Walter Shapiro reiterates this artificial division between the allegedly combative Obama of the Jefferson-Jackson dinner and the meek Obama of the following morning.  The differences between these two performances are deceptive.  Obama’s use of “code words” and circumlocutions to criticise his opponents is not really any more pointed or combative than what he said this morning.  If virtually the only people who understand Obama’s references are journalists and insiders, he has accomplished nothing, except to generate media coverage in which observers ridicule his supposed “uneven” and “zigzag” campaigning.  Instead of tearing down his opponents, he has simply exposed himself to another round of critical commentary and missed another opportunity to wear down Clinton’s lead.

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