Prez Campaign Has Begun: Dem Pundit Aims Barbs at Barack

I just heard the opening shot of the 2008 Dem presidential primary!

To paraphrase Hirohito's famous words to his people at the end of WWII, the electoral situation has developed not necessarily to the GOP's advantage. We'll certainly be picking through the rubble in coming weeks. But for the time being, let's look at the bright side: the 2008 presidential race is on! One sure sign of it: Barack Obama has become fair game for criticism - from fellow Democrats.

Hillary Rosen, a Dem consultant and former interim Director of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group, was a guest on a Chris Matthews election post-mortem panel early Wednesday morning. Rosen took some real shots at someone who heretofore had only been dutifully referred to by Dems as "a rising star."

Said Rosen:

"If people criticize Hillary Clinton as too liberal and too ambitious, what about Barack Obama? A one-and-a-half year senator? Someone who, if you look at his record, is actually more progressive [i.e., liberal] than Hillary?" Rosen added that Hillary was the more "mainstream" candidate who had "more experience."

Rosen was sounding themes that the Clinton camp will surely pound should Obama make a run. Barack - hope you enjoyed your 15 minutes of political honeymoon. The cutlery has now officially been deployed.

Aside: There was 2008 prez politicking on the GOP side, too.  Philly talk radio host Michael Smerconish described himself to Matthews as a pro-choice, embryonic stem cell research advocate who has called for a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.  He expressed concern over what he described as the domination of the GOP by religious conservatives.  Smerconish suggested that, if they want to win in 2008, Republicans would be well-advised to choose a Rudy Giuliani as their candidate.

Finkelstein, who lives in Ithaca, NY, today begins a trip to Iraq, from where he will be reporting for CNS News and maintaining an 'Iraq Diary' at NewsBusters. Contact him at

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