Saturday, February 23, 2008

Obama: knockin' out Hillary

At a presser today called in response to Hillary Clinton's accusation that the Obama campaign has misrepresented her health care program and trade position in mailers sent to Ohio voters. "He is continuing to send false and discrediting mailings...," Clinton said. "He says one thing in speeches...this is not the new politics that the speeches are about..It is not hopeful; it is destructive."

"Shame on you, Barack Obama," Clinton said.

At issue was a mailer whose imagery appeared, according to Clinton, to echo the "Harry and Louise" campaign launched against the plan Clinton tried to get through Congress as First Lady in the 1990s.

Here's Harry & Louise:

And the Obama flier:

See the rest of the flyer at Ohio Daily Blog

At Obama's rebuttal media op, he remained cool, and accused Clinton of having subjected his campaign to all manner of attacks, "except when we were down by 40 points."

He ably rebutted the particulars of Clinton's claims, though your blogstress is not certain she buys the claim that the mailer's misrepresentation, quoted from a newspaper, of a Clinton quote on NAFTA (she's said to have called it "a boon"), was sent before the paper made its correction. UPDATE: As it turns out, it was never a Clinton quote at all, but a characterization by New York Newsday of her beliefs on the North American Free Trade Agreement.

But the most interesting comment came at the end, when a reporter asked Obama if the tone of the discussion among Democratic leaders about a prospective withdrawal from the campaign by Clinton would have been different were it him in Clinton's position, having lost a number of contests in a row. Yes, said Obama, it would be. But that's as it should be, he seemed to be saying. "I'm the challenger. I'm the upstart; I'm the insurgent," he replied. When characterizing Clinton's position in the race, he hesitated, seemingly reluctant to call her the establishment candidate. He did, however, call her "the champ." If you're to beat the champ, he said, you don't win "on points." You need "a knockout."

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