Huffington: Hillary 'Swiftboated' Obama

Don't look for Arianna Huffington to be sitting down to a chummy luncheon with Hillary Clinton anytime soon. Huffington has been no fan of Clinton for some time, considering her insufficiently, and inauthentically, anti-war. But on today's "Morning Joe," Huffington took her animus to another level, accusing Hillary of an ultimate Dem sin: "swiftboating" an opponent, namely Barack Obama.

HUFFINGTON POST FOUNDER ARIANNA HUFFINGTON: After the CNN debate, I think it was ridiculous the way she and her campaign attacked Obama for saying he would engage in diplomatic talks with dictators. That is sort of a classic example of swiftboating your opponent. Like the equivalent of what Republicans do anytime Democrats call for troop withdrawal and they are talking about "cutting and running" or "precipitous withdrawal" or any of the clever little phrases.

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Animosity does have its limits, though. Responding to a question from panelist Craig Crawford, Huffington stated that notwithstanding her distaste for Hillary, she would vote for her against Rudy Giuliani, snidely stammering "or any of the other candidates who don't believe in evolution." "Other" candidates who reject evolution? Rudy never has, but Arianna won't let a logical fallacy stand in the way of a swipe at those hated Republicans.

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It wasn't an entirely comfortable appearance for Arianna. Host Joe Scarborough confronted her with the op-ed appearing in yesterday's New York Times by Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack, "A War We Just Might Win."

HUFFINGTON, disdainfully: This is really pathetic. This is just preparation for General Petraeus' visit to the Hill.

SCARBOROUGH: You know Arianna, there have been pathetic defenses of this war from time to time. But these two gentlemen are from the Brookings [Institution], an organization that nobody has ever accused of being packed with neo-cons, and these two gentlemen have been harshly critical of the Bush administration from time to time throughout the war.

HUFFINGTON, sputtering: Yes, but this is one set of opinions, and needs to be put against the, um, sort of majority of opinion from experts on the ground.

How would Huffington seek to dismiss the conclusions of the New York Times' respected Baghdad bureau chief John Burns? He recently told Hugh Hewitt in an extended interview that "there's no doubt that those extra 30,000 American troops are making a difference."

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Foreign Policy Iraq Campaigns & Elections 2008 Presidential MSNBC New York Times Video Michael O'Hanlon Arianna Huffington Kenneth Pollack