But part of the problem with editorial writers — and, truth to tell, columnists like me — is a narrow definition of the qualifications necessary to be President. It helps to be a warrior, for one thing. It helps to be able to take a punch and deliver one — even, sometimes, a sucker punch. A certain familiarity with life as it is lived by normal Americans is useful; a distance from the élite precincts of academia, where unrepentant terrorists can sip wine in good company, is essential. Hillary Clinton has learned these lessons the hard way; Barack Obama thinks they are "the wrong lessons." The nomination is, obviously, his to lose. But the presidency will not be won if he doesn't learn that the only way to reach the high-minded conversation he wants, and the country badly needs, is to figure out how to maneuver his way through the gutter.Howie P.S.: The argument for restraint against Clinton and avoiding dealing with the "gutter" until the race against McCain is underway is about keeping the Clinton supporters on board, assuming Obama is the nominee.