The Washington Times - February 18, 2008, 03:18PM
Sen. Hillary ClintonSen. Barack Obama SEE RELATED:


today over Obama’s oratory
MILWAUKEE — Sen. Barack Obama’s critics are accusing him of breaking a promise to take public financing.\ \ \ Mr. Obama of Illinois has proven fundraising prowess, and his millions helped him win dozens of primary contests this year and assume the front-runner mantle this month. But Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign and Sen. John McCain, the likely Republican nominee, slammed him yesterday as backtracking on a year-old campaign-finance pledge.\ \ \ Meanwhile, a powerful storm forced the candidates to scrap campaign plans in this state yesterday. Mr. Obama used the unexpected break to travel secretly to North Carolina to meet with former Sen. John Edwards, who ended his presidential bid last month and is weighing an endorsement of either Democrat.
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Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton often gets her loudest applause when she talks about her failed health care reform effort, and the candidates’ promises to tackle universal coverage have become a major flash point on the campaign trail.\ \ \ The New York senator says she learned from her mistakes and will give Americans a choice of health care plans, while attacking rival Sen. Barack Obama as having abandoned the core principle of universal care because he doesn’t mandate insurance coverage.\ \ \ Mr. Obama says their plans aren’t so different on substance - they both would open the congressional insurance plan to everyone, for example - but lately he has toughened his language. The Illinois senator says the Clinton plan “forces” families to buy insurance, and argues subsidizing health care costs is more important than mandating coverage.
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Q: “I want to ask you a very personal question and I hope you’re comfortable with it. I’m a wife asking you this. And I hope you’ll talk to me again after this.” (Clinton laughs a bit uncomfortably.)\ \ “How do you, if elected to office, how do you return to a White House, the same office, walk the same halls and not be haunted with some personal challenges which became very public?”\ \ A: “Well because I have lived long enough to know that you always have to think about the future. I am very comfortable with who I am, and the decisions that I’ve made. I feel very fortunate to have lived the life that I’ve lived.”\ \ “I have a wonderful family who supports me in what I do and because I’ve been there before, I know how important it is to stay focused on what’s important to the American people. I want to get up every day and not think about me. I want to think about you. I want to think about your family and the people here in Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin. Because I think the people of our country need a president again who’s going to be focused on helping them solve their problems.\ \ “We all have problems in life. Nobody’s immune from that. And really sometimes you can’t predict what’s going to happen to you in life. You don’t have control over that. But what you can do is decide how you’re going to respond, and what is going to be your feelings and how you’re going to make the best decisions for yourself and your family. That’s what I’ve tried to do and I’m very comfortable with that.”
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Christina Bellantoni, national political reporter, The Washington Times