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NY Times on the most recent Demopublican spitting contest

Clinton Employs Broad Attacks in a Key Debate

By JOHN M. BRODER
PHILADELPHIA — Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton went on the attack against Senator Barack Obama on a variety of issues during a contentious debate Wednesday, warning that he would be deeply vulnerable in a general-election fight if he won the nomination.

Helped along by the questioning of the moderators, Mrs. Clinton mentioned several areas in which she said Mr. Obama was vulnerable, including the incendiary remarks by his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., and his service on a board with William Ayres, a former leader of the radical Weather Underground. She even cited Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader, who has endorsed Mr. Obama.

“This is a legitimate area,” she said, “as everything is when we run for office.”

But asked directly if she believed Mr. Obama could beat the likely Republican nominee, Senator John McCain, she answered, “Yes, yes, yes.”

She quickly added: “I think I can do a better job. Obviously. That’s why I’m here.”

In their final face-to-face encounter before the Pennsylvania primary on Tuesday, Mr. Obama largely refrained from taking the bait when offered the opportunity to go after Mrs. Clinton, like when the focus turned to her honesty and her claims of facing sniper fire during a trip to Bosnia.

Instead, he was again forced to explain remarks he made at a fund-raiser last week in San Francisco, where he said that many small-town residents in Pennsylvania and elsewhere were “bitter” because of lost economic opportunities and “cling to” religion or guns or antipathy toward those not like them.

He explained that he had “mangled” his thoughts and sought, once again, to explain that he was trying to express the frustration many economically stressed Americans feel.

“The point I was making was that when people feel like Washington is not listening to them,” he said, “that politically they end up focusing on those things that are constant, like religion, which is a place they can find some refuge.”

Wednesday’s nationally televised encounter at the National Constitution Center here was the 21st Democratic debate and the first in seven weeks. It may also be the last between Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton, and expectations were high that it would help define some of the issues that have divided them and the party since the last major primaries were held in Ohio and Texas in early March.

While the two candidates are engaged in a fierce struggle for the nomination, many party leaders are looking ahead nervously to the general election in November, worried that whoever emerges as the nominee will be weakened by the long and increasingly bitter intramural contest. Mr. McCain has already picked up many of Mrs. Clinton’s accusations against Mr. Obama and used them in his speeches and advertising.

Mrs. Clinton, asked about her misstatements about landing under sniper fire in Bosnia in 1996, expressed regret for her remarks.

“I may be a lot of things, but I’m not dumb,” she said in explaining her exaggerated account. “On a couple of occasions in the last weeks, I just said some things that were not in keeping with what I knew to be the case.”

“I’m embarrassed by it. I apologized for it. I said it was a mistake,” she added.

Mrs. Clinton, under questioning by the debate moderators, Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos of ABC News, returned again and again to questions about Mr. Obama’s electability. She said that his comments about religion and guns had raised concerns among voters that the Democratic Party needs to prevail in the fall. She also said that Republicans would exploit doubts about Mr. Obama’s religious beliefs and his patriotism.


More at: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/17/us...gewanted=print

The biggest problems we are facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all and thats what I intend to reverse.

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