Carol Platt Liebau: As in Academia . . .

Monday, January 28, 2008

As in Academia . . .

Stuart Rothenberg rightly notes that the messiness of the Clinton-Obama nomination struggle could have an adverse impact on whoever ultimately wins the nomination.

The task that will fall either to Clinton or to Obama could be much more difficult. That's because the attacks have become personal. That, in turn, is a result of the fact that on the issues, both are essentially the same.

In contrast, on the Republican side -- where there's long been talk of how hard it will be to unify the party -- there are real policy differences between the candidates, and on key issues like abortion, taxes and other key issues. Because there's something real to disagree about, there's an argument to be made that the candidates have been able to advocate for their own elections based on their beliefs and argue against their opponents primarily on the issues . . . rather than needing to distinguish themselves or tarnish their opponents in some other way.

Remember the old saying that in academia, the internal warfare is so intense because the stakes are so low? Well, on the Dem side at least, the attacks are so personal because the candidates' positions on the issues are essentially the same.


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