Interesting exchange from Hillary's Politico/ABC interview last night:
JOHN HARRIS: You talked about taking on the Republicans. And I think a lot of Democrats are proud of the fact that you and Bill Clinton did prevail in some of your fights against Republicans.
But some of them were also frustrated that they had to defend you against what they perceived as self-inflicted wounds, in some cases. And a lot of Obama supporters are saying, Look, we don't want to just win the fights. We want to get past this constant fight in America, and that he's in better position to end this cycle of fight and retribution with the Republicans.
SENATOR CLINTON: Well, John, I think it depends upon what you think the fights were really about. You know, I never thought they were personal; I thought they were about the positions we took.
You know, standing up and fighting for universal health care drew a lot of incoming fire. Taking on the NRA over the assault weapons ban and, you know, the Brady bill, that was certainly not a popular thing to do.
Standing up and fighting for fiscal responsibility and getting the deficit down, you know, trying to get a balanced budget and a surplus, I mean, there's a big difference between infighting, fights over nothing, you know, just for the sake of fighting, as the Republicans have often done to score political points, you know, to really get that partisan advantage, and taking on the fights that are worth fighting over.
You know, it is important that we cooperate whenever we can. But there are a lot of principles and values at stake here.
You know, when President Bush, coming off his '04 win, came in and said, We're going to privatize Social Security, I'm really proud that I was one of the leaders who said, No, we're not going to let that happen. You may have this new capital because you're now the re- elected president, but this is a fight worth having. We're not going to let this occur.
So when I hear Senator Obama talk about that, I wonder which fights he wouldn't fight. Would he have not fought to get to a balanced budget and a surplus and help create 22 million new jobs? Would he have not fought to get assault weapons off the street and get them out of the hands of, you know, criminals and gang members?
You never hear the specifics. It's all this kind of abstract, general talk about how we all need to get along. I want to get along, and I have gotten along in the Senate. I will work with Republicans to find common cause whenever I can, but I will also stand my ground, because there are fights worth having.
Universal health care is a fight worth having. Senator Obama has decided it isn't. He won't present a plan for universal health care. That's a big difference between he and I, and it's a big difference between me and the Republican Party.