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November 16, 2007
Hillary Chides Rivals for acting like Republicans
There are times when irony transcends its own definition and enters the realm of parody.
Last night, Hillary Clinton complained that her Democratic rivals were "throwing mud" and that their tactics were "right out of the Republican playbood:"
"I don't mind taking hits on my record on issues, but when somebody starts throwing mud, at least we can hope that it's both accurate and right out of the Republican playbook," she said. What propels these statements beyond irony is, of course, the fact that the Clinton political machine has attempted destroy so many over the years that their tactics have become legendary. For the Senator from New York to complain about the tactics of her rivals, much less compare them to Republican attacks, is almost beyond belief.
"For him to be throwing this mud and making these charges I think really detracts from what we're trying to do here tonight. We need to put forth a positive agenda for America."
But Clinton can get away with it. And her performance last night in Las Vegas - much more focused and definitive - showed once again why she is a formidable presence. Both Barack Obama and John Edward's flailed wildly at Mrs. Clinton while failing to score any significant points. And when given an opening, Obama especially failed to take advantage:
Obama showed his inexperience at debating. When Clinton hit him early on health care, Obama simply defended himself from the attack, rather than deflect the attack and hit back at her over the '93 health care reform failure. It was an easy hit for him, and he missed; he didn't even swing; got caught looking. Clinton is winning on "experience," not because of the practical experience she has as a former chief executive (she's never been one) but the experience she has as a politician, as a debater. Clinton would not have missed a similar opening.Does this performance get Hillary back on track? Almost certainly, although Iowa will still probably be a struggle for her since Obama is now flexing his media muscles and saturating the airwaves with a media blitz. It is generally conceded that if either Obama or Edwards can knock Hillary off in Iowa, her cloak of invincibility and inevitability will be tarnished and anything becomes possible in later primaries - even ones where Clinton currently enjoys a huge lead.