The Swift Boat Aspect Of Hillary's New Hampshire Victory

Kerry backs Obama to 'turn new page' in US politics Independent, UK ....... the sharp media practices the Clinton campaign used to unsettle voters in New Hampshire. ...... a personalised and angry attack on the "fairytale" story of Mr Obama's candidacy. He queried Mr Obama's long-standing opposition to the war in Iraq. The Clinton camp also questioned the sincerity of his opposition to lobbyists and said that he was inconsistent on health care. ..... The style of attack echoes the black arts used to becalm Mr Kerry's 2004 campaign, in which an organisation calling itself "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" called his character into question. They made Mr Kerry's war record the issue, distracting voters from President Bush's dodging of the Vietnam draft.
The official story is Hillary cried and she won. And crying sure helped. People are like, oh lord, she is human. But the untold story was a whole bunch of negative campaigning spearheaded by the master of disaster, the one and only Bill Clinton. The dude just went berserk on Obama. To the point where Obama 2008 was found asking Clinton 2008 to take the false claims down. That is not how you fight. You don't have to go negative. But you do have to hit back with rebuttals. There were too many unanswered attacks from the Clinton camp.

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Bill Clinton will do it over and over again. He is shameless that way. So what's going on? Is slash and burn politics back in vogue? Is the new kind of politics out the window? No. The new kind of politics does not escape from the fact that when you get hit, you do have to hit back. The difference is, you don't have to hit back negatively or with personal attacks, you don't have to engage in the politics of personal destruction, but you do have to issue rebuttals.

Kerry did not hit back. The swift boat ads were factually incorrect, but that was not the point. The point was, he did not hit back. People will believe the lies about you when you don't issue your truths as rebuttals.

Claim: Barack is a fairytale.
Suggestion: If you believe in fairytales, what does make you?
Counterclaim: ?
Suggested Counterclaim: Bill Clinton is a stand-in.
Suggested Counterclaim: Bill Clinton wants us go back to the slash and burn politics of the 90s.

Claim: Barack's votes on Iraq are not all that wonderful.
Counterclaim: ?
Suggested Counterclaim: The vote that got us into the war was the first vote.

Claim: Barack's talk on lobbyists in empty.
Counterclaim: ?
Suggested Counterclaim: How many of your millions are from the lobbyists? We got none.

Claim: Barack has been inconsistent on health care.
Counterclaim: ?
Suggested Counterclaim: It was not Barack who bungled health care in 1993 when 80% of Americans badly wanted it.

The idea in each case is that the attack said nothing new. In each case they were lies. But they worked. Because there were no swift one-liner rebuttals. There was no rapid response mechanism in place. And to voters that looks like you got punched smack in the face and you did nothing about it. If you can't protect yourself from Bill Clinton, how are you going to protect me from Bin Laden?

The message is clear. When you get hit, you have to hit back. You don't have to go mean. But you do have to offer swift one-liners as rebuttals. Keep the wordsmiths at the ready. Unanswered attacks pull you down, every single time. You look like you are asleep at the wheel.

And it might not be a bad idea to attack Bill Clinton himself. He is so much in the forefront, attacking him will make it look like Hillary is not in control of her campaign, somebody else is running it.

Don't let any attack go unanswered. But you don't have to be mean when doing that. That is still the new kind of politics.

In The News

Clinton’s Message, and Moment, Won the Day New York Times Women, in particular, responded: Several said they chose to vote for Mrs. Clinton at the last moment because she had shown a human side of herself that they had never seen. ....... She also won support by sharpening her message of experience into concrete terms, casting herself as a doer competing against Mr. Obama’s image as an eloquent talker. ...... her decision to take question after question from voters at her New Hampshire events, a break from her past appearances ...... Mr. Clinton also made a rare, angry attack on Mr. Obama at a campaign stop on Monday ...... Mrs. Clinton’s performance in a televised debate on Saturday drew some very positive reviews from voters — especially her reply to the question of why many voters did not find her likable. ...... “Well, that hurts my feelings,” she said, “but I’ll try to go on. I don’t think I’m that bad.” ..... followed her comment by saying, “You’re likable enough, Hillary” — a remark that some voters said was less than gracious. ...... “In the days ahead, you and I have to keep speaking from the heart,” Mrs. Clinton wrote in the pitch — a sentence rendered in bold in the e-mail message. ....... her aides said it was because of a combination of frustration, fatigue, and emotion ...... The humanizing moment she had was a big deal.
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Clinton, Obama neck-to-neck Hindustan Times "Maybe I have liberated us to actually let women be human beings in public," said Clinton, the former first lady, reflecting on a memorable moment of emotion the day before she gained her own New Hampshire victory. ..... Obama saw it differently. "We have to make sure that we take it to them just like they take it to us," he said. Despite his defeat, he pocketed the support of two major Nevada labor unions in advance of that state's Jan. 19 caucuses and predicted a win in the South Carolina primary a week later.
Clinton Turns Campaign to Nevada The Associated Press
Clinton and Obama prepare for tough campaign Irish Times With campaign contributions flooding in after she overturned Mr Obama's double-digit poll lead in New Hampshire to win by three percentage points, the former first lady is confident she can halt the rise of the charismatic Illinois senator. ...... "I think that Senator Clinton is a formidable and tough candidate, and we have to make sure that we take it to them just like they take it to us. I come from Chicago politics. We're accustomed to rough and tumble," he said. ...... Ms Clinton is still ahead in most polls in Nevada but Mr Obama has opened up a clear lead in South Carolina ...... "I think she really reached working New Hampshire voters. There was the intellectual group that was really thinking that they could win by uplifting spirits, but you've got to be able to make the change happen, not just lift the spirits," she said.
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Bomb Kills at Least 23 in Pakistan New York Times Twenty-two of the dead were police officers ...... minutes before a rally organized by opposition lawyers was scheduled to pass by. ...... suspicion fell immediately on the Taliban militants and their sympathizers, possibly those with Al Qaeda ....... A wave of suicide bombings has hit Pakistan in recent months, beginning with particular intensity in July after the siege of the Red Mosque in Islamabad, when government troops stormed a complex where militants supporting the Taliban were holed up. ...... the attack on law enforcement officials demonstrated not only the reach of the extremists, but also their resolve to effectively paralyze a government they believe is in thrall to the United States. ...... “The security forces and one of the highest courts in the country were targeted. The symbolism is important. Al Qaeda believes that the civil courts in Pakistan are a relic of an infidel colonizer and should be replaced by Islamic courts, and hence an attack directly on the institution and those protecting it.” ....... “There is a concentrated plan to destabilize Pakistan” ...... many of the opposition lawyers were blaming the country’s shadowy intelligence agencies for such attacks. “People die and we point at ourselves,” the lawyer said in a rueful manner. ...... the blast was the result of a timed explosive device. He expressed surprise at how quickly the Lahore police had come to the conclusion that it was a suicide attack.
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