Thursday, April 03, 2008


The New Republic's Jason Zengerle writes:

The back-and-forth between the Clinton camp and Bill Richardson over his Obama endorsement is getting pretty ridiculous. Here's the latest from Mark Halperin:

New Mexico Governor, in talks with both Clintons about his endorsement, is said to have been the one to argue that Obama did not have the experience necessary to beat McCain.

A Clinton associate reacts: “Bill Richardson is clearly embarrassed that he broke his promise to them.” Read full quote here.

New report comes in wake of ABC News report that Hillary Clinton told Richardson that Obama can’t win.

You'd have thought that the Clinton people would have wanted to downplay the Richardson's endorsement of Obama. And, if they hadn't sqwuaked so much, I bet it would have been a one- or two-day story. But here we are, nearly two weeks after Richardson did the deed, and the press is still talking about it--because the Clintons won't shut up about it. I don't see how this helps Hillary. Seriously, the Clinton people should just let it go....

Newsday's John Riley says the same thing:

...However justified the Clintons may be in feeling betrayed based on the actual dynamics of what happened, how do they do themselves any good by obsessing over it?

But the news in the current news cycle isn't what the Clintons are saying. It's what "a Clinton associate" (per Halperin) and "a source with direct knowledge of Richardson's conversations with the Clintons" (per ABC) are saying: that Richardson once agreed that Obama can't win. (Oh, and Greg Sargent of Talking Points Memo has been told the same thing by "a top Hillary adviser.")

The Clintons want this to stay in the press because they want to keep hammering home the Obama-can't-win meme. They want the story to be: The Clintons think he can't win, the sage political veteran Bill Richardson used to agree ... so isn't there a very good chance that it's true?

So this is just a continuation of the Clinton camp's attempted slow-motion fragging of Obama.

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