Hillary Abandons Politics of Hope

They say the Democratic candidates’ gloves came off at the Philadelphia debate onOct. 30, when Obama and Edwards “piled on” Hillary. If that’s true, then thelatest flurry of belligerent e-mails suggests the gloves have now beenshredded, burned, pulverized, and blasted out of a cannon into the mighty Mississippi.

First there was thislittle dust-up over Barack Obama’s childhood abroad amounts to foreignpolicy experience. Then today, after the WashingtonPost revealed that Obama’s PAC has given a large chunk of its money to officials in earlystates, Clinton’s camp released a list ofquestions —and good ones, too—asking for more information about why Obama’s organizationgave to these officials and who knew about it.

Obama’s people responded with a line that sounds all tooClintonesque: ” Whatever happened to the confidentfrontrunner who said she wouldn’t attack other Democrats just two weeks ago?” Youhalf expect them to accuse her of abandoning the politics of hope. Team Clinton shot back thatObama’s “failure to deny that it committed campaign finance violations speaksvolumes.”

It’s true, the Obama camp doesn’tquite deny that the donations are shady—it only insists that they weredisclosed (which doesn’t necessarily make them legal). Of course, Obama’s notalone. The Post story suggests that convenientlytimed donations like these are common enough, but that the FEC doesn’t usuallycrack down on the practice. But if Clinton or someone else could quietly getthe commission to intervene—now that might actually ruffle a few feathers.

If this is what thepost-Thanksgiving sprint is going to look like, they’ll need to start selling Orville Redenbacher’s in bulk.