Friday, February 29, 2008

Hello, Moscow Calling!

The controversial new Hillary Clinton TV spot shows children sleeping while a phone relentlessly rings and a dire voice-over narrator asks: "There's a phone in the White House and it's ringing. Who do you want answering the phone?"
The answer, of course, is Hillary , but I agree with the Obama campaign that the tactic is so old it creaks. It harkens back to 1964 Lyndon Johnson-Barry Goldwater smearfest, not just to Johnson's famous "Daisy" spot, but to Johnson's style of campaigning, as well. At campaign stops LBJ would ask his audience to think really hard, which candidate would they like to see in the White House, Johnson or Goldwater? “Which man’s thumb do you want to be close to the button…which man do you want to reach over and pick up that hotline when they say, ‘Moscow calling’?”
Different generation, same scare tactics. LBJ's use of them was quite effective against Goldwater who, despite his later rehabilitation, was one scary dude when it came to making reckless nuclear pronouncements. It's Obama's inexperience Hillary is going after here, of course. It'll be interesting to see if it works.....

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