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.
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