Friday, March 07, 2008

McCain-Clinton '08?

If Hillary Clinton really thinks John McCain would be a superb president, she should just drop out of the race and urge her supporters to vote for the guy. Then, maybe he'll offer her the VP slot and she can re-enter the White House on the arm of another man. Sure, it won't be as president, but it will be similar enough to her previous tenure there.

After several days of the blogosphere howling about it, the establishment media are taking notice of Hillary's tactic of comparing Obama unfavorably to McCain with regard to national security.

Keith Olbermann spent the entire first segment of his show on it last night, speculating that it seems that if Hillary cannot have the nomination, she would rather see McCain become president.

See also this piece from ABC News about Clinton's scorched-earth campaign tactics.

"Sen. McCain will bring a lifetime of experience to the campaign; I will bring a lifetime of experience; and Sen. Obama will bring a speech that he gave in 2002," Clinton said today after her event with the military leaders.

Republicans do not mind it one bit.

"Everything that Hillary Clinton has been saying over the last couple weeks are all great soundbites and cuts for John McCain to use in the fall," said political analyst Matthew Dowd, a former senior adviser to President Bush.

Obama is only nominally fighting back, apparently thinking he can rise above it.
I hope that this is not what Obama is thinking. It is impossible to rise above such tactics. They must be fought. Otherwise, all you do is let your opponent define you as a target and a victim.

But leaving Obama aside, what does Clinton think she is doing? Attacking your primary opponent is one thing, debate as we may the relative merits of the way you choose to do it. But to actively build up the opposing party's candidate is beyond the pale. Has it not occurred to Clinton that, if she succeeds in destroying Obamas candidacy (and remember that he leads in delegates, states, and total votes), then she will have to face McCain in the general election? How on earth does she plan to make the case that the man whose foreign policy experience (longer and more substantive than her own) she has been praising should not be president?

Hillary Clinton needs to remember that she is a Democrat. If she does not, she risks becoming the Joe Lieberman of 2008.