Hillary Clinton apparently thought that she had a killer sound bite during Thursday’s debate when she ripped Barack Obama as a promoter of “change your can Xerox.”But as John Cole says it has to be a nightmare for the Republican Party:
Instead, the audience booed, critics winced and once again the New York senator’s attempt to demonize her rival fell flat, another illustration of how 2008, at least so far, is the year that negative campaigning just doesn’t work as it once did.
“It looks like people are just burned out on that stuff,” said Peter W. Schramm, the executive director of the Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs in Ohio.
In state after state, voters said they moved from Clinton to Obama — or, on the Republican side, from Mitt Romney to John McCain or Mike Huckabee — partly because they were tired of what seemed like politics as usual.
Without negative campaigning, the GOP has- well, nothing, really. They have no new ideas. They have unattractive candidates. Their standard-bearer is someone who can easily be tied to many (if not most) of the disastrous policies of the Bush administration, someone who has gone out of his way to seek part ownership of the extremely unpopular war in Iraq, and someone who gets less attractive by day as reporters suddenly begin to examine his record. No amount of straight talk can insulate McCain from the party of Bush, Cheney, and DeLay, and now negative campaigning, dragging down the Democratic candidate, may not work.
And that has got to scare the shit out of them.