The Campaign Spot

Anthony Weiner, Going After Edwards and Defending Hillary with a Little More Octane

Yesterday, I suggested the statement from Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson in reaction to John Edwards’ speech on Iraq was a bit bland to earn the headline HILL JABS AT JOHN.

To refresh, Edwards said:

“If you’re in Congress and you know this war is going in the wrong direction and you know that we should not escalate this war in Iraq, it is no longer OK to study your options and keep your private council, silence is betrayal.”

And one section could be construed as that most unforgivable of sins, questioning another’s patriotism:

“Patriotism is about refusing to support something you know is wrong and having the courage to speak out with strength and passion and backbone for something you know is right.”

But Monday, Rep. Anthony Weiner, a Hillary defender, went after Edwards with a bit more “oomph.”

“To do what John Edwards did, which is to take a shot a Hillary Clinton, when he himself was in the U.S. Senate, he himself voted for the war, and Hillary is at least trying to solve this mess, is really not a great way to start a presidential campaign… You know John Edwards set a tone in the last campaign that impressed everyone… Now here he is starting out on a negative foot. I’m a little disappointed.”

I suspect we’ll see a lot of this as the campaign wears on, the challengers whacking away at the frontrunner Clinton in increasingly strident terms, and her trying to stay above the fray (or out of the country in a completely different fray, in Iraq) while her surrogates return fire. One could easily see Rep. Charlie Rangel being deployed as the near-untouchable hatchet man of the Democratic primary.


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