Salon’s Joan Walsh on the Democratic campaign

I love Joan Walsh, a writer for She regularly writes about politics and is following the Democratic race. She recently penned two blog posts about the whole Clinton v. Obama race in South Carolina. I kind of agree with her on many of the points she made about the campaign. I really feel like everyone is overreacting about the back and forth between the Clintons and Obama and whether or not this is “hurting” the Democratic Party. Considering past primaries and elections this one is rather tame. I’d prefer that the Dems have a real campaign for the nomination, not a love fest or a coronation. For all the hollering I haven’t seen anything so egregious to cause alarm. This is pedestrian and petty compared to past election battles where people were accused of being traitors after losing three limbs in Vietnam (Max Cleland) or being a sexual predator who chases white women at the Playboy Mansion (Harold Ford Jr.).

In her most recent column Walsh writes how Obama actually agrees with her, that a tough campaign will build up his resolve and make him a better candidate when he has to take on whatever nightmare the Republicans have in store for him.

“I don’t feel like the candidates are getting bloodied up. This is good practice for me, so when I take on those Republicans I’ll be accustomed to it,” (Obama) told reporters in South Carolina. Obama also said that “black voters shouldn’t blame Senator Clinton for running a vigorous campaign against me. That should be a source of pride. It means I might win this thing.” He went on to defend a radio ad that says “Hillary Clinton will say anything to get elected,” noting it’s a reply to her ad trying to tag him with liking Republican ideas. (For the record, I think both ads are fair.)

I feel the same way. The Clintons shouldn’t treat Obama with kid gloves. Obama has to find a way to deal with the drama and get above it. To elevate his game to the next level, demonstrating that you can win friends and votes through a new style of politics, thus marginalizing his opponents in the process. But as long as everyone is hollering and crying foul it makes the Dems look like a bunch of whining sissies. People shouldn’t worry about the Clinton’s picking on Obama. He’s a big boy. He can hold his own. I have faith in him that he’ll adjust and find away through the garbage.

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