Like the pharisee who prays loudly in the middle of a temple gathering to make sure everyone sees how sanctimonious he is, Mrs. Clinton attacked Mr. Obama for not wearing an American pin on his lapel, in what looked like a well planned pharisee prayer.
It was Mrs. Clinton’s only chance at casting into oblivion – no matter how short lived before the republicans dig it up again – her ex-but-still-present chief strategist, Mark Penn, as well as Bill Clinton’s, active role in free trade agreements (FTA). A fact that made analysts conclude she knew more than met the eye, further revealing her involvement in FTAs. These and her Bosnia ‘lies’ had a catastrophic influence on her popularity as she started losing her double digit advantage in blue collar Pennsylvania to the advantage of her rival Obama.
Fortunately for Hillary Clinton, Obama made ill use of synonyms that she would use to her advantage. A bad use of synonyms it seems, is enough to counter multi-Bosnia ‘lies’ and FTA ‘deceipt’. The latter with direct effect on the people of Pennsylvania. Indeed delocalisation would imply unemployment for many workers in Penssylvania based factories.
Her faltering promise of a double digit win in Pennsylvania couldn’t be any worse, making yesterday the best date to settle the score. It was a do or die situation. She had put on a good fight, because if she did win it would be as a result of a good final mud fight.
Surprisingly, Mrs. Clinton was not alone. With a high risk of losing out with continuous attacks, as polls had revealed that voters were discontent with her attack tactics, she seemed to get a leeway with the more than subtle help she got from the ABC moderators.
The choice of these moderators can be questioned as one of them, George Stephanopolous, played a big role in President Clinton’s 1992 campaign as press secretary.
Obama who accepted the fact that his choice of words were not judicious enough in relation to the “bitter” remarks, pointed out that the context was in fact relevant, accusing Mrs. Clinton of laboriously dissecting his words for political gain. “So the problem that we have in our politics, which is fairly typical, is that you take one person’s statement, if it’s not properly phrased, and you just beat it to death,”
Another criticism Obama got from Mrs. Clinton was his association with Bill Ayers, a former member of the Weather Underground –a group that had wanted to overthrow the government in the past–, as a fellow member of the Woods Fund of Chicago. Obama did not let the issue slip by : “By Senator Clinton’s own vetting standards, I don’t think she would make it, since President Clinton pardoned or commuted the sentences of two members of the Weather Underground, which I think is a slightly more significant act than me serving on a board with somebody for actions he did 40 years ago,” he said.
On the issue of the economy the two democratic candidates promised not to raise taxes for those making between $200,000 and $250,000 per annum with only a few differences.
They both agreed on a plan to withdraw US troops from Iraq as soon as their work as president begin.
Another issue both democratic candidates agreed on is their position on a possible Iran attack on Israel. Both said there would be consequences to such an attack Obama claiming that it would imply “…appropriate action.” On the other hand his rival, less moderate, talked about “… massive retaliation.” On the possibility of Iran becoming a nuclear power, both candidates judged it was unacceptable. However they differed on the strategy to deal with the issue, Ms. Clinton saying that the United States could not permit Iran to obtain nuclear weapons, whereas Mr. Obama claimed that dialog was necessary between United States and Iran leaders.