Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Clinton's negativity costing her in key states

Political activists know that many people wait until the very last minute to make up their minds about who they will support. In any extended social or business network there may be an individual who is influential and decisive enough to make up their minds before most of their acquaintances. These people can be very influential, swinging many votes at once once they decide who they like. That effect can be substantially enhanced when the individual is a certain kind of celebrity, someone with a reputation for honesty and intelligence.

Today, as a result of her negative campaigning, Hillary Clinton lost one of these influential celebrities to Barack Obama. Filmmaker Ken Burns has endorsed Barack Obama and let it be known that it was Clinton's negativity that moved him off the fence:
New Hampshire resident and famed filmmaker Ken Burns said today that he is throwing his support behind Sen. Barack Obama for president, complaining that "recent events" and the negative tone of the campaign compelled him to come forward.

Burns, who lives in Walpole, said he had originally planned to stay neutral because there were things he liked about all the Democratic candidates for president.

When asked what specifically prompted him to come forward, Burns said, "Those recent events are pretty obvious."

Last week, Sen. Hillary Clinton's state co-chairman resigned his position after saying that Obama's acknowledged use of drugs as a young man would prevent him from getting elected president because of likely Republican attacks.

"I'm really just disappointed in the tone this campaign has taken on their part," Burns said, referring to Clinton. "I think she's getting some bad advice."[1]
Ken Burns isn't someone who can be easily dismissed as an ignorant celebrity endorser whose opinion is neither better nor worse than the average American. Burns is a serious and well respected documentary filmmaker. His work has examined in depth many different facets of the American experience: the American Civil War; World War Two; our national sport, baseball; and our national music, jazz. Burns has taken on American literature, politics, architecture, exploration, and art.

Ken Burns' opinion is an educated opinion and I hope that many of his fellow citizens of New Hampshire heed his advice and vote for Obama.

HT: Walt Starr at Daily Kos

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