Saturday, April 19, 2008

Hard Questioning Of Obama, Clinton, Is Only Proper

Written on M.S. Prinsendam, Cruising Off Madagascar--

With the crucial Pennsylvania primary approaching, the final debate between Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton was an acerbic one, with ABC reporters (one of whom once worked for the Clintons) asking Obama many negative questions and Hillary piling it on.

We'll have to see which way this cuts. In some debates, the public has an adverse reaction to being too negative toward one of the candidates. A Washington Post poll shows Hillary's negatives mounting, and it is conceivable there will be a voter backlash in the Pennsylvania vote against all the questioning of Obama.

Nonetheless, I feel there should be no real complaint about the debate. Obama wants to be President of the U.S. There can be no objection to his being subject to real tests, the hardest questions that test his mettle. We are learning more about him, and most of what we have learned is that he is a resilient charcter who displays great intelligence, and even wisdom. All this is to the good.

The fact that just yesterday, Obama picked up three estimable endorsements -- those of former Labor Secretary (under Bill Clinton) Robert Reich, and former Sens. Sam Nunn of Georgia and David Boren of Oklahoma -- demonstrates once again that Obama is winning very important backing in the heartland of the Democratic party, which, as Time columnist Joe Klein writes, shows that many Democrats are getting fed up with Hillary's incessant attacks on Obama, going so far as to give Sen. John McCain talking points in a fall campaign against Obama. Klein in the past has been a Clinton supporter in his column. The fact that he writes the Democratic race may be about over is indicative of Clinton slippage. But, of course, we have to watch for the Pennsylvania results. If an Obama tide is really running, that should show up there, at least in a very close race and possibly in an Obama victory.


Bill Boyarsky has written a good memo on Russ Stanton's memo regarding the recent L.A. Times editors' retreat, pointing out it is filled with platitudes, and that cutbacks at the Times can only deprive the Los Angeles readers of essential information. Boyarsky is too kind to say that Stanton is dumb, but the evidence accumulates that he is.



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