Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Clinton's Thin Skin

Obama gave a speech today in Denver, emphasizing the differences between himself and Clinton:

“It’s time for new leadership that understands that the way to win a debate with John McCain is not by nominating someone who agreed with him on voting for the war in Iraq; who agreed with him in voting to give George Bush the benefit of the doubt on Iran; who agrees with him in embracing the Bush-Cheney policy of not talking to leaders we don’t like, and who actually differed with him by arguing for exceptions for torture before changing positions when the politics of the moment changed.”
It's striking how weak and defensive the response on Clinton's website is. Although one could quibble with the exact characterizations Obama uses--for example, we can't actually know why Clinton initially argued for allowing torture in some cases and then changed her mind--each of Obama's points refers directly to a position or vote that Clinton took. The Clinton response consists mainly of bringing up some irrelevant other fact, e.g. that someone else who supports Obama had the same position as Clinton. So what? Is Clinton trying to suggest that Obama can't hold a position different from those of any of his supporters? Obviously, this is an impossible and ridiculous standard. Indeed, the diversity of support for his campaign, among people who don't line up behind him on every single issue, is one of the advertised strengths of this campaign.

No comments: