Edwards paring down his organization in Nevada signals the campaign is facing
reality, partly because of the polls and mostly because of finances. (It’s all about Iowa for Edwards.) Then there’s
Obama, who turned his campaigning straight into Clinton and doesn’t
mince any words doing it. He also finally comes forward with why he’s
running for president. It’s not about policy, which he telegraphed before. Oh,
and let’s just say today’s pitch to the Post doesn’t include the case for why
Obama would be a good number two.

"I think it is fair to say that I believe I can bring the country together
more effectively than she can," Obama said. "I will add, by the
way, that is not entirely a problem of her making. Some of those battles in
the ’90s that she went through were the result of some pretty unfair attacks
on the Clintons. But that history exists, and so, yes, I believe I can bring
the country together in a way she cannot do. If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t
be running."

Says He Can Unite U.S. ‘More Effectively’ Than Clinton

According to Obama, Clinton can’t bring the country together and he can. Finally,
the case for why he wants to be president.

"Her argument is going to be that ‘I’m the experienced Washington hand,’
and my argument is going to be that we need to change the ways of Washington,"
he said. "That’s going to be a good choice for the American people."

Saying that Bill Clinton’s presidency was good for America, he added: "The
question is, moving forward, looking towards the future, is it sufficient
just to change political parties, or do we need a more fundamental change
in how business is done in Washington . . .? Do we need to break out of some
of the ideological battles that we fought during the ’90s that were really
extensions of battles we fought since the ’60s?"

Obama never used the term "polarizing" to describe Clinton but
made it clear he has studied polls that show that many people have an unfavorable
opinion of her. "I don’t think there is anybody in this race
who’s able to bring new people into the process and break out of some of the
ideological gridlock that we have as effectively as I can," he said.

However, long flowing interviews aren’t Obama’s challenge. He’s losing the
sound bite wars and badly. So to sum it up for him: ideological gridlock. Obama
will get government flowing and doing the people’s business again.

However, the bit about battles fought in the ’90s being the same as what we
fought in the ’60s is simply directed at the baby boomer presidency of Bill
Clinton and doesn’t take into account the right-wing machine dominance and utilization. The
manifestation of the singularly most vile political hit on a president in modern
times brought all of the forces of right-wing think tanks, radio (after
Reagan’s de-regulation), including Christian radio and a monopoly on Armed Forces Radio, culminating on a coordinated attack focused on the Clintons from all sides. But as Obama rightly states, it may have manifested in “some pretty unfair attacks on the Clintons. But that history exists.” I’ll get to this in a moment.

First, Greg
has team Clinton’s response:

"It sounds like Karl Rove is writing Senator Obama’s talking points,"
said Clinton spokesman Phil Singer. "The reality is that as the campaign
now gets under way, Senator Clinton’s ratings are improving because Americans
are seeing that she has the strength and experience to deliver change."

Oh, snap!

From "Bush-Cheney lite" to the Post article today, Obama
is taking the right-wing talking points and slamming Clinton pretty hard. There’s
only one problem. It’s likely, and I’m just guessing here, that nobody wants
to re-fight the 1990’s wingnut smear campaign against the Clintons today, especially
since it didn’t work.

The post of the day on this subject (yeah, the one I couldn’t find on my radio
show to quote!) starts like this: Hillary’s
Secret Weapon: She Makes Republicans Lose It!

And although Hillary still has a tough road ahead of her in achieving the
nomination, let alone the White House, this week’s episode demonstrates that
there is an upside to Hillary’s polarizing history.

She drives Republicans nuts.

She causes them to lose their sh*t.

And, when they attack her as they did this week, she causes pretty much all
Democrats to want to rally behind her. I think that is because, although not
all of us are Hillary fans, we know that the Republicans despise her because
she’s an "uppity woman", a liberal, a "sixties" person,
a symbol of the diversity that is the Democratic party. …

Attacking Clinton and coming up
on the winning end isn’t easily managed, especially when insinuating she’s "polarizing,"
without saying it of course, which is what Obama did today through his Post interview, has been tried before. New Yorkers like the results of Senator Clinton just fine. Trent Lott changed his tune about her, too. However, Obama and his campaign have talked to enough people that they know Clinton’s negatives are real. They’ve decided to use them against her, whatever the cost.

Any way you cut it, whether talking about Elizabeth Edwards, Obama, or Biden and Dodd acting a lot like Clinton surrogates, the gloves of the ’08 primary season are officially