Clinton’s Ad Exposes Her Own Weaknesses


Barack Obama has released the above ad in response to Clinton’s reliance on fear in her recent ad. The text of the ad is:

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.

This round of ads has been a victory for Obama on many levels. Obama gets another opportunity to remind voters that on the biggest foreign policy question of recent years he got it right and Clinton got it wrong. Obama also demonstrates his campaign’s rapid response ability. Imagine if John Kerry had released an ad contrasting his actual Vietnam record to George Bush’s record as soon as the Swift Boad Liars released their ad. In responding like this, Obama shows that he is prepared to take on the right wing attack machine in a general election campaign.

Clinton’s ads also helped highlight some of Clinton’s weaknesses beyond her poor judgment in supporting the Iraq war. As I noted yesterday, Clinton’s claims of experience are questionable. Clinton did not have security clearance, did not attend National Security Council meetings, and as First Lady had limited involvement in national security issues.

Clinton’s lack of experience, as well as how she is unprepared for a general election campaign, was further highlighted in a conference call yesterday. John Dickerson of Slate asked, “What foreign policy moment would you point to in Hillary’s career where she’s been tested by crisis?” There was awkward silence before they came up with a rather weak answer. As Matthew Yglesias commented:

Feinstein, the campaign’s foreign policy guy, is making the best of a bad situation here. But the more strictly political people walked into a debacle. How could they go forward with that ad without having a good answer to the question on hand? It’s inept in the extreme.

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