(Updated with parody video) It appears that Hillary Clinton has revitalized her chance to become the Democratic candidate with the message conveyed in her instantly historic telephone advertisement. Parodies are now a hit on YouTube, but it’s too late to do Obama any good.
No matter that should a crisis occur at 3:00 A.M. it’s quite possible that you wouldn’t see a fully dressed president making a decision over the telephone. Those of us who are old enough remember the hotline established in 1963 between Moscow and Washington (LINK). I think Clinton plays on the belief among some Democrats, especially those our age, that she should be the one talking to Dmitri Medvedev at 3:00 A.M., which after all is 11:00 A.M. in Moscow.
Of course the problem with this is that the more she capitalizes on this in her attempt to defeat Barak Obama, the more ammunition she gives to John McCain if Obama becomes the candidate.
Joe Scarborough asked her about this on his MSNBC morning show and she ignored the question. She didn’t even try to parry the thrust of the question. She ignored it. Instead she gave a canned version of one of her stump speeches instead.
The fact is that for Clinton there’s no good answer to this question because Scarborough and other commentators are right in pointing out that every effective attack Clinton uses against Obama will be used against him by McCain if he becomes the candidate.
McCain will no doubt use Clinton’s recent words about Obama being inexperienced, and a "one speech candidate", against him. Now the best way for Obama to handle Clinton’s attacks is to respond to them as if they are coming from McCain. He can turn the last ditch Clinton attack strategy to his ultimate advantage should he be the national candidate by fine tuning his responses.
The first thing he must deal with is the "one speech" attack. He has to articulate what he explained in his book "The Audacity of Hope" about the extensive thought that went into the speech.
Next he has to deal with that fantasy phone call.
I suggest he start by explaining how he’d handle another 9-11 by assuring that he’d have contingency plans in place for any conceivable crisis.
In an ad I suggest showing him roused from sleep by an urgent knock on his bedroom door, with the next scene showing him in an obviously hastily donned sweat suit , drinking a cup of strong coffee, meeting with top advisors in the White House situation room.
This would be in contrast to the Clinton ad showing her with her make-up on wearing a cream colored pants suit talking on the phone.
Candidates play the fantasy game, and this imaginary scene probably would resonate with voters who are fans of shows like "24". It also has the virtue of probably being close to accurate.