The Conscience of a Liberal.

Brought to you by Paul Krugman

November 19, 2007, 11:34 am

Obama and the activists

OK, I try not to write horserace, how-well-is-the-campaign-being-run stuff. But this looks to me like part of a pattern, following Obama’s invocation of a Social Security “crisis”:

Barack Obama has unveiled a new line of criticism against Hillary: In speeches he’s started to point to the allegation made in Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta’s Hillary book that the Clintons secretly formulated a 20-year-plan to deliver the presidency first to Bill, and then to Hillary.

It’s hard to see how the use of Gerth’s allegations could possibly play well among Dem activists. Many of them dislike Gerth for his role in “breaking” the Whitewater story and see Gerth’s book as an anti-Hillary hatchet job.

What does this have to do with Social Security? Like the attempt to scare America into privatizing Social Security, the attempt to turn Whitewater, an inconsequential failed land deal, into a major scandal was one of the seminal stories helping to rally progressives around the idea that American politics has to change. Playing into the false story lines in each case is like a red flag. Is it really possible that Obama and his advisers are this out of touch?

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