Monday, December 3, 2007

Barack Obama Launches "Hillary Attacks" Website

As I wrote about yesterday, Hillary Clinton has stepped her negative attacks on Barack Obama and the other Democratic candidates and now the Obama campaign is using Hillary's own words against her. His campaign launched a Hillary Attacks website, categorizing not just her latest attacks on Obama and others, but profiling her previous pledges not to go negative.

For example, the site, in big letters, top of the fold, has this quote from Clinton:

"I'm not interested in attacking my opponents, I'm interested in tackling the problems of America."

It also features the video from the Jefferson-Jackson dinner where the the quote took place from. It also says it has been 22 days since Clinton pledged not to attack fellow Democrats, and 18 days since she broke this promise. It also features a timeline of Clinton's attacks, and features the latest attacks and a link to Barack's "fact check" of Clinton's claims.

It's a smart way to show the hypocrisy of the Clinton campaign, and rally support, bt I'm not sure how much real effect the website will have, unless the national media picks up the site and runs with it. It's really going to be in his speeches and events where he's going to have to hammer Clinton on calling going on the attack "fun" where he's likely to pick up the most ground.

In fact, the last thing Obama really wants to do is get into a big, personal fight with Clinton. He has to attack her comments without attacking her. Iowa voters punished Dick Gephardt and Howard Dean for such tactics in 2004, and with John Edwards, who was strongly negative a few weeks ago, and strangely silent and more reserved since, still very much involved in the race, if voters get frustrated with both Clinton and Obama, John Edwards will benefit, just as he did in 2004. Which likely explains why Edwards has been more circumspect in recent weeks. He can see Clinton going negative, Obama being forced to respond, and if Edwards ends up being the one "above the fray" he'll rise, just as he did in 2004. That's a big fear for Obama, but right now, his new Clinton Attack website is a start toward further showing the calculating, political, partisan nature of Clinton's campaign.

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