ABC: 'Obama Appears to View Hillary as a Thug'
"For his part, Obama appears to view Hillary as a thug who will say anything to win." -- ABC's Dan Harris, GMA, 01-31-08.
Gangsta rappers for Hillary? Could be. After all, Barack Obama apparently sees her as a "thug." At least that's what ABC's Dan Harris said on today's Good Morning America.
ROBIN ROBERTS: And that brings us now to the Democrats. It's their turn tonight. Whatever your political feelings, it's an historic moment in American history. A woman, an African-American man, one will shatter 200 years of history and win the nomination. The stakes could not be any higher. Dan Harris is here with the story.
DAN HARRIS: High stakes, high tension, high drama. The showdown with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama has become increasingly acidic. And their positions on the issues are essentially identical but their personalities and personal philosophies are very different.
View video here.
Cut to Obama clip: "It is time for a new generation of leadership."
Harris: In the run-up to tonight's debate. Barack Obama gave his toughest speech yet using some of Bill and Hillary Clinton's own slogans against them.Obama clip: "I know it's simple to turn back the clock, to look backwards and try to build a bridge back to the 20th century."
HARRIS: Hillary Clinton pushed back by playing off the title of his book,"The Audacity of Hope," telling the AP "that certainly sounds audacious but not hopeful. It's not hopeful and it's not what we should be talking about in this campaign." Make no mistake, this thing has gotten personal.Cut to clips from last debate.
Obama: "You were a corporate lawyer sitting on the board of Wal-Mart."
Clinton: "You were practicing law and representing your contributor Rezko in his slum-landord business in inner-city Chicago."
HARRIS: Political watchers say Hillary Clinton feels she's earned this nomination and resents Barack Obama, a relative newcomer, for standing in her way.Cut to clip of ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd: "It's sort of 'I've worked all my life, I've got all this and I've done it all and it's my time,' versus this sort of new person on the block who's there, who's popular, who things have come easy for.
HARRIS: Political analyst Matthew Dowd says it's a bit like that movie "Election," where Reese Witherspoon's good-girl character is challenged for class president by the popular jock.
Cut to movie clip of Witherspoon: "Okay, you're on, Mr. Popular."
That's when Harris dropped his bomb.
HARRIS: For his part, Obama appears to view Hillary as a thug who will say anything to win. And there are signs, including this alleged snub at the State of the Union the other day that she has gotten under his skin.
Cut to another Obama debate clip: "You're likeable enough, Hillary."
HARRIS: While this clash may at times be off-putting, it can also be revealing.
DOWD: It's those human insights, whether it's somebody tearing up or somebody raising their voice or getting angry. How they respond really tells the American public what kind of person they'll be as president.
HARRIS: Part of what's been revealed is that these two candidates have very different views on politics and the presidency. Obama sees himself as a visionary and inspirational figure. Clinton by contrast sees herself as an executive, a doer. Obama thinks partisanship can be transcended; Clinton thinks that is dangerously naive and that it will never work against the Republicans.
Thug life! Expect to see Harris quizzed on the basis for his assertion.