Campaign wrap

Is Obama health-scare ad as bad as "Nazis marching in Skokie"? Plus: Asian Week endorses Obama, "native Hawaiian."

Published February 1, 2008 7:23PM (EST)

Quick blog post today: I've written before about my respect for John Judis, so I think this piece about the way the race issue could backfire on Hillary Clinton in the long term is worth reading. We'll know more on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Clinton camp held a conference call today to denounce a harsh Barack Obama mailer on healthcare they say borrowed from those infamous GOP "Harry and Louise" ads in the '90s. (Here's the whole mailer and here's the Clinton's campaign comparison.) It features a worried white couple (a little younger than Harry and Louise) sitting at their kitchen table, with the scary warning: "Hillary's healthcare plan makes everyone buy insurance, even if you can't afford it." The campaign "is parroting Republican talking points and insurance company talking points," said Doctors for Clinton head Dr. Irwin Redlener, professor of Public Health and Pediatrics at Columbia University. The call also featured two health experts unaffiliated with Clinton, including John Edwards' former health advisor, Peter Harbage, and Len Nichols, who directs health policy for the New America Foundation. "I'm on this call because I'm personally outraged," said Nichols, who has advised both Democrats and Republicans on healthcare. He and Harbage were bothered by the scare tactics the ad used, as well as Obama's failure to emphatically back universal healthcare. "It's as outrageous as Nazis marching in Skokie," Nichols charged. Hmmm. (The Clinton campaign has disavowed Michols' Nazi remarks.) The two candidates dialed down the tension in their debate Thursday night, but clearly the tension will continue.

Meanwhile, California's AsianWeek newspaper has endorsed Obama, calling him "a native Hawaiian" who "reflects the multicultural future of America," adding: "The energy Obama has ignited among young Asian Pacific American activists is unprecedented for presidential politics and could pave the way for future APA involvement."

I'm off to Oakland to see Sen. Ted Kennedy speak on Obama's behalf. More later.

By Joan Walsh

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

2008 Elections Barack Obama Healthcare Reform Hillary Rodham Clinton