Mud slinging

During a debate in Las Vegas, Nevada, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton this evening accused her chief rivals of "throwing mud" at her. 

Are Democrats averse to mud slinging?  Perhaps they draw the line at flame throwing (Howard Dean circa Dec 2003-Jan 2004), but it seems to me I’ve heard a lot of Democrats in Iowa say they hope to nominate a candidate who will fire back at the Republicans in 2008 in a way that John Kerry didn’t in 2004.

Republicans were in this same mindset in 2000.  They nominated a plain-talking, cowboy-boots-wearing Texas governor who repeatedly promised to restore dignity to the Oval Office.  Quite the parting shot at Bill Clinton, wouldn’t you say?

I’m remembering a conversation I had at the Harkin Steak Fry this fall with two 79-year-old men who’d driven up from Witchita, Kansas, to get a glimpse of their favorite candidate.  "She’s one tough cookie and we need that right now," Al Polczinski said of Hillary Clinton.  His pal, Donald E. Hopkins, told he me liked Hillary’s toughness, too.  "I can’t think of any candidate that will stir up the Republican Party more than Hillary — it’ll drive ’em right up the wall," Hopkins said, giggling about the prospect of a good General Election fight.

Seems to me those two "seasoned citizens" were itching for a good fight.  Whether they and other Democrats want it now when the fight is among their Democratic candidates is the question.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.