Beginning Descent

It’s apparently just not been that great of a weekend for the presidential frontrunners in either party, each having to contend with at least a couple of skeletons trying to pry their way out of the closet and into the spotlight.  For Giuliani, an old name comes back to haunt America’s Mayor’s presidential ambitions, while for Clinton, despite all the tough talk she has delivered this season against Bush, she just seems to grow more and more similar to him.

Ah yes, who couldn’t remember good ol’ Bernie, the man who was almost our head of Homeland Security? Now, Giuliani’s public support for the man seems to come at a heavy price as the ill fated friendship brings into question the judgement of the man who would be president.

What is worse for the Giuliani campaign is that Kerik’s indictment has opened up a target the size of a barn door for his opponents, and none of them seem to be too terribly shy in taking a shot at it. Perhaps the most pointed criticism comes from the reinvigorated McCain camp:

McCain emphasized that Giuliani should have begun questioning Kerik’s public service qualifications after he failed to adequately train the Iraqi police force in 2003.

“Supposedly his mission was to help train Iraqi police. He stayed a couple of months, got up and left,” McCain said. “That should have been part of anybody’s judgment before they would recommend that individual to be head of the Department of Homeland Security.”

McCain campaign manager Rick Davis issued an even more pointed assessment in a memo: “A president’s judgment matters and Rudy Giuliani has repeatedly placed personal loyalty over regard for the facts.”

This attack works on both levels. For one, it goes straight to the heart of how a Giuliani presidency might govern; perhaps one of the most important parts of being President is having the judgement to choose the right people to fill out your cabinet. But on the other hand, the mentioning of loyalty also brings us full circle to the current administration, one that is rife with cronyism, and bogs down the Republicans striving to gain the White House.

On the Democratic side, things could hardly get much better.

If you are trying to battle the image that you are a cold, heartless, calculating, triangulating politician who has nothing but ambition to be president for power’s sake, then the last thing that you want to see hit the news is something like this debacle. Luckily for Hillary, this hit over the weekend, and I’m sure that she’s hoping that the bulk of the heat dissipated over the three day.

You’ll have to pardon me if I do my part to see that that doesn’t happen.

I’ve, in the past, talked about how voting for Hillary is essentially like voting for a third term of President Bush, but I have to admit that even I wasn’t aware of how close to home I actually hit. We have to remember back to the 2004 campaign; dissenters being escorted out of rallies, and the loyalty oaths. For someone who spends so much time trying to portray her as the anti-Bush, Hillary Clinton begins to look more and more like him by the day.

Will this end up hurting the Democratic frontrunner? I think a little, but not on its own. This is, as mentioned in the video clip, part of a narrative, one that the Clinton camp has done well to combat early in the primary season, but seems to slowly be falling apart as we get closer to the day voters go to the polls. Hillary is still in the lead, but her national standing is falling while, there is much to raise the eyebrows going on in New Hampshire.

In both races, the frontrunners are still running out front. Rudy Giuliani who has abandoned the early state strategy early on for a National strategy is still as much in danger from Mitt Romney whose Iowa and New Hampshire successes are still working well for him, while Hillary continues to enjoy double digit leads over Obama in national polls. But, and this is more so for Hillary who doesn’t have at least the recent endorsement of Pat Robertson to make herself feel a little more comfortable, while their place at the top of the hill still remains intact for now, this could hardly be the best time for either campaign to come under so much fire. There’s just enough time left to lose the lead, and quite possibly not enough time to get it back.

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