Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Do the ends justify the means?

The New York Times seems to think not. This paper endorsed Hillary Clinton for President, but seems to be having second thoughts because she is fighting the "wrong way". They object to her increased negativity and want her to "call off the dogs."

But they miss the point...negative campaigning works. Especially for Hillary Clinton! When Hillary was "just Hillary" she got beat by the more charismatic Barack Obama. Matched head to head, she loses. She only wins when she can drag him down to her level because she can't get to his level (possibly no one from our generation can).

And the beauty of it is that it hardly hurts her. She already has an unfavorable rating among voters below 50% so the attacks don't hurt her as much. Obama, on the other hand, had a 70% favorability rating after the Potomac Primaries (can't find link to poll...but that's what I remember). Clinton's negative attacks drag down Obama's favorability rating to somewhere in her neighborhood. Then it becomes a more even fight.

Now that the New York Times is having buyer's remorse, I have no sympathy. Did they really think the Clinton machine wouldn't do EVERYTHING it could to win? Isn't that how the Clinton White House was run for 8 years? The New York Times executed poor judgment when it endorsed her if it didn't have full faith that she would win the nomination without tearing her own party apart.

I, on the other hand, believe like Machiavelli did that in politics the ends always justifies the means. There is no such thing as winning "the right way" in politics. All that matters is the winning.