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Obama Fires Back at Clinton Debate Ad

By Matthew Mosk
Hillary Clinton fired the first shot -- with an ad attacking Barack Obama in Wisconsin.

Now Obama has answered with a new ad.

The negative exchange may be the first on-air clash between the two Democrats. But it is a decidedly gentle tussle.

Clinton's ad knocked Obama for declining to debate her in the state. His response: "After 18 debates, with two more coming, Hillary says Barack Obama is ducking debates? It's the same old politics, of phony charges and false attacks."

"I didn't find [Clinton's ad] to be the most effective negative ad I've seen," said Ken Goldstein, a University of Wisconsin professor who monitors political commercials. "But she needed to do it."

Why? Goldstein said that though Clinton is already well known to Wisconsin voters, Obama is still introducing himself. "She needs to define Barack Obama."

And what does Obama need to do? Respond quickly to negative attacks, Goldstein said. And with the spot the campaign made public today, that's what Obama plans to do.

By Washington Post editors  |  February 14, 2008; 3:59 PM ET
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