The Clinton vs. Obama Student Wars

When Barack Obama encouraged college students to vote for him in the Iowa caucus it came as no surprise. Candidates who do well with college students generally do this. The Iowa Secretary of State’s web page even gives instructions for out of state students who wish to register to vote in Iowa.

The Clinton campaign tried to attack Obama over seeking the votes of college students around the same time they attacked him over a paper he wrote in kindergarten and third grade. How dare all those smart kids who weren’t even old enough to develop an antipathy towards the Clintons in the 1990’s decide Obama would make the better president? They certainly weren’t old enough to see how bad a plan HillaryCare I was.

That attack on Obama got nowhere, so the New York Post finds that Clinton has decided that if she can’t beat him by attacking his strategy she might as well see if she can pick up a few votes of her own:

After hitting Barack Obama’s campaign hard for his bid to get thousands of out-of-state college kids at Iowa colleges to vote for him, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s team launched its own effort to urge students to take part in the caucus on Jan. 3.

“With the Iowa caucus just 23 days away, I want to remind all of our young supporters in Iowa how important it is to get out and caucus on January 3rd,” wrote Emily Hawkins, the director of young-voter outreach for the campaign, in an entry on Clinton’s blog posted late Tuesday.

A statement from the campaign’s communications director, Howard Wolfson, added, “Hillary wants every student who lives in Iowa and wants to caucus in Iowa and is eligible to caucus in Iowa to do so.

“We hope and trust that every campaign is making sure that potential caucus-goers have all the information they need, and in no way, explicitly or implicitly, encourage anyone to break the law by participating in two places.”

The entry alerts students to the Iowa secretary of state’s Web page, which explains how everyone – including non-Iowa residents attending college in the state – can participate.

Considering the normally low voting rates by students, and considering that the caucus takes place while many will still be away from school for the holiday break, I question how much of a difference it will make.

Will Clinton continue to take ideas from Obama? Next week I predict Hillary Clinton will pull out her own sixth grade papers in which she outlined her plans for after she becomes president. (There’s little doubt that she was intellectually behind Obama as a child and there would be just no point in pretending otherwise.) John Edwards will continue to say he wanted to be Superman or a cowboy as nobody would believe that a third grader would dream of growing up to become an ambulance chaser.

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