Obama's inexperience is showing again, this time in the way he's allowed Hillary Clinton to get inside his head, force his hand, and dictate the terms of engagement in the race for the nomination.
Exposing Obama's weak campaign strategy should have been done long before, but while Hillary was hitting on these issues previously, Obama was able to just ignore her questions and challenges because no one in the press was pushing him for answers. Once the press started asking questions the Obama campaign had to answer, and now we see the results.
Now, with Obama's position on Iraq exposed as being just pandering for votes now that Obama adviser Samantha Power exposed Obama's official position on Iraq as just a lie we know that in reality Obama agrees with Clinton on the issue.
Josh Marshal at TPM notes the extent to which Clinton has been dominating the race of late, and has throughly rattled the Obama campaign at its core:
The Clinton campaign has gotten so deep inside the Obama campaign's collective head it just ain't funny -- or, depending on your political persuasion, it's very funny.
Late Tuesday night I wrote that the upshot of the March 4th contests was that Clinton had beaten Obama up a bit and he hadn't responded. She'd not only bloodied up his poll numbers a bit by throwing all sorts of stuff at him. She also showed that it wasn't at all clear that Obama was enough of a fighter to stand up to this stuff or get back in her face. More than the delegate numbers, that was the challenge March 4th had left him with.
But since then she's just been slapping this guy around like crazy. She's on the offense every day, dictating the terms of the discussion and getting results.
This "monster" thing is a good case in point. That's a pretty over-the-top thing for a key campaign advisor to say. But what it tells me more than that is that the Clinton campaign has these guys rattled really bad. Some of this is no doubt due to the fact that Power is a bit out of her element. She's more from the academic/policy world than the political/policy world. But, again, rattled. The Clinton folks have been bashing Obama like crazy. Now they follow up by explicitly demanding that Obama fire one of his key foreign policy advisors and ... how, long did it take? An hour? And she's gone.
If boxing is our metaphor she's got him cornered on the ropes on one side of the ring and she's just landing punch after punch. And all he can manage are the defensive moves that her constant attacks dictate.
What Obama has been forced to face is the kind of race he'd face if he received the nomination and was going head-to-head with John McCain -- and what we're seeing is an amazing weakness and inability on the part of Obambi to play hardball and compete at these levels.
Armed with plagiarized speeches, and able to avoid any discussion on real issues thanks to a complacent and fawning press, Barack Obama was skating all the way to the nomination -- but it's now clear he wouldn't have had a prayer in the national election.
McCain would have creamed Obambi, and thank goodness we Democrats found that out now.
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