Friday, November 09, 2007

Obama: Striving to Challenge Rivals Without Going Negative

It appears to be a real challenge for some Democratic candidates to resist all the cries for blood. Obama says he is striving to do just that.

The Democratic presidential candidate says he will endeavor to criticize his opponents without going 'sharply negative.' That, in my view, is a good thing.

It's not aways easy to distinguish 'criticism' from 'negativity' and some dispute Obama's claims but compared to the sharply negative campaigning of John Edwards, Obama appears to be using restraint.


CHARITON, Iowa, Nov. 8 -- Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) took on his two principal rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday, arguing that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) cannot appeal to independents and Republicans as effectively as he can and asserting that former senator John Edwards's populist message does not square with his record.

"I want to campaign the same way I govern, which is to respond directly and forcefully with the truth," Obama said. "That means I'm not going to paint a caricature of Senator Clinton. I think she's a smart, able person. I think anybody who tries to paint her as all negative is engaging in caricature, and when you start slipping into that mode, it's hard to come back."

He acknowledged that some might interpret that as a sign of timidity but said that he is convinced there is no other way for him to try to win the nomination. "First of all, you start losing credibility," he said. "Secondly, I'm not that good at saying things I don't really believe. Maybe this is considered a weakness in my political style. I try to stick to what I think."