How Hard Will He Hit Back?

Clinton's attack plan worked; Obama must respond
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2008 9:53 AM CST

(Newser) – Hillary Clinton scored her dramatic comeback in last night's primaries by getting tough—even nasty—with her opponent, Josh Marshall writes on TPM, and the question is now whether Barack Obama has it in him to fight that kind of fight. "Can he take this back to Hillary Clinton, demonstrate his ability to take punches and punch back?" If Obama wants to win this, Ben Smith writes on Politico, “he’ll need to shove her off the stage.”

The delegate deck is still stacked against Hillary, but the race for the remaining delegates, and the loyalty of the superdelegates, may hinge on whether "Obama looks like a damaged candidate who seems unable to fight off a determined and ruthless opponent," Marshall notes. But in finding his mean side, he’s got to be careful not to tarnish his image, Marshall adds: When “good candidates” fight, they’re able to be mean and still “cohere with their broader message.”