Campaigning in Iowa, Obama gave a glimpse at his more aggressive approach, noting that Clinton has not answered questions about her approach to dealing with Social Security and characterizing her political approach as: "You should hedge, dodge and spin, but at all costs, don't answer." As if to emphasize that point, Obama released a new ad in Iowa on the topic, taking a veiled jab at Clinton.
"We've got 78 million baby boomers who are going to be retiring," Obama says in the ad. "There's going to be more money going out than money coming in. If we have failed to have a real, honest conversation about Social Security, it will not get fixed. This is a program that millions of people depend on. … I don't want to just put my finger out to the wind and see what the polls say. I want to bring the country together to solve a problem." On the screen, the ad spells out Obama's "principles" on Social Security: "Protect benefits, No privatization of Social Security, End Social Security tax exemption for the wealthy."
Much of the attention to Obama's aggressive new tone has been centered on the Clinton campaign's response to it. Every time Obama or his campaign have even teetered to the edge of saying something critical, the Clinton camp responds that by pointing out that Obama has long eschewed negative politics and has promised to change the tone of the campaign. He responded to that in the Times interview, saying, "The notion that somehow changing the tone means simply that we let them say whatever they want to say or that there are no disagreements and that we're all holding hands and singing 'Kumbaya' is obviously not what I had in mind and not how I function. And anybody who thinks I have, hasn't been paying attention." If voters haven't been paying attention, they will soon have another chance. The Democratic candidates will gather tomorrow night for yet another debate and expectations will be sky-high for some fireworks between Obama and Clinton.
"President-In-Waiting" Takes On A Whole New Meaning: Clinton's pledge to launch an aggressive diplomatic push after being elected – but before taking office – has some foreign policy wonks raising eyebrows. Clinton recently said, "The day after I'm elected, I'm going to be asking distinguished Americans of both political parties to travel around the world on my behalf with a very simple message to the governments and the people alike: The era of cowboy diplomacy is over." But doing so could potentially lead to a situation where the nation is pursuing two separate foreign policies. "The danger is that you have two presidents conducting foreign policy, one with all the power and no moral authority, and one with no power," scholar James Lindsey tells the Des Moines Register.
And Rudy Giuliani seized on Clinton's comments while campaigning in New Hampshire, according to AP. "We can have our political debate in this country," he said, adding, "but nobody should be creating the specter that we're sending emissaries out around the world before someone is actually sworn in as president of the United States."
Side Effects May Include … John Edwards is taking aim at those ubiquitous pharmaceutical ads on television and is calling for a two-year waiting period before drug companies can market new products. "You've seen these ads. You know who's paying for them, right? You are," Edwards said. "Basically, they do what they want, and they're driving up demand for the most expensive and most profitable drugs." Edwards said he would also call for more penalties for companies proven to have broken truth-in-advertising laws and require more disclosure about possible side effects.
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