In keeping with his "messiah" image, Barack Obama might have been more at home in Bethlehem, Pa., than in Unity, N.H., when he and his "former" nemesis, Hillary Clinton, opened their new act on the road to mixed reviews.
We are supposed to forget everything they said about each other during the primaries. They didn't really mean it; or did they? This is why so many people are cynical about politicians. You never know if they are telling you what you want to hear, or what they hope you'll swallow in spite of evidence to the contrary.
As recently as late February, Hillary Clinton told "The 700 Club," "...there is a certain phenomenon associated with (Obama's) candidacy dangerously oversimplifies the complexity of the problems we face, the challenge of navigating our country through some difficult, uncharted waters." Has Obama become a ship's captain in so short a time?
Sen. Clinton opposed lifting the ceiling on Social Security payroll taxes, which Obama favors. Last November during the Democratic Presidential Debate in Las Vegas, she said, "I do not want to fix the problems of Social Security on the backs of middle-class families and seniors. If you lift the cap, that is a $1 trillion tax increase. I don't think we need to do that." For a Democrat to oppose a tax hike is surprising enough, but does Sen. Clinton now support Obama's position?
In March on CNN's "Newsroom," Sen. Clinton questioned Obama's readiness to be commander in chief. She said she and Sen. John McCain had crossed "the commander in chief threshold. You will have to ask Sen. Obama with respect to his candidacy." Is he now suddenly ready?
On MSNBC's "Hardball," Sen. Clinton mocked Obama for arguing that, "living in a foreign country at the age of 10 prepares one to face big, complex, international challenges the next president will face."
Sen. Obama was also highly critical of Sen. Clinton, saying in January that she is "willing to say anything to get a political or tactical advantage," a tactic he said "(erodes) people's trust in government" and that she is "part of a perpetual campaign that keeps us from solving problems."
Obama also ridiculed Sen. Clinton's claims to experience, saying they amount to "osmosis, as a consequence of having been first lady."
Obama has been at odds with himself, as well as Sen. Clinton. He told Iraqi leaders he would consult with them and the U.S. military, but he has also said before such consultations he will order a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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