UPDATE: Maureen Dowd Column Incites Hillary-Obama War of Words

By: E&P Staff

Maureen Dowd’s column in The New York Times today, in which she quoted former Bill Clinton supporter David Geffen offering a few caustic comments, has incited a strong Hillary Clinton campaign attack on Geffen — and the candidate he now favors, Sen. Barack Obama.

Then Obama’s team fired back.

“Everybody in politics lies, but they [the Clintons] do it with such ease, it?s troubling,? Geffen had said.

Clinton campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson released the following statement this morning: “While Senator Obama was denouncing slash and burn politics yesterday, his campaign’s finance chair was viciously and personally attacking Senator Clinton and her husband.

“If Senator Obama is indeed sincere about his repeated claims to change the tone of our politics, he should immediately denounce these remarks, remove Mr. Geffen from his campaign and return his money.

“While Democrats should engage in a vigorous debate on the issues, there is no place in our party or our politics for the kind of personal insults made by Senator Obama’s principal fundraiser.”

Obama’s team responded a few hours later. Communications director Robert Gibbs just released the following statement:

?We aren?t going to get in the middle of a disagreement between the Clintons and someone who was once one of their biggest supporters. It is ironic that the Clintons had no problem with David Geffen when was raising them $18 million and sleeping at their invitation in the Lincoln bedroom. It is also ironic that Senator Clinton lavished praise on Monday and is fully willing to accept today the support of South Carolina State Sen. Robert Ford, who said if Barack Obama were to win the nomination, he would drag down the rest of the Democratic Party because he’s black.”

Geffen protested to Arianna Huffington today that he has no role in the Obama campaign beyond co-sponsoring his giant Hollywood fundraising event this week.

Among other things, Hollywood and music mogul Geffen had told Dowd, “God knows, is there anybody more ambitious than Hillary Clinton?” and “Obama is inspirational, and he?s not from the Bush royal family or the Clinton royal family. Americans are dying every day in Iraq. And I?m tired of hearing James Carville on television.?

More from Dowd:

— “I don?t think anybody believes that in the last six years, all of a sudden Bill Clinton has become a different person,? Mr. Geffen says, adding that if Republicans are digging up dirt, they?ll wait until Hillary?s the nominee to use it. ?I think they believe she?s the easiest to defeat.?

— She is overproduced and overscripted. ?It?s not a very big thing to say, ?I made a mistake? on the war, and typical of Hillary Clinton that she can?t,? Mr. Geffen says. ?She?s so advised by so many smart advisers who are covering every base. I think that America was better served when the candidates were chosen in smoke-filled rooms.?

— Once, David Geffen and Bill Clinton were tight as ticks. Mr. Geffen helped raise some $18 million for Bill and slept in the Lincoln Bedroom twice. Bill chilled at Chateau Geffen. Now, the Dreamworks co-chairman calls the former president ?a reckless guy? who ?gave his enemies a lot of ammunition to hurt him and to distract the country.?

— They fell out in 2000, when Mr. Clinton gave a pardon to Marc Rich after rebuffing Mr. Geffen?s request for one for Leonard Peltier. ?Marc Rich getting pardoned? An oil-profiteer expatriate who left the country rather than pay taxes or face justice?? Mr. Geffen says. ?Yet another time when the Clintons were unwilling to stand for the things that they genuinely believe in. Everybody in politics lies, but they do it with such ease, it?s troubling.?

Legendary war reporter and Bronze Star winner Joe Galloway on the scandalous treatment of vets at Walter Reed Hospital:

Click here.

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