For the next month or so, the conservative valentines will arrive every day at the headquarters of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. The Illinois senator’s image will be illuminated by the bipartisan aura of admiration from prominent Republican commentators and strategists, as they savor the promise of his victory over Hillary Clinton, long the object of their hatred. He may well imagine that they really like him—and surely some of them do, at least for now.Howie P.S.: On the other hand, Ron Fournier's AP story, "Chickens Come Home to Roost" predicts that Hillaryland has some history to overcome in courting superdelegates. In another history lesson, E.J. Dionne compares the way the Clintons have campaigned to Obama's "bottom-up" style. And finally (I promise), more historical analysis from Joshua Green's Atlantic piece, "Inside the Clinton Shake-Up."
Yet the outlines of the coming assault on his fitness and character are clear enough, just as the Swift Boat campaign against John Kerry opened fire many months before the public noticed. The Kenya tale is a single aspect of a multifaceted strategy to portray Obama as a callow politician with dubious associations, who cannot be trusted with power. He will be subjected to the same ruthless treatment as the last Democratic nominee. Let’s hope he is better armored to withstand the incoming fire.