Shame On You, Hillary Clinton
Today’s big political news story has to do with Hillary Clinton complaining about some mailers that Barack Obama’s campaign had sent out in Ohio, dealing with her platform for healthcare and her stance on NAFTA (which, as we all remember, came into being under Bill Clinton’s watch in the White House).
She started off her press event by stating that “someone in the crowd” had just handed her those fliers. I’m calling BS on that – this is a classic hit job, claiming that info was “just given” to you while you have an entire attack already written up (complete with sound-bite ready clips provided by Mark Penn). I work in PR for a living and can smell a stunt like this from a mile away, I wish the press could as well.
Hillary Clinton is apparently reaching back into her New Hampshire playbook, playing on people’s emotions again – acting hurt on one hand and savagely, and repeatedly, attacking Obama on the other. This political “Scorched Earth” PR campaign is going to backfire on her.
Hillary Clinton is the last person to attack anyone about campaign tactics. I continue to be surprised at the unmitigated gall of Hillary Clinton, comparing Obama’s tactics to those of Karl Rove. For those who don’t know, Clinton’s campaign consigliere is Mark Penn – someone who is the same side of the same coin of Karl Rove, he just happens to have a “D” after his name. I’m sure he’s the PR guy who worked up the “Change you can Xerox” and “Shame on you, Barack Obama” lines as well.
This is the same man who, on Chris Matthew’s Hardball on MSNBC repeatedly attacked Obama, backhandedly stating he would not make use of a certain drug issue while repeatedly using the word “cocaine” during the appearance. Luckily for anyone interested in fairness, truth and a little honesty, Joe Trippi (John Edwards’s campaign manager at the time) was standing next to Penn. Trippi wasted no time in calling out Penn for this kind of BS, while Penn could do nothing other than give his little snarky smirk.
Then there have been the attack ads coming out of the Clinton campaign. The most recent one being in Wisconsin, where she claimed that Obama didn’t want to debate her.
(And I won’t mention all of the superdelegate wrangling going on by Team Clinton)
I know that Hillary is desperate, and she’s grasping at straws and going back to attacking Barack Obama at every turn. But I think these PR stunts are going to backfire on Clinton – because if Obama’s tactics are going to be up for debate, then Clinton’s should be as well. If I were in Obama’s campaign, I’d tell him to take her up on the debate, then start mentioning some Hillary’s tactics. To use a basketball analogy here, sometimes throwing an elbow in a televised game is a good thing.