We interrupt our regularly scheduled “Fear of Hillary Clinton” series to bring you the latest brief episode of Obama Dirty Chicago Mud Politics.
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Poor, inchoate, inarticulate, fumbling John Edwards campaign. After sacrificing his own campaign by ceaseless attacks on Hillary, John Edwards saw his popularity and level of voter support droop. This bizarre Edwards attack strategy helped Obama because the attacks softened support for Hillary (we’ll discuss all of this in Fear of Hillary, Part III), and kept Obama’s numbers stable – thereby cementing the presidential race as a two person race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
Circulating among Iowa labor circles, I am told, is this leaflet, which looks to be a standard opposition-research paper against former Sen. John Edwards, D-NC.
The shocker? It’s from Mr. Positive, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois.
Not that it’s a shocker that Obama is drawing differences between he and his opponents. (UPDATE: The Obama campaign says this document came because a local union requested information on the differences between him and his opponents.)
It’s a shocker because Obama chief strategist David Axelrod told ABC News that “One of the things people appreciate about (Obama) is he’s not a cheap-shot artist” and this flier is full of cheap shots.
Cheap shot? Isn’t that exactly what Paul Krugman said about Obama’s 15 million lies?
But now Mr. Obama, who just two weeks ago was telling audiences that his plan was essentially identical to the Edwards and Clinton plans, is attacking his rivals and claiming that his plan is superior. It isn’t — and his attacks amount to cheap shots.
Let’s get back to the latest Obama cheap shots:
The cheapest shot … that Edwards somehow has something to do with Whirlpool when the company was closing down Maytag plants in Iowa, Illinois, and Arkansas.
Why is that a cheap shot? Because the link is that Edwards worked for the controversial Fortress Hedge Fund while it owned stock in Whirlpool as it was shutting down those plants.
But some argue a far more direct link exists between Obama and those plants shutting down. It’s not one I agree with — I think both are silly attempts to link candidates to lost jobs — but I think the one linking Obama to the Crown family to those lost jobs is slightly less ridiculous.
The Crown family — Lester, Renee, James, Paula — have been supporters, fundraisers, and bundlers for Obama.
Lester Crown was on the board of Maytag when it decided to shut down a plant in Galesburg, Illinois, and sent those jobs to Mexico.
In August 2005, Crain’s Chicago Business reported that the Crowns stood “to reap an estimated $86 million from the sale of appliance maker Maytag Corp. to rival Whirlpool Corp. After a bidding war, Newton, Iowa-based Maytag agreed Monday to sell to Whirlpool for $21 a share in cash and stock. Maytag has said the Crowns hold about 4.1 million shares.”
Shortly after that merger was announced, Whirlpool shut down those plants in Iowa, Illinois, and Arkansas.
Poor Edwards, deprived of votes and funding, and now devoid of dignity.
In between long sobs of laughter we wondered where Joe Trippi is? Has Joe Edwards “genius” Joe Trippi responded in a harsh manner to the Obama stab in the back? We haven’t heard. Last we heard from Joe Trippi he was leading a Barack Obama cheerleading team.
Before cheerleading with Obama supporters Trippi had managed to convince the forlorn Edwards’ to accept public matching funds, which due to the spending limits imposed, effectively terminated the Edwards campaign. At the time we took note of the Edwards “calamity” and a bit of Trippi history.
Under the public financing system, Edwards will be allowed to spend just $817,800 in New Hampshire during the primary race. In Iowa, the limit is just under $1.5 million. In both states, even after the primaries are over, Edwards cannot exceed those limits until the Democratic convention – months after a head-to-head contest with the Republican nominee is expected to begin.
Joe Trippi, who managed the presidential campaign of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean in 2004 and is a senior adviser to Edwards this time, conceded as much in a 2003 interview with the Washington Post.
“This campaign believes that any Democratic campaign that opted into the matching-funds system has given up on the general election,” Trippi said in December of 2003. “There is absolutely no way you can sustain the hits that are going to come from now until August with a $45 million limit.”
We won’t add to Edwards’ misery by recalling a long ago post in which we cited a rumor that it was Obama who publicized the $400 haircut. We won’t even ask why Trippi failed to stop use of ACTBLUE for fundraising when any campaign finance attorney with an unexpired law license would at least suspect matching public funds would not be available for the cash starved bulimic which is the Edwards campaign. [For the record, a lot of the nutroots criticized the Hillary campaign and the Obama campaign, for raising so little on ActBlue – who’s sorry now?]
Joe Trippi did make an appearance of sorts on the Joe Scarborough show this morning. It was barely an appearance. Mediocre and bland, Trippi said little of interest in a passionless monotone. Of course, no mention of Obama’s dirty attack memo.
As we wrote, we are not surprised by Obama’s dirty attack memo. We’ve seen this before. There was the “Punjab” anonymous memo and the after promise to revise all Obama staff operations so this type of backstabbing would not occur again (another failed Obama promise), the 9/11 smear Bill Clinton anonymous memo, other people’s sex lives scrounging, slimy misleading selective quotes to attack Paul Krugman, the gay bashing tour of South Carolina, and Obama’s dirt peddler history.
Obama, of course, always plays The Innocent. But it is amazing how Obama has surrounded himself with dirty players like Robert Gibbs. Gibbs was the creator of the 2004 ad which morphed Osama’s face into Howard Dean’s face – all the while talking about lack of experience.
We suppose Edwards should be grateful that he got stabbed in the back by the Obama campaign instead of the full Gibbs treatment – this way Edwards can pretend to still have some dignity while Obama laughs at him with contempt.