Recall yesterday's report from the Politico, "What Clinton Wishes She Could Say":
Why, ask many Democrats and media commentators, won’t Hillary Rodham Clinton see the long odds against her, put her own ambitions aside, and gracefully embrace Barack Obama as the inevitable Democratic nominee?Well, if the new Pennsylvania "Small Town Values" ad is any indication, I don't think Hillary's afraid to "tell the story" of Barack Obama anymore.
Here is why: She and Bill Clinton both devoutly believe that Obama’s likely victory is a disaster-in-waiting. Naive Democrats just don’t see it. And a timid, pro-Obama press corps, in their view, won’t tell the story.
But Hillary Clinton won’t tell it, either....
Skepticism about Obama’s general election prospects extends beyond Clinton backers. We spoke to unaffiliated Democratic lawmakers, veteran lobbyists, and campaign operatives who believe the rush of enthusiasm for Obama’s charisma and fresh face has inhibited sober appraisals of his potential weaknesses.
The concerns revolve around two themes.
The first is based on the campaign so far. Assuming voting patterns evident in the nominating contest continue into the fall, Obama would be vulnerable if McCain can approximate the traditional GOP performance in key states.
The second is based on fear about the campaign ahead.
Stories about Obama’s Chicago associations with 1960s radicals Bernardine Dohrn and William Ayers landed with barely a ripple. So, too, did questions about whether he once backed a total ban on handguns (he says no but in a 1996 state legislative race his campaign filled out a questionnaire saying yes). Obama’s graceful handling of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright controversy may have turned that into a net positive against Clinton.
See also my earlier entries, "Should Democratic Party Elders Be Worried?," and "Obama's Circle of Friends: The America-Hating Left."