Hillary Clinton continues to trail Barack Obama in Iowa by a few percentage points. In response, she has decided to attack Obama more aggressively.
So far, so good. But according to the Washington Post, Clinton plans to attack Obama “not just on policy but also on. . .his reputation for honesty.” After one such attack, Clinton was asked whether she intended to raise questions about Obama’s character. She replied “it’s beginning to look that way.”
As a potential president, Clinton has several advantages over Obama, but character and honesty are not among them. I won’t rehearse the various problems that nearly caused her to be indicted during the 1990s. That’s old news that Democrats never cared too much about, although I’m confident that many Dems are happy that Obama doesn’t labor under this burden. But consider Clinton’s claim (again per the Post) that Obama lacks the courage to stand up for his convictions. For Democrats, of course, the key conviction is always opposition to the war in Iraq. Obama opposed it from the start. Clinton voted in favor of it. In this context, how does Clinton expect her attack on Obama’s steadfastness to resonate in her favor? This approach seems more likely to push Clinton into third place than to carry her to victory in Iowa.
Clinton can easily survive an Obama victory in Iowa, but not, perhaps, if it causes her to revive the negative personal image that has plagued her in the past.
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