out there who can think of nothing better than to bomb Iran ($4 oil, if you can get it, will seem quaint). Tough is going to be how to be effective without pulling the trigger. The trigger is broken. Don’t like it? Thank Bush. So I don’t buy the constant tough talk. We are going to have to be a lot smarter than we have been.

    Reply

  30. Carroll says:

    Posted by CTown at February 29, 2008 02:23 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I agree….and it looks to me Bill C. had even less experience (and interest) in foreign affairs than Obama has had to date. I don’t remember that either Clinton had any interest or involvements with such things as SAfrica prior to being elected.
    I don’t see how experience is that much of a positive in general when it comes to current foreign problems and think it is probably a negative in Hillary due to her “yesteryear” foreign mentality..the world’s attitude toward the US has changed and Hillary’s thinking is still back in the 90’s. The US has aleady revealed it’s diplomatic and military weakness so her tough posturing just makes her out of date.

    Reply

  31. Johnny Swift says:

    Atrios usually doesn’t take the bait without cause. Or, should I say, he seems to have reasonable insight
    http://atrios.blogspot.com/2008_02_24_archive.html#2568058855291083188
    Talkleft, which to me seems to be touchy when it comes to Hillary, plays off the add, says they’re not offended (BTW, it seems Jeralyn get’s in a twist when anyone dares criticize Israel)
    http://www.talkleft.com/story/2008/2/29/144827/990
    So, yeah, I’m definitely in the camp that doesn’t want the President rolling out of bed at 3 in the morning, responding to a “crisis” by hitting the nuclear button.
    BTW, can anyone give me a realistic scenario, short of an actual nuclear attack by a nuclear power (with an identifiable zip code), that would require the president to react like John Wayne? Aren’t the terriers fingerprints a little harder to type . . . unless they’re just seeking to up the provocation?

    Reply

  32. Tahoe Editor says:

    Carroll,
    If Obama’s 2002 speech trumps McCain on foreign policy, then there are millions of Americans more qualified for the Oval Office than McCain. I just don’t buy it, and neither will a general electorate. Hillary Rosen is finally getting the message out that “I was right in 2002 when as a state senator I stood up in my anti-war district and opposed the war that I ended up funding in lock step once I got my Senate seat” is a message in dire need of retooling.

    Reply

  33. Tahoe Editor says:

    Obama’s “Harry & Louise” ads — written by the GOP — put him in the same boat as Hillary. He’s not some new species of politician who only began walking the Earth with us mortals in recent years. He’s a politician just like her, only with a thinner resume.

    Reply

  34. Carroll says:

    If he goes up against McCain now, he’ll be eaten alive.
    CLINTON-OBAMA ’08
    Posted by Tahoe Editor at February 29, 2008 01:07 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    What makes you think McCain could eat Obama alive? Do you think McCain could eat you alive?
    Personally I think I or anyone else with even half assed debating skills and willingness to call a spade a spade could eat McCain up and spit him out.
    The public has already eaten up Bush&Co and spit them out in his approval ratings.

    Reply

  35. David N says:

    Tahoe, you’re being too sensitive ;-). (Steve, can you add an emoticon set to this site? Otherwise, how do people know when I’m kidding?)
    I was thinking of the Rethuglicans when I wrote that, and do not include Clinton in that camp (never!!). That she is using their methods and rhetoric even a bit, though, is worrying.

    Reply

  36. Tahoe Editor says:

    The notion of Hillary making a decision to start by shooting people is laughable unless you’re in the “Hillary killed Vince Foster” camp — a very small camp indeed.
    Obama is now blaming the war on Hillary, not Bush. If he loses the general, will he blame Hillary for that, too?

    Reply

  37. Barb Hussein says:

    http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/02/obama_respnds_i_will_never_use.php
    From the TPM cosmos:
    The good news is, most Democrats will see this ad for what it is, and vote for Obama.
    I’m beginning to think Penn is an Obama plant. No one can really be this stupid… can they?
    Posted by SCMadden
    February 29, 2008 1:09 PM | Reply | Permalink
    and:
    Obama is being attacked by Hillary, McCain and George Bush simultaneously, and he’s doing fine.
    Posted by silver heron
    February 29, 2008 1:07 PM | Reply | Permalink
    http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/02/mark_penn_hillary_3_am_kids_sl.php

    Reply

  38. David N says:

    I agree with Dan, and would like to add this:
    Somehow, the rhetoric of the political realm has sunk into the idea that the only way a leader can be “tough” is to call out the army. Even Obama got caught in the snares of this idea with his statements that he will bomb a camp without notifying the head of the state where that camp is located — which was roundly criticized by the White House the day before they did exactly that.
    In my opinion, a decision to start by shooting people — whether they have attacked you, are about to attack you, or not — is a sign of weakness, of cowardice, of thoughtlessness. To paraphrase Isaac Asimov, “Violence is the [first] resort of the incompetent.” It may be necessary to send in the army, but to say that that is the one and only way to exercise power and protect the country is a stupid lie.
    Experience, as Obama said, is what we got with Cheney and Rumsfeld, and look what that produced.
    Tough is not being a bully. It is more tough to be smart. It is more tough to recognize that power comes from more than the barrel of a gun.

    Reply

  39. susan says:

    Here is Obama’s response:
    The Obama campaign hit back hard in a conference call this morning–with a brilliant retort about how Hillary’s already had a chance to protect us … and failed. Via Greg Sargent at TPM Election Central, we get the response, given by Obama campaign manager David Plouffe:
    “We don’t think the ad is going to be effective at all. Senator Clinton already had her red phone moment — to decide whether to allow George Bush to invade Iraq. She answered affirmatively. She did not read the National Intelligence Estimate. She still, curiously, tries to suggest that it wasn’t a vote for war, but it most assuredly was…
    “This is about what you say when you answer that phone. What judgment you show…She, John McCain and George Bush gave the wrong answer.”

    Reply

  40. Tahoe Editor says:

    There is no “red phone” in this ad.

    Reply

  41. RollaMO says:

    Remember: “Now one of Clinton’s laws of politics is this: If one candidate’s trying to scare you and the other one’s trying to get you to think, if one candidate’s appealing to your fears and the other one’s appealing to your hopes, you better vote for the person who wants you to think and hope.”
    -Bill Clinton, 2004

    Reply

  42. susan says:

    More Penn Follies
    What I like most about Mark Penn is his ability to take a situation in which his candidate is in a decent position and push them decisively over into looking like an idiot. You’ve seen Hillary’s new ‘red phone ringing in the night’ ad. Is it like the 2004 wolves ad or Johnson’s daisy ad? Not at all, says Penn, “a positive ad. Very soft images.”
    –Josh Marshall

    Reply

  43. CTown says:

    I simply fail to see how Barack Obama has any less foreign policy experience than that “roll of the dice” Bill Clinton did in 1992. And, foreign policy is a lot more than the expertise of just one person… compiling the team for his candidacy, and its performance, has been nothing less than impressive.
    Whether you are voting for the guy or not, I think anyone saying he hasn’t shown as good as — if not better — judgement than anyone else on the campaign trail is kidding themselves.

    Reply

  44. p.lukasiak says:

    You want to know why the ad is fair? Because its true — and its something that Democratic voters need to think about before they put Obama up against McCain.
    I mean, you don’t think that the RNC already doesn’t have the script for this ad waiting to see if Obama wins the nomination? And you don’t think that groups like Freedom Watch don’t have much worse scripts?
    Did you see the last debate, when Obama was asked about his lack of experience in foreign affairs, and how he completely ducked the question, and started talking about Iraq? It was easy for Obama to make that speech while representing the kind of state senate district that is so liberal you can advocate outlawing handguns. But he suddenly his tune changed when he had to run statewide.
    And BTW steve, do you have any evidence that suggests that public opinion regarding “solutions” are influenced by this kind of ad, or stump speeches that contrast Obama’s preparation with Clinton’s?

    Reply

  45. Tahoe Editor says:

    I agree with Dan that we’ve gone overboard in saying we can’t talk about today’s dangers. If we can never say “dangerous world,” is the next logical step we must always say “hunkey dorey happy go lucky CareBears and Rainbows everywhere”?
    I like Obama, I like Hillary more, and a Clinton-Obama ticket is my first choice. But Obamamaniacs have been screaming to stop the voting ever since he eked out his marginal delegate lead. That’s not democracy. Let the voters have their say.

    Reply

  46. Barb Hussein says:

    http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/02/obama_respnds_i_will_never_use.php
    From the TPM cosmos:
    The good news is, most Democrats will see this ad for what it is, and vote for Obama.
    I’m beginning to think Penn is an Obama plant. No one can really be this stupid… can they?
    Posted by SCMadden
    February 29, 2008 1:09 PM | Reply | Permalink
    and:
    Obama is being attacked by Hillary, McCain and George Bush simultaneously, and he’s doing fine.
    Posted by silver heron
    February 29, 2008 1:07 PM | Reply | Permalink
    http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/02/mark_penn_hillary_3_am_kids_sl.php

    Reply

  47. Dan Kervick says:

    Well, as everyone knows by now, I am a strong supporter of Obama and an even stronger opponent of Clinton. But I have no problem with ads like this. Ever since that academic study came out last year purporting to show that thoughts about death and other fearful things tend to cause people to adopt hawkish views, there has been an absurd overreaction among some pundits, who seem to think that candidates and politicians should no longer remind the public of scary things, and should only talk about puppies and sunshine. Let’s try to keep it real. These candidates are running to assume the position of commander-in-chief of the nation’s defenses, and will thus be in charge of protecting us from various bad things. There actually are some bad, scary things in the world, and grownups can be reminded about them without turning into militaristic huns.
    Personally, I would prefer Obama to be the one to get that “3 am call”. From what I can tell of Clinton based on her record and campaign performance, she is erratic, a slave of special interest groups, a holder of neocon-lite views of the world, and much too prone to reckless and aggressive statements and responses due to her insecurity about the need to project “toughness”. Obama seems much more balanced, firm, constant and confident.

    Reply

  48. DonS says:

    A couple of other takes on the ad.
    The American Prospect
    http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/ezraklein_archive?month=02&year=2008&base_name=its_3am_and_my_ad_is_stupid
    Atrios (he usually doesn’t get so worked up so quickly)
    http://atrios.blogspot.com/2008_02_24_archive.html#2568058855291083188
    Americablog
    http://www.americablog.com/2008/02/clintons-new-ad-plays-politics-of-fear.html
    TPM has some context and related links (Josh is alledged not to be neutral by some, but there are good links)
    http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/

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  49. David N says:

    First off, Linda, I suspect the add you are talking about from the 60’s was the one with the little girl, the flower, and the mushroom cloud. If so, that add was in fact run by LBJ against Goldwater. But your point is valid.
    Next. While it is legitimate for Clinton to talk about her ‘experience,’ etc. The add reminds me too much of the ‘wolf in the woods’ ads of 2004. She is using rhetoric and tactics that are too close to that of the RNC for my taste.
    As to Obama’s record, I am somewhat in agreement that when Obama said a year ago that he was looking at what he needed to do to run for president, my answer at the time — as if anyone were listening — was “Your job.” I do not think he has done enough of that.
    But I have to ask, given the record of every other congressional committee in providing oversight of the criminal activities of Bush and his cabal, just what those who say that Obama should have held hearings expects those hearings to have accomplished? (MY GOD! That’s a badly written sentence. I should write for the New York Times!)
    This is, like any election, an exercise for every voter in who is the least bad candidate. Because the only candidate who will say or believe everything any of us will totally agree with is oneself. I, in fact, have seen too many examples of Obama repeating RNC talking points for my comfort. But since Clinton has done it more, and Obama has been able on at least a few occasions to break out of the framework of the conventional wisdom, I will be supporting him now and after he is nominated.
    Because the most important thing is, unlike Bush, Cheney, and McCain, he at least believes in the Constitution.

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  50. Tahoe Editor says:

    I take your point, Steve, but this notion that no one should ever put forth the idea that there is danger in the world sounds a lot like saying Bill Clinton should never be able to say “Jesse Jackson.” Taken to the extreme it’s naive and uber-PC. Let’s get real. Obamaniacs can’t set hope as the agenda and then say everything else is off limits. Even Eugene Robinson, who’s totally in the BO tank, has said this ad is “fair.”

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  51. Linda says:

    Very much like the ad Mondale ran against Hart and not quite as scary as the Goldwater ad against LBJ. We’ll see soon enough if fear works on March 4.

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  52. Tahoe Editor says:

    IT’S THE “JUDGMENT,” STUPID?
    Obama’s campaign is supposedly about the future, but when Iraq comes up, all he can talk about is his 2002 anti-war speech — a speech he immediately betrayed when he arrived in the Senate and voted in lock step to give Bush all the war money he wanted. “I was right in 2002” does not a foreign policy make. Setting up a string of no-obligation photo-ops with dictators he doesn’t even begin to understand is not in America’s interests. Obama and his gorgeous family should take up residence at No. 1 Observatory Circle and clean up Dick Cheney’s house for 8 years. He’s obviously learned a lot in a short amount of time during this campaign, but it’s come at the cost of showing us his ability to lead in the Senate. Let him learn a little more about the ways of the world; he’ll make a great president after Hillary. If he goes up against McCain now, he’ll be eaten alive.
    CLINTON-OBAMA ’08

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