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Clinton’s Hypocrisy

February 24th, 2008

Clinton must know how to work the press, because her sudden “outrage” at an Obama flier (which has been out for some time) is getting big play in the media, it seems. She claims Obama is misrepresenting her stand on the NAFTA issue. “Shame on you, Barack Obama,” she chides condescendingly.

The problem: Hillary has rather spectacularly misrepresented Obama’s stand on several issues. Remember back in South Carolina, when she made the patently false claim that Obama approved of Reagan’s policies in the 80’s, actually having the gall to say, “We can give you the exact quote,” knowing that she wouldn’t have to right then, and that the exact quote would show her to be wrong. Just a few minutes ago, I wrote a post on how Hillary is making crap up about how many millions of people will be “left out” of Obama’s insurance plan, when that is also patently false. Then there’s the whole “plagiarism” charge, how he “lifted whole passages”–even though she does the same thing, but that’s OK and Obama’s bad because Obama’s campaign is “all about the words” and nothing about substance, according to her.

In short, despite the relative civility of this campaign, Hillary has been the one stooping to Rovian tactics, not Obama. For her to express such obviously self-serving “outrage” at the Obama flier comes across as extraordinarily manipulative and hypocritical–but only if you are aware of her past actions in the entire context of the race.

Again, this is not the kind of thing I want to see in a Democratic candidate. If it were possibly the work of someone on the team and not the candidate herself, maybe it could be overlooked–but in each of these cases, it’s Hillary herself generating attacks that are clearly baseless, obviously untrue. You don’t get to do that and then express such outrage when you claim to catch the other candidate doing it.

Addenda: right after posting this, I came across this quote by Clinton:

In her criticism of Obama, she asked, “Since when do Democrats attack one another on universal health care?”

Immediately I thought, “hey, she just got through lambasting Obama on live TV about his lack of mandates!” Then I read the next line, where Obama’s response was given:

Obama had a ready reply to that. “Well, when she started to say I was against universal health care … which she does every single day,” he said.

Yep. Pretty much.

Tapper’s blog on ABC has a pretty good rundown on the whole matter.

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  1. happyvoter
    February 24th, 2008 at 23:30 | #1

    Since when is pointing out holes in a candidates position wrong. Obama’s health plan is flawed and needs improvement. You cannot do Health Care piecemeal. And I did see him on tv (twice) gushing about the Regan years…has he no memory of the Iran Contra Affair and ingnoring the Aid’s epidemic until for a decade until it was a catastrophy.

    The scrutiny is intense, every word, every jesture. What do every day working people have in common with Obama and his wife??? Ivy League schools, raised in luxury??

  2. Luis
    February 25th, 2008 at 00:31 | #2

    Happyvoter: indeed, pointing out holes is not wrong… which is why Hillary’s attempt to call Obama shameful for doing so is so hollow. Hillary is not wrong to criticize Obama’s health plan (nor is Obama for criticizing hers), but she is wrong to say Obama can’t criticize her on the issue. I don’t recall Obama ever saying Hillary can’t criticize him–in fact, I’m pretty sure he never did say that.

    As for Obama “gushing” over Reagan, are you sure he was “gushing” out of approval and respect for Reagan’s policies, or was he “gushing” about how Reagan came at a transformational time in US history and gave the people a kind of change they hungered for? I am 100% certain it was the latter, because if it were the former it would have been plastered all over TV by now. And talking about Reagan being transformational is not “gushing,” it is simply true. Love Reagan or hate him, he did ride that wave; observing that fact is not “gushing,” not approval. To say that Obama does not remember Iran-Contra or the AIDS crisis due to his objective analysis of history is simply without foundation.

  3. Tim Kane
    February 25th, 2008 at 12:33 | #3

    Reagan did not just ride the wave. In my mind he orchestrated it. Like a conductor in a symphony. He was the inflection point. He and him alone. It doesn’t do Obama much service to point this out, no matter how right or wrong he may be.

    Obama’s health care position does has a flaw in it. Point that out is okay. Having said that Hillary can’t critique Obama’s healthcare plan and then turn around and say that he can’t critique her’s as well.

    “Since when does a democrat critique another democrats on health care” – can she really say that and do the opposite and not expect it to backlash.

    This is desperation on her part. It shouldn’t work, but if it does, then you can’t blame her. Obama’s job is to disrepute this and shove it back at her and makes sure there is a back lash.

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