Wednesday, June 25, 2008

McCain's "experience" strategy against Obama, and on Clinton...

Michael Cohen argues in an op-ed in the NYT that Senator McCain's attacks on Senator Obama on foreign policy, NAFTA, veterans' benefits, habeas corpus and other areas smack of condescension. More importantly, they come off as "curmudgeonly" ("crusty, ill-tempered, usually old man"!), and set the bar for Senator Obama so low that Obama is bound to pass it with flying colors, just as President Reagan did against President Carter, and President Bush did against a sighing Vice President Gore.
That is an excellent point - I have had the feeling that Senator McCain scorns Senator Obama. This is apparent in McCain's recent comments that Obama has done well for "a young man with very little experience." [Does McCain want to point out that Obama is much younger? link, link] Besides, experience doesn't exactly translate to good judgment (see Rumsfeld, Don; Cheney, Dick) or electoral smarts (see Clinton, Hillary); in both cases, Obama did better. And as Alan Ehrenhalt writes in Newsweek, Obama does have experience - just a different kind, in state legislature (something Hillarycrats refused to see, and apparently neither does McCain).

In other news, Rebecca Traister of Salon lists 12 reasons why Hillarycrats are mad. Some of these make sense - #1, 2, 8, 9, 11 (except for Geraldine Ferraro!) Some are just irrational; #6: everybody knew - back in 2007 - that FL/MI would not count, and nobody stopped Clinton from taking on sexism like Obama did racism; blaming Howard Dean makes little sense. #10: with the track record of brokered conventions being that the particular Party's nominee lost, would they rather Clinton maybe get the nomination and for sure, lose?
Thankfully, as Traister writes, many Hillarycrats also like Obama (enough!) to support him; otherwise Obama would be polling at 30% or so, not the 50% or so of current polls.
As for Traister's #3 - Hillarycrats will be mad if Obama picks a woman not-named-Clinton as his VP - that's exactly why I suggest Governor Napolitano.

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