Obama’s being more critical of Clinton’s positions, and more explicit in spelling out their differences. But he’s doing it in a way that isn’t very personal – it’s all about the issues. They’re both trying to avoid reprising last night’s tawdry tangle between Romney and McCain – or their own testy face-off at the South Carolina debate.
Their argument on the idea of health care mandates is a substantive and sophisticated one. There’s a good argument to be made for forcing people who don’t want to buy health care to pay into the system, and share the risk.
It’s not clear how the idea plays among voters. But people don’t like to be forced to do anything. Some of them would rather buy cars or vacations to Hawaii. It’s a very complicated argument, and it’s not clear voters will necessarily buy into Clinton’s position.
Still, Clinton has learned from her bitter experience in 1993 - and people have accepted it. Her failure has not discredited her. People believe that she learned something from it.
- CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider