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Hillary Clinton Ad Depicts Candidate as Nation's Night Watchman


A new ad from Hillary Clinton puts national security at the forefront.

The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder calls it her most provocative ad yet, drawing comparisons to to LBJ's "Daisy" ad and Walter Mondale's "Red Phone" ads.

AD: "It's 3am and your children are safe and asleep. But there's a phone in the White House and it's ringing. Something's happening in the world. Your vote will decide who answers that call. Whether it's someone who already knows the world's leaders...knows the military...someone tested and ready to lead in a dangerous world. It's 3 am and your children are safe and asleep. Who do you want answering the phone?"

Says Ambinder: "Arguably, this is her best ... argument .. against Barack Obama, and yet it's taken her 13 months to make it so explicitly."

John Aravosis at AmericaBlog thinks she's taking Bill Kristol's advice and playing into the politics of fear.


AFTER THE JUMP, view the LBJ "Daisy" ad and the Mondale "Red Phone" ad.

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  1. Oh, yay! Jay Rockefeller. Too bad he isn't on the ethical side of the telecom immunity issue.

    Posted by: Robert | Feb 29, 2008 4:39:53 PM

  2. 24play...could you please ask them to move you to the San Francisco airport to sell flowers for Obama? I'll buy you a candy.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Feb 29, 2008 4:52:54 PM

  3. San Francisco? Very pretty, but I can't bear the weather. I refuse to dress for more than two climates per day.

    But put the candy in the pocket of your winter coat. Maybe we'll cross paths at one of the inauguration balls in DC in January and you can give it to me then.

    Posted by: 24play | Feb 29, 2008 4:57:44 PM

  4. Barack would answer the phone
    figuring it was one of those
    big-boobed gurls wanting to
    "chat" or the dude calling back
    to ask why he hasn't picked up
    his pizza.

    McCain would answer and think it
    was his captors finally tracking
    him down again.

    Hilary would answer the phone
    do the right thing as well as
    the right thing.

    People, Hilary has already met
    and established a relationship
    with most of the leaders of the
    free and not-free world. She's
    a previous first lady with one of
    the best presidents we've had in
    40 years, she's a two-term senator, and *actually* has a plan
    to keep *all* our sorry asses
    in good health.
    The fear they say she is mongering is a very real one and Barack while being someone with great potential, isn't ready for
    prime time.

    Posted by: TimeForALady | Feb 29, 2008 5:00:19 PM

  5. Deal, 24! But ONLY if you promise to get me an autographed Donnie McClurkin CD cause I'm sure he'll be performing at O's swearing in.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Feb 29, 2008 5:16:13 PM

  6. Michael, I'll get you backstage so Donnie can lay his hands on you.

    Posted by: 24play | Feb 29, 2008 5:18:51 PM

  7. not sure if it has been said, but the latest obama or clinton versus mccain polls are really quite meaningless.

    obama has only beaten clinton through the added support of both independents and republicans who have been able to vote in the open democratic primaries and caucuses. if you actually research the actual democratic party votes, registered members clinton is ahead of obama by about 1.5 million votes. very interesting.

    if obama is the nominee you will see a steady decline against mccain. why? obama will easily lose the republicans and independents. mccain will get them. the campaign between clinton and obama doesn't provide much room for disagreement over the actual democratic issues. the differences between mcccain and obama are many and disparate.

    obama is way liberal. once people understand what a liberal he is, the independents and republicans will surely swing to mccain. moreover as the media picks up on actually scrutinizing obama he will continue to sink and ultimately struggle.

    Posted by: christopher | Feb 29, 2008 6:12:38 PM

  8. GM, Derrick from Philly:

    1) Um, I am a Canadian Liberal. Enuff said.

    2) Do you honestly think the general American public is going to vote for one of the most liberal Senators? Please - reality check.

    3) McCain leads Obama on the most important issue for Americans - security.

    4) No one called out Obama on his contradictions because of his race so far. But don't worry, the vast right wing conspiracy (which does exist) will do it for you.

    5) The fight for votes are always, always going to be the fight for the middle. You have to ask yourselves – why does Hillary triangulate? (to target the republican votes) Does Obama? Why do you think all these conservative pundits are attacking McCain? McCain is targeting the independents and liberals space, and Dems should therefore target the conservative space.

    You do know that Obama is being crowned by the conservatives (because he is beatable by McCain) and the liberals (because they romanticize about Obama), right? In a year’s time, I am going to feel sorry for you guys because President McCain will appoint a conservative Supreme Court Justice, and you and your friends and your LGBT family are going to be royally fcuked. But hey, I’m just a Canadian doing business in US. US’s follies will not reach Canada as long as we have oil. And lots of water.

    Posted by: Landis | Feb 29, 2008 6:18:02 PM

  9. Let me get this straight, Christopher:

    Independents who chose liberal Obama over slightly less liberal Clinton in the primaries will all line up to vote for moderate conservative McCain over Obama in November.

    Interesting conclusion.... Try again.

    Posted by: 24play | Feb 29, 2008 6:19:05 PM

  10. A huge chunk of the indie vote are catholics who trend economicaly liberal and socialy consrvative.

    McCain's "whore of babylon" televangelist problem today has nixed those indies from ever voting McCain. He is toast and he hasn't even been crowned at the repub convention yet.

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Feb 29, 2008 6:37:18 PM

  11. The double-standard here is astonishing. If this were a Republican ad, there wouldn't be any ambivalence. The commentary certainly wouldn't end on a question of whether or not it was effective. It would be a long screed against the "politics of fear" and how evil Republicans are.

    Just astonishing.

    Posted by: The Other Jordan | Feb 29, 2008 6:37:59 PM

  12. 24Play:

    Logic of American Independents -
    If I am voting Democrats, I would vote for Obama because I like him.

    If I am voting Repulican, I would vote for McCain because I like him.

    If I am choosing between Obama and McCain for President, I am picking one that can do the job.

    Posted by: Landis | Feb 29, 2008 6:44:01 PM

  13. Forget Fugly Donnie, 24. You or Rudy just save me a place in the Rim Obama line.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Feb 29, 2008 6:49:20 PM

  14. Michael,

    Donnie I can get you for free. But the Rim Obama line is only open to contributors. Major contributors.

    Posted by: 24play | Feb 29, 2008 6:53:07 PM

  15. And with your comment history, Michael, I think you'd have to bundle a LOT of checks from friends to make the cut.

    Posted by: 24play | Feb 29, 2008 6:57:42 PM

  16. This is yet another nail in Hillary's coffin. The advertisement looks like a Brinks Security Ad, not a presidential campaign. It has neither the agitprop candor of a "Daisy" ad nor the "gotcha!" finger pointing of the opponent's hypocrisy like the Willie Horton ad.

    The ad fails on so many levels. If it were a high school essay, it would get a C- because the thesis statement is unclear and does not reaffirm itself through the points the commercial tries to make.

    The Daisy Ad was brilliant because it was shocking - it actually caused people to suddenly fear Goldwater, even though we now know in hindsight he'd hardly have acted worse given LBJ's hawkish administration. This commercial makes you go "huh?" because we're unsure it implies he won't be picking up the phone at all, or he'll be picking up the phone and just sit there unable to react, or if he'll be leading us down a path where the phone will have to ring in the first place... if anything, it's foolish and stupid, but stylistically it will make many Democratic voters shrug or roll their eyes. The people who might react positively to this commercial, old people, hawkish Democrats, soccer moms, they all represent her base support anyway.

    I can imagine anyone under the age of 35 laughing it off simply for its early 90's, corded phone, "Unsolved Mysteries" aesthetics.

    Posted by: Sean | Feb 29, 2008 6:57:53 PM

  17. Obama's rapid response ad to hillary ad

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Feb 29, 2008 7:03:34 PM

  18. Andy you are just RIDICULOUS trying to IMPLY that Hilary's ad is a FEAR ad by including these two other ads from the past.

    You are the one who is drinking the KOOL AID and a propagandist. this ad does not have the same scare tactic with either the horrific images or voice.

    MAN who kicked you in the balls?

    Posted by: MCnNYC | Feb 29, 2008 7:18:01 PM

  19. MC,

    Virtually every online media outlet that covered Hill's telephone ad also referenced at least one of the LBJ and Mondale ads. Most linked to or embedded both.

    Posted by: 24play | Feb 29, 2008 7:39:12 PM

  20. God I'm really getting sick of this cunt. She might as well switch parties with this fearmongering crap. She's getting almost as annoying as that Micheal Bedwell asshole.

    Posted by: Marc | Mar 1, 2008 2:44:06 AM

  21. Enough with the ascertion that to point out something that's very scary, Obama as President, is a fear tactic. And to point out that there are people who want to kill us and eliminate us from planet earth as a fear tactic. Well, if telling the TRUTH is equated as a fear tactic, I would argue that to claim that is a political campaign tactic. Get your heads out of the sand. And hey, Bush isn't running for re-election. How about some substance from your man Obama that doesn't reference Bush? It ain't there. But there is substance in his Rezko relationship/scandal and that will win it for McCain!!! Thank you your blind fools who support Obama!!!!

    Posted by: Realist | Mar 1, 2008 12:21:29 PM

  22. For REALIST:

    Posted by: Marc | Mar 1, 2008 4:15:25 PM

  23. Well from an outsider point of view( way downuder) i can never understand the American Politics. you do't have the best candidates standing for Presient. You have the people standing who have the most Financial well off friends. Its all about money. How many movie stars have influential friends or money. Take a look on the streets and some of the skills, Grafiti artists, Buskers, Street actors. Some very good talent on the streets, right, but they didnt have the silver spoon or someone to prop them up with buckets of money. Even the hoods have better war skills than some of the Generals. In Australia we tend to know pretty much of what goes on in every part of our country. Maybe a small population helps this but we also get a good learning of what else happens out in the world. You also have a more opportunity for participation if you want to strive hard ( and can do it without all the extravigent money thrown around as in the USA). Jeez, I even carried the Olympic Torch for the Sydney 2000 games. I don't mind Hillary and I think Obama is a bit of a loud Yuppie. At least she has mother instincts, which protects all walks of life on our planet daily. Anyone (with some mony)can head off and get a smart suit and a sharp adviser. Any way good luck to all and we will be watching becasue your decision affects the rest of the world! (Not that we have the correct people as Prime Ministers here sometimes too)

    Posted by: Farawayboy | Mar 1, 2008 9:36:29 PM

  24. Huh ?... she wears a suit to bed ? No wonder Billy Bob plays around

    Posted by: peter | Mar 2, 2008 8:25:01 AM

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