More jabs in Bill Clinton, Obama feud

February 14, 2008 7:39:02 PM PST
Martin Luther King's birthday drew all three of the Democratic front runners to the same celebration and there seemed to be a real effort to make nice.

On this anniversary of Martin Luther King's birthday, the Democratic presidential contenders are all in South Carolina, praising Dr. King and saying nice things about each other. At the same time, former President Bill Clinton is taking shots at Senator Obama, who is also returning fire.

This morning, former President Bill Clinton made a few statements about Barack Obama.

"He said in the 90's, the good ideas came out from the Republicans, which could be costly down the road for him because it's factually not accurate," says Clinton.

What Barack Obama really said was that he thought Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not, and in a way, that Bill Clinton did not. He also said that the Republican Party had been the party of ideas for a lot of years, but some of those ideas, like tax cuts, really weren't going to work on the energy problem.

On Good Morning America, the Illinois Senator called out the former President.

"One of the things that we're going to have to do is to directly confront Bill Clinton when he's not making statements that are factually accurate," says Obama.

This has been going on back and forth, leaving Hillary Clinton free to talk about the issues or publicly make nice as she did on Monday.

"Barack Obama is an extraordinary young African American man with so much too contribute," said Hillary.

Former Clinton aide, Chris Lehane, says it's a strategy that works.

"If the Clinton campaign can create a dynamic or scenario where Hillary Clinton gets to focus on her positives talk about how she's going to move the country forward on the economy and former President Clinton and Senator Obama are going back and forth, that's a day the Clinton campaign wins. They'll take that day, every single day of the campaign between now and the end of the campaign."

USF political science Professor James Taylor says the former president is popular with Black Democrats, but he also has some baggage.

"Bill Clinton certainly has a celebrity effect among African Americans. If they want to continue to present Bill Clinton as her attack dog, and that's what's happening, we will continue to see Monica Lewinsky and impeachment kinds of issues continue to emerge."

So far the only candidate talking about Monica Lewinsky has been Hillary Clinton in a TV interview with Tyra Banks. However, we should note that besides being Martin Luther King's birthday it is also the 10th anniversary of the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

The Clinton campaign has also just announced that Hillary Clinton will be in Salinas on Tuesday afternoon for a Town Hall meeting at Hartnell College.