Democrats Show Concern Over Clinton Smear Campaign

For the past week the major story of the campaign has been the nature of the smear campaign launched by the Clintons following their loss in Iowa. If the meaning of Barack Obama’s call for change was ever unclear the need for change has become painfully obvious as the Clintons have showed they are no better than the Republican President we have been so critical of. Seeing how easily both Bill and Hillary Clinton lie, the election of Hillary Clinton would represent not only Bill Clinton’s third term but in a sense a third term for George Bush as well.

For a long time I have criticized all Republicans who have remained silent as one of their leaders has caused immeasurable harm to our country. The same applies to Democrats who will look the other way at the dishonest tactics of Bill and Hillary Clinton because they are members of their party. If this type of dishonesty in government is to be eliminated we must refuse to vote for those who practice it regardless of party affiliation. The Washington Post reports today on a number of Democrats who are concerned with the manner in which the Clintons are conducting their smear campaign:

Responding to the negative ad, Dick Harpootlian, a former chairman of the Democratic Party in South Carolina, accused the Clintons of using the “politics of deception,” and he compared the former president to the late Lee Atwater, a Republican operative from South Carolina who was known for his tough tactics…

In Washington, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), who endorsed Obama last week, castigated the former president for what he called his “glib cheap shots” at Obama, saying both sides should settle down but placing the blame predominantly on Clinton.

“That’s beneath the dignity of a former president,” Leahy told reporters, adding: “He is not helping anyone, and certainly not helping the Democratic Party.”

That concern was also voiced by some neutral Democrats, who said that the former president’s aggressive role, along with the couple’s harsh approach recently, threatens to divide the party in the general election.

A few prominent Democrats, including Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (Mass.) and Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), have spoken to the former president about the force of his Obama critiques. There is some fear within the party that if Obama becomes the nominee, he could emerge personally battered and politically compromised. And there is concern that a Clinton victory could come at a cost — particularly a loss of black voters, who could blame her for Obama’s defeat and stay home in November.

“I’m not underestimating that this could be divisive, but I think both camps know how important this is, that it doesn’t go beyond repair,” said Sen. Mary Landrieu (La.), the most vulnerable Democrat up for reelection next year, who is unaligned…

Harpootlian, a prominent voice in South Carolina politics and a onetime Clinton supporter, said the Clintons’ recent tactics have been “all about deceit.”

“This is harmful to the party, it’s harmful to the state. And I understand they want to win, but this is about — should be about — a competition of ideas, not who can pull the hammer harder,” he said.

For some rank-and-file Democrats, the tack against Obama is prompting a reevaluation of Clinton and her husband. Bill Clinton gained enormous popularity among Democrats in the 1990s partly because of his ability to achieve tactical triumphs over Republicans. Now, watching the use of rough-edged tactics against a fellow Democrat, some of those who supported him then are having second thoughts.

“They’re obvious distortions,” said Ralph Byrd, a retired electrical engineer in Greenville, S.C., who voted for Clinton in 1992 and 1996. “We’ve had enough spin in the White House the last eight years, and we don’t need any more. It’s deliberate distortion that we don’t need.”

For Bill Clinton it is all or nothing. If he wins he gets another term in the White House. In order to accomplish this he is risking his own legacy as it is becoming difficult to argue that the Republicans were not right about him all along.

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  1. 1
    Michael Schaeffer says:

    Everyone seems to be placing blame on Bill Clinton, for the smear campaign against Obama. That is exactly how the Clintons want it portrayed, after all Hillary isn’t saying those lies, only Bill is. Of course we are all used to Bill lying a little bit aren’t we? Lets get real this is a calculated risk by the CLINTON campaign, not Bill Clinton himself. Hillary, may figure she can win the nomination and then bring us all back to the fold claiming that Bill went over the top. I cannot speak for the black vote, as i am not black, but i can speak for my vote, 3 weeks ago I was prepared to vote for Hillary in the general election, although admittedly my preference was Obama. Now however, I will never vote for Hillary no matter who the Republican candidate turns out to be. I will write in Obama, or not vote at all. Assuming, i am not some wacko voter out here in california, I would suspect that Hillary has alienated many democratic voters while at the same time energizing Independents against her. I think single handedly she can solve the republican candidates financial crisis as well, and it will be telling to watch how the more likely hillary is to win the nomination the more money starts flowing to republicans.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Bill is getting much of the criticism but I’m sure virtually everyone who is critical of Bill recognizes that this is planned by both of them and it is hurting Hillary just as much.

  3. 3
    Wayne says:

    Two things I found frigtening about these attacks by the Clinton’s on Obama. First, Hillary blasts him for having an associate who was indicted, implying that this fact implies that Obama was involved in questionable activities by association, yet when the Clinton’s found themselves in similar positions in the 90’s (think the McDougals and Webster Hubbell), they felt that you can’t judge someone by their friends. Second, I think that if it had been John Edwards, rather than Bill Clinton who pointed out that “well, remember, Jesse Jackson won South Carolina” I’ll bet that Al Sharpton and others would be screaming for his head for racist comments.

  4. 4
    Gauk says:

    Hillary and Bill are walking lock in step with this approch of negative camgigning…they will both learn you reap what you sow. I was for Clinton but am now firmly in the Obama column

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