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For Best Performance by a Democratic Candidate . . .

Hillary Clinton showed a range of emotions from anger to mockery towards the upstart, pretentious Barack Obama. Reacting first to an Obama campaign mailing on health care:

"I have to express my deep disappointment that he is continuing to send false and discredited mailings," Clinton said, holding the fliers in her hand. "He says one thing in his speeches, and then he turns around and does this. It is not the new politics the speeches are about. It is not hopeful. It is destructive."

She added, "Shame on you, Barack Obama. It is time you ran a campaign consistent with your messages in public."

And then showing her range, Clinton pivots Sunday to ridicule Obama on his hopes of taming special interests:

“Now I could stand up here and say, let’s get everybody together, let’s get unified the sky will open, the light will come down, celestial choirs will be singing,” she said, to a smattering of giggles. “And everyone will know we should do the right thing, and the world will be perfect.”

She added: “But I have no illusions about how hard this is going to be. You are not going to wave a magic wand and make the special interests disappear.”

Barack Obama demonstrates an ability to keep his cool in the face of simultaneous attacks not only from his Democratic rival . . .

"She’s essentially presented herself as co-president during the Clinton years. Every good thing that happened she says she was a part of," he said. "So the notion that she can selectively pick what you take credit for and then run away from what isn’t politically convenient, that doesn’t make sense. If she’s suggesting she had nothing to do with economic policy in the Clinton White House, then it would not be fair [to attack her on NAFTA], but as you know, that’s not the claim that she’s making."

. . . but also from announced 3rd party candidate Ralph Nader:

"Ralph Nader’s view is, unless it’s Ralph Nader, then you’re not tough enough on any of these issues," he said. "He thought there was no difference between Al Gore and George Bush. I think eight years later, people realize Ralph doesn’t know what he’s talking about."

He added, "Ralph Nader deserved enormous credit for the work he did as consumer advocate." But, he concluded, "His function as perennial presidential candidate is not helping put food on table."

And responding to the Republican smear campaign on his partiotism:

As for the pin, he said, "if we want to start getting into those definitions of patriotism," then he would come back with questions for a "a party that presided over a war where the troops that didn’t get the body armor they needed" and is "undermining our Constitution with warrantless wiretaps that are unnecessary."

"That’s a debate I’m more than willing to have," he said. "We’ll see what the Americans think is the true definition of patriotism."

And the winner is . . .

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John has been writing for Firedoglake since 2006 or so, on whatever interests him. He has a law degree, worked as legal counsel and energy policy adviser for a state energy agency for 20 years and then as a consultant on electricity systems and markets. He's now retired, living in Massachusetts.

You can follow John on twitter: @JohnChandley

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