The Surrogates

The Surrogates

The Surrogates

A campaign blog.
Jan. 22 2008 5:55 PM

The Surrogates

The Clinton Machine has morphed into the Clinton Hydra. With five days left until South Carolina’s primary, Hillary Clinton spent Tuesday in Washington, D.C.; California; and Arizona while Bill campaigned for her in South Carolina. Meanwhile, Chelsea Clinton is leading an "Our Voice, Our Future" tour that looks to turn young adults into Hillary supporters.  

Today, at a press conference in Washington , Clinton said, "I think on both sides, our surrogates are obviously out there advocating for each of us. But this is between us. This is who's on the ballot. This is who's presenting our case to the public." Except it’s not. Bill is presenting her case to South Carolina’s public, and Chelsea is presenting it to the youngsters. That’s OK—surrogates are a necessary and reasonable facet of the campaign—but Clinton is only one of two or three principals. Mind you, she’s not necessarily the principal thanks to Bill’s eight-year tenure in the White House.

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Obama is catching on to the Clintons’ strategy and has no recourse other than to complain about it. Obama’s wife isn’t a former president, and his daughters are still getting visits from the tooth fairy. At last night’s debate, Barack Obama let out a sliver of frustration when he sighed, "Well, I can't tell who I'm running against sometimes," in response to Hillary and Bill Clinton’s two-headed critique of his record.  

Today, he continued to talk about it, telling CBN’s David Brody , "She said last night that Bill Clinton wasn’t the one running for president, but this is the next primary and he’s the one who’s staying behind." He knows he’s powerless to stop it, so he has to hope voters will think it’s unfair that the Clintons are ganging up on him or that she’s neglecting South Carolina. It seems that Obama’s star power—which has created thousand-person rallies—does have its limitations: It doesn’t carry over to his family members.