From NBC's Mark Murray and Domenico Montanaro
In addition to rolling out former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to comment today on Hillary Clinton's response at last night's debate over to her response about meeting with the leaders of Syria, Cuba, Venezuela, etc., the Clinton campaign just issued a memo hitting Obama for his own remark.
"There is a clear difference between the two approaches these candidates are taking: Senator Obama has committed to presidential-level meetings with some of the world's worst dictators without precondition during his first year in office. Senator Clinton is committed to vigorous diplomacy but understands that it is a mistake to commit the power and prestige of America's presidency years ahead of time by making such a blanket commitment."
Of course, as we said earlier, the Clinton campaign here is opening themselves up to charges that they're taking a Bush-like approach to foreign affairs (the Bush folks would claim they're committed to vigorous diplomacy, too), and that they're flip-flopping (since Clinton, as the Obama camp has reminded us, has called for talking with the leaders of not-so friendly nations). But the most striking thing here is that we're talking about this exchange from the debate -- and not Obama's jab last night on Clinton's war vote. Score this day-after round (so far) to Team Hillary.
***UPDATE***Publicly the Clinton campaign is not going negative on Obama. Senior Adviser Howard Wolfson and Albright both demured when given the chance to explicitly hit Obama, but the campaign puts the critique of Obama in bold in its e-mail to the media.
Also, the Clinton campaign just called to strongly disagree with any comparison to the Bush Administration's foreign policy, saying that last night Clinton noted that she would still pursue "vigorous" diplomatic efforts with these nations.