National Security Ad Outbreak updated
Clinton’s ad sure got people’s attention, including the Obama camp. But her team got what they wanted, because cable outlets have been running it all day. Free media, baby.
Ben Smith has the video of the Mondale ad, which the ads above mimic to one degree or another.
I’ve got to say, however, that it’s hilarious to hear the Obama campaign and their supporters squeal “Daisy ad!” hyperbole regarding Clinton’s ad today. As many of you know, the infamous Johnson “Daisy” ad played the nuclear option, complete with mushroom cloud. But this charge by Obama’s team is so hyperbolic you have to wonder is there’s not some split personality coming out of the Obama campaign. They preen and posture, putting out press releases and media calls that Obama is already the nominee, then freak out over Clinton asking a very simple question: Who do you want in charge when danger strikes?
Rush Limbaugh said today that Clinton had actually made an ad for McCain, citing Clinton’s ad above. As for my take on it, I think it’s long past time that Democrats feel comfortable asking national security questions Republicans would ask. We don’t have to simply rely on military men and women to speak for our candidates, though that’s an important component. Clinton has flag officers and military people who can speak for her as well and have, such as General Wesley Clark (retired) and Admiral Joe Sestak (retired), among many others. But the important issue really is that our national security is in the hands of civilians, which isn’t a minor point. Hillary Clinton asking the bottom line question puts the responsibility for our safety in the proper context: It depends on who answers the the phone in the middle of the night. Clinton believes she’d be the best commander in chief. No apologies. No hedging.
Now Obama retorts with the usual. He was against the war from the beginning, citing his 2002 speech, which is supposed to prove his judgment. One speech doesn’t signify good judgment, especially when there was no risk in giving that speech. As far as I can tell, the Illinois 13th district back in 2002, which would have been during Obama’s state senate run, was unapologetically liberal and against the war. Again, it’s not exactly a profile in courage to give an anti-war speech in an anti-war district. The pressure is quite a bit more intense in the U.S. Senate, where, as everyone knows, Obama’s votes on Iraq have been identical to Hillary Clinton’s.
It was Clinton who took on the Pentagon over a withdrawal policy in Iraq. She was attacked for doing it, but pushed back anyway. She confronted Bush on the “enduring relationship” pact he made with Iraq. Then just yesterday, Clinton proposed legislation to ban private security contractors, which an aide to Obama says he won’t support. We also know that Obama didn’t even make time to chair his own foreign relations sub-committee, because he was too busy applying for a higher office, when he’d not even done the job he was elected to do in the first place.
UPDATE: Obama team responds to Clinton’s ad. It’s good: