Thursday, October 4, 2007

Ads and Disguised Attacks

Snow Pond, NH -

The Clinton campaign has unleashed a new ad today, set to air in both New Hampshire and Iowa called Stand By Us. It is potentially controversial because it includes footage of Ground Zero within a general discussion of Clinton's health care record. Hillary's campaign seems to have deftly maneuvered around the 9/11 politicization bullet because of the health care thing. I know I found it pretty distasteful when Bush did the 9/11 ad back in '04, but this time around should be different. You never hear of Clinton trying to over expose that event, so she should get the kind of breathing room that a brow beater like Rudy wouldn't.

Speaking of which, Ben Smith at Politico gives a good analysis on how this message both helps Clinton and hurts Giuliani, who is ripe for criticism over what looks like an iceberg-type problem of relief worker health issues, growing by the day. Though I think he is slightly off the mark when he speaks of the aim toward her Democratic rivals. Here is what Smith says:
ALSO: Two digs. Standing by the 9/11 workers is a shot at Rudy, who bears some of the blame for the failure to enforce safety standards at Ground Zero; and when she says that "almost every candidate is standing up for health care for all," that does sound like a dig at Obama.
The basis, of course, comes from the argument that Obama's plan is not truly universal. But I think it is more of a swipe at John Edwards, who I believe may be the opponent the Clinton campaign fears the most because of his southern roots and the fact that he is the one taking the most pointed shots at Hillary.

Listen to what Edwards said that the debate last week:

What is clear from this presidential campaign is I was the first presidential candidate -- others have followed me now, and that's a good thing --good thing for America.

But I was the first presidential candidate to lay out a specific, truly universal health care plan. And the one thing I can tell you is anybody who knows me -- anybody who knows me knows I will never give up.

What happened in '93 and '94 is that we didn't get universal health care, but we got NAFTA. And when I'm president of the United States, you have my word, I will never pull the universal health care bill. I will put everything I have behind making sure that it's enacted.

And here is what Hillary's ad says:

Hillary stood up for universal health care when almost no one else would, and kept standing until six million kids had coverage. She stood by Ground Zero workers who sacrificed their health after so many sacrificed their lives, and kept standing until this administration took action. She stood by our National Guard and Reserve and kept standing until they received health care they deserved. So now that almost every candidate is standing up for health care for all, which one do you think will never back down?

Edwards: "I will never give up."
Clinton: "Which one do you think will never back down?"

This subtly challenges Edwards on the perception that he has changed his mind too many times. Where was he on health care back in the 90s? Where was he on Iraq in 2002? Clinton wants to be seen as the steadfast Democrat. That may hurt her on Iraq, where Edwards has repeatedly pounded her on not admitting her mistake. But it could be very helpful on issues like health care, where her record is potentially longer and stronger than her main rivals.

In the street it might sound like this.

Edwards: "I'm the man on this now. Ask somebody."
Clinton: "Yo, I don't care where you at, son. Where you been? 'Cuz I been with the 9-11 workers and the children. Now what?"

All I'm saying, until Obama proves that he'll take it to Clinton, she'll be taking it to Edwards and trying to stomp on the sapling before it becomes a tree. Thats how you win in politics. We'll see how spiny Edwards' branches are, and if they are sharp enough to hurt Clinton's tender footsteps. It ain't out of the question, folks.

Since we are talking about commercials, how 'bout this classic. Got Milk?

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