« 'There will be Blood' |
Blog Home Page
| Romney gets "The Treatment" from Rivals »
January 6, 2008
Clinton Fends off Attacks by Rivals at debate
Last night's ABC debate among Democratic candidates featured a double barrelled attack on Hillary Clinton from Barack Obama and John Edwards:
Senator Barack Obama and John Edwards went after Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton as never before in a televised debate here on Saturday night. Leaving aside the goo-goo eyed Times description of how Hillary Clinton responded to the attacks on her, the fact is her campaign is sinking in New Hampshire and it's pretty obvious they don't know how to turn it around.
With Mr. Obama hoping that a victory in New Hampshire, following his first-place finish in Iowa, would make him difficult to beat in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination — and with Mr. Edwards looking to defeat Mrs. Clinton in a second straight contest — they entered an alliance of convenience.
In an exchange that summed up the basic story line of the contest, they cast her as a candidate of the status quo who would fail to deliver the changes in government that many Democratic voters demand. With the New Hampshire primary two days away, Mrs. Clinton found her courage, likability and judgment questioned.
But she fought back as she did when she was first lady of Arkansas and of the United States — with defiance and flashes of anger, pursing her lips, stiffening her back and staring intently at her rivals.
From a double digit lead for Hillary last week, two polls out yesterday show that Clinton and Obama are in a virtual tie on the eve of Tuesday's primary. And the excitement and momentum all seem to be with the Illinois senator, especially given the media frenzy over his historic win in Iowa on Thursday.
But Clinton still has an enormous amount of money in the bank (some estimates place it at $21 million) and a huge lead in delgates thanks to her wrapping up so many of the "super delegates" to the convention next August. A loss in New Hamspshire would be a blow but not a fatal one. There is still Super Tuesday ahead on February 5 where she will win several northeastern states and is still competitive in California.
And Obama is still very inexperienced. The chances of him making a serious blunder or verbal gaffe between now and February cannot be dismissed. And with the probability that she would be the only candidate positioned to take advantage of such a mistake, counting out Hillary Clinton, never a good strategy to begin with, is not in the cards.