In the space of an hour this weekend, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.), using some of their most pointed and forceful rhetoric of the campaign, framed in stark terms the choice for Democrats deciding their party's presidential nomination.
Clinton gave a strong speech at the Iowa Democratic Party's annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner late Saturday night, but Obama, criticized for occasional lackluster performances on the campaign trail, delivered one of his most focused and powerful addresses. In the view of many in the audience, he emerged as the oratorical winner at the biggest Democratic political event in Iowa before the state's January caucuses.
Randy Naber of Muscatine left the auditorium still committed to Edwards and fond of Clinton, but like others, he was impressed with Obama's performance. Obama, he said, "really surprised me tonight."
That was good news for the Obama campaign, but the weekend showed just how intense the rest of the battle for the nomination will be.
Monday, November 12, 2007
"Democrats' Provocative Iowa Dinner Conversation"