Hit Her Again!

That's how pundits want Obama to handle Clinton. But he's far more presidential when he speaks the quiet truth

Larry Downing / Reuters

Democratic presidential candidates U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton and U.S. Senator Barack Obama talk during a break in the Democratic candidates debate at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 30, 2007.

There are empty seats at some of Barack Obama's meetings now. His media coverage isn't as breathless as it used to be. His poll numbers have been static, with the important exception of Iowa, where he is creeping upward. His performances have been static too, nourishing but unexciting. He has been more herbivore than carnivore in debates. All of which occasioned that most banal of modern journalistic ceremonies in the days leading up to the Oct. 30 Democratic debate: a fevered, unsolicited-advice orgy. None of the advice was substantive, of course. It was all about tactics. He had to attack Hillary...

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