From NBC's Abby Livingston
Oh snap! Who needs a Rottweiler when you've got surrogates?
Tom Buffenbarger president of the machinists' union (International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers) was the the latest in a string of Clinton junkyard dogs unleashed upon Obama. Prior to Hillary Clinton's speech last night in Youngstown, Ohio, Buffenbarger delivered nothing short of an Obama diatribe.
While campaign introductions typically sing the praises of the upcoming candidate, Buffenbarger's speech barely mentioned Clinton until the conclusion. It was all about Obama, and it was laced with venom and ad hominems.
Buffenbarger called Obama a "thespian," and he sarcastically referred to the junior senator from Illinois as a "wunderkind." He compared Obama to "Janus, the two-faced Roman god of ancient times." And he pleaded with the crowd to boo Obama's labor record.
Early in his speech, Buffenbarger asked, "So now we have a decision to make. Will we rely on the Harvard Law Review editor? The silver-tongued orator from Kansas, Hawaii and Illinois? The man in love with the microphone?"
Taking off the gloves, he said, "Barack Obama is no Muhammad Ali. He took a walk every time there was a tough vote in the Illinois State Senate. He took a walk more than a 130 times. That's what a shadow boxer does. All the right moves. All the right combinations. All the right footwork. But he never steps into the ring."
But it was Obama supporters for whom Buffenbarger saved his most vitriolic contempt, and he proved that the Democratic Party's coalition is nothing if not fragile. Channeling Howard Beale from the movie "Network," he yelled into the microphone, "Give me a break! I've got news for all the latte-drinking, Prius- driving, Birkenstock-wearing, trust fund babies crowding in to hear him speak! This guy won't last a round against the Republican attack machine. He's a poet, not a fighter."
With all this trash talk, who needs a Thrilla in Manilla?