Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Joan Walsh Takes On Clinton, Obama, Political Media Mess

Joan Walsh (

The talking heads on MSNBC and CNN had a mind-meld Tuesday night: Hillary Clinton threw "the kitchen sink" at Barack Obama, and her negativity paid off big time. She won Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island, by large margins in two of three states, while losing Vermont. That sets up what they all pretend is a nightmare, but it's really a hot media fantasy: Mutant Superdelegates Pick Nominee! Cable television ratings aside, let's all hope it doesn't go there.

First of all, let's take the stories apart. After 11 losses in a row, Clinton won three impressive victories in big, diverse states. The "kitchen sink strategy" analysis is silly. The Nevada and South Carolina races were arguably nastier. Yet over and over Tuesday night, the talking heads lumped together a supposedly toxic trifecta of NAFTA, Rezko and "the 3 a.m. ad" as having carried the day for a newly nasty Clinton. But in fact, only the 3 a.m. ad -- you saw it, the White House Terror Phone ringing when your adorable kids are asleep -- was Clinton's debatable creation. The NAFTA gaffe was entirely the Obama camp's doing, when they failed to figure out what economics guru Austin Goolsbee told the Canadians, and when.

And Clinton didn't decree that the trial of Tony Rezko would begin March 3. On the other hand, Obama is still ahead in delegates, he's still the likely nominee, and while he's had a bad week, he's run a great campaign until now. The notion that he has to panic or suddenly change course seems silly. More here>>>>

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