February 14, 2008

Going Negative At Team Hillary

Speculation had begun this week that Hillary Clinton's campaign might start going negative on Barack Obama. She didn't have much to lose after the debacle of the Potomac Primaries, and she desperately needs to slow down his momentum. Apparently, the speculation was correct, as Hillary has begun slamming Obama's economic proposals on the stump in Ohio:

Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton, criticized for taking corporate special interest contributions, proposed restrictions on a wide array of industries Thursday and stepped up her assault on rival Barack Obama, casting him as the candidate more beholden to corporations.

In a speech to General Motors workers and executives, Clinton trumped Obama's own economic plan from a day before and appeared to be channeling former rival John Edwards' populist anti-corporate message. ...

She said she would rein in oil, insurance, credit card, student loan and Wall Street investment companies and generate $55 billion a year that would be used for middle class tax cuts, create jobs and pay for an array of domestic programs.

Obama on Wednesday visited a GM plant in Janesville, Wis., to unveil a 10-year, $210 billion economic plan to create jobs in construction and environmental industries.

So now the Democrats will have an argument over who hates corporations more? I think Obama could have a little fun with that, especially given Hillary's experience as a Wal-Mart board member. Republicans and independents will wonder how far the two will go in their bid to out-Edwards John Edwards, who failed to win a single state with this class-warfare populism.

Besides, Hillary has some problems in her math. According to the NTU, she has already proposed over $210 billion in new annual spending. (Obama's price tag is significantly higher, at $282 billion per year.) The $55 billion she supposedly will get by hitting these industries will only cover 25% of the tab, and that's if she doesn't give any of it back in tax breaks. Besides, does anyone think for a moment that hiking taxes and fees on oil companies and insurance will make them less expensive for the working and middle classes?

Does anyone actually listen to this?

Undoubtedly, Hillary will start taking heat over her new strategy to go negative. Obama will cast it as an act of desperation, which may have more than a little truth to it. In the end, though, they both have gone negative on American industry just to follow the strategy of the one candidate who couldn't win a state. If that's what Republicans have to face in November, our prospects look brighter every day.


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