GOP Embraces Clinton as Obama Surges

And as Barack tries on his blue collar, righty suggests running mate
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2008 4:05 PM CDT
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill. talks over the counter at Claudio Speciality Foods.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – As Barack Obama emerges as Democratic front-runner, Republicans appear to be recalibrating their compasses:

  • Disparaging Obama and praising Hillary Clinton is an inevitable response to Obama's growing odds of winning, Jonathan Chait writes in the New Republic: Karl Rove & Co. “discredit” Obama by defining his “supporters out of the mainstream”—as academics and elites—and crediting his rival with populism just to show  he lacks it.

  • In the Weekly Standard, Dean Barnett gives the candidate some seemingly cynical advice: name John Kerry his running mate. The righty musters a good case for a VP pick he clearly disrespects: Obama needs a veteran with a full résumé—and Kerry is “haughty and dour ... sort of bastard cousins to seriousness.”
  • Meanwhile, a decidedly lefty Kate Sheppard writes in the American Prospect that Obama is pulling his weight on a blue-collar Pennsylvania tour, “fine-tuning his populism in the process.” The candidate’s lucky to have the “exercise”: He’ll need to win these swing voters in November.