After months of refusing to directly attack Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama has finally come out to start a rigorous campaign against Clinton with several direct accusations. With the elections drawing nearer and Obama second in the polls to Clinton, his attacks towards the latter are a surprise after his committed stance to not confront Clinton in this electoral race.
“I don’t think people know what her agenda exactly is,” Obama told the New York Times. “It is absolutely true that we have to make these distinctions clearer. And I will not shy away from doing that.” Obama further added that he had always maintained an agenda of going to the offensive in the fall. He also stated quite clearly that he would target Clinton especially on issues of Social Security, Iran and Iraq, in the following days.
Clinton has made good of this promise. With respect to Clinton’s ‘Ready to Lead’ slogan, Obama stated that “On issues as fundamental as how to protect Social Security a candidate for president owes it to the American people to tell us where they stand. Because you’re not ready to lead if you can’t tell us where you’re going.”
An immediate response from the Clinton campaign’s ensued: “Senator Obama once promised Americans a politics of hope,” said Howard Wolfson, a Clinton spokesman. “But now that his campaign has stalled he is abandoning that strategy and is engaging in the same old style personal attacks that he once rejected. We are confident that voters will reject this strategy, especially from a candidate who told us he would do better.”
To be fair, neither Obama’s jabs nor Clinton’s response are intensely malicious. However as Clinton continues to dominate the polls and the elections draw nearer people have reason to believe that the only way to dent Clinton’s rising popularity is to punch at her directly. Says Larry Sabato, Director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, “Obama and others need to point out that her polarizing nature may not only jeopardize the Democrats’ chances for victory in 2008, but beyond.”
John Edwards, running third nationally, has been on a spree for quite sometime criticizing Clinton on her vote urging the Bush administration to label the Iranian revolutionary Guard Cops a terrorist organization to her repeated refusal to detail how she would fix Social Security. With a public invitation in August to Obama, urging him to ally with Edwards in the quest to call for Clinton to refuse donations from registered lobbyists, Edwards has tried it all. Unfortunately for him, Obama did not find this idea too pleasing and declined the offer.
The race is tight, atleast between Clinton and Obama. While the former is being criticised for refusing to answer questions on Social Security and ways to better it, Obama has now come under the spotlight for his direct attacks at the lady who could soon become the most powerful woman in the world. It remains to be seen whether it is time for the United States to accept their first woman President or not.