The Democratic debate tonight may be Hillary Clinton’s best chance to get back in the game. As one commentator succinctly put it, “She has to reduce Obama to an incompetent charlatan whispering sweet nothings in the country’s ear.” Or, as Karl Rove put it more tactfully:
Mrs. Clinton can do much more to draw attention to Mr. Obama’s lack of achievements. She can agree with Mr. Obama’s statement Tuesday night that change is difficult to achieve on health care, energy, poverty, schools and immigration–and then question his failure to provide any leadership on these or other major issues since his arrival in the Senate. His failure to act, advocate or lead on what he now claims are his priorities may be her last chance to make a winning argument.
However, all of this falls a little flat coming from a Senator who has not exactly been a whirlwind of legislative accomplishment. And that’s the rub: Is Clinton that much more competent or experienced than he is? What she is, rather, is more tenacious, sober minded and realistic about Washington and the world. But that’s not going to win the Democratic primary and, hence, her problem remains. And her lead in March 4 polls continue to erode.