Monday, March 12, 2007

Clinton v. Obama - the sparring continues

WaPo - Obama, Clinton Sparring Early
In the month since the presidential nominating contest got underway, Obama (D-Ill.) and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) have barely mentioned each other's names in public or even greeted each other in the Senate halls. But each campaign has increasingly fixated on the other, engaging in a shadowboxing match in which they intentionally cross paths but dodge to avoid each other's subtle jabs. With an intensity unusual for this stage of the campaign the two are indirectly engaging, invading each other's terrain and going to great lengths to contrast their candidacies.
I really feel like Hillary's behavior as of late does not reflect well on her. It makes her seem almost desperate at times, but I have to wonder if she is just trying to force Obama's hand. Obama claims to want to play the game differently
Obama, meanwhile, has promised to run a "different campaign" that does not allow for unseemly political tactics -- a message and strategy imperiled each time he responds to his rivals, by name or otherwise.
I wonder if Clinton's strategy is to force him into playing by her rules. If he loses his moral high-ground, he could loses some of his appeal, and I think she may be banking on that.

I've heard a lot of people talk about the possibility of a Clinton/Obama ticket in November, but I wonder how their current dynamic affects that possibility. I know that candidates will generally run with whomever they believe is most likely to get them elected, but if they spend all their time tearing each other down, coming together to win a national election seems unlikely to me.

Oh well, neither one is my favorite candidate (although I do like Obama much better than I like Hillary) so they can tear each other to shreds as far as I'm concerned, so long as neither one gets the nomination. But they do need to remember that ultimately they are on the same team and I would assume that neither one wants to see the Republicans win again in 2008. I know that neither side has really gotten ugly yet, but if the sparring has started this soon, I can only imagine what it will be like when the gloves come off closer to the primaries.

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