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In their own words: Clinton, McCain, Obama speak of each other

June 4, 2008 |  3:44 am

We learned a lot from the three candidates' speeches Tuesday night. They're all senators so there's ample yada-yada, of course. Barack Obama's speech was high-flying and low on details. HillaSenators John McCain and Hillary Clinton shortly before their engagement was announced. Look at themry Clinton's was resolute, close to defiance and defined by what it didn't contain: a concession.

John McCain's was hardly eloquent, pretty pedestrian in setting out his differences with both Obama and that Texas guy in the White House and rather surprising in its lengthy tribute to the losing Democrat. McCain's remarks were also cut off by all the networks, except Fox News, in their rush to disseminate more dramatic Democratic words and crowds.

Good luck to McCain's advance teams this fall in rousing audiences as their opponent does.

We also learned there's already no love lost between the two men who will face each other to become president next Jan. 20. Here below, in their own words, are what each of them said about the other. Ticket readers can make their own judgments and, hopefully, share them in the Comments section below.

Clinton on Obama:

"I want to start tonSenator Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama share a moment at one of the Democratic candidate debates as if they are friendsight by congratulating Sen. Obama and his supporters on the extraordinary race that they have run. Sen. Obama has inspired so many Americans to care about politics and empowered so many more to get involved, and our party and our democracy is stronger and more vibrant as a result.

"So, we are grateful, and it has been an honor to contest these primaries with him, just as it is an honor to call him my friend. And tonight, I would like all of us to take a moment to recognize him and his supporters for all they have accomplished."

Obama on Clinton:

"Sen. Hillary Clinton has made history in this campaign not just because she’s a woman who has done what no woman has done before, but because she’s a leader who inspires millions of ...

... Americans with her strength, her courage, and her commitment to the causes that brought us here tonight. I congratulate her on her victory in South Dakota tonight and I congratulate her on the race she has run throughout this contest.

"We’ve certainly had our differences over the last 16 months.  But as someone who’s shared a stage with her many times, I can tell you that what gets Hillary Clinton up in the morning –- even in the face of tough odds –- is exactly what sent her and Bill Clinton to sign up for their first campaign in Texas all those years ago; what sent her to work at the Children’s Defense Fund and made her fight for health care as first lady; what led her to the United States Senate and fueled her barrier-breaking campaign for the presidency: an unyielding desire to improve the lives of ordinary Americans, no matter how difficult the fight may be. 

"And you can rest assured that when we finally win the battle for universal healthcare in this country, and we will win that fight, she will be central to that victory. When we transform our energy policy and lift our children out of poverty, it will be because she worked to help make it happen. Our party and our country are better off because of her, and I am a better candidate for having had the honor to compete with Hillary Rodham Clinton."

McCain on Obama and Clinton:

"I commend both Sens. Obama and Clinton for the long, hard race they have run. Senators Barack Obama and John McCain confer as if they are friendsSenator Obama has impressed many Americans with his eloquence and his spirited campaign.

"Sen. Clinton has earned great respect for her tenacity and courage. The media often overlooked how compassionately she spoke to the concerns and dreams of millions of Americans, and she deserves a lot more appreciation than she sometimes received.

"As the father of three daughters, I owe her a debt for inspiring millions of women to believe there is no opportunity in this great country beyond their reach. I am proud to call her my friend."

Obama on McCain:

"In just a few short months, the Republican Party will arrive in St. Paul with a very different agenda.  They will come here to nominate John McCain, a man who has served this country heroically.  I honor that service, and I respect his many accomplishments, even if he chooses to deny mine.  My differences with him are not personal; they are with the policies he has proposed in this campaign."

Clinton on McCain:

She had nothing to say.

Now, what do you have to say?

--Andrew Malcolm

Photo credits: AP and Newsday