Saturday, March 01, 2008

War of Words

Yesterday Hillary Clinton's campaign released this ad:

It's 3 a.m., and your children are safe and asleep, But there's a phone in the White House, and it's ringing — something's happening in the world. Your vote will decide who answers that call.

Whether it’s someone who already knows the world’s leaders, knows the military, someone tested and ready to lead in a dangerous world. It’s 3 AM and your children are safe and asleep. Who do you want answering the phone?

Barack Obama's campaign responded with this ad just a few hours later:

Text (my transcription):
It's 3 a.m., and your children are safe and asleep, But there's a phone ringing in the White House. Something's happening in the world.

When that call gets answered, shouldn't the President be the one, the only one, who had judgment and courage to oppose the Iraq War from the start? Who understood the real threat to America was Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, not Iraq? Who led the effort to secure loose nuclear weapons around the globe? In a dangerous world, it's judgment that matters.

I'm an Obamite, for sure, but I have to give that exchange to him on points. As someone said on dailykos, he "Floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee." If John Kerry had been this agile in parrying terror fearmongering, he'd be President today.

And yes, Clinton's ad is straight out of the Republican playbook. I mean straight out, as in she apparently lifted her ad concept from an ad submitted by a McCain supporter to McCain's website in January:

Or as one wag put it, "Fear you can Xerox".

Here's what Bill Clinton had to say about using fear to get votes, in 2004:

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