From last night’s Special Report with Brit Hume:
—On the Clintons—
MORT KONDRACKE: [W]hen this is all over–I mean it’s very nasty now, clearly very nasty now– but believe me, Hillary will start going out to the African-American community if she has the nomination wrapped up. She will put [the Democratic coalition] back together. She will promise anything. She will be seen with Charlie Rangel and all the black supporters of hers, and the party will come back together. . . .
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: I must admit I’m enjoying this. After watching in the ’90’s how the Clintons practiced the politics of personal destruction, turning Ken Starr into an object of scorn, and Gennifer Flowers into a deceitful strumpet, and Monica Lewinsky into an agent of the vast right-wing conspiracy. The liberals cheered on the Clintons in doing that, and they succeeded.
And now that they’ve turned against an attractive, aspiring, and inspirational African-American rival, I think liberals are beginning to understand that this was “us against them.” It was not liberals against others or Democrats or progressives—”us” was the Clintons. That’s what this is all about. It’s personal.
And I think if they continue on this, the fact that that ad had to be pulled indicates that they are pushing the envelope here. Initial success in bringing Obama down, but if they push harder on this, there is going to be a resentment in the party that is going to be hard to ultimately patch up, and I think it will redound against them.
BARNES: They all have shifted, and I think Romney has probably shifted a bit more. But the difference here is the conservative objection to McCain is ideological. The objection to Romney by a lot of people is sort of personal, particularly the other candidates.
I know McCain doesn’t like him and does like Huckabee, and it’s partly because he’s rich and handsome and successful and well spoken and all those things. But I think they also feel that somehow his life has been easier, that they’ve had to struggle . . . And then they see this guy who they think is kind of a goody-goody who, like Mort says, is pandering. And it’s easy for them to think they’re not pandering and he is.
HUME: Can the Republicans and the conservative Republicans ever accept Romney as their guy when it gets down to it?
BARNES: I think they can accept him. Conservative Republicans can accept Romney as their guy more quickly than a lot of them can accept McCain.