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Obama: Hillary is too Strongly Associated with the Past

Posted on 2/12/2008 3:08:00 PM

Democrat Barack Obama criticized Hillary Clinton for being too closely linked to the past. He said Clinton was finding it difficult "to break out of the politics of the past," referring to the time of her husband, Bill Clinton's presidentship.

Obama aired these views about Clinton in response to questions asking him to underline why he made a better presidential choice, when compared to Clinton. Praising her capability, Obama did call Clinton a "vast improvement" over President Bush. However, he also offered reasons against her as a potential president. "I think it's very hard for Senator Clinton to break out of the politics of the past 15 years," he said, adding that the public, tended to associate Clinton with a time when the country was politically polarized. The republicans benefited from the deadlock in which the government was caught.

"Senator Clinton starts off with 47 percent of the country against her," Obama said, while speaking at a school gym in Alexandria, Virginia, outside Washington. "That's a hard place to start," he said.

Pointing out that universal health care was as much part of his agenda as Clinton's, he said, "…unless we can put a working majority together, it doesn't matter what plan is adopted" because, he said, Congress will not pass it.

Obama had just won state contests in Louisiana, Nebraska, and Washington. He was also expecting to win from Maine. Interacting with audience, he highlighted Clinton's links with an era that Americans looked at with distaste.

"I have the ability to bring people together," Obama said. "I think I can beat John McCain more effectively," he added. A woman in the audience said that her young son was his admirer, but she herself was not sure. Posing for photos with her son, Obama underlined the reasons why, he said, she should vote for him.

He said he stood for disclosure of campaign finances; he did not use federal lobbyists' money, which Clinton does. He also pointed out that Clinton did not have a consistent record. He also referred to a comment Clinton made in a debate in which she said she supported the bankruptcy bill, but was happy that it did not become law, pointing out, rightly, that it created skepticism regarding the government.


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