Sunday, January 13, 2008

Hillary's challenge

For months the press has treated the Democratic primary as a referendum on Hillary Clinton. She's explained herself, defended herself and hit back at her opponents more times than anyone can count - and we know about all of it because the press reports her every utterance, Bill's every utterance, her campaign's every move and even most stray words uttered by campaign surrogates. But you can't win the nomination simply on a referendum going up against someone as personally appealing as Barack Obama.

So if the press isn't going to step up and make this - at least to an extent - a referendum on Obama then Hillary has to do it for them. That means everything is on the table. Is Barack Obama Martin Luther King? Is he JFK? No. And Hillary needs to contest those comparisons. Despite his early war opposition, has he followed that up with any meaningful action in the Senate? Does his message have any meat to it? For voters to decide, clearly, but Hillary should be expected to fight on all of it.

Still, the question needs to be asked, where is the press in this process? Where is their examination of Obama and his message and his language and his tactics? Where?

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