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Sweet column: Obama on Clinton, the artful dodger.

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In a major speech on Social Security delivered in 2005, Obama said, "in 1983 they gradually increased the retirement age, they increased the payroll tax modestly. I think those are all things that have to be considered."

Obama apparently has taken raising the retirement age off the table.


WASHINGTON -- Iowa caucus voters tend to be older; that's a reason White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is injecting Social Security as an issue into the campaign as he turns up the heat on rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).

Obama's latest Iowa spot, unveiled Sunday, is titled "Wind," as in Clinton has her finger to the wind to determine a position.


The paid Obama media follows a campaign swing on Saturday where Obama accused Clinton of dodging a public answer about her Social Security views and an interview Obama booked with the New York Times that ran Sunday where he said "now is the time" for him to demonstrate that Clinton is obscuring her positions on important issues.

The Iowa ad has Obama saying, "I don't want to just put my finger out to the wind and see what the polls say."

The Obama Social Security thrust sticks it to Clinton because she dodged a direct answer after one Tod Bowman, a teacher at Maquoketa Community High School, asked her about Social Security during a forum.

The AP's Nedra Pickler later reported that Clinton told Bowman when he posed for a picture with her that she was open to higher Social Security payroll taxes. Bowman on Saturday appeared with Obama.

At present, salaries are taxed for Social Security on the first $97,500 in earnings.

Obama in the spot says he is for ending the "Social Security tax exemption for the wealthy."

In a major speech on Social Security delivered in 2005, Obama said, "in 1983 they gradually increased the retirement age, they increased the payroll tax modestly. I think those are all things that have to be considered."

Obama apparently has taken raising the retirement age off the table. On Sunday Obama spokesman Ben Labolt said Obama "believes that benefits should not be cut and the retirement age should not be raised but instead the wealthiest should pay a little bit more to ensure that the most successful social program in history stays strong.''

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on October 29, 2007 7:40 AM.

Sweet Oct.29 Obama clips. LATimes wonders why Obama is not doing better. was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet blog extra: New Iowa poll. Clinton 28.9 Obama 26.6 Edwards 20 is the next entry in this blog.

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