By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Obama’s left-right two-fer

Obama just pulled off the neat trick of going to Clinton’s left and right on national security simultaneously, and he was able to do it because Clinton handed him the opportunity. First, she criticized his opposition to the war in Iraq as nothing more than a speech, saying both of them had voted the same way on war-funding and related issues since that time. Then she questioned his judgment for saying last summer that he would bomb Pakistan.

Obama responded by saying that Clinton had enabled President Bush to “drive the bus into the ditch,” and that the reason their voting records are similar is that there are only so many ways to get out of the ditch. Then he said he didn’t favor bombing Pakistan, but did favor targeting specific Al-Qaeda targets in Pakistan. And he praised the Bush administration for doing that last week in taking out Al-Qaeda’s third-ranking leader.

That said, Brian Williams and Tim Russert seem to be doing everything they can to drop live grenades in her lap while making it easy for Obama to cruise along.

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Cringing over Clinton


Interesting omission


  1. O-FISH-L

    As if the “live grenades in her lap” weren’t dmaging enough, MSNBC decides to return from the commercial break before Sen. Clinton is back on the stage, then shows her making a rushed, awkward re-entry, causing her to appear haphazard and disorganized. Did they not have another commercial “in the can” that could have allowed her to be comfortably in her seat (like Sen. Obama) when the cameras began rolling again? Don’t get me wrong, this may well be unadulerated payback for years of the Clinton’s wicked ways, but MSNBC is clearly piling on.

  2. Anonymous

    I thought Williams and Russert clearly appeared to sense the blood in the water with Clinton. But she was awful – especially on NAFTA, where she looked like the Democratic answer to Romney, flip-flopping in her explanations of flip-flopping.It may be a function of sexism, and it may not, but America hasn’t elected someone that seems generally unlikable since Nixon, and that was during a crisis where the majority wanted a hardass. Clinton, unlike her husband, just isn’t likable, and she seems too calculated and not genuine, and those two factors trump everything else – even money – in today’s presidential politics.Obama understands that people look to the president, or at least presidential candidates , for inspiration, not for accomplishment or even competence. Clinton has run a Bob Dole-style campaign. “We’ve got a bill in the third reading that addresses your concerns.” Poor Bob Dole- he always seemed to be running for Minority Whip.They’re looking to fill the bully pulpit, and the two most popular presidents of my lifetime, JFK and Reagan, weren’t popular due to their legislative or foreign-policy accomplishments. If those things mattered, the greatest presidents of the last 50 years would be Johnson and Nixon.Bob in Peabody

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