Clinton campaign call: Obama ad evokes Nazis marching on Skokie

(UPDATE via Politico: “At the end of the call, Clinton aide Howard Wolfson disavowed the Nazi reference, saying the campaign didn’t think it was appropriate, though he acknowledged the passions the issue stirs.” NOTE FROM JOHN: Had the Clinton campaign repudiated the comment as soon as it was made, and not at the end of the call, I probably would not have posted this. I really don’t care what some guy said on the call IF the campaign swiftly denounced what he said. But I suspect Ben at the Politico was live-blogging while on the call, so the disavowal didn’t come until the end, and thus the update to the story just came now, after Ben (and we) had already written about it. I still think this fits into a pattern, of late, of the Clinton campaign being off their game message-wise. More on this later.)

The ad does nothing of the sort. It’s a pretty high hurdle for a campaign to invoke the Nazis. This ad is tame even by the lame standards we use to judge Democratic non-chutzpah. Here’s the ad. And here’s what the Clinton Campaign call with reporters said about it:

The Clinton campaign convened a conference call with health policy experts to denounce Obama’s new mailer (.pdf), which attacks Clintons plan for “forcing” Americans to sign up for insurance, and which features a couple at a kitchen table that recalls, for some, the famous insurance-industry financed “Harry and Louise” ads against the original Clinton plan.

“I am personally outraged at the picture used in this mailing,” said Len Nichols of the New America foundation, a leading supporter of mandatory insurance, who called it a “Harry and Louise evocation.”

“It is as outrageous as having Nazis march through Skokie, Illinois,” Nichols said. “I just find it disgusting that this kind of imagery is being used to attack the only way to get to universal coverage.”

Clinton advisor Neera Tanden called the mailer “politically dangerous.”

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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