The Washington Times - February 27, 2008, 08:51AM
Sen. Barack Obamastill down in Ohio polls SEE RELATED:


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CLEVELAND — Democratic presidential front-runner Sen. Barack Obama weathered some “glancing blows” as his rival and moderators challenged his experience in last night’s debate, but he emerged relatively unscathed.\ \ \ Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton had been expected to unload a barrage of attacks on Mr. Obama, and even top Obama advisers conceded that the New York senator landed several blows last night, keeping the new Democratic front-runner on the defensive.\ \ \ The debate yielded a lengthy discussion about foreign policy.\ \ \ Mrs. Clinton mispronounced the name of Vladimir Putin’s presumptive successor as Russian president, smiling and saying “whatever” after she had trouble with First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s last name, reminiscent of George W. Bush’s bungling foreign leaders’ names as a candidate in 2000.\ \ \ Mr. Obama, of Illinois, did not take the opportunity to point out Mr. Medvedev’s first name, but his strategist David Axelrod said he knows the man’s name.\ \ \ “Having seen Senator Clinton try and fail, I think he didn’t want to try,” Mr. Axelrod said.\ \ \ Mrs. Clinton noted that her rival talks about Afghanistan but has held “not one substantive hearing to figure out what we can do to actually have a stronger presence with NATO in Afghanistan” in his subcommittee that has jurisdiction over NATO.\ \ \ Mr. Obama explained that he became chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee subpanel on Europe at the beginning of his campaign in 2007.
herehereChristina Bellantoni, national political reporter, The Washington Times