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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Novak Gossip - Clinton has the goods on Obama

The Clinton team leaks to Robert Novak, knowing that he'll print anything.
Agents of Sen. Hillary Clinton are spreading the word in Democratic circles that she has scandalous information about her principal opponent for the party's presidential nomination, Sen. Barack Obama, but has decided not to use it. The nature of the alleged scandal was not disclosed.

Brilliant, if you think about it. The insider conversation now turns to negative Obama speculation and makes Clinton appear above everyone else, even if there's nothing there.

It also puts Obama in a spot because now he has to keep making attacks (which may be damaging him as well) or tacitly admit to this dark secret so horrible that it cannot even be mentioned.

The Clinton team is really good.

(Also in the Novak gossip is a claim that McCain may be considering dropping out of Iowa out of fear of a poor finish. Even "considering" that would likely tank him. So the question is, who wants the McCain voters?)

LATER: The Politico piece on all this has reaction from Obama and Clinton's Wolfson, as well as Mike Allen looking at the strategy of it all.


  • I don't think this helps Clinton at all. It smacks of the very thing Obama claims to be running against - politics as usual.

    Frankly, she ought to hit him on his hypocrisy over Kyl-Lieberman (he couldn't even be bothered to show up for the vote, but he's been nailing her over it for weeks), all the missed votes in the Senate, his gullibility (calling Social Security a "crisis," for instance and playing into the hands of the privatizers), etc.

    But to insinuate he's schtupping somebody or smoking crack or whatever the fuck they're supposedly insinuating is stupid and counterproductive.

    BTW, should we believe what Novak says on this? He does, after all, have some credibility problems.

    By Blogger reality-based educator, at 9:20 AM  

  • Of course Obama may have something on Clinton but he's too decent to mention it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:38 PM  

  • Reality, really? I think it allows her to claim a bit of that "different kind of politics," by sending the message that she could be dirty, but she chooses not to.

    And, no. We shouldn't believe that what Novak prints is true.

    BUT, he is a mouthpiece for those who want something out there, and if you view his column in that context, it can be interesting.

    Also, My gut tells me that there is nothing that the Clinton campaign has on Obama, and that this is all a play.


    Anon, Maybe, but I don't think there are that many Clinton secrets left. She's already been fairly well vetted by fire, and since she's basically planned to run for office since 2000, I doubt there has been anything too gaudy. Maybe in some donors, maybe in some contributors, but I doubt there's anything too damning on her.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 2:43 PM  

  • I disagree that it makes her look good. It makes her look sleazy for even insinuating that she has something on Obama, but she's holding it back. And given her past criticisms of the "politics of personal destruction," it makes her look like a hypocrite too. If she really wanted to be above the politics of personal destruction, she wouldn't even mention any of it.

    Which is why I don't believe the Clinton campaign is behind this rumor. It's too heavy-handed/ham-fisted. Don't you think if they wanted to get something out there about Obama, even a fake whisper campaign, they'd do it better than this?

    BTW, Wolfson said Obama's reaction to the Novak rumor shows why Obama is too inexperienced to take on Repubs, since Repubs will be pulling shit like this on him once he's the nominee. I dunno, I suppose THAT could be the point the Clinton campaign is trying to make, but I still don't buy it.

    I'm not saying HRC and her merry assassins (Wolfson, Grunwald, etc.) aren't dirty fucks capable of bullshit like this, I just think they do it better than this.

    But I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by anything from HRC and Co.

    By Blogger reality-based educator, at 4:10 PM  

  • I get your point, I just see them trying to play this the other way.

    The implication is that her campaign is the one talking it up, and she's the one holding it back. See, she could be trashing, but she's against that kind of politics.

    BS I know, but that's the play I see them trying to make.

    (Interesting idea that the Clintons might not be behind it. That's where the Novak factor plays in. Somebody told him the Clinton camp is shopping this around, and as with so many other things, he printed what they told him verbatim.

    But if that's true, you have to ask who? Edwards? Obama? Republicans?)

    And, I think this fits right into the Clinton politics. It's dirty, but it's pretty much behind the scenes, penetrating only into the Washington corps, not out into the broader public.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 4:37 PM  

  • Politico has an interesting piece on this with Obama's response, and the Clinton people (Wolfson) blaming it on Republicans.

    "This is how Republicans work. A Republican-leaning journalist runs a blind item designed to set Democrats against one another. Experienced Democrats see this for what it is. Others get distracted and thrown off their games. Voters should be concerned about the readiness of any Democrat inexperienced enough to fall for this. There is only one campaign in this race that has actually engaged in the very practice that Sen. Obama is decrying, and it's his. We have no idea what Mr. Novak's item is about and reject it totally. Instead of pointing fingers at us, Sen. Obama should get back to the issues and focus on what this election is really about."


    By Blogger mikevotes, at 4:47 PM  

  • Divide and conquer.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:46 PM  

  • Yeah, that's the spin the Clinton folks want out there.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 9:21 PM  

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