Monday, January 14, 2008

Is Peggy Noonan channeling Chris Matthews?

Here's the final paragraph from Noonan's weekend column (Jan. 12-13, 2008; page W14) in the Wall Street Journal:
Between sobs she is going to try to destroy Mr. Obama. She is going to try to end him. She will pay a price for it--no one likes to see the end of a dream, no one likes a dream killer. But she will pay that price to win, and try to clean up the mess later."

What struck me about it was the use of the word "destroy", the same word that Tweety used in discussing Hillary's strategy. I don't recall if it was before the Iowa caucuses or the New Hampshire primary, but he was his usual apoplectic self when he opined that Hillary would prefer that Edwards win if she didn't in order to destroy Obama. In fact, I think he said something like "anything to destroy Obama".

Have you ever heard the strategy of any other candidate in this or any other election being described this way? That the person was trying to "destroy" the other candidate? Is McCain trying to destroy Huckabee? Is Romney trying to destroy McCain?

The media seem to have forgotten, at least where Hillary is concerned, that the Presidential campaign is a zero-sum game: only one person can win. Now, I do not know to what extent any candidate is likely to waste time or resources getting some other candidate to win, but it does not seem unreasonable, in such a large field, for campaign workers to prefer one ranking over another if their candidate doesn't win.

Matthews and most of the press corps, however, apparently believe that Hillary doesn't have the right to fight for the nomination because Obama is the one who deserves to get it.

No comments: