Is Obama Playing It Too Safe? Is Clinton Really Finished?

Where Barack's missing out and what Hillary needs to do
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2008 10:24 AM CDT
Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(Newser) – John Edwards’ endorsement may have helped Obama turn the page on recent troubles, but pundits say he should face up to them—or he leaves an opening for Hillary to climb back in:

  • Sure, it was a “rational, prudent decision” to skip West Virginia, David Broder allows, but it will keep Obama’s blue-collar question alive into the fall. He could have staged a JFK-style coup in the Mountain State—he certainly had the money and foot soldiers.

  • Doug Schoen more optimistically says Obama’s speedbumps “have been a great benefit” to him. Pre-general election vetting is critical, and so far Obama’s favorability rating is only improving. And now he knows his weak spot: Solve it with a down-to-earth economic agenda and a generous display of working-class empathy.
  • Gail Collins is peeved that Clinton keeps calling her fans more “hard-working” than her rival’s. This is how hard she’ll need to work to win: 1) limit Obama's Kentucky take to 100 votes; 2) shove Oregon off the American mainland; 3) win statehood for Puerto Rico; and 4) win Mount Rushmore's endorsement before South Dakota votes.