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Sweet: Obama, Clinton "hope" and "false hopes"

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Obama at a rally Sunday at Exeter High School, Exeter NH. (photos by Lynn Sweet)

DERRY, N.H.—Barack Obama’s retooled stump speech added a new element on Sunday, courtesy an opening chief rival Hillary Rodham Clinton put in his lap in Saturday’s debate when she talked about “false hope.”

That kind of talk just “bugs the heck” out of him.

What was she thinking?

Here’s the setup: At the debate, Clinton was talking about her ability to make change and dilute the ownership claims Obama and John Edwards have been making as change agents.

She went on to dissect Obama’s and Edwards messages that they represents hope for a better future. So far so good. But when she said there was a problem in “raising the false hopes of our country,” she was only doing a favor for Obama, who acts as if he as the exclusive franchise on hope.

Clinton at debate: “So, you know, I think it is clear that what we need is somebody who can deliver change. And we don't need to be raising the false hopes of our country about what can be delivered. The best way to
know what change I will produce is to look at the changes that I've
already made.”

Obama did not reply at the debate, but twice on Sunday—at rallies at Exeter and Derry two days before the primary—he ridiculed Clinton—not by name over “this notion of false hopes. Bugs the heck out of me,” he said at Exeter.

“That is contrary to what America is about, the notion that we shouldn’t just try to do something because we believe in it, because it is false hopes. There is no such thing as false hopes. We can focus and get stuff done.”

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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 January 6, 2008 3:03 PM.

Sweet: Former Sen. Bill Bradley endorses Obama on Sunday. Bradley statement. New poll Obama 33/Clinton 31 was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet column: In New Hampshire, Obama says he can beat everybody. is the next entry in this blog.

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