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On Not Getting Into the Mud

[ 0 ] May 22, 2008 |

Evidently, Clinton using the civil rights and suffragist movement to defend her attempts to count the North Korean Michigan not-even-a-straw-poll is beyond appalling. But nonetheless, I can’t agree with Isaac Chotiner here:

I suppose I see the utility of this strategy on Obama’s part, but there is something unseemly about the Illinois Senator going out of his way to praise Senator Clinton at a time when her entire posture in the campaign is so aggressively negative and pathetic. And now that Clinton has decided that there is no distinction between her quest and the quest of women everywhere, it would be best if Obama resisted the temptation to hold her up as a feminist icon.

However indefensible some of the Clinton campaign’s rhetoric has been, Obama is definitely doing the right thing here. Clinton’s campaign has been historic, and has therefore inspired deep commitment from her supporters. Clinton’s recent tactics are odious but it’s not as if they stand any chance of working or anything; as Chait says, “Democratic superdelegates don’t want to commit suicide.” We political observers should feel free to make fun of hack arguments, but for the candidate to make peace with Clinton’s supporters is appropriate. It’s the winner’s strategy. I personally think it would be better for the party and her reputation if Clinton weren’t going down by saying this kind of thing, but that’s politics; it’s her judgment how to run her campaign. There’s no need for Obama to take the bait — upping the ante would just make things worse.

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