First from the WaPo:
Sen. Barack Obama yesterday slammed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for “ducking the issue” of ensuring the solvency of Social Security and signaled that he will take a more aggressive approach to the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination.
At an event in Des Moines, Obama (D-Ill.) characterized Clinton’s approach to addressing the issues as “You should hedge, dodge and spin, but at all costs, don’t answer.”
The statements marked the latest escalation of campaign rhetoric from a candidate who earlier this year declined to criticize his chief opponent for the nomination. Increasingly, he is taking on not just Clinton’s policy views but also her character, and is casting the Democratic front-runner as someone who makes decisions based on polls and calculation, rather than on her convictions.
Then a bit more from USAToday:
Obama’s campaign arranged for him to be introduced at the event by Tod Bowman, a teacher from Maquoketa, Iowa, who tried to pin down Clinton during a debate in Iowa earlier this month on whether the government should tax workers’ earnings above the present cap of $97,500 to help pay for Social Security benefits.
Clinton sidestepped the question in public, telling Bowman privately afterward that she didn’t want to put an additional tax burden on the middle class, but would consider a “gap,” with no Social Security taxes on income from $97,500 to around $200,000. Anything above that could be taxed. Her answer was overhead an Associated Press reporter.
Here is my take on Obama/Clinton. Obama is now at a crossroads. He has to decide just how much he wants hurt the eventual nominee. No doubt she will be the nominee so he has to decide where the line in the sand is. He’s got to be careful not to give the Republicans fuel for the Hillary fire they’ve been burning lately.
In my opinion, Obama might be able to pull an upset in Iowa if he actually starts smacking Hillary around. He’s at a serious disadvantage so the kid-glove campaigning isn’t going to help anymore. If he’s serious about winning the nomination, then it’s do-or-die time. Otherwise he will remain an asterisk in the presidential election history books as the first candidate to be openly endorsed by Oprah.
More on this from the New York Times:
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 27 â€” Senator Barack Obama said he would start confronting Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton more directly and forcefully, saying Friday that she had not been candid in describing her views on critical policy issues, as he tries to address mounting alarm among supporters that his lack of assertiveness so far has allowed her to dominate the presidential race.
Mr. Obamaâ€™s vow to go on the offensive comes just over two months before the first votes are cast for the Democratic nomination, and after a long period in which his aides, donors and other supporters have battled â€” and in some cases shared â€” the perception that he has not exhibited the aggressiveness demanded by presidential politics.
In an interview on Friday that was initiated by his campaign to signal the change of course, Mr. Obama said â€œnow is the timeâ€ for him to distinguish himself from Mrs. Clinton. While he said that he was not out to â€œkneecap the front-runner, because I donâ€™t think thatâ€™s what the country is looking for,â€ he said she was deliberately obscuring her positions for political gain and was less likely than he was to win back the White House for Democrats.
Asked in the interview on Friday if Mrs. Clinton had been fully truthful with voters about what she would do as president, Mr. Obama replied, â€œNo.â€
See, it’s now or never for Obama. Perhaps he is finally waking up to the fact that unless he does something drastic, Hillary Clinton will easily be the nominee, end of story.