The (PR) devil made me say it

More tough comment is being directed at Hillary Clinton's campaign team for her reportedly fading campaign.

More tough comment is being directed at Hillary Clinton's campaign team for her reportedly fading campaign.

New York Times columnist Frank Rich, for instance, compares her apparently stubborn allegiance to chief strategist (and Burson-Marsteller CEO) Mark Penn to George Bush's allegiance to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld despite the disastrous aftermath of the US-led invasion of Iraq.

For sure, despite all the big PR and public affairs guns working for Clinton, her campaign team lately has seemed like the gang that couldn't shoot straight. Most egregious was a photo emailed to the Drudge Report of Obama wearing African garb (with khakis and a polo shirt underneath, as the Washington Post noted. The suspected attempt by the Clinton campaign to foment some soft anti-Muslim/anti-Obama fervor became the story, not the photo itself.

Like the Clinton campaign's attempt to label Obama a plagiarist for reusing (plagiarizing) a speech by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, this latest attempt at an attack on Obama's reputation has bounced right off the candidate without leaving a dent or a scratch. Like Ronald Reagan, who garnered generally great media coverage despite Iran-Contra and everything else, is Obama enjoying a “Teflon” candidacy?

It may just be, though, that Clinton's relative lack of charm just can't match up to Obama's charisma. Referring to a Saturday Night Live skit mocking the media for its perceived love of all things Obama, Clinton's joke at the start of the Cleveland debate on Tuesday about offering Obama a pillow to sit on fell totally flat, as did her obviously prepared one-liner at a previous debate about Obama representing “change you can Xerox.”

Though she might argue she was just listening politely, Clinton herself appeared to be watching Obama with admiration as he made his concluding statement during the Cleveland debate. The MSNBC camera showed her several times in close-up, watching Obama speak with what sure seemed like starry eyes.

Also on the trail…

Sen. Dodd (Who?) hits the trail in Texas for Obama.

Democratic strategists plot “redefinition” of McCain.

McCain-Huckabee debate? Why bother, McCain says.

Even the devil (or a presidential candidate) can cite scripture for his purpose.

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