Clinton campaign assumes ‘politics of hope’ label

Claiming that both Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) and former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) are going negative in the race for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (N.Y.) chief strategist said Tuesday that the former first lady is the only candidate running on “the politics of hope,” a term Obama used to define his campaign.

“Does the ‘politics of hope’ mean launching attacks on one candidate?” Clinton strategist Mark Penn asked in a campaign memo — a jab at Obama and Edwards, who have become more critical of the New York senator in recent weeks. “Or does it mean laying out a vision for the American people? Does it mean questioning a rival’s integrity? Or does it mean talking about the change we need?”

Penn touted Clinton’s proposed plans to end the war in Iraq, provide healthcare to all Americans and boost the middle class.

“Contrast that with the campaigns of our two leading rivals, both of whom made their names by promising a ‘politics of hope’ and have now abandoned that promise,” Penn stated.

However, with regard to comments Clinton has made about her rivals, the strategist said, “Hillary will not hesitate to set the record straight on the issues that opponents raise about her.”

The Obama and Edwards campaigns did not respond to requests for comment by the time this article was published.