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The Strategic Flip-flopper Debate Adjudicated

Rich Lowry and Ramesh Ponnuru have a smart piece up at NRO that touches on some of the points Jon Chait and I made about McCain's strategy against Obama. They tend to come down on my side of the flip-flopper debate (which, of course, is why I, and not Jon, am directing you to their piece):  

[Hillary] went too long without frontally attacking Obama. ... McCain has repeated this mistake, whether because of his sense of honor, his campaign’s disorganization, or, less likely, some master plan that escapes most observers. ...

Once Clinton went after Obama in earnest, she came back. She surged on the strength of her “3 a.m. phone call” ad, which ran prior to the Ohio and Texas primaries and argued that she was better suited than the neophyte Obama to handle a crisis. And she rolled up her post-February wins on the basis of lunch-bucket appeals to working-class white and Hispanic voters. For a contemporary Democrat, Hillary ran a center-Right campaign; she talked of blowing Iran to smithereens, downed shots of Crown Royal, and appealed frankly to blue-collar whites. Many of these tactics had little substance, but they conveyed a sense of toughness that endeared Hillary to her voters and highlighted a vulnerability of the polished but aloof and fragile-seeming Obama. ...

The first step toward getting [these voters] is to make the anti-Obama case. The clich