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NOTE: I'm the Clinton campaign's Internet Director

I've seen a number of blog posts criticizing Hillary for drawing a contrast on national security with Sen. Obama. The claim is that by suggesting that she and Sen. McCain cross the commander-in-chief threshold and that Sen. Obama should be asked about it, Hillary is undercutting Sen. Obama's prospects in a general election were he to become the nominee.

The hand-wringing on this is excessive. What Hillary is saying is that with Sen. McCain as the nominee, national security is the terrain that Republicans will play on.  We saw it in 2004 and we'll see it again in 2008. Democrats know that. Winning in November means defeating John McCain and it is not only legitimate but essential for Hillary to make the case that she is the Democrat who can stand toe-to-toe with Sen. McCain on national security.  

Now if you want an example of a false negative attack that provides fodder to the GOP, look no further than the Obama campaign's repeated allegation that Hillary will "say anything" to get elected.

Hillary has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to core Democratic values and has fought tirelessly for the issues that matter to Democrats and progressives. To allege that she'll "say anything" to get elected when she has spent this entire campaign talking about universal health care, ending the Iraq war, and a host of critical issues and when she's made the case for why she thinks she can make America a better place for all of us, is to engage in a needless, unfounded character attack.

So my question to fellow bloggers is this:

If drawing a contrast on national security is so destructive to a candidate in a general election, how does it help to make the patently false claim that your Democratic opponent will "say anything" to get elected?

Originally posted to Peter Daou on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 02:18 PM PST.

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