Taking offense is the best offense

Slate
by John Dickerson

02/25/08

Barack Obama’s chance came on Tuesday, when the Drudge Report claimed Clinton staffers were passing around a picture of Sen. Obama in the native dress of Wajir, a rural desert area in northeastern Kenya. Drudge didn’t explain to whom the picture was being sent, and the only context for the picture was a quote from an alleged Clinton staffer asking: ‘Wouldn’t we be seeing this on the cover of every magazine if it were HRC?’ It was just the opening a presidential candidate craves …. The swift reaction from the Obama forces was good damage control and even better umbrage-taking, a political tactic that has been elevated to a high art in the 2008 campaign. There was once a time when campaigns didn’t respond to items like this for fear of giving them too much publicity. But if done correctly, candidates can exploit flamboyant displays of public upset to gain attention, raise money, put their opponents on the defensive, and distract from an unfavorable story...

//www.slate.com/id/2185180


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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