New Obama Ad

23 January 2008

Here is Obama's new radio ad: Audio.


Obama: "I’m Barack Obama, running for president and I approve this message."

Announcer: "It’s what’s wrong with politics today. Hillary Clinton will say anything to get elected. Now she’s making false attacks on Barack Obama.

"The Washington Post says Clinton isn’t telling the truth. Obama 'did not say that he liked the ideas of Republicans.' In fact, Obama’s led the fight to raise the minimum wage, close corporate tax loopholes and cut taxes for the middle class.

"But it was Hillary Clinton, in an interview with Tom Brokaw, who quote 'paid tribute' to Ronald Reagan’s economic and foreign policy. She championed NAFTA –- even though it has cost South Carolina thousands of jobs. And worst of all, it was Hillary Clinton who voted for George Bush’s war in Iraq.

"Hillary Clinton. She’ll say anything, and change nothing. It’s time to turn the page. Paid for by Obama for America."

I think that the first part of this ad is dead-on. As I've written before, it's been shameless the way Bill and Hillary Clinton have taken Obama's comments out of context and pretended that he endorses Ronald Reagan's economic policies (which he clearly does not). I think that you can make a great argument that Clinton will just "say anything" at this point to get elected. Particularly since she has also distorted his ethics reform bill, his position on the PATRIOT Act, his Rezko ties, his "present" votes, his position on abortion, and his position on the Iraq war.

That being said, I don't think that the proper response is to "fight fire with fire." In the Brokaw book, unless I'm mistaken, all that Hillary said was that she preferred Ronald Reagan politics to Karl Rove politics. That's a fair thing to say. Also, Clinton seems to be praising his political skills when she says, "He played the balance and the music beautifully." But this doesn't imply that she supports his economic policies (the book explicitly says that his tax cuts "went too far"). I think that this part of the ad is a big mistake.

Of course, her support for NAFTA is certainly fair game. So is her vote authorizing the Iraq war. Also, I think that you can make a good argument that she will "change nothing" (see here for more). But I don't think that turnabout is fair play on the Reagan issue.

UPDATE: Politically, I guess that it's smart. The Clintons can't really defend against this attack without admitting the blatant dishonesty of their initial "Obama says that the GOP has good ideas" attacks. But still, I think that it's an inaccurate and improper counter-charge to imply that Hillary likes Reagan's economic and foreign policies.

UPDATE II: Here is the video of Obama from the debate:

In this context, Obama seems to be pointing out the Reagan/Brokaw thing just to highlight the "irony" of the recent criticism coming from the Clintons. If that's all that this is, then it's certainly a fair point to make.

No comments: