Hillary and Bill Clinton are facing backlash for their aggressive tone toward Barack Obama, as the former First Couple stands accused of conduct unbecoming of party leaders. As the Clinton campaign harps on discredited charges, the Washington Post writes, many neutral Democrats worry the harshness might hurt in the general election—compromising an Obama ticket or scattering black support for a Hillary-headed slate.
Top liberals Ted Kennedy and Rahm Emanuel have told Bill to tone things down; Obama supporter Patrick Leahy has accused him of “glib cheap shots.” For his part, Obama is shifting to the risky approach of rapid response to Clinton digs. The uncommitted Barbara Boxer dissented, saying the race’s toughness might be helpful: “Can you stand up? Do you wither under criticism?”