Thursday, February 22, 2007

Slash Burn, When Will They Learn?


'Slash and burn' row as Clinton, Obama trade shots
Stephen Collinson

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The 2008 Democratic presidential race took a sharp, nasty turn with Hillary Clinton's camp ripping into rising star rival Barack Obama as he savored a million-dollar Hollywood debut.


heheheThe flap erupted hours after director Steven Spielberg and stars such as Jennifer Aniston and Eddie Murphy reportedly helped Tinseltown glitterati raise more than 1.3 million dollars for Obama's White House bid.

With tensions rising 11 months before the first party nominating contests, the row centered on a New York Times column Wednesday, in which Geffen was quoted as branding Senator Clinton overly ambitious and "polarizing."


"By refusing to disavow the personal attacks from his biggest fundraiser against Senator Clinton and President Clinton, Senator Obama has called into serious question whether he really believes his own rhetoric," Hillary Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson said in a statement.

"How can Senator Obama denounce the politics of slash and burn yesterday while his own campaign is espousing the politics of trash today?" Wolfson said.

Clinton herself, at a Democratic Party candidates forum in the western state of Nevada, sought the political high ground.

"I want to run a very positive campaign, I sure don't want Democrats or supporters of Democrats to be engaging in the politics of personal destruction," she said when asked about the controversy.


"It is ironic that the Clintons had no problem with David Geffen when he was raising them 18 million dollars and sleeping at their invitation in the Lincoln bedroom."


Geffen was quoted by Times columnist Maureen Dowd as doubting Clinton's capacity to bring Americans together.

"I don't think that another incredibly polarizing figure, no matter how smart she is, and no matter how ambitious she is -- and God knows, is there anybody more ambitious than Hillary Clinton? -- can bring the country together."

And in another shot at the former first couple, Geffen told the Times: "Everybody in politics lies, but they do it with such ease, it's troubling."

"I don't think anybody believes that in the last six years, all of a sudden Bill Clinton has become a different person," Geffen was quoted as saying of the former president impeached over an affair with a White House intern.
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Meanwhile, conservatives sit back, pop-corn in hand, and watch as the liberals tear each other apart.

Analysis: Early bumps trip Clinton camp

NEW YORK - A Hollywood-style brawl with the campaign of rival Barack Obama (news, bio, voting record) is the latest in a series of speed bumps tripping up Hillary Rodham Clinton's early presidential moves.

From the Clinton team's decision to criticize — and therefore publicize — producer David Geffen's complaints about both Clintons to increasingly skeptical questions about Sen. Clinton's nuanced explanation of her 2002 vote authorizing the Iraq war, it became apparent even a battle-tested front-runner can fall prey to missteps.
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