Clinton Ad With Osama bin Laden: Meh

| Tue Apr. 22, 2008 2:18 AM EDT

The Clinton ad at right is getting a ton of play because it includes an image of Osama bin Laden. Obama fans and some other portions of the left are questioning whether it is tantamount to waving a bloody flag. The outrage writes itself: Using images like this one to scare voters is a Karl Rove tactic!

Personally, I don't think it's all that bad. The point is that the next president faces immense challenges — finding bin Laden and stopping men of his ilk are two of those challenges. I understand the subtext is pernicious: the whole ad relies on fear, and it paints the likely Democratic nominee as soft on terror (or at least softer than Hillary Clinton). But politics ain't beanbag, and frankly if I'm going to get all worked about fear-mongering, it's going to have to be a lot more blatant than this.

What do you think?

Update: The Obama campaign blitzed reporters with this October 2004 quote from Bill Clinton: "Now one of Clinton's Laws of Politics is this: If one candidate's trying to scare you and the other one's trying to get you to think; if one candidate's appealing to your fears and the other one's appealing to your hopes, you better vote for the person who wants you to think and hope. That's the best."

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