Ready! Aim! Fire! (At one’s own foot…)

Dean Barnett, on the Obama campaign’s nervous breakdown after Sarah Palin’s nomination:

After ten days of wild and sometimes unnervingly insane thrashing, the Obama campaign has decided to cease its hostilities against Sarah Palin and beat a manly retreat.

Of course, much damage has already been done – to the Obama campaign, not Palin. In the preceding days, Barack Obama himself had gone on the attack against Sarah Palin. The top of the ticket attacking the bottom of the other ticket is unprecedented. Did Ronald Reagan attack Geraldine Ferraro? Did Bill Clinton go after Jack Kemp? It’s a rule in politics that you only aim up; by aiming down, Barack Obama diminished himself. By whining about being picked on by a girl and manfully vowing that he would not allow said girl to bully him, he diminished himself further. It’s hard to believe given the way the Obama campaign has determinedly machine-gunned its foot that Palin has only been part of the ticket for ten days.

There’s an interesting symmetry here: just as Obama so discombobulated Hillary Clinton’s “inevitable” campaign that it lead her to do stupid things that only hurt her own cause (such as citing a kindergarten essay the Prophet Barack wrote), Palin’s arrival has likewise driven Obama, his staff, and his media lapdogs to self-destructive folly.

I can only imagine that, as she lies awake at 3AM brooding on what might have been, Hillary indulges herself in a bitter smile at the irony.


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