CRP Blog

Monday, January 7, 2008

Senator Clinton's Politics of Personal Destruction

Trust is emerging as a key weakness in Senator Clinton's campaign for the White House, and it appears that Iowa Democrats have some of the same "trust issues" with the Senator that we do. Ditto New Hampshire Democrats.

Senator Clinton is well known for her lamenting the "politics of personal destruction." Her high-minded rhetoric was on particular display during the unveiling of her book, "Living History," even working itself into the headlines. "Clinton laments 'politics of personal destruction' as she hawks book" was the headline on June 9, 2003.

"I think that these were obviously personal and private moments that unfortunately were made public for partisan, political purposes -- a part of the ongoing politics of personal destruction that was so much a part of our country's life and certainly our time in the White House," Clinton said.

Message: Senator Clinton is against "the politics of personal destruction."

Fast forward to her troubled campaign for the White House, and voters see the Senator's campaign engaging in...the politics of personal destruction. This kind of hypocrisy is precisely why voters -- Democrats and Republicans -- are having a hard time trusting her.

Her campaign was already in attack mode prior to her anemic, third place finish in Iowa. Recall that her campaign went on the offense against Barack Obama with writings of his dating back to Kindergarten. The USA Today blog put it this way:

Campaigns routinely dig up things opponents have said or written to accuse the other guys of being hypocrites. We don't recall ever seeing one side use something the other person wrote while in kindergarten, but it's happened now. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign has used words attributed to Sen. Barack Obama from when he was a kindergartner -- and from when he was in third grade -- to accuse him of "rewriting history" when he says he hasn't been planning for a long time to run for president.

Now, facing her second defeat in a week, Senator Clinton's campaign appears to continue setting aside any aversion for personal destruction while going on the attack against Senator Obama. A quick Google news search for the terms Clinton, attack, and Obama produces 10 pages of results.

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