Friday, March 07, 2008

Obama On The Attack


David Brooks believes that if Obama goes on the attack, his campaign will disappear in a puff of smoke.
In short, a candidate should never betray the core theory of his campaign, or head down a road that leads to that betrayal. Barack Obama doesn’t have an impressive record of experience or a unique policy profile. New politics is all he’s got. He loses that, and he loses everything. Every day that he looks conventional is a bad day for him.
Let's see.... On the one hand, we have hardcore Barack Obama supporters, who often seem to be out for Hillary Clinton's blood. On the other hand, we have those of us who never thought of Barack Obama as something special or transcendent. Which of us will be turned off if Obama "goes negative" on Clinton or McCain, particularly if he does so in a dignified manner? (There's no need for swiftboating, "Willie Horton" ads, or similar abrogations of honor and honesty.)
Senator Clinton says that she has a longer history of service in the Senate than I do. She says that Senator McCain has a longer history in the Senate than I do. I don't dispute their distinguished careers as Washington insiders. Yet Senator Clinton claims this means she and Senator McCain have "a lifetime of experience" that they will bring to their campaigns. Take a look at their votes, their foreign policy decisions. Having a long record of bad judgment on key issues of national security and defense is not a qualification to be President.

Here's my challenge to Senator Clinton. Identify the foreign policy decisions where we've disagreed, the Senate votes where we were on opposite sides, and explain why in every case my judgment proved to be better.
Would that approach be so offensive? (It works on McCain, as well.)

1 comment:

  1. Tobin Harshaw has a different take on the Brooks editorial:

    " Times columnist David Brooks had a compelling column this morning recommending that Obama stick to the high road — 'New politics is all he’s got. He loses that, and he loses everything. Every day that he looks conventional is a bad day for him.'"

    I think, in fact, Brooks was attempting to dismiss Obama - depicting him as the candidate who loses if he stands up to his opponents, and who will probably lose anyway as he has no substance.

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