Commentary Magazine


The Last Shot

Hillary Clinton has a week to save her campaign, if it is salvageable. (According to the latest polls, her national numbers have plummeted and her Texas lead is gone.) Yesterday’s Drudge costume story feeding frenzy was another example of what Jon Stewart has described as the “six-year-old soccer style” of media coverage: there goes the ball, now everyone swarm. (I will assume for the moment that the Clinton camp has not gone utterly insane and that a low level staffer forwarded the photo to someone who forwarded it to the master of self-promotion, Matt Drudge.) The result was that Clinton’s set-up speech (the message being Barack Obama is weak and inexperienced) for the debate was lost in the shuffle.

So what does she do now? Another debate filled with “Oh, there really is very little difference on this issue between me and Barack” will get her nowhere. Maybe that is where she is content to go. But then why give the speech and raise the issue of Obama’s unreadiness to be commander-in-chief? My guess is that she is going to give it one last shot to throw him off his game and give voters second thoughts about the man who wants to start “penciling in the leaders of Iran or North Korea or Venezuela or Cuba on the presidential calendar without preconditions.”