Obama Back in Defensive Mode

The AP reports that Barack Obama is back in the stance of the boxer, jabbing while on the defense.

The Illinois senator's stump speech for the final six days of the Democratic race is a package of inspirational rhetoric, policy promises and his signature message of hope. But the undercurrent of the addresses — delivered to large crowds four and five times a day — is a dogged response to Hillary Rodham Clinton, John Edwards and others who say he's too raw and ambitious for the presidency.

Obama can't win the foreign policy experience battle. He said about Hillary today:

In Coralville, Iowa, Obama sniffed at suggestions that Clinton's travels as first lady gave her more foreign policy credentials. Real-world experience matters, he said, "not just what world leaders I went and talked to at the ambassador's house; who I had tea with."

Dismissing Hillary as one who only had tea with Bhutto is silly. As Andrea Mitchell said on Hardball yesterday (transcript on Lexis.com),


You know, we have -- you heard a lot about experience vs. change, but this is one case where Hillary Clinton, on her 82 trips as first lady, did go to Pakistan in March of 1995, did spend time with Bhutto when Bhutto was prime minister. The children were there and Chelsea Clinton as well. So, there was a personal relationship there. And she was the first first lady to go to a Muslim country and try to talk about democracy in Pakistan.

Obama is still talking change, hope and optimism. He's short on specifics and far lower on the experience ladder than either Hillary or Edwards. I won't be surprised if he comes in third in Iowa.

< Gitmo Detainee David Hicks Released From Australian Jail | Gen. Clark on Obama's Attack on Hillary >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Edwards? (none / 0) (#1)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 09:00:25 PM EST
    He's short on specifics and far lower on the experience ladder than either Hillary or Edwards.

    What?!?!  How does Edwards have more experience than Obama?

    Clinton's Response (none / 0) (#2)
    by BDB on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 09:50:29 PM EST
    Via CNN:
    Late Friday, the Clinton campaign released a statement from Bill Clinton's Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, responding to Obama's comments. "Sen. Clinton has been in refugee camps, clinics, orphanages, and villages all around the world, including places where tea is not the usual drink," said Albright. "In addition to these experiences she has met with world leaders and has known many of them for years. I have been with her on many of these occasions, and it is this combination of experience and understanding that sets her apart from the field, and why I am supporting her for President."

    Then, Obama's response to Clinton's response (I flove politics, don't you?)

    Later, Obama himself responded to Albright's statement. At an Iowa campaign event, he told CNN that "I was making the same comment I've made many times, which is that knowing a country is more than just visiting an ambassadors office. Those folks must really be on edge where they think we spend all of our time thinking about them. They need to think about the American people a little more instead of us."

    I think most of this response is incredibly lame because you'd have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to think he was talking about Clinton.  And, for the record, I don't think Obama spends ALL his time thinking about Clinton.  I think he probably spends at least 30% of it thinking about Edwards or should.

    The one part I think is effective is "knowing a country is more than just visiting an ambassador's office" but he buries that in the midst of all the petty crap.

    I wonder how many will scratch (none / 0) (#3)
    by ding7777 on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 10:21:08 PM EST