Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Obama Helps the Clintons

I seem to always refer to them as "The Clintons," I do think that that would be a Clinton Restoration basically, and I for one am all for it. But here's my analytical problem de jour: if all of Hilary's electoral rivals, Democrats and Republicans alike, thought that the Obama campaign was a real threat to Hilary, presumably they'd want to help Obama draw as much blood as possible until she was beat. But everybody is piling on Obama: Dodd goes out of his way to criticize him in the strongest possible terms ("irresponsible"), he seems to drive McCain crazy("Obama wouldn't know an IED from a bong"), Mitt Romney zings him ("Obama went from Jane Fonda to Dr. Strangelove in a week!"), and the Clintons always wait until the whole thing is just about over and then slip in just the teensiest needle themselves. The Clintons' goading Obama into not one but three foreign policy malapropisms (he would negotiate with anyone, he would consider nuclear weapons against terrorists, he would send US troops to Pakistan) may help make the sale for the Clintons, but without Obama Hilary would have been hanging out there as the front-runner all this time and everyone would be shooting at her. The Obama campaign forced the Clinton campaign to counterpunch, to anticipate, and generally to get it together, while the Clintons are presented as the experienced, centrist, nuanced foreign policy people (which by all evidence they are). Maybe everybody wants Obama cleared out of the way so they can get to work on Hilary themselves.

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