John McCain should extend a hearty thanks to Hillary Clinton for launching the “3 A.M.” advertisement last week. The spot — which, as Seth Gitell of The New York Sun shows, is a rip-off of a 1992 commerical that George H.W. Bush used against Hillary’s husband — rightly questions Barack Obama’s preparedness to deal with a national emergency. The press turned the tables on Clinton, and asked if she had ever experienced a “red phone moment” before. She obviously hasn’t, and so Clinton’s fear-mongering has had the unintended effect of showcasing her own, absurd pretensions to power. The Democrats are clearly aware of their vulnerability on the most important issues facing the country — especially in light of the pending McCain challenge — as, yesterday on This Week, both Obama and Clinton’s chief spokesmen were given to listing off endorsements made by former generals and other brass as de facto evidence of their candidates’ suitability.
Come the general election, John McCain won’t have to make a big show of his opponent’s lack of experience in crisis management, whoever that opponent may be. Hillary Clinton has already done it for him.