Update: Michelle Obama disagrees with me

After the candidate says all's fair, his wife denounces the Clintons' "win at any cost" tactics. Plus: A last word on the "battles of the sixties."


Joan Walsh
January 25, 2008 6:00PM (UTC)

I wrote Thursday that Barack Obama agreed with me that the campaign against Hillary Clinton will get him in shape to face Republicans. Apparently, Michelle Obama disagrees with me -- and with him.

Shortly after Obama made his remarks seeming to absolve the Clintons of the dirty-politics charge, I got an e-mail from the campaign featuring the candidate's wife lambasting the former first couple's "win-at-any-cost tactics," "disingenuous attacks" and "smear tactics" (Walter Shapiro writes about it here.) It was a fundraising letter, seeking smallish donors. It made me think: I would pay money to see a Michelle Obama-Bill Clinton debate. I bet we could raise enough to end homelessness. I look forward to the day when both of these people are on the same side.

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Seriously, I'm not suggesting Michelle Obama is somehow equivalent to President Clinton -- I understand people's uneasiness having a former president wage such a tough campaign on his wife's behalf. I think Walter runs down the downside very well in his piece today. But I still think reporters are far tougher on Clinton than voters are, and both sides -- Clinton and the MSM -- seem to be fighting the last war. We'll find out who won soon enough.

I do find myself thinking: Am I fighting the last war, continuing to raise questions about the double standard in the way the media covers the Clinton and Obama campaigns? I hope not, but I'm still thinking about it. I also continue to think about the meaning of Obama's saying he's "not as invested" in the "battles of the sixties," and why that bothers me. See the video below.

Meanwhile, a new Clemson University poll finds a whopping 36 percent of South Carolina voters still undecided about Saturday's Democratic primary. Now I don't feel so alone. We'll be bringing you full coverage on Saturday.

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Joan Walsh

Joan Walsh is the author of "What's the Matter With White People: Finding Our Way in the Next America."

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