Channeling her inner Kerry Healey

The comparisons between the Obama campaign and that of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick have already been made, even to the extent of noting (to the point of “plagiarism”) how Obama has used phrases that Patrick used in his stump speeches. What is becoming more fascinating as the Democratic primary campaign drags on and gets more bitter and nasty is how much the campaign itself resembles the 2006 Massachusetts gubernatorial contests between Patrick and Republican Kerry Healey.

Hillary Clinton’s recent White House phone fear ad is starting to make her resemble the former Massachusetts Republican Lt. Governor Kerry Healey. Hillary is starting to channel her inner Healey. She’s getting nasty, resorting to fear, following a strategy that doesn’t seem to be working and refusing to switch tactics (sounds like Bush, too), and it all seems to be backfiring on her. If you’re from Massachusetts, this has to look all too familiar: Woman candidate plays experience card and runs fear campaign against black man, has it backfire and has no plan B.

From an October 25, 2006 Boston Globe column by Joan Vennochi:

Like all political candidates, Healey is ultimately responsible for her own campaign. However, she must realize by now that the strategists around her are guilty of political malpractice. She adopted the wrong tone for this time in Bay State politics; and I doubt it will ever be the right tone for any female candidate seeking statewide office. It’s sexist but true. There’s a very fine line between tough and witchy.

With two weeks to go until election day, Democrat Deval Patrick leads Healey… Here’s why: …when they think of Healey, they now think of a woman devoid of humor or grace, thanks in large measure to relentlessly nasty ads and the occasional political dirty trick, all aimed at Patrick.

…As this campaign enters its final phase, Healey should stop listening to that lean and hungry circle of male operatives who permeate politics. They know how to do one thing: attack and never back down. Even though the “rapist” ad is hurting Healey, the campaign continues to run it. The Healey campaign is also running a more positive ad, but it is likely too little, too late.

Let’s read that again, replacing Patrick with Obama and Healey with Hillary; replacing Bay State and statewide with National; replacing “rapist” ad with “telephone” ad.

This Vennochi piece was written with two weeks to go in the MA gubernatorial election in 2006. There are two days to go until the March 4 primaries. The telephone ad is not in reality anywhere near as bad as the black man as rapist motif that Kerry Healey ran against Deval Patrick, but it is in the same vein of attack ad – instill fear, create doubt, divide the electorate. The exact opposite of what the other campaign is about. The exact opposite of what the other campaign is doing.

One thought on “Channeling her inner Kerry Healey

  1. This is a cause for some celebration. If Hillary’s campaign will be like Healey’s, then imagine how much more so McCain’s will be. Given how well Barack is doing against Clinton, I think he’ll be prepared for an amazing performance in the general election.

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