2008 Obama’s Counterattack
posted by July 26 at 10:30 AMon
A friend who’s following these early days of the presidential race writes:
That’s what I’m talking about… Turn a perceived gaffe into an opportunity. Straight out of the Rove playbook and I love it.
He’s talking about the way that Barack Obama has been swinging back at Hillary Clinton over her calling him “irresponsible and frankly naive.” The back-story on their back-and-forth is here.
It involves Obama saying, during the recent Democratic debate, that he would meet personally during his first year in office with world leaders who have been shunned by the Bush administration. (Clinton said she would not meet with those leaders, and was widely seen as giving the more prudent answer.)
Here’s Obama’s latest:
“The notion that I was somehow going to be inviting them over for tea next week without having initial envoys meet is ridiculous,” he said in an interview outside his Senate office. “But the general principle is one that I think Senator Clinton is wrong on, and that is if we are laying out preconditions that prevent us from speaking frankly to these folks, then we are continuing with Bush-Cheney policies.”
While Clinton wants to be perceived as the strength and experience candidate, Obama wants to be perceived as the change candidate. That’s why he’s trying to turn their current dispute into a “More of the same vs. Change” dispute, rather than a “Wisdom vs. Naivete” dispute, which is what it had been initially.
Bonus for the Obama campaign: By bragging that they’ve now got Clinton “on her heels,” they present their man as not afraid to try to land a knock-out punch on the supposed “strength” candidate.