Clinton and Obama Campaigns Clash Over Report

This is getting quite contentious. The Washington Post has an interesting report on the matter:

Just days after a series of sharp exchanges in a debate Thursday night, a tense back-and-forth erupted between two top Democratic presidential candidates Saturday as Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) accused Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) of spreading rumors that her campaign is in possession of potentially damaging information about her rival.

Robert D. Novak wrote in his syndicated weekend column that “agents” of the Clinton campaign have been “spreading the word in Democratic circles that she has scandalous information about her principal opponent.” Novak did not offer any further details about the allegedly negative information.

The Obama campaign lashed out at the report, saying it is “devoid of facts, but heavy on innuendo and insinuation of the sort to which we’ve become all too accustomed in our politics these past two decades.”

Obama challenged Clinton’s campaign to either make the information public “or concede the truth: that there is none.”

Hillary’s campaign denies they have any such knowledge or plan to tarnish Obama basically claiming that the “Vast Right Wing Conspiracy” is at it again and this is all coming from Republican talking points.

Still, the Politico is reporting that Obama isn’t backing down saying the following:

“I really value my reputation and my character and my family,” Obama told reporters before a campaign appearance here. “In the era of the blogosphere, we have seen what happened with John McCain in 2000, what happened with John Kerry in 2004. If you don’t get on this stuff quickly, then it starts drifting around, and that is not something I am going to accept.”

He even released a lengthy statement:

Obama then took the unusual step of releasing a six-paragraph statement that accused Clinton of dirty tricks, and called on her to “renounce these tactics.”

By Saturday afternoon, the Clinton campaign said it had “no idea” what the Novak item was about and shot back that Obama had revealed naiveté by falling for Republican attempts to divide the Democratic field.

The bottom line on this, and this is just my opinion, is that it’s very possible that Hillary’s campaign does have some dirt on Obama. However, the fact that he has really tried to counteract this may indicate that he has nothing to hide. Either way, I’m certain that the Clinton counterintelligence team has been working overtime to dig up some no-so-savory information on Obama specifically.

We’ll see how this plays out. However, I doubt Novak will be releasing any sources for his inside information and Hillary’s campaign won’t be budging on this issue. If they do have dirt on Obama, they’ll just figure out how to get it released some other way and make it appear to come from Republicans or some such nonsense the Clinton’s are good at.

What hath Hillary wrought?

Update

Bob Novak was on Fox and Friends this morning to discuss the matter:

A “well known-Democrat who thought he (Obama) should know about this information”.