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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 21, 2007 / 11 Kislev 5768

Obama puts blind item in his sights

By Roger Simon


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As Edward R. Murrow once said, "Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar."


For the past few days, the Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton campaigns have been roaring at each other over bar talk.


And they are doing so not because it makes much sense, but because they are so well-prepared for it.


Over the weekend, Robert Novak printed what used to be called a "blind item" but now is called "daily journalism."


Novak wrote: "Agents of Sen. Hillary Clinton are spreading the word in Democratic circles that she has scandalous information about her principal opponent for the party's presidential nomination, Sen. Barack Obama, but has decided not to use it. The nature of the alleged scandal was not disclosed."


The item probably would have died a quiet death — there have been a number of presidential candidate scandal rumors percolating on the Web that have not gotten much attention — when Obama assured that it would reach critical mass.


Obama issued a vigorous and lengthy statement saying the Novak item was "devoid of facts" and was "Swift Boat politics."


But the guilty party, Obama made clear, was not Novak; it was Clinton.


"If the purpose of this shameless item was to daunt or discourage me or supporters of our campaign from challenging and changing the politics of Washington, it will fail," Obama said in language that neatly fit into his campaign theme. "In fact, it will only serve to steel our resolve."

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And he issued a challenge: "In the interest of our party, and her own reputation, Sen. Clinton should make either public any and all information referred to in the item, or concede the truth: that there is none."


Obama also whacked Clinton for hypocrisy, because she had stated during last Thursday's debate in Las Vegas that she did not like the politics of "throwing mud" but was now engaging in it herself.


The Clinton campaign fired back in a similar way: It used the exchange as a means to emphasize campaign themes.


"A Republican-leaning journalist runs a blind item designed to set Democrats against one another," Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson said. "Experienced Democrats see this for what it is. Others get distracted and thrown off their games. Voters should be concerned about the readiness of any Democrat inexperienced enough to fall for this."


The salvos sailed back and forth until Sunday, when Obama muffled the guns a bit.


At a news conference, he said he believed the Clinton campaign's denials that it had spread scandalous rumors about him.


"I will take them at their word when they said that they weren't responsible," Obama said.


But it was still all Clinton's fault.


"Look, the Clinton campaign didn't come out and deny it initially," Obama said of the Novak item. "I mean it would have been great if we had just sat back and they had indicated it wasn't true."


But why did this whole ugly exchange really take place, especially since it didn't seem to cover either campaign in glory?


At least five reasons:


One, there is the fear that if you do not deny an allegation, no matter how wild, some people will believe it.

Two, it gave both campaigns an opportunity to hit their talking points: Hillary is a hypocrite and Obama is inexperienced.

Three, it served as inoculation so that if more stories surface, Obama can claim they are just more Clinton-inspired dirty tricks.

Four, it shifted press attention away from Obama's poor debate performance in Las Vegas and onto Hillary's allegedly poor behavior in leaking scurrilous information.

Five, just as you don't assemble huge opposition research staffs and not use their efforts, you don't assemble huge rapid response teams and not use theirs.


This is the "Guns of August" effect, a reference to World War I, which became inevitable, according to historian Barbara Tuchman, not because the war made any sense but because both sides were so well-prepared for war that the preparation took on a life of its own.


And with both sides hunkered down in their campaign trenches, we can expect more.

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© 2007, Creators Syndicate