During the Democratic Compassion Forum at Messiah College on April 13, Obama turned another nice phrase when he defined for the audience the precise point at which -- in his generous view -- freedom of speech and the right to privacy intersect.
"And those who are opposed to abortion, I think, should continue to be able to lawfully object and try to change the laws," he said.
Presumably, reasonable people could take the opposite position that those opposed to abortion should no longer be able to lawfully object and try to change the laws.
Undoubtedly Obama's greatest Clintonism, however, is what he said about the Iraq War in a Jan. 31 debate in Los Angeles.
"So, I have said very clearly I will end this war," said Obama. "And I also think we've got to be very clear about what our mission is, and there may be a difference here between Sen. Clinton and myself in terms of the force structures that we would leave behind. Both of us have said we would make sure that our embassies and our civilians are protected. Both of us have said that we've got to care for Iraqi civilians, including the 4 million who have been displaced already. ... We both have said that we need to have a strike force that can take out potential terrorist bases that get set up in Iraq."
I will end this war, Obama was apparently saying, but after I have ended this war, I will keep troops in Iraq to fight people who attack our embassies, to fight people who attack our civilians, to fight people who attack Iraqi civilians and to fight terrorists who try to set up bases in Iraq.
Is it any wonder that even his former pastor parses what Obama says?
If he can do that, the Democrats could lose a third straight presidential election.