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Obama: Clinton is calculating, divisive

Posted on 1/31/2008 12:34:00 PM

The mudslinging match between the two leading democratic presidential contenders, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton seems to be continuing unabated. Obama recently remarked that Clinton's campaign was too polarizing for her to win the presidential race. He also said Hillary adopted positions on issues held by President Bush and Senator John McCain to suit her convenience. With the third democratic contender, John Edwards, pulling out of the race, the stakes are now higher for both Obama and Clinton.

Obama, speaking at the University of Denver, described Clinton as scheming and divisive, and said Clinton's support for Republican stands on issues such as trade, political lobbying, and security tactics would only lead to greater split within the electorate. He also referred to McCain as likely to win the Republican nomination.

Obama also said that it was understandable that some people would feel comfortable at the idea of another Clinton at the helm after Bush. However, he warned voters about falling for the line that it would be good for the country. "It is about the past versus the future," he said. "And when I am the nominee, the Republicans won't be able to make this election about the past.

Obama said, "If you choose change, you will have a nominee who doesn't just tell people what they want to hear." He continued, "Poll-tested positions, calculated answers might be how Washington confronts challenges, but it's not how you overcome those challenges; it's not how you inspire our nation to come together behind a common purpose, and it's not what America needs right now. You need a candidate who will tell you the truth."

Obama also said, "Democrats will win in November and build a majority in Congress not by nominating a candidate who will unite the other party against us, but by choosing one who can unite this country around a movement for change". He added, "It is time for new leadership that understands the way to win a debate with John McCain or any Republican who is nominated is not by nominating someone who agreed with him on voting for the war in Iraq or who agreed with him in voting to give George Bush the benefit of the doubt on Iran, who agrees with him in embracing the Bush-Cheney policy of not talking to leaders we don't like, who actually differed with him by arguing for exceptions for torture before changing positions when the politics of the moment changed." He said, "We need to offer the American people a clear contrast on national security, and when I am the nominee of the Democratic Party, that is exactly what I will do."

His spirited criticism brought forth a retaliatory reaction from the Clinton campaign. Clinton's supporters pointed out that Obama seemed to be forgetting his resolve to maintain a positive campaign as he was resorting to sullying her image. They pointed out that he had condemned this style of politics in his book, Audacity of Hope, even quoting an appropriate section from the book.

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