Thursday, March 6, 2008

Bad move, Hillary

I'm pretty astounded Clinton said this:
“I think that since we now know Sen. McCain will be the nominee for the Republican Party, national security will be front and center in this election. We all know that. And I think it’s imperative that each of us be able to demonstrate we can cross the commander-in-chief threshold,” the New York senator told reporters crowded into an infant’s bedroom-sized hotel conference room in Washington.

“I believe that I’ve done that. Certainly, Sen. McCain has done that and you’ll have to ask Sen. Obama with respect to his candidacy,” she said.

Calling McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee a good friend and a “distinguished man with a great history of service to our country,” Clinton said, “Both of us will be on that stage having crossed that threshold."

Two points:

1) Of course, primaries should be competitive. They should focus on issues, but it's hardly beyond the pale for them to get personal, even a bit nasty. Part of the reason for having these contests is to see how potential nominees can hold up under fire. But, for the love of God, you don't praise the other party's nominee and then try to gang up with him against your rival within your own party. What is she thinking?

2) National security is not a Democratic issue. The Republicans may have lost some ground on that issue in recent years, but that doesn't mean it's where Democrats should be trying to pick fights with Republicans. The fall election may well turn on national security matters, but Clinton should not be trying to make that happen. Does she really think that, if voters are preoccupied with national security in the fall, they'd prefer her to McCain?

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