It has become clear in recent weeks that one of the weak points of the Obama insurgency is the candidate’s perceived failure to fully support abortion rights. Hillary’s strategists and salesmen rifled through Obama’s legislative record as an Illinois lawmaker, for example, to find that Obama some years ago voted "not present" on a bill that would limit abortion rights (the not present vote was apparently part of a strategy concocted by Planned Parenthood for Illinois Democrats to kill the bill but avoid providing attack ad fodder for bills with titles like "The Born Alive Infant Protection Act").
Recent documents unearthed from inside the Clinton campaign, most notably an e-mailed memo among concerned Clinton mavens, attest to the centrality of this stratagem of positioning Obama as weak on the right to kill fetuses. The memo makes some good points and is therefore printed here in full, though with redactions included per the copy that I acquired:
[name redacted], abortion is not just the issue that Obama’s failing on. It’s the whole question of children. What are they politically? Why doesn’t the infant-to-12-year-old bloc vote? Where are they in campaign contributions? Where do the unborn and the born stand in this campaign? In other words: What are they doing for the Hillary run? The problem when confronted goes beyond generational concerns to the fiscal heart: It’s the-Economy-stupid redux with a twist. Children are systematically weighing down the spending power of what should be our core constituency, e.g. middle income, lower middle income wage-earners. Children have been a problem for years with this target group. The child burden is also a political burden and therefore one we have to look square in the face. The problem is consistent it seems to happen every year to families doesn’t seem to have a solution and appears intractable. Statistics show that children cause poverty and need to be stopped: What otherwise is a more-or-less happy lower-middle income couple is plunged into fiscal trouble with the birth of a child. Nipping this trouble in the bud should be a prime concern of Democrats. We also know that simply being pro-choice doesn’t cut it anymore. Choice is relative. Anyone can have choice. It’s waffling flip-floppericiousness, and it doesn’t reflect firmness of resolve in the campaign. What we need to communicate is forward-thinking on this issue, but forward-thinking with voter red meat attached. Here’s a thought for our people: "NOT JUST PRO-CHOICE PRO-ABORTION!." Let’s come out straight-talking on this. It clears the decks of imagined Obama-Clinton conflations on the issue. Thoughts?
The memo speaks for itself. Its thinking has apparently trickled down into the market for the newest Clinton prêt-a-porter items offered as campaign wear. To wit, this lovely t-shirt that I found recently while googling
CHRISTOPHER KETCHAM, a freelance writer, lives in Brooklyn and Moab, Utah. His work can be found at www.christopherketcham.com