Clinton Camp Reminded that ‘Speed Kills’
Oh, the irony. Back in the famous campaign “war room” of the ’92 Clinton campaign a favorite mantra of campaign leader James Carville was “speed kills,” meaning quick rebuttals to attacks are an essential part of a successful campaign. The campaign even went so far as to have the slogan printed on t-shirts to be worn by staffers. How the tables have turned, now it is the Clinton camp launching the attacks with Obama’s camp ready with a speedy rebuttal ad.
The Clinton camp is desperate and it is beginning to show. Yesterday the Clintons ran a much publicized 30 ad that stated that Senator Obama didn’t want to debate Senator Clinton in Wisconsin and his health care plan will not cover all Americans, while her plan will.
Obama came back with an ad that basically suggested that he believed that the eighteen prior debates as well as the two debates still to come provided ample time for debate and questions. He answered the healthcare accusation by quoted Bill Clinton’s former Labor Secretary Robert Reich who states that Obama’s plan will cover more people.
The Clinton’s should have never let it get this far. They have basically been reduced to attacking Obama on campaign logistics, and if that weren’t bad enough they attacked him on logistics that he could easily dismiss. Where are Carville and Stephanopoulos when you need them?
Clinton was the frontrunner for so long, I am just not sure that they have the tools to play the role of the underdog in a campaign that has Obama as the newly labeled frontrunner. And with people jumping ship left and right it will be difficult for the Clinton campaign to hold their ground in states like Texas and Ohio, let alone turn the tide in a state like Wisconsin.
Throughout this campaign cycle I have almost been able to feel the tension building in the Clinton camp just waiting for Obama to launch attacks so they could retaliate. But since Obama has instead resorted to lofty rhetoric Clinton has had to rely on baiting him into exchanges and recently it simply has not worked. The Clintons have to figure out a way to once again make this campaign about issues now that the country is paying attention, and simply pleading with voter’s today as Bill Clinton did in Wisconsin is not going to do the job. Senator Clinton is going to have to utilize the debates by dismissing Obama’s momentum and challenging him to fights she knows she can win. This is easier said than done.