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The Clinton Way

Tuesday, January 22, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) opines on Senator Obama’s education in “the Clinton way” of doing politics:

“You know the former President, who I think all of us have a lot of regard for, has taken his advocacy on behalf of his wife to a level that I think is pretty troubling,” Mr. Obama told a TV interviewer. “He continues to make statements that are not supported by the facts — whether it’s about my record of opposition to the war in Iraq or our approach to organizing in Las Vegas.”

Now he knows how the rest of us feel.

The Illinois Senator is still a young man, but not so young as to have missed the 1990s. He nonetheless seems to be awakening slowly to what everyone else already knows about the Clintons, which is that they will say and do whatever they “gotta” say or do to win. Listen closely to Mr. Obama, and you can almost hear the echoes of Bob Dole at the end of the 1996 campaign asking, “Where’s the outrage?”

This has been the core of the conservative critique of the Clintons for years. So it is illuminating to hear the same critique coming from Mr. Obama and his supporters now that his candidacy poses a threat to the return of the Clinton dynasty. Even Democrats are now admitting the Clintons don’t tell the truth — at least until Mrs. Clinton wins the nomination….

“I understand him wanting to promote his wife’s candidacy,” Mr. Obama added on Sunday, referring to Bill Clinton. “She’s got a record that she can run on. But I think it’s important that we try to maintain some — you know, level of honesty and candor during the course of the campaign. If we don’t, then we feed the cynicism that has led so many Americans to be turned off to politics.”

Welcome to the education of Barack Obama.

My arguments for a Giuliani or Romney candidacy are made with this relentless Clinton attack machine in mind. Not only do you have to be able to counterpunch and to match their money (and the money of Soros et al), the GOP’s nominee will have to remain unflappable and capable of turning an attack with a joke or a look of bemusement –a “there they go again” attitude that continually displays a sunny optimism that will contrast well with the Clinton machine’s endless machinations. Rarely if ever will anger or even testiness score given the MSM’s blanket of protection around them, and every scowl will be categorized as sour grapes and a sign of failure.

Energy, ideas, smarts, blunt though not angry talk and supreme good humor can beat them.

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