Primary Collars

PRIMARY COLLARS….Obama foreign policy advisor Susan Rice, referring to Hillary’s “red telephone” ad, said today of Obama and Clinton that “they’re both both not ready to have that 3 am phone call.” Jerome Armstrong is unhappy about this, saying that this three second clip is all John McCain needs to go after either candidate in the general election. Obama has gotten similar criticism (including from me) for providing Republicans with ammunition by circulating “Harry and Louise” style flyers attacking Hillary’s healthcare plan.

In a similar vein, Hillary said today that presidential candidates need to pass a “commander-in-chief threshold.” And who’s done that? “I believe that I’ve done that,” she said. “Certainly, Sen. McCain has done that and you’ll have to ask Sen. Obama with respect to his candidacy.” Bingo! Instant TV material for McCain this fall.

Now, there’s no question that this stuff sucks. Hillary sucks more on this score since her team has been doing more of it than Obama’s team, but they should both knock it off.

That said, though, I have a question. It occurred to me today that primary opponents attack each other all the time, and yet I don’t remember ever seeing a general election ad taking advantage of that. Once the general election starts, nobody seems to think it’s worthwhile trying to make hay out of old attacks.

I can think of several reasons why this is true, but before I commit those reasons to print I’d like to make sure that it actually is true. Anyone got any examples that come readily to mind? TV ads preferred, but debate references and stump speech sound bites would work too. If you can come up with any, leave ’em in comments.