Saturday, February 23, 2008

Hillary throws down

"Shame on you, Barack."

With her back against the wall in crucial March 4 contests in Ohio and Texas, Hillary Clinton lashed out at Barack Obama today and charged that he is intentionally misleading voters in those states with mailers that include incorrect information about her positions on health care coverage and NAFTA.

You can see the story and the videos here:

Hillary has a hissy

This was barely 48 hours after Clinton was roundly praised throughout the World of Punditry for her closing lines in the Texas debate on Thursday, where she shook hands with Obama and said she was so proud to be on the stage with him.

As you can see, Hillary showed more emotion in that press conference since the day she cried at an event before the New Hampshire primary. The finger-waving, outraged former first lady reminded me a bit of her husband during his infamous news conference in 1998 when he insisted, "I did not ... have ... sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky ..."

What was the line from Hamlet?

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

Obama called Clinton's anger "tactical," pointing out that the mailers in question had been around for several days -- and possibly weeks -- by the time Clinton lashed out on Saturday.

"The notion that somehow we're engaging in nefarious tactics I think is pretty hard to swallow," Obama said.

It seems pretty obvious that Clinton is trying to draw Obama into an ugly confrontation that would give her a springboard into next week. She is trying to re-establish herself as the controlling personality in the race that is rapidly slipping out of her reach. By painting Obama as a negative campaigner, Clinton hopes to shatter the positive, above-the-fray feel that Obama has cultivated throughout the primary season.

Obama's measured, breezy response is just the ticket to take the hot air out of the sails that Hillary hopes will put her faltering campaign back into motion.