In all this, a few nuggets stand out. First, there are David Geffen’s comments, which ought to be used over and over again by any Republican nominee, should HRC get the nomination:
What ignited the battle of words was an interview with Geffen in Wednesday’s New York Times by columnist Maureen Dowd, in which Geffen portrayed himself as disenchanted with both Clintons, their failure to always stand firm on principle and their style of political battle. "Everybody in politics lies, but they do it with such ease, it’s troubling," he said.
He called Bill Clinton "a reckless guy" who "gave his enemies a lot of ammunition to hurt him and to distract the country."
Asked if Obama would be able to stand up to the Clinton machine, Geffen said, "I hope so, because that machine is going to be very unpleasant and unattractive and effective."
Then, there’s this account of the Clinton team’s motives in responding as they did:
By pulling Obama into the controversy, Clinton aides hoped to take the shine off a candidacy that has sparked surprising excitement, not only in Hollywood but among many Democratic activists across the country.
(I’ll add a chunk from the NYT article on this same point when the site comes back up; as I write this, it seems to be down.)
Also interesting is HRC campaign chair Terry McAuliffe’s bare-knuckle threat:
Her campaign chairman, Terry McAuliffe, recently warned donors that Clinton would remember those who did not back her. "You are either with us, or you’re against us," McAuliffe told potential donors during a dinner at [Clinton supporter Haim] Saban’s house.
No nights in the Lincoln Bedroom for Obama supporters. And I guess in a Clinton Administration, they might expect to be audited by the IRS.
All of this damages HRC much more than Obama, though I think we’re seeing a glimpse of what’s to come should he begin to close the gap. Sit back and enjoy the show, if you can.
Update: Here’s the NYT chunk I couldn’t get off the web earlier this morning:
Other advisers said the Clinton camp was simply frustrated that Mr. Obama had received glowing media coverage, and was eager to call out his campaign for hypocrisy by contrasting the Geffen remarks with Mr. Obama’s pledge to be positive.
“Obama has gotten under the campaign’s skin for weeks now — especially his free ride in the media —and Hillary’s people were just waiting for their first chance to attack his image as Mr. Positive,” said one Clinton adviser who is not part of the day-to-day political operation.
Update #2: Slates John Dickerson thinks HRC is the winner here:
For the Clinton team, the Geffen remarks offered a chance to bait a trap. If they could goad Obamas campaign into firing back, they could show that his soaring talk is just talk.
So, who won this round? Sen. Clinton. The Clinton team got exactly what they hoped for.