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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Clinton Claps, Obama Refrains, When Bush Says Al Qaeda "On The Run" In Iraq

From the Washington Times:

When Mr. Bush entered the House chamber at 9:05, Mrs. Clinton stopped clapping after a few moments. Mr. Obama, however, clapped for almost the entire four minutes that Mr. Bush took to walk down the aisle.

One of the few policy lines on which the two senators differed came when Mr. Bush said that Al Qaeda is "on the run" in Iraq. Mrs. Clinton stood and clapped, while Mr. Obama did not.

On his way out of the chamber after his speech, Mr. Bush shook Mr. Obama's hand and then Mr. Kennedy's, and made a few quick remarks to both, drawing a smile from Mr. Obama.

The Hill highlighted the same moment:

Clinton and Obama's divergent views on the troop surge in Iraq, however, were plainly visible.

When Bush proclaimed, "Ladies and gentlemen, some may deny the surge is working, but among terrorists there is no doubt," Clinton sprang to her feet in applause but Obama remained firmly seated. The president's line divided most of the Democratic audience, with nearly half standing to applaud and the other half sitting in stony silence.

In one instance Clinton appeared to gauge Obama's response before showing her own.

The politics of clapping seemed to split both ways. A CNN analyst commented last night, "I saw at one moment, it appeared that Barack Obama was peering over at one moment to see if Senator Clinton had stood to applaud for something. You know there's always this politics of who stands up."

The Hill adds this color: "After his speech, Bush sought out Kennedy, his former partner in education reform, to exchange greetings. He also shook Obama's hand and said hello in typical Bush fashion: 'Hey buddy, how's it going,' he said, according to Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), who also sat next to Obama for the speech."

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