2.22.2007

The Clintons Response to Geffen's 'Truths' Tests Obama's Toughness

You knew it was bound to happen, but who knew it would be sparked by David Geffen of Dreamworks fame.

Geffen, a Hollywood billionaire and Bill and Hillary Clinton money man, ignited the first firestorm between the Clinton and Obama camps.

It happened when Geffen, speaking openly and strongly as is usually the case with super wealthy Hollywood types, told the NYTimes Columnist Maureen Dowd what he really thinks of the Clintons. The funny thing is that he didn't say anything that hasn't been said by people everywhere, which included:

    • Bill & Hill tend to stretch the truth
    • Republicans think Hill is easier to beat
    • Hill won't apologize for her Iraq vote
    • Bill is still Bill
Who hasn't heard any of that--and more--from the mouths of people across the land, including from Republicans and Democrats, alike.

The difference here is that it was said by a movie mogul. That is, the words were uttered by someone from what the Clintons view as their turf--or, if you prefer, their plantation: liberal Hollywood.

Moving quickly to change the subject away from Geffen 'truths' and the fact that a major past supporter has defected to the opposition, the Clinton's have attempted--with some measure of success--to make the story about Obama and whether or not he's prepared to stuff a rag in the mouths of his newly found supporters in Hollywood.

Obama of course wonders why he should apologize for what Clinton's former fund raiser and prominent individual has to say about them.

What's scary to watch is the ruthlessness in which the Clinton's respond and how skillfully they changed the subject away from their own failings to questions--even if they're made up--about their immediate opponent.

It's probably true that few Democrats could survive the Clinton attack machine. The question for Obama and his team is: Are they tough and smart enough to go toe-to-toe with the Clintons?