Barack has once again announced that he's going to get tough with Clinton, but I guess he's afraid to fight Hillary... so he's taking on Bill Clinton instead, over this:
Barack comes out swinging:
Barack Obama talked of introducing some Chicago smackdown to his politics of hope Wednesday, seeking a rebound after Hillary Rodham Clinton grasped victory in the New Hampshire primary. [...]
Obama responded not just to his Democratic rival's New Hampshire primary win but to attacks on him by her husband, former President Clinton
"I think that Senator Clinton, obviously, is a formidable and tough candidate, and we have to make sure that we take it to them just like they take it to us," the Illinois senator said. "I come from Chicago politics. We're accustomed to rough and tumble."
Obama and his operatives will no doubt spin this as Obama fighting back "in self-defense," but that's not the way I read this.
For a while, Barack Obama stuck to his pledge of competing for the Democratic nomination by staying above and beyond "attack mode" and changing the way politics was done in America, but it was Barack Obama who, in late October of last year, decided and then announced that he would shift strategy and go on the attack. Here's a review of what he said last October, as reported by the International Herald Tribune (IHT) out of Paris:
Senator Barack Obama said he would start confronting Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton more directly and forcefully, declaring that she had not been candid in describing her views on critical policy issues, as he tried to address alarm among supporters that his lack of assertiveness had allowed her to dominate the presidential race.
Take special note of the portions underlined.
Obama's vow to take the offensive comes just over two months before the first votes are cast for the Democratic nomination and after a long period in which his aides and supporters have battled - and in some cases shared - the perception that he has not exhibited the aggressiveness demanded by presidential politics.
"Obama's vow to take the offensive" - not the defensive, the offensive.
The October, 2007 IHT article continues: (and Bill Clinton was right to criticize the American Press and broadcast media for giving Obama a free ride on this):
In an interview Friday that appeared timed by his campaign to signal the change of course, the Illinois Democrat said that "now is the time" for him to distinguish himself from Clinton.
While he said that he was not out to "kneecap the front-runner, because I don't think that's what the country is looking for," he said she was deliberately obscuring her positions for political gain and was less likely than he was to win back the White House for Democrats.
Asked whether Clinton had been fully truthful with voters about what she would do as president, Obama replied, "No."
Obama went on the offensive in October, 2007. There's no mention of this being a response to attacks from Clinton. In fact, up until that time both campaigns had been run in what was on the surface at least a polite and cooperative air of mutual respect. Just before last Halloween however, out of necessity (he was down 30 points nationally and facing fundraising woes) Obama had to do something...
At that point the "Hope" for a "Change" in the way we politic went out the window pretty damn quickly. Obama's back was to the wall. Barack had to go on the attack:
The [October 2007] interview came amid growing signs that Obama was looking for a fresh start for his campaign after nine months in which his aides said they were startled by the effectiveness of Clinton's campaign, and worried that her support was not as brittle as they had once believed.
His senior aides said that they were now spending much of their day fielding calls from concerned donors and other supporters asking why Obama was not challenging Clinton more forcefully and warning that he could forfeit the role of the main anti-Clinton candidate to former Senator John Edwards of North Carolina, who is running an aggressive campaign in Iowa.
With his campaign "on the ropes" Obama decided to come out swinging, characterizing Clinton as dishonest - and that's fine, it's his prerogative to do so if he chooses (personally, I want to see how he handles himself under pressure).
Now, finding himself once again the underdog, and outboxed and outfoxed in New Hampshire, Obama is now whining about Bill Clinton characterizing Obama's vaulted campaign of hope as a "fairy tale" -- this after Obama stated Clinton was dishonest several months ago?
I guess he figures the public has a short memory, and will forget the fact that it was he - Obama - who first took the fight "to the streets." He's looking pretty weak here by whining instead of fighting, but I suspect we will see this battle escalate shortly, and we'll soon see Obama once again attempt to show the world that he has what it takes to do battle on Main Street, USA.
After all, Obama operatives were gleefully rubbing their hands together over the news coverage of Hillary tearing up a few days ago. Come to think of it, maybe that's what has spurred Obama's camp back onto the offensive now.
It was naive of Obama to assume it wouldn't come to this sooner or later -- especially with the Republicans known for their dirty tricks and mudslinging tactics. Once Hope was on the Ropes it was just a matter of time before the Chicago Kid showed us what he's really made of.
And the 'bottom line is... Obama is doing a lot of OTJT (On The Job Training) these days, but at least he's learning. It could be worse. Look at the blunders the Republican presidential candidates are stumbling through by rubber-stamping the Bush doctrine of 'when in doubt, pay Haliburton.'
In the future I'll show, with video clips, Barack's specific change in attitude and demeanor that he followed his late October announcement that he was taking the offensive.
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