With the Iowa caucus fast approaching, the candidates are getting less shy about flinging a little mud. Take this jab from Barack Obama, for example: “I think the fact of the matter is that Sen. Clinton is claiming basically the entire eight years of the Clinton presidency as her own, except for the stuff that didn’t work out, in which case she says she has nothing to do with it. ... “
Last week, Clinton—apparently feeling the heat—took one of her sharpest jabs yet at Obama, mocking his claim that his childhood years in Indonesia provide him with unique insight into foreign affairs. “Now voters will judge whether living in a foreign country at the age of 10 prepares one to face the big, complex international challenges the next president will face,” Clinton said.
Obama fired back in an interview with “Nightline” co-anchor Terry Moran: “You know, we must be doing pretty well in Iowa. She wasn’t paying much attention to what I said before then.”
And then, Obama went out of his way to belittle Clinton’s experience as first lady.
“I think the fact of the matter is that Sen. Clinton is claiming basically the entire eight years of the Clinton presidency as her own, except for the stuff that didn’t work out, in which case she says she has nothing to do with it,” Obama said, and added, referring to his relationship with his wife, Michelle, “There is no doubt that Bill Clinton had faith in her and consulted with her on issues, in the same way that I would consult with Michelle, if there were issues. ... On the other hand, I don’t think Michelle would claim that she is the best qualified person to be a United States senator by virtue of me talking to her on occasion about the work I’ve done.”
With this line of attack, Obama is openly calling Clinton out on one of the basic arguments of her candidacy and her career—that her experience at Bill Clinton’s side in the White House and before make her the most qualified person in the race.