2008 “It’s 3 a.m.,” Pennsylvania Edition
posted by April 2 at 13:05 PMon
Clearly, the Hillary Clinton campaign liked how its original “3 a.m.” ad worked last month when Texas and Ohio were voting. Now the campaign is unveiling a new “3 a.m.” ad in Pennsylvania.
However. Notice how the ad this time is about economic security, not national security. Notice, also, how it explicitly names John McCain as the “other” that Clinton is opposing. Not a word about Obama. This seems to me a tacit concession by Clinton to the reality that many Democrats simply do not want to see any more harsh tearing down of Obama, overt or covert, especially on fundamental issues such as the economy and national security.
Now, a thought experiment: What if Clinton had run an ad like this in the run-up to Texas and Ohio? What if she’d explicitly named John McCain in her famous/infamous “3 a.m.” ad on national security, thereby making it clear that she was going to try to elevate herself by tearing down McCain and not by tearing down Obama? Would it have worked? Would she have won?
I don’t know. But I do know Clinton wouldn’t have been hit with all that Democratic fury about fear-mongering and even subtle race-baiting. She might also not have been hit with the “honesty gap” that showed up in polling after Ohio and Texas.
Clinton says she’s going to fight until the end. With this ad, has she finally found a way to fight in a manner that doesn’t hurt her by being perceived as too dirty? And if she has finally found the right attack ad: Why did it take so long to hit upon this rather obvious formula?