Let the headlines begin: "Barack Hussein Obama: The Feel-Good-About-Yourself Candidate," compliments of GOPbloggers. I've gone after the conservatives for taking out after Barack Obama's middle name, starting with Glenn Beck. In fact, one of my posts opened out onto a lawsuit threat against me by one wingnut, which happened just yesterday.  Not to worry, progressives came to my aid, including Bob, Mash, Joe, Roxanne and many others, including in emails that got me (and my attorney) in touch with the right copyright and First Amendment lawyers.  But Obama entering the '08 race is the beginning of what will be a very nasty campaign, not only because his middle name, "Hussein," will be used against him time and time again, but because Republicans are highly prejudice, and our candidates are so formidable.

John Edwards has already gained a lot of ground, especially with his strong stance against escalating the war in Iraq, as well as his proclaiming Mr. Bush's escalation "The McCain Doctrine." His strong support of unions also helps.

Barack Obama has not been nearly as strong on the escalation, evidently preferring "symbolism" to action, or confusing one as being as strong as the other. (I won't say "I told you so," but I did warn you.) But Obama did strongly push back against escalation after Mr. Bush's speech last week. Certainly the fact that Obama was against the Iraq war from the start helps, but he wasn't in the Senate, so it's difficult to know what he'd have done if he were.

As for Hillary Clinton, she planned a "newser" today about her recent trip to Iraq, but one in her group fell ill so it was canceled. However, assuming she'll run in '08, I hope her group gets better at messaging. Wolfson's recent swipe at Edwards was just pathetic.

But as Edwards statement on Sunday said so well, it's not only silence that is betrayal, offering only symbolism alone against escallation in Iraq is equally insulting.

Clinton's surprising broadside came just hours after Edwards, in Harlem, delivered a sharp condemnation – clearly aimed at Clinton, although he didn't mention her by name – against those who fail to "speak out" against the war in Iraq.

"Silence is betrayal, and I believe it is a betrayal not to speak out against the escalation of the war in Iraq," Edwards told a crowd at Manhattan's Riverside Church, where Martin Luther King had declared his opposition to the Vietnam War.

"If you're in Congress and you know that this war is going in the wrong direction . . . it is no longer OK to study your options and keep your own private counsel," he said.

"Silence is betrayal. Speak out and stop this escalation now."

HILL JABS AT JOHN
TAKES HER FIRST SHOT VS. AN '08 PREZ FOE