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« The Dread 'Move to the Center' & Obama's Campaign | Main | Moving to the Center (Part 2); Dodd Bitter-Enders »

June 30, 2008



Well, as you mention, the first thing I think of when I see this is the swiftboating of Kerry. Somehow the guy who enlisted and won the silver star became the coward, while the guy who bounced around the air national guard and avoided combat duty became the noble warrior. So, this sort of "attack the perceived strength of the opponent" strategy can work.

I don't think that criticizing a perceived strength is, in and of itself, objectionable to Democrats. If Democrats argue that McCain was a bad pilot who took unnecessary risks, and that his getting shot down was a direct consequence of that, then (true or not) the echoes of the swiftboating will be a bit too loud to bear. But simply stating, "hey, it's not like this guy has ever commanded anything, and he was a lousy military student; he has no special appreciation for military strategy" is a reasonable argument.

Obama has the same sort of experience McCain does - he's on the foreign affairs and veteran affairs committees, right? Of course, he has a whole lot less time on those committees than McCain.

More broadly, though, I agree with you - the central foreign policy argument for Obama is that his judgement is better. If Clark's statements are packaged into the idea that experience is irrelevant and judgement is what matters, then that could work. But by itself, I agree, this line of argument leads nowhere.


Clark's response. He does a pitch perfect job of clarifying what he said. He clearly understands exactly what the point of this argument is.

Oh, and Lanny Davis is a tool.

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