Friday, December 14, 2007

whenb 10th Graders Laugh at Your Gambit

From Betsy Newmark:
My AP Government classes are reviewing now for their midterm. Yesterday we were talking about how politicians try to manipulate the media and this story came up. Their reaction was instantaneous. Why would anyone care about what he did in high school? And they burst out laughing at Shaheen's attempt to make it seem like he was just worried about what the GOP would do. When 10th graders laugh at a political gambit you have to wonder what the adults were thinking about.
Betsy's 10th graders were laughing about the story that NH Clinton advisor revealed details about Obama's past drug use. The reason, according to the Clinton camp is that the GOP would have found out.

Well, maybe they would have and maybe they wouldn't have released if they had found out. Betsy also linked to a story about the candidate setting the tone:
In the spin room after today's debate, Obama adviser David Axelrod said that Obama had told Clinton today that "leadership came from the top" in regards to negative attacks and campaigning.

Axelrod said that the two senators spoke for about 10 minutes today, during which Clinton apologized for the comments made by her New Hampshire co-chair Billy Shaheen, who told the Washington Post that Obama's past cocaine use would make him vulnerable to GOP attacks. "Senator Obama expressed to Senator Clinton it's important for campaigns to send a signal from the top as to what type of campaign they want to run. If you send a signal that negative campaigning is the fun part of campaigns and treat it as a sport, then you are sending a signal down the line that it's all okay. They have to decide if they want to send a different signal and certainly by asking Mr. Shaheen to leave that would be a different signal," Axelrod said.

Axelrod went on to say that leadership in campaigns "flowed from the top down," and Clinton's previous comments that the "fun starts" when candidates begin to attack each other set a tone that allowing negative attacks were okay.
Hillary Clinton's willingness to use this kind of attack is a fixture of hte aides closest and most loyal to her. But it looks like the voters of Iowa and New Hampshire are not having it this time. It could be a rough couple of weeks for the Senator from New York.

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