Michelle Obama, wife of presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, rips Hillary over domestic issues.
Originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire File Photos
By Herald wire services
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Updated: 05:29 PM EST
It’s not clear how intended the slap was.
But the sting of Michelle Obama’s words last week while campaigning with her husband in Iowa has roughed up the Democratic race for president.
The wife of Barack Obama told an audience in Atlantic, Iowa: “If you can’t run your own house, you can’t run the White House.”
She didn’t elaborate, but with her husband’s chief opponent, Hillary Clinton, married to the world’s most famous philanderer, she didn’t need to.
Meanwhile, Barack Obama focuses on telling voters why he can win, and lead.
Despite his speaking skills and charisma, Obama is 46 years old and only three years out of the Illinois legislature.
In a bit of political judo, he’s using that inexperience to promise a change from politics as usual. But people still have to believe he’s capable, he says.
“The challenge for us is to let people know what I’ve accomplished at a time when the campaign schedule is getting so compressed,” Obama said in a recent Associated Press interview.
Obama also presents himself as the candidate who can win the South back for Democrats. Black voter turnout will swell by 30 percent if he wins the nomination, he says, giving Democrats victory in states that have voted Republican since President Johnson’s days.
He also struggles to make voters feel confident in the idea of him as commander in chief.
“It’s a stretch for them because I haven’t been on the national scene for long and haven’t gone through the conventional paths that we traditionally draw for our presidents,” he said.
But Obama says if he wins the nomination, questions about his experience and toughness will go away.
“Let me tell you, if I beat the Clintons, folks aren’t going to ask whether I’m tough enough,” he said.
Obama said he has “no doubt that there will be attempts to dirty me up.”
That his opponents might try to “dirty him up” is an interesting mindset from a candidate whose wife casually skewers one of his opponents.
But if it was an intentional skewering, it was doubly well-aimed. One reason the former first lady has a huge national lead with Democratic voters is her backing from the political machine built by her philandering husband, former President Clinton.