With a new ad released in praise of Hillary Clinton and surrogates dispatched to the Sunday talk shows, it seems that presidential campaign of John McCain is trying to split the Democratic Party between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
Here is the new McCain ad:
Hillary Clinton’s office put out a statement slamming the ad, “Hillary Clinton’s support of Barack Obama is clear. She has said repeatedly that Barack Obama and she share a commitment to changing the direction of the country, getting us out of Iraq, and expanding access to health care. John McCain doesn’t,” said spokeswoman Kathleen Strand. “It’s interesting how those remarks didn’t make it into his ad.”
The new found Republican love of Hillary Clinton also turned up in the form of Rudy Giuliani on ABC’s This Week, “The strong choice would have been Hillary Clinton. The obvious choice would have been Hillary Clinton. She had 50% of the Democratic vote. Obama has 50% of the Democratic vote. You almost have to go to extraordinary lengths to avoid her as the vice presidential pick of the party, and it seems to me that for whatever reason that hasn’t been explained, a choice was made out of weakness than strength. You know don’t go with a strongest candidate, and then go with a candidate that actually emphasizes all of your weaknesses and has been quite vocal about them.” Giuliani went on to say that an Obama/Clinton ticket was a no brainer.
The strategy here is pretty simple. The McCain campaign knows that the odds are against their winning an election against a unified Democratic Party, so they are trying to tear it apart. The fact of the matter is that Republicans wanted Hillary Clinton on the ticket. Having Hillary Clinton on the Democratic ticket would have motivated their base in a way John McCain can’t. The GOP hatred of the Clintons can never be underestimated, and advice from a political opponent should never be taken seriously, because they always have their own interests at heart.
The McCain camp must think that the Clinton supporters are pretty stupid if this is the best that they can come up with. After Tuesday night, I don’t expect that there will be much of a rift left in the Democratic Party. The Democrats are going to come out of Denver strong, and the longer McCain avoids the issues, the closer he steps towards defeat in November.