Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Campaign 08: Shall We Chat About Pardons, Mrs. Clinton?

One just has to believe that the Clinton campaign cringes every time the topic of pardons gets anywhere near a conversation, much less a debate. But these are desperate times and the end-game might be closer than many desire. The Wall Street Journal summarizes a portion of tonight's debate in the following manner:

When the debate turned to Sen. Obama's association with William Ayers, a former member of the violent Weather Underground group, Sen. Obama pointed to the question as an example of pointless distractions, which he said were a "game in which anybody who I know regardless of how flimsy the relationship is, somehowtheir ideas can be attributed to me."

But Sen. Clinton didn't let up. While she called her rival a "good man," she used the example to raise doubts about other vulnerabilities that could trip up Sen. Obama. "It goes to this larger set of concerns about how we are going to run against John McCain," she said.

The New York senator noted that she didn't have those same vulnerabilities because she had long faced Republican attacks. "I have a lot of baggage and everybody has rummaged through it for years," she said.

Once attacked, Sen. Obama let loose and pointed to his rival's disingenuousness. President Clinton, he said, had pardoned two members of Weather Underground. And he said that his ability to take Sen. Clinton's political punches should reassure Democratic voters that he would withstand Republican attacks in the fall.

Ah yes, Susan Rosenberg and Linda Evans (see commentary here and here). Note to Mrs. Clinton: Stay away from discussions about pardons, and any discussion three degrees of separation from pardons. That big dog bites hard! See full article here.

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