Today, Hillary Clinton released this ad, which I regard as the spiritual heir to Bush's "Scary Scary Wolves" ad from 2004:
The Obama campaign put out this response within hours:
But now, as is typical, the Clinton campaign delivers the coup de grace to itself. I'm going to try to embed the audio here, but just in case it doesn't work, here's a link to the National Journal's Hotline, where I got it. It's from a conference call with senior Clinton staffers. If you haven't already heard it, you must.
[UPDATE: I removed the audio link, since it seemed to be crashing some people's browsers. But definitely go to the link above and listen. END UPDATE.]
"Responding to the release of HRC's new TX TV ad, which asserts in no subtle terms that only she has the experience to deal with a major world crisis, and, relatedly, to keep your children safe, Slate's John Dickerson asked the obvious question:
"What foreign policy moment would you point to in Hillary's career where she's been tested by crisis?" he said.
Silence on the call. You could've knit a sweater in the time it took the usually verbose team of Mark Penn, Howard Wolfson and Lee Feinstein, Clinton's national security director, to find a cogent answer. And what they came up with was weak -- that she's been endorsed by many high ranking members of the uniformed military."
Ooh, that's not quite fair: they also said that "it was a moment of test" (sic) when she went to Beijing and spoke about women's rights at the Fourth World Conference on Women. It was a good speech, but I'm not exactly clear how it prepares her for that call at 3am.
Matt Yglesias adds:
"How could they go forward with that ad without having a good answer to the question on hand? It's inept in the extreme."