Dick Morris and  Eileen McGann

Why is Hillary's enforcer, Howard Wolfson, shooting Barack Obama in the kneecaps over David Geffen's criticism of his candidate? If Wolfson had his way, Geffen would "sleep with the fishes."

Hillary and her boys realize that all that Obama has to sell is his purity. He's like Evian water. He has no particular taste, he's just the un-cola — the opposite of the vicious, destructive, partisan politics that pervades our country and turns off the voters.

Purity is a high standard, particularly for a politician, especially for one who is running against a Clinton. And purity is the easiest thing to sully. Just a drop of ink in a bottle of Evian makes it "dirty" and undrinkable.

So what Wolfson and Hillary are trying to do is to pollute Obama with the remarks of his supporter, to show that he is just like the rest of 'em -- a politician after all. The Wolfson attack is a calculated strategy. It's designed to bring the Obama candidacy back to earth.

But there was a problem in implementing their master plan: Obama wouldn’t play. He's run only a positive campaign and has wisely refrained from saying anything that smacks of a negative against Hillary. He doesn’t need to. The ranks of those who are willing to point out her obvious shortcomings are so legion that Obama doesn’t need to add to the chorus.

So Hillary instructed Wolfson to single out Geffen’s statement in the absence of any material negatives generated by Obama himself. In doing so, Wolfson has set a very high standard: Not only may Obama not criticize Hillary and not only may no member of his staff attack her, but nobody who wants to vote for Obama or give money to his campaign — particularly not a former Hillary supporter — can even express a negative opinion of the Senator in public. This raises Wolfson’s attack on Geffen to First Amendment proportions.

But, ultimately, the attack will work. Not the first time Wolfson bites an Obama supporter who criticizes Hillary. Nor the second, nor the third, nor the fifth or tenth. But, eventually, after the charge is repeated dozens of times against anyone who criticizes the Senator and is backing Obama, the American public will realize the truth: That no U.S. senator, even Barack Obama, is a virgin and that it is not enough to be inoffensive and pure if you want to be president. You need some affirmative positions on issues as well.

Then Obama will face the real test of his candidacy: to get off the feature pages and onto the news pages. He will need to take strong positions, issue programs, and wade into substantive controversies if he wants us to vote for him. A biography and a philosophy aren’t enough.


Dick Morris and Eileen McGann

Dick Morris, a former political adviser to Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and President Bill Clinton, is the author of 2010: Take Back America. To get all of Dick Morris’s and Eileen McGann’s columns for free by email, go to www.dickmorris.com