17 June, 2008

Barack Obama's Hillary Problem

And no, it's not that Hillary Clinton (D-NY) wants the VP slot. She doesn't.

It's that over the course of her campaign, she's said a lot of things that we would expect to hear from the likes of John McCain (R-AZ). And I'm sure that McCain & Co. will be saying some of these things in the months to come.

But McCain won't have to use his own quotes. He'll be able to use Hillary's quotes for him. And they'll be much more damaging coming from someone in the Democratic party.

I have a lifetime of experience that I will bring to the White House. I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House. And Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002.- Hillary Clinton, March 2008

Hillary is presumably referring to Barack Obama's (D-IL) anti-war speech he delivered in October, 2002 in Chicago.

When McCain and his campaign make these same statements, and use tapes of Hillary to make them it's going to resonate with those former Clinton supporters. It's also going to resonate with independents.

But, it's not just experience where Hillary has hurt Obama. The media has made things worse for him (yes, I said worse).

Look at what Katie Couric has had to say about how Hillary was treated by the media:

However you feel about her politics, I feel that Sen. Clinton received some of the most unfair, hostile coverage I've ever seen.

And what did Bill say recently?

I've never seen a candidate treated so disrespectfully


Most of the media aren't for her.

Terry McCauliffe went even farther:

...every independent study has said that this is the most biased coverage they’ve ever seen in a presidential campaign.

...I have said this - FOX has been one of the most responsible in this presidential campaign.

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell (D-PA)

...some of the other stations are just caught up with Senator Obama, who is a great guy, but Senator Obama can do no wrong, and Senator Clinton can do no right.

Just like the Hillary quote above, these are troublesome statements for Obama because they come from members of his own party. We're used to hearing Republicans complain about media bias, and we will no doubt hear more of that in the coming months from the McCain camp.

And when those statements come from McCain, once again the former Hillary supporters will hear them and think to themselves, "you know, maybe he's right. The media was certainly biased against us." and they're going to wonder what they really know about Obama and think about voting for McCain.

It would actually be good for Obama in the long run if the media would attack him for a while. Then the charges of media bias won't stick later. That doesn't seem likely, however.

UPDATE: I told you so.

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