Politics

The Choice

After last night’s drubbing in the Potomac-Chesapeake primaries, Senator Clinton faces some tough choices.

Perhaps predictably, some advisors in the Clinton camp (it feels like her staff has been an anchor around her neck this campaign) are pushing her to go negative. Here’s Josh Marshall quoting from Ron Fournier’s AP piece this morning:

Two senior Clinton advisers, speaking on condition of anonymity to
discuss the race candidly, said the campaign feels the New York senator
needs to quickly change the dynamic by forcing Obama into a poor debate
performance, going negative or encouraging the media to attack Obama.
They’re grasping at straws, but the advisers said they can’t see any
other way that her campaign will be sustainable after losing 10 in a
row.

Her odds of winning are now slim, so if I were her, I’d focus on conducting a campaign that burnishes her legacy, and doesn’t destroy it. If she goes harshly negative on Obama, particularly if the attacks are groundless and not factually-based and Rovean in nature as they were before South Carolina, it would dim her chances and Obama’s chances of winning the ultimate contest in November, and destroy the incredible momentum that the Democrats are building this election with record turnouts in nearly every state.

Going negative would only be in her personal interest, her husband’s personal interest, and perhaps her staff’s interests; and not the larger interests of the Democratic Party or, arguably, the country.

It would be delightful if Senator Clinton surprised the pundits, and her detractors, by running an uplifting and positive campaign from here on out. Instead of attacking the other candidates, tell us why you’d make a great President. Unleash your sense of humor — your close friends say you’re delightfully funny.

Connect your list of initiatives with a grander theme of what you want this country to become and where you want it to go. Doing that, you’ll make the choice harder for voters in Ohio and Texas and Pennsylvania. And we’ll all win, regardless of who wins the nomination.

This will be an interesting test of her character, and her moral core.

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