The Clinton Effect

It looks like Bill Clinton’s heavy-handed attacks on Barack Obama didn’t serve his wife well in South Carolina, with about sixty percent of voters saying Clinton’s actions were a factor in their decision in what looks to have been a landslide win for Barack Obama.

That, I think, is about as it should be. Team Clinton has consistently, and rightly, maintained that they’re within their rights to be tough on Obama. And so they are — politics is a contact sport. But that doesn’t mean that maximum viciousness is actually a good idea. You want to be seen as likable, fair, judicious, etc. and over the past few weeks the Clinton campaign has been making its candidate look like something other than the mature, experienced, sober-minded choice.