The Plank

Hillary And The F-word

By and

Hillary Clinton's spokesmen have a favorite insult: "flagging campaign." Until now, I'd only seen it used--repeatedly--against John Edwards. But now the Clinton camp seems to be rubbing the new CW in Barack Obama's face as well. A short history of the phrase:

Yesterday:

"It's unfortunate that Senator Obama is resorting to the same old attack politics as his poll numbers start falling.... A flagging campaign is not an excuse to distort anyone's record."

September 19:

"Increasingly negative attacks against other Democrats aren't going to end the war, deliver universal healthcare, or turn John Edwards' flagging campaign around."

August 24:

Clinton's communications director, Howard Wolfson, said in response to Edwards's comments that "angry attacks on other Democrats won't improve Senator Edwards's flagging campaign."

And here's a fed up Elizabeth Edwards on September 20:

"Whenever we make a substantive statement with respect to some way in which we think Sen. Clinton is not behaving in the best interest of the American public, not representing the kind of president that we need in the future, the response of that campaign is exactly the same every single time," she said. "They use the words 'flagging campaign' as if you can erase, just erase everything John said. There's no merit to it whatsoever."

--Michael Crowley

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