No More Mr. Nice Guy
10-29-2007
A piece in yesterday’s New York Times reveals Barack Obama’s intention to strike harder at Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail. The Obama camp hopes that announcing this strategy will reassure nervous donors, who believe that the campaign has stalled, allowing Clinton to solidify her lead in the polls.
 
Since I was under the impression that Obama had already been hammering Clinton (particularly on Iraq and Iran) for the better part of the past month, I am not sure how this new strategy will differ in practice from what we have already seen.
 
This type of now the gloves are coming off official campaign re-launch may provide a short-term psychic boost to staff and supporters, but it is also fraught with political peril. Directly engaging a primary opponent like Clinton is smart strategy, but whenever a candidate ratchets up the rhetoric (and announces publicly that he is officially doing so), he runs the risk of sounding shrill, desperate to gain traction, and potentially as polarizing as those he criticizes.


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