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Abandon The Abandoning Of The Politics Of Hope

This passage from today's New York Times piece on Hillary and illegal immigrant driver's licenses sounded strange to me:

After the debate, Mrs. Clinton did not again publicly address the [driver's license] issue herself, but her campaign struck back at Mr. Obama by mocking his theme of “the politics of hope.”

“With each attack, Senator Obama undermines the central premise of his candidacy,” said Mark Daley, a spokesman for the Clinton campaign. “The politics of hope that once characterized his remarks has now been replaced by the kinds of jabs one typically sees from candidates desperate to gain traction in the polls.”

Wrapping Obama's "politics of hope" mantra around his neck turned out to be a great way of discouraging him from taking on Hillary more aggressively. But, now that he and Edwards are both doing that, continuing to remind people about the "politics of hope" seems like pretty feeble stuff. I suspect people will make their own decision about whether or not he's abandoning the politics of hope. And, having made their decision, they're still going to want to hear what Hillary has to say about this or that specific issue or accusation. I don't see how reminding people that Obama pledged to campaign on the politics of hope gets her off the hook.

 --Noam Scheiber