Monday, November 05, 2007

‘What She Can’t Do Is Have It Both Ways’



NEWSWEEK: Interview: Sen. Barack Obama

Barack Obama Calls Democratic Front Runner Hillary Clinton 'Disingenuous'

With the Iowa caucuses, a Must Win, Eight Weeks Away, Obama Feels Sense of Urgency and Willingness to Criticize Clinton

NEW YORK, Nov. 4 /PRNewswire/ --

Sen. Barack Obama tells Newsweek that in last week's debate, Sen. Hillary Clinton's response on the question of her First Lady papers "was certainly inadequate." "When she suggested somehow she didn't have control over whether or not these papers were being released -- what we're talking about here is her husband's presidential library. And when she is making a suggestion that part of the experience that she brings to this office is her experience as First Lady, people have a right to ask some tough questions. She can release these papers," he says. When asked whether or not he thought she was being dishonest, he says, "I think she was being disingenuous."


(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20071104/NYSU004 )


With the Iowa caucuses, a must win, just eight weeks away, Newsweek's Senior Washington Correspondent Howard Fineman and Senior White House Correspondent Richard Wolffe debut "Report from the Front," a new series featuring online and print interviews with the candidates, in the November 12 issue of Newsweek (on newsstands Monday, November 5). They discuss the sense of urgency in Obama's campaign and the amping up of his new willingness to criticize Democratic front runner Clinton.


Sen. Clinton's answer on driver's licenses for illegal immigrants seemed to be an example of her not being transparent. Obama says in the interview, "Look, watch the videotape. She said that she was for the [New York Gov. Eliot] Spitzer plan and in the span of two minutes said she wasn't for the Spitzer plan. That wasn't something that was prompted by me or anybody else but it was characteristic of her answers on Social Security and her answers on the papers from the Clinton years. Look, I actually recognize that this sort of straddling is oftentimes considered politically savvy in Washington ... It's been rewarded ... The perception is that if you don't allow yourself to be pinned down, then you're making yourself a smaller target in the general election. That's the conventional wisdom. I think it is the wrong way to govern. I think it is not what we need right now."


On whether he is in favor of giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, Obama says, "What I have said is that it is better off that we know that people who are driving know the rules of the road, are subject to insurance, are making sure that we know we can track them if they get in an accident. A lot of security experts agree with me on this issue. It's not optimal. What we need to do is make sure that we don't have undocumented workers coming into the country in the first place. But here's the more important point: people know where I stand on this and we can have a serious conversation and debate about it."


Obama also discusses the major failures of the Bill Clinton presidency. He tells Newsweek,


"Issues like health care. She wants to take credit for having tried but there were a lot of big mistakes in preventing us from getting health care back in 1993 ... What was she involved with? Where did she participate? Where did she not participate in decision making? And that's one of the reasons why these papers that are currently in the presidential library could be helpful in sorting that out."


(Read entire interview at www.Newsweek.com)


Photo: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20071104/NYSU004
AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org/
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PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com
Source: Newsweek

CONTACT: LaVenia LaVelle of Newsweek, +1-212-445-4859


Web site: http://www.newsweek.msnbc.com/

The First Part of the Interview

There is a sense of urgency at Sen. Barack Obama's headquarters in a steel-and-glass office tower in downtown Chicago. The Iowa caucuses, a must win, are eight weeks away. The atmosphere is collegiate and familial—but all business. And it had better be. Way down in the national polls, Obama does not have much time to change the dynamics of the race. Last week, his wife, Michelle, spent a long day in a conference room, calling Iowans one at a time for long chats. She talked about faith issues with a woman in Blackhawk County for 17 minutes, and smiled at what she concluded was a sale made. In an office around the corner, the senator sat with NEWSWEEK's Howard Fineman and Richard Wolffe, amping up his new willingness to criticize Democratic front runner Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Excerpts:

NEWSWEEK: Hillary's team says she was ganged up on by men in last week's debate. Does she get or deserve special treatment because she is a woman?

OBAMA: I don't think that Senator Clinton would ever suggest that she should be treated differently because she's a woman. And I actually thought that everybody was very courteous in their disagreements with her. We had a debate in Iowa which George Stephanopoulos presided over, and for the first 10, 15 minutes people were questioning my qualifications for the presidency. I don't remember anybody worrying too much about that … We're not running for student council president, we're running for leader of the free world.

How would you describe her response on the question of her First Lady papers?

Her response was certainly inadequate. When she suggested somehow she didn't have control over whether or not these papers were being released—what we're talking about here is her husband's presidential library. And when she is making a suggestion that part of the experience that she brings to this office is her experience as First Lady, people have a right to ask some tough questions. She can release these papers.

So is she being honest?

I think she was being disingenuous.

What's the difference between disingenuous and dishonest?

You'll have to ask her.

Is she entitled to any credit for her years as First Lady as she argues her case to be president?

On those areas where there is a record of her having done work, she certainly deserves credit for it. What she can't do is have it both ways. She can't embrace every success of Bill Clinton's presidency and distance herself from every failure of Bill Clinton's presidency.

Read the rest of the internview

Watch the video


I am an African who is committed to the Support Hillary Clinton for President Campaign, therefore I cannot agree with the personal views of Senator Barack Obama on Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Barack Obama knows he is losing ground to Hillary Clinton and he is getting nervous and now using his wits to discredit her. He is afraid of losing to Clinton since his racial appeals to African-Americans have not impressed them so far, because they would rather vote for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton than vote for an African-American man who cannot convince the electorate on relevant issues of governance and has chosen to be antagonistic in his unreasonable remarks on the personality of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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