March 7, 2008

Anyone remember that fantastic scene in “The Untouchables” where Kevin Costner (as Elliot Ness) is recruiting Sean Connery (as Malone) to the cause of bringing down Al Capone?

Malone: You said you wanted to get Capone. Do you really wanna get him? You see what I’m saying is, what are you prepared to do?

Ness: Anything and everything in my power.

Malone: And then what are you prepared to do? If you open the can on these worms you must be prepared to go all the way because they’re not gonna give up the fight until one of you is dead.

Ness: How do you do it then?

Malone: You wanna know how you do it? Here’s how, they pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That’s the Chicago way. And that’s how you get Capone! Now do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that?

(Hat tip: Rick Moran)


Whether Barack Obama realizes it or not (and if doesn’t by now, he’s no real product of the Chicago political wars, I’ll tell you that), he’s now in a bare-knuckle street fight with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for President, and since she’s pulled out the knife it’s time for him to pull out the gun.

Look, I’ve taken a lot of heat in these quarters for my positive remarks about Obama, but, unlike all those Hollwood types and supporters who thought he was the second coming of JFK (if not Christ), I knew the kind of political hardball the Kennedys were capable of playing behind the scenes, and had no doubt that somewhere beneath that smooth exterior and soaring rhetoric was a tough-as-nails politician – after all, you simply don’t go from being a Chicago street organizer to a U.S. senator without winning and losing a few brawls and scrapes along the way.

While I understand Obama’s approach during the debates to not go negative on Hillary – after all, Democrats (the most hypocritical people in the world, BTW, in wanting their candidates to play nice and get along only until it comes to running against Republicans), I think he made a huge mistake not going negative on her – at least outside the debate arena – after Wisconsin when his foot was pressed firmly down on her throat. After all, in the end (and my brother Dave will attest to this), political races are only won through superior firepower in terms of personal style, organization, and message, and while Obama had the first two won hands-down, he got lazy on the third and tried to run the clock out.

B-A-D move. The Clinton campaign took advantage, and how? By playing the political card everyone says they hate, but the one that works all the time – by going negative. And, as Tuesday’s primaries showed, it worked. And now it’s Obama who finds himself on the defensive.

So now, if you’re Barack Obama, what do you do? You play the game like the New York Giants did in the Super Bowl – you throw out the play book, and you scratch and claw for every yard you can. You paint Hillary as the old guard – a manipulative, secretive, and paranoid First Lady with serious ethical flaws, who will say anything and do anything to become President. And that, because of these character issues, America, and not just Democrats, cannot trust her with the Presidency. You point out as evidence her reluctance to release her tax returns, and, once she does, you hire people to go over them with a fine-tooth comb. You remind people of her involvement in the White House travel office fiasco and the way she bungled the health-care initiative. You point out the Clintons’ historical ties to lobbyists and the ethical problems that resulted, and talk up her husband’s Saudi connection with the Clinton Library fundraising.

In short, you point out her real record as America’s First Lady and run against the years of her husband’s presidency as if they were hers. You make sure everyone understands what deep down they already know – Hillary’s not actually running for election, but re-election to the White House.

And then you contrast that strongly with your positives: you put people in front of cameras every day saying how you helped change their lives by bringing people together. You hammer the message home that, while you and Hillary may be similar in political philosophy, you point out that only you can truly “bring the country together” and author in a authentic, 21st century political change because: a) John McCain, while highly respected, is too old, and b) Hillary is too unpopular and polarizing a public figure. In short, you paint her as a ruthless and paranoid symbol of the past and yourself as the only agent that can affect real change in Washington, and from that, peoples lives.

Barack Obama may be a far-left liberal, but, unlike the Clintons, he is not inherently evil. The Clintons are a cancer that must be removed from the political landscape involving the Presidency once and for all, and Obama has to decide whether he’s willing to go to the mat to prevent that from happening. As the last couple of weeks have revealed, the Clintons have no problem showing how badly they want the Presidency back; the question now is, does Obama want it just as much, if not more?

If Obama is as much a veteran of the Chicago political game as I believe he is and Rick Moran says he is, I think we will very soon know the answer. And all I can say is, bring the popcorn – it oughta make for a great show.

UPDATE 03/07/08: Glad to see the Obama campaign apparently reads Goodboys Nation weblog. Me, I’d have no trouble inviting Obie into the Nation, but I don’t think he plays golf.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:11 | Comments Off on Time To Pull Out The Gun
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