What I Wanted From Hillary

Unlike most people, I was kind of disappointed by Hillary’s speech tonight. It got better as it went on – more negative, more specific attacks against John McCain – but at the end of the day it was, as Sam says, “just nostalgia and platitudes”.

Maybe it’s unfair to expect this of Hillary specifically, but what I want at some point during the convention is the equivalent of what Zell Miller did in 2004 with his keynote: vicious, personal attacks against John McCain. The kind of attacks that Obama can’t do because of his image, and Biden can’t do because of his friendship with the Macker. Something along the lines of:

“I’ve always been on the side of the underdog, the man or woman who’s invisible, unnoticed, uncared for. The woman who gets in a brutal car accident that means she needs 23 operations, and endless physical therapy. The woman whose husband came home and found her too short, too fat, and too ugly, and left her for a prettier girl, a richer girl. The woman whose husband wouldn’t have been gone in the first place if he hadn’t declined to swerve out of the path of an oncoming missile, downing a multi-million dollar Navy plane paid for by your tax money in the process.”

“That woman is Carol McCain, and her now ex-husband is one John McCain. Can such a poor husband, and such a poor pilot, really be a great president?”

Brutal? Yes. True? Every word of it. That’s the message that needs to be spread. It’d be nice if the Obama campaign continued its Dr. Strangelove theme, maybe with a couple ads riffing off “Daisy” or something like that. John McCain will pretty much blow up the Earth if elected, and Obama and Biden need to express that. But McCain’s biggest strength is and always has been that he’s perceived to be an honorable man. The safest way to win this election is to break that impression down. He’s not an honorable man. He’s not even a good man. He’s the kind of scumbag who abandons his wife in her time of need and is too damn proud to fly a plane responsibly. That’s what the American people need to believe on November 4th.

2 thoughts on “What I Wanted From Hillary

  1. While she should not have said that in THIS speech, the truth is that this is exactly the kind of stuff that would be used by Republicans – and would win an election. The Democrats need to stop taking the high road. Attack John McCain’s character, as McCain is attacking Obama.

  2. Brutal? Yes. True? Every word of it.
    Try, ill-advised.
    Probably a certain amount of nasty ad hominem campaigning will be necessary. But going negative, without having it backfire, is harder than it looks. That’s really the worst of both worlds. If a candidate plays clean and loses, then he can at least say that he took the high ground. If he plays dirty and wins, then he can rationalize it as necessary to win. But if he plays dirty AND loses, then what’s the defense?
    I suspect that your version of it would come across as beating up on a veteran and his wife. Moreover there is no reason for Hillary Clinton to be doing this dirty work. The most effective kind of negative campaigning would involve some folksy old associates of John McCain explain why he can’t be trusted. The Obama campaign would claim that it has nothing to do with the attacks as they continue to do their damage. And, sad to say, it could equally well be done to Obama or you or anyone else.

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