Senator Clinton gave a speech today in Clear Lake, Iowa that directly addressed the attacks she been getting directly or through surrogates from Barrack Obama and John Edwards. It’s a telling speech and one that may show the forthrightness that will be necessary to win the 2008 general election and govern thereafter. The full transcript is here.
Here are some samples from the speech drawn from MyDD.
“A couple of my leading opponents, directly and through surrogates, have spent months criticizing me without having to answer any of their own questions. They’ve been attacking my character. As I have said repeatedly, I really would prefer to attack the problems of the country and let my opponents run their own campaigns.
“But I have to set the record straight. Because often what you don’t know can be far more important than what you do know. The people of Iowa, I know, are good people who are trying very hard to make the right decision in this caucus. But people can only act on what they know.
“When it comes to health care, one of my opponents believes it’s acceptable to leave out 15 million Americans. That would be 100,000 here in Iowa. Leave them out from his health care plan because universal coverage might be too hard to achieve. I disagree. I don’t think we should start by giving up on 15 million Americans. That’s why my health care plan covers everyone.
“When it comes to Iran, I took a stand for aggressive diplomacy. One of my opponents made a different choice: He didn’t show up for the vote. He didn’t speak out during a presidential debate that night. And finally, he decided to play politics and claim that the vote he missed – a vote for diplomacy – was really a vote for war. Well if he really thought it was a rush to war, why did he rush to campaign and miss the vote?
“Now, there’s been a lot of talk about yes or no answers to complex questions. But most people don’t know that for legislators who don’t want to take a stand, there’s a third way to vote. Not yes, not no, but “present” – which is kind of like voting “maybe.” Well, in the Illinois State Senate, on issue after issue, my opponent voted “present,” instead of yes or no. Seven of those votes were on a woman’s right to choose. Two of those votes were on measures to protect families from gun violence – one of which was a measure about firing guns on or near school grounds.
While I have not chosen any candidate to support, I like the fact she is willing to fight back with facts and figures not emotional declarations or appeals to emotion.
As Senator Clinton said: The people of Iowa, I know, are good people who are trying very hard to make the right decision in this caucus. But people can only act on what they know.
Apparently she’s going to make damn certain everyone hears her side of the debate. With only 31 days left before the Iowa Caucus this is very appropriate.
This entire campaign is getting on my nerves. The next 30 days may get nasty indeed.