Sunday, February 17, 2008

Barack Obama: Shady Chicago Socialist

You've just got to love partisan politics sometimes. I mean, slinging together the syncopatic adjective-noun combo "Shady Chicago Socialist" to describe Barack Obama is simply the best!

This is what's being portrayed as
the right's emerging smear campaign against Obama in the general election (via Memeorandum):

LEADING Republicans believe they can trounce Barack Obama in the presidential election by tarring him as a shady Chicago socialist. They are increasingly confident that his campaign could collapse by the time their attack machine has finished with him.
Grover Norquist, an influential conservative tax reform lobbyist, said: “Barack Obama has been able to create his own image and introduce himself to voters, but the swing voters in a general election are not paying attention yet. He is open to being defined as a leftwing, corrupt Chicago politician.”

Norquist’s comments will be music to the ears of Hillary Clinton, Obama’s Democratic rival, who believes Obama has not been sufficiently “vetted” for the White House. She has been unable to attack him too vociferously without risking a backlash from Democratic primary voters, but Republicans may salvage her campaign by doing the job for her.

Obama has the voting record of a “hard-left” socialist, according to Norquist, from his time in the Illinois state legislature to the US Senate. He was recently judged by the nonpartisan National Journal to have the most liberal voting record in 2007 of any senator.

“It will be easy to portray him as even harder-left than Hillary,” said Norquist. “Hillary could lose the election, but Obama could collapse. People already know Hillary and she is not popular, but the disadvantage for Obama is that Republicans can teach people who don’t know him who he is.”
Frankly, both Obama and Clinton are way over on the left, but as I've noted, Hillary's ideology is patently malleable, based on her own historical single-minded pursuit of political power.

Of course, Obama indeed's got that aura of unfamiliar ideological savoir faire that opens him up to political packaging by the right.

Jules Crittenden points out:

Did anyone think the right would fold before the second coming of JFMLK?
What's funny about this, as Crittenden notes, is thatObama's second coming as George McGovern's been trumpeted by political progressives, with potential ties to Hillary Clinton's campaign.

When the Democrats start doing the mudslinging dirty work you know November '08 is shaping up as
no left wing slam dunk.