Advice for Hillary and Obama: Play nice
The Democratic primary battle between Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama is becoming increasingly ugly. Unless they begin to campaign in a less poisonous fashion, they will commit political suicide and ensure the election of Sen. John McCain, the Republican candidate.
Despite polls showing that both Hillary and Obama now lead McCain, I am convinced that McCain will win the Presidential election unless the two Democratic candidates tone down their personal attacks upon each other. By November, the poisonous charges they are now exchanging will have been more fully absorbed by the electorate.
The behavior of both the Clinton and Obama camps is a good argument that maybe the Democrats ought to return to the venerable process of picking candidates in smoke-filled rooms during the Presidential conventions. In those days, the dirty stuff rarely emerged in time to affect the voters, particularly independents or the undecided.
As the Democratic primary campaign becomes more bitter, the Republican attack-dogs are collecting all the dirty stuff that the Clinton and Obama camps are throwing at each other. What better ammunition could they have for the November election?
The Democratic primaries are especially pathetic because the policy views of the two candidates are virtually indistinguishable. Moreover, when you compare the abilities of both Hillary and Obama to the White House's current occupant, there's no doubt that both candidates are eminently qualified to be President.
Hillary and Obama have cheapened the primary campaign by trying to tear each other down. The issues should be which one makes the more forceful argument against McCain and the more penetrating and meaningful critique of the Bush Administration's blunders.
Perhaps my view of the primary race is a bit of sour grapes. I would have preferred Al Gore or John Edwards as the Democratic candidate. Or Senators Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and Joe Biden of Delaware. I have to hold my nose watching Hillary and Obama go at each other. Their antics, I feel, are making McCain's election inevitable.
I'm reminded of my grandmother's impatience while she watched her small grandchildren playing too boisterously for her taste. "Play nice!" she would demand. I would give the same advice to Hillary and Obama.