Politics of fear - Hillary’s "Daisy" ad Posted by: McQ
on Friday, February 29, 2008
Yes, Hillary Clinton has finally had to resort to an old technique which has had mixed results, but when you're about to crash and burn, you're likely to try just about anything to stay aloft.
Take a look here. George Stephanopolus calls it "the nuclear option". Aimed at Obama, it is designed to question his readiness to handle a crisis situation. While, in fact, I agree with her point, I have to wonder if this is the most effective way to make it. On the other hand, nothing else seems to have worked for her in this regard, so why not?
Obama has, of course, answered (which, btw, is something to be noted as well - he doesn't let any challenge lay there for very long. Whether or not you find his answer compelling or not, he answers, which was part of the undoing of John Kerry last presidential election cycle).
“We’ve seen these ads before. They’re the kind that play on people’s fears to try to scare up votes,” Mr. Obama said.
Oh, like the rhetoric about NAFTA?
But to an even larger point here. "The politics of fear" is no longer a term which can be applied exclusively to Republicans. Democrats have - as in the Clinton ad, and in their blaming of NAFTA for job losses - deployed it quite regularly. And, I suspect, they will continue to do so as this campaign grinds on.
“I don’t think these ads will work this time, because the question is not about picking up the phone. The question is what kind of judgment will you exercise when you pick up that phone?”
Yes, indeed, that's correct, and that is precisely the judgment being called into question by the ad - judgment which Clinton implies, quite correctly, is entirely untested. Of course, for the most part, the same can be said about Ms. Clinton, OJT as the first lady notwithstanding.
At it’s core, the Democrat meme is one based on emotion, more than ay other single factor. And certainly, fear is the strongest and most instinctual of emotions.
The real danger with contstant fear mongering is that the voter eventually picks up on the idea that all fears are unjustified. We thereby ignore danger signals.
For example, consider the warning signs that went ignored as being unjustified, about Radical Islam, thoughout the Clinton administration, on the idea that nobody could be that barbaric, and what that cost us in the end.
Interestingly, these are fears both Democrat candidates, Obama in particualr are trying to downplay just now.
Hillary’s ad may be the biggest strategic mistake of the campaign. It is akin to Kerry’s "reporting for doody" line.
She may think she shows well on this ad against Obama, but it is clearly one she cannot win it against the wily old Navy aviator; it will surely be brought into play in the general election were she to win the nomination.
In the unlikely event the ad turns the trick to vanquish Obama, McCain will use it like a club to beat her like Punch beat Judy.
I went over to ABC News to look at the ad and found that most of the Liberal commenters were unaware that the 1964 daisy ad was bought by LBJ and aimed at Barry Goldwater. They think it was the other way around.