Mr. Hope’s Smear and Slime Time updated

via Politico


The memo ticks through a series of numbers the campaign believes proves they are the candidate with momentum. But coming on the eve of the release of the final Des Moines Register poll (due out tonight), one can’t help but also see the memo and call as a bit defensive. Overall, this was a presentation that a few months ago we might have expected from, say, Clinton rather than Obama. The campaign wasn’t necessarily downplaying Iowa but they certainly were trying to leave the impression that Iowa’s only the beginning, not the end.Chuck Todd

Obama is in full scale panic mode and no one is safe. Mark Halperin has the Obama strategy memo. Shorter Obama: Mr. Hope Rules the World… or will if you’ll just realize that Clinton is satan, and that John Edwards is just a dirty trial lawyer. Needless to say, I wasn’t invited to the conference call this morning, but I have my spies. Obama is turning the corner to the home stretch and he’s using his secret weapon: whatever will work, including — dare I saw it? — lies. Seriously, take a look at the pdf. It’s stunning. He evidently woke up and saw John Edwards dancing over his Iowa dreams. The graphic above is from a power point.

So for all you people who have been emailing me and commenting about how harsh we are it’s time to wake up and take a good look at your own candidate who is using every single dirty line he can come up with, including scare tactics straight out of GOP central to make people think that Edwards won’t have the money to finish the race. I thought this election was not about money? It’s about ideas. Well, Mr. Hope just threw his main theme overboard.

Obama then goes deep and dumb once again on another beauty focusing on Edwards, taking his sexist Clinton tea comment to another level.

Obama said that as a young man he was offered many lucrative choices but turned them down in favor of low-paid work as a community organizer and as a civil rights lawyer, a theme he has sounded repeatedly on the stump over the past weeks. For the first time, and in a direct shot at Edwards, Obama said one of the big bucks options he turned down was to work as a “trial lawyer.”

Obama Slugs Back At “Trial Lawyer” Edwards

I’ve read everything publicly available on Mr. Edwards’ heroic “trial lawyer” fights. It’s one of the heroic things about Edwards, and there are many. Obama’s classless, desperate smack reveals his lack of understanding about the life Mr. Edwards has led. Obama is starting to sound like a pouting teenager who thinks Iowa is his due because he’s read one too many of his glowing press clippings.

There are so many places Mr. Obama’s opponents could have gone but they haven’t.

So let’s be serious. In the category of ponderables, very late last night I came upon the Ben Smith post “Muslim Smear, 2.0,”. Smith links to a Christmas Eve piece by Daniel Pipes, which I will not link to. Pipes has been on Rudy’s team for quite a while, but is one of those people in the Michael Savage category, someone who represents the bottom of the barrel, especially where the discussion of Muslims and Arabs are concerned. Through Smith, Rudy’s team released this statement: “Mr. Pipes is not an official campaign advisor and his writings in no way reflect the views of our campaign.” Since Rudy’s top veteran just had to resign over comments, this latest anti Muslim musing from another Rudy man doesn’t shock. As for Ben’s post, here is the bottom line:

Keep an eye on this one, because if Obama’s the nominee, this Front Page magazine piece by the conservative writer Daniel Pipes is likely to be the template for a faux-legitimate assault on Obama’s religion.

It opens with a line that a cynical observer predicted to me a month ago, almost verbatim, would open these attacks … .. (skip ahead)

The line “He says he’s not a Muslim, and I believe him” could start to sound a bit familiar.”

This should remind everyone of the scurrilous swiftboating to come. Every Democrat knows this stuff is coming. It’s the swiftboat vets ghost of Kerry 2004. Pointing to Pipes, who is a marginal creature, does nothing good for Mr. Obama, and sheds light on a repugnant column that would be better left under a rock. However, in the general election we all know what’s going to happen. I’ve done a lot of push back on the smears that have come at Obama, even though I know Republicans are saving them for the general just in case. Click on the “swiftboating” tab at the top of this post to get an idea of how dirty things can get. I’ve covered swiftboating before it was a verb. I know what I’m talking about.

Just because someone writes something doesn’t mean you should highlight it. However, the truth is that what Pipes is talking about will no doubt go mainstream once we’re in the general election. Ben Smith understands that very well in his piece. It’s interesting that Josh Marshall doesn’t do any analyzing, but only links to Ben, who in his comment section took hits for even bringing up the subject and pointing to Pipes. It’s clear Marshall doesn’t want to touch it. That’s understandable. But every Democrat voting should read Smith’s piece and follow the links to Pipes, who may be a cretinous swamp creature of the lowest form, but is the exact type of person who will give legs to swiftboating lies and is nonetheless offering a window into the negative attacks that will no doubt come if Republicans are handed the easy target of Barack Obama. There is more where that came from, because in the rush to cement Mr. Obama’s halo on his head, the primary season has not come close to vetting this man.

Clinton, Edwards, Biden, Dodd and the rest won’t say it. Ben Smith highlighted one vulnerable aspect last night. It’s time for voters to think long and hard, because as talented as Mr. Obama is no one is a bigger gamble in the general than him. Being a “trial lawyer” isn’t shameful, and at least Edwards has been vetted. As for Hillary Clinton, for 15 years the wingnuts have made her a target. No doubt they are salivating at getting a newbie target like Barack.

UPDATE: SusanUnPC has a whopper of a post up. Read it. Also see MyDD for more on Obama hitting Edwards. I find myself in strong agreement with Chuck Todd.