Hillary Robocall ... And She is Ticked Off

I got a robocall from Hillary Clinton tonight. This time she was angry, railing at Barack Obama's "dishonest" mailers about trade policy. She told me that she's the one who will have a "trade prosecutor," not Barack Obama.

"I have a plan," she declared. "My opponent does not. Ohio needs solutions, not distortions."

No more Ms. Nice.

Suddenly it all clicked into place. Her entire Ohio strategy is now based on convincing us that Obama is dishonest and untrustworthy. She's filled with righteous anger at his deceptions, and she expects us feel it too.

In a conference call with reporters today, communications director Howard Wolfson and Ohio director Robby Mook pretty much laid it out. Noting that Obama had criticized John Edwards in Iowa last December for failing to intervene when an independent 527 group run by his 2004 campaign manager bought air time for pro-Edwards ads, the two of them castigated Obama over a United Food and Commercial Workers ad buy set to begin on Tuesday in Ohio, with no apparent protest from Obama. "Barack Obama has a pattern of making statements and promises and walking away from them," Wolfson declared. His "promises are not followed through with action." It's "not about principles for Barack Obama, it's about politics." Barack Obama is "running on promises of strength and the strength of his promises." Voters "need to know that when they choose a president he will follow through on his promises." But Obama is not "consistent in his leadership." (Yes, they said all that.)

Pretty heady stuff, for a campaign that doesn't object to helpful advertising from the 527 group American Leadership Project. "I don't know anything about that group," Wolfson said. We are "not in the business of criticizing groups that act within the bounds of the law." The Clinton campaign "believes union activity in the electoral process is okay." But the issue is consistency on Obama's part, because "if you don't have a strong record of accomplishment, you are going to be judged on the strength of your promises." Ohio voters are "smart enough to note that he says one thing in Iowa, another in Ohio."

Wolfson was asked why Clinton had her tirade about the deceptive mailers yesterday, when the mailers had been out in the field for over a week. "Hillary is out on the road, she hasn't necessarily seen the mailers," Wolfson said. "Her reaction was quick -- people were seeing the mailers in real time, so she wanted people to hear in real time that they were untrue." So it was all spontaneous, not timed to coincide with the new strategy: the conference call about UFCW's ad buy, the angry robocall, and Tuesday night's debate.

Ironically, those commercials celebrating Hillary Clinton's shining moment of goodwill in last Thursday's debate are still playing in Ohio as she launches her assault on Obama's integrity. [CORRECTION: My bad, Clinton's conciliatory words and handshake are edited out of her closing statement as presented in the ad.]

UPDATE: Here is the script of the robocall:

This is Hillary Clinton calling to set the record straight.

Senator Obama has sent out attack mailers that distort my record on NAFTA, but I believe Ohio deserves the truth.

NAFTA has hurt Ohio families and I have a plan to fix it. My opponent does not. I’ll appoint a Trade Prosecutor to enforce our trade agreements, and crackdown on China’s unfair trade practices. I'll eliminate tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas, and invest in creating good jobs right here in Ohio.

Ohio needs solutions, not distortions. With your support on March 4th, we can jumpstart the economy and get Ohio back to work.

and yet

for all this bluster, the strategy can fall damn flat. Yes, the "boon" mailer was a mistake, it was a reach better not taken.

Still, HRC is on record all over the place praising NAFTA. If I were Obama's camp, I'd have him fueled with quotes from her for Tuesday night.

Why? Because when she backtracks on those claims and smacks down NAFTA, she's burying Bill's legacy. So put her in that spot and either watch her back off or get pilloried for taking on Bill. She can't win.

I'm not saying they'll lose Ohio, but that gang seriously can't shoot straight.

PS - angry Hillary doesn't go over well.

There's a HUUUUGE difference

American Leadership Project is a 527 financed by a bunch of rich white folks, just like the pro-Edwards 527 in Iowa.

The UFCW's ad buy is paid for by small contributions from organized union workers like you and me.

There's a difference!

Where I don't seem to get the difference is which Hillary to believe of these two:

angry Hillary

Right, angry (sarcastic, nasty) Hillary doesn't go over well. But smarmy, kiss-up Hillary doesn't go over well either. Still trying to find your voice, Hill?



How is it possible that she has been around for so long (as she points out) and we still have no sense of who she is as a human being??

Perhaps she has had to mask herself to survive in politics - but why, and also who i do not know i cannot trust.

I think she flopped with her asking if we could plump up a few pillows for Barack. it just seemed childish, peevish and not presidential at all. Also I know the press is tough - but I think Obama has been pretty poorly treated by the likes of the NYTimes. If she is so tough she should pull up her socks and deal with it.

Bill Clinton - NAFTA

If Hillary Clinton is elected, Bill Clinton, the President that crafted NAFTA will be back in the White House. The idea that Senator Clinton has always been against NAFTA is just impossible. She knows that Ohio hurt many states, and is willing to claim she has always been against it. The fact is Obama made an effort to warn Americans by providing the truth. I want a President that tells the truth. If Hillary is elected we will have Bill Clinton's deceptive practices in motion again.

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