Friday, October 12, 2007

"No More Mr. Nice Guy"

The Huffington Post headlines this Chicago Tribune story by John McCormick:
It may be bye-bye Mr. Nice Guy for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, who said Thursday that he is opening the "next phase" of his campaign and plans to more pointedly and aggressively go after frontrunner Sen. Hillary Clinton.
"Now is the time where we're going to be laying a very clear contrast between myself and Senator Clinton," the Illinois Democrat told CNN. "Not just on the past, not just on Iraq, but on moving forward."

Obama's campaign has focused heavily on his biography, and he has been criticized by some supporters for not more forcefully challenging the New York senator, who has a wide lead in national polls and in some early voting states.

A tired looking Obama, speaking from Chicago on a day off from the campaign trail, said he is not concerned about his polling numbers and does not expect them to change soon.

"Senator Clinton remains the default candidate nationally," he said. "Those national polls aren't going to change too much until the early state votes take place."

An area where Obama plans to further challenge Clinton is on a recent Senate "Sense of the Senate" vote that the United States should designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. She and Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, a close Obama ally, voted as part of a strong majority to pass the measure, while Obama skipped the vote to campaign in New Hampshire.

"This is one of the problems with running for president," Obama said. "You can't always anticipate which votes are which, but I put out a statement at the time stating that this was a bad idea and that I would have voted against it."

Obama blamed scheduling for the missed vote.

"If you're in New Hampshire, then it's hard to get back," he said. "But this wasn't a close vote. What it should have been, though, was a vote that sends a message to the American people that we're not going to keep on giving George Bush a blank check, and that's just what we did."

Asked about Clinton as a possible running mate, Obama said he is not contemplating such matters.

"Senator Clinton is a very capable person," he said. "Right now my goal is to make sure that I am the nominee and that she is still the senator from New York."

In response, Phil Singer, a Clinton spokesman, said, "It's unfortunate that Senator Obama is abandoning the politics of hope and embracing the same old attack politics, even though one of his earliest and most vigorous supporters has said this was not a vote for war. If Senator Obama felt so strongly about this resolution, why didn't he speak out against it or vote against it?"
Howie P.S.: Think On These Things answers the question, Did Obama “Skip” The Iran Vote?""

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