Hillary Clinton _and_ John Edwards are included in the un-love from Barack Obama today.

Something new: the Des Moines Register reports that Obama said that he, not John Edwards, was the champion challenger to special interests.


"Nobody in this race has worked harder and been more successful at reducing the special interests' influence in Washington," than himself, Obama told more than 200 people, including a number of high school students, at Spencer High School.

"Senator Edwards, who is a good guy, he's been talking a lot about 'I'm going to fight the lobbyists and the special interests in Washington,' " Obama said about Edwards, a former North Carolina senator. "Well, the question you have to ask is: Were you fighting for (citizens) when you were in the Senate?"



Words have meaning; Edwards may be encroaching on some turf held by Obama. Let's watch this over the next few days to see if Obama continues to incorporate a contrast with Edwards. (Remember: Clinton: change means the ability to get stuff done. Edwards: throw the bums out; the corporate interests have corrupted politics; Obama: transformational change.)

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Back to familiar territory. Obama's new New Hampshire mailing responds to charges that his health care plan does not cover everyone. Horse pellets, Obama says, in not so many words.

Why, even Hillary has said that every Democrat "is for universal health care." (Clinton meant that every Democrat wants universal health care -- Obama just doesn't have a plan to achieve it.) And he cites experts agreeing with his view, but he does not provide the names of said experts.

The first page of the mailing quotes Obama as saying: "We can end division and petty attacks and finally provide health care to every American."

On the last page, it says: "On January 8, let's remind Hillary Clinton that New Hampshire's primary won't be won by launching misleading, negative attacks."

That Obama's campaign would respond to Clinton's charges in this way suggests that a needle in some focus group or another moved a little to far to the left... or that a few too many people were called into the campaign's New Hampshire headquarters asking for clarification. The frame around the contrast is interesting: Clinton's "attacks" are just part of the same "petty" divisiveness that is poisoning our politics.

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