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When Campaigns Go Bad

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Anyone who has been in politics for any length of time has been involved in a campaign which, for no good reason, suddenly goes bad.

If you don't believe me; ask Sen. Barack H. (!) Obama.


For the first 15 months of this Presidential primary season, Obama could do nothing wrong. If Ronald Reagan was Teflon because nothing stuck to him, then Obama has been Teflon sprayed with Pam then coated with butter.

Then, in late February the New York Times (and others) reported that Obama's senior economic policy adviser had told a Canadian official that the strong anti-NAFTA position Obama had been espousing in the run-up to the Ohio primary on March 4th was "more reflective of political maneuvering than policy."

The first reaction of the Obama campaign had been to deny the meeting had ever taken place (which was a lie) and they've been back on their heels ever since.

About a week after the NAFTA flap, came another Obama senior advisor, Samantha Power, telling The Scotland newspaper in an interview that Sen. Hillary R. (!) Clinton was "a monster."

"She is a monster too - that is off the record - she is stooping to anything."

So, now we're into the second week of March 2008 and two senior aides have had to quit over rookie mistakes in two weeks.

Then Obama's Church, which he had assured us had been his home-away-from home nearly every Sunday for 20 years, released DVDs of Jeremiah Wright's greatest hits which you've seen on every possible medium over the past two weeks.


This went on for an entire week before Obama's speech last Tuesday which, for 24 hours, appeared to have changed the discussion from Wright to Race.

After the Intelligencia Politica had 24 hours to proclaim The Speech to have ranked just slightly south of the Sermon on the Mount, the public discussion went all the way back to the question of how Obama could have been a loud, proud member of a church whose pastor was spewing anti-American rhetoric with some regularity from the pulpit.

Twelve days after the story broke, it was still was a central topic on the Sunday shows yesterday morning.

In the midst of all that, the Clinton campaign had released its 3:00 AM ad asking the rhetorical question who you wanted in the White House when the phone rang at three in the morning: Hillary R. (!) Clinton or Barack H. (!) Obama.

Whether the ad was fair or not, it did exactly what the Clinton campaign wanted it to do: Raise the issue of foreign policy competence in the Terrorist Era.

Continuing on the theory that when things begin to go wrong they go very wrong, on the day the Obama campaign scored its first big positive news in a month with the endorsement of New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, yet another senior Obama advisor went off the reservation by comparing Bill J. (!) Clinton to Joe McCarthy.


According to the Associated Press, B. J. (!) Clinton had said, musing about a Hillary v. John McCain general election match-up:

"I think it would be a great thing if we had an election year where you had two people who loved this country and were devoted to the interest of this country. And people could actually ask themselves who is right on these issues, instead of all this other stuff that always seems to intrude itself on our politics."

Which according to a co-chairman of Obama's campaign, Retired Gen. Merrill "Tony" McPeak, amounted to McCarthyism telling reporters:

"I grew up, I was going to college when Joe McCarthy was accusing good Americans of being traitors, so I've had enough of it."

Both Clinton campaign supporters and Obama campaign supporters declared Gen. McPeak to be over the top (pun absolutely intended).

All of which proves the adage: When a campaign goes bad, it goes really bad.

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