|Hillary and Obama, the smackdown, explained:
What they're fighting about:
During this week's CNN/Youtube debate, the candidates were asked whether they'd commit to meeting with America's foes, including such leaders as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, Kim Jong Il of North Korea and Fidel Castro of Cuba. Obama said absolutely yes -- we have to change the paradigm that has isolated this country over the past seven years ... Clinton said she wouldn't make such a commitment in her first year, but would use potential meetings as a bargaining chip in her larger bag of aggressive diplomacy. Natch.
What escalated the drama:
After the debate, Hillary gave a newspaper an interview to the Quad City Times of crucial Iowa, n which she called Obama's position "naive." In a separate interview with the paper, Barack shot back that what was naive, was "giving George W. Bush authorization to invade Iraq without a plan to get out." Ouch! After that, Obama laid it on even thicker, telling supporters at a campaign rally that what we don't need in the White House is "Bush lite." Double ouch!
Where it stands now:
Hillary is attacking Barack for attacking her, saying "what ever happened to the politics of hope?" She appears to now want to simmer down the fight she started, lest it boost Barack's profile even more. Barack's camp seems to be enjoying the fight, which raises his stature and most certainly increasing the devotion of his supporters. I think Hillary wins the argument on substance, and she looks more experienced and presidential than Barack based on her answer, but he probably made himself look highly desirable by the world (though as Chris Matthews said yesterday, we don't have a "world election.")
Where it will end:
Both camps will likely let it die a natural death, the better to preserve their potential coming together as running-mates.
In the meantime, it's kind of nice to see the Dems mix it up for a change.
Labels: Barack Obama, elections, Hillary Clinton, news and politics, presidential candidates