Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Clintons? trashy tactics?pffft!


By PAT MURPHY

Americans are discovering as much about Hillary and Bill Clinton's below-the-belt tactics as her sleep-inducing nostrums for saving America. Understanding Bill and Hillary's obsessive claim on the White House is crucial to understanding the self-serving emptiness of their purpose.

The Clintons justifiably are desperate. Hillary was the unbeatable, inevitable Democratic nominee awaiting coronation just a year ago. Then upstart Barack Obama, a first-term U.S. Senator and unknown, defied the Clinton juggernaut of inside-Washington pros.

All Obama had was charisma and a message of "hope"—qualities quickly embraced by Americans hungry for change in the tiresome political cycle that perpetuates insiders such as the Clintons in power, but cheats the nation's fortunes. Obama's contrast to the wooden Hillary was spectacular.

When Hillary's menu of boasts failed to quell the Obama state election triumphs, the Clintons went into action the only way they know—sucker punches, insinuations, sneers, tricks that come close to smears, snake oil cons.

Last week's scheme was a gem—the Clintons floating the notion of Obama as Hillary's vice-presidential running mate. How rich! Obama leads in delegates. Obama has won twice as many states. Obama leads in popular votes and leads in the ability to beat Republican John McCain in November. So, struggling No. 2 Hillary is offering front-running No. 1 Obama a place on "her" ticket.

That'll flop with voters like Hillary's hailing McCain's experience as superior to Obama's, designed to cast Obama as a greenhorn, but not too much of a greenhorn, you understand, to serve as Hillary's vice president.

Then there was the "60 Minutes" moment when she could've helped bury the fiction that Obama is a Muslim. Instead, when asked whether she believed he is Muslim, Hillary said, "No, there is nothing to base that on—as far as I know."

Her dirty trick operatives also are suspected of distributing the photo of Obama in turban-topped native tribal attire taken during a visit to his father's Kenya homeland, hoping to denigrate Obama as culturally un-American. Of course, most globetrotting U.S. politicians join in local festivities, including donning native ceremonial dress.

These scurrilous tactics reveal something more than just the Hillary Clinton nastiness that earns her such low approval ratings: She's not at all prepared to be commander-in-chief, she's short on integrity to be president.

If the Clintons and their million-dollar advisers can't find at least one successful gimmick to knee-cap Barack Obama and throttle his race to the White House, how could commander-in-chief Hillary deal with hostile leaders of China, Iran, Russia and countries yet to rattle their sabers?




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