Clinton Goes on the Attack in Iowa

By Jennifer Parker

Dec 3, 2007 2:02pm

ABC News’ David Wright and Eloise Harper Report: At the Surf Ballroom Monday in Clear Lake, Iowa, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., confessed her love of Buddy Holly and then went straight on the attack against her political rivals.

"I’m probably dating myself," she said, but confessed she is old enough to remember Buddy Holly, Ritchie Vallens and the Big Bopper –- who performed their last gig in the room in 1959, the night their plane went down.

Today Clinton briefly suggested she cut the political speeches short and crank up "Peggy Sue."  Instead she cranked up the attacks.

Without mentioning Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., by name, she all but accused him of weakness and laziness as a legislator and suggested his ambition exceeds his effectiveness.

Clinton sneered at Obama as someone "who started running for president as soon as he arrived in the United States Senate."   

"How did running for president become a qualification to be president?" she demanded. "This is not a job you can learn about from a book."

Noting that Obama missed the recent vote on the Kyl-Lieberman amendment, authorizing tougher sanctions against Iran, Clinton hammered Obama: "He didn’t show up to vote. He didn’t speak out in the presidential debate that night. And finally he decided to play politics and claimed that the vote he missed."

Obama and the other Democrats have all sharply criticized Clinton for voting yes on the bill –- alone among the Democratic candidates.

Clinton’s harsh new tone coincides with a slight drop in the polls in Iowa, according to a Des Moines Register poll released over the weekend.  Nationally she is still the frontrunner.  But polls show that here in Iowa she is trailing Obama.

Obama said yesterday that the attacks are "directly related to changing political fortunes."

Today Obama launched a new website,, to document her stepped-up attacks and respond to them.

Obama’s campaign is using the site to raise money as well.

"If 10,000 people donate in the next 48 hours in response, it will show our opponents that when they attack Barack Obama, it literally makes our campaign stronger," campaign manager David Plouffe says on the site.

The Obama campaign continued to counter-attack Monday, rebuking Clinton.

"Barack Obama doesn’t need lectures in political courage from someone who followed George Bush to war in Iraq, gave him the benefit of the doubt on Iran, supported NAFTA and opposed ethanol until she decided to run for President," said Obama campaign spokesperson Bill Burton.

ABC News’ Sunlen Miller contributed to this report.

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