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   At SOTU, Obama's Clinton snub was the news

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1/29/2008 2:00 pm

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Entered 1/29/2008, Updated 1/29/2008

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So President Bush has delivered his last State of the Union. And what everyone in the House press gallery is talking about isn't the speech. Rather, it's the snub. Sen. Barack Obama refused to make himself available to greet Sen. Hillary Clinton before the speech. When members of the Senate entered the chamber, Obama came in before Clinton. He went out of his way to greet as many House members as possible and walked halfway across the chamber to greet members of the Supreme Court, the president's cabinet, the military joint chiefs. That made what happened next even more striking. Obama returned to stand by his seat next to Sen. Edward Kennedy who endorsed Obama today in a widely watched event that reverberated across the political world. As Clinton approached, Kennedy made sure to make eye contact and indicated he wanted to shake her hand. Clinton leaned towards Kennedy over a row of seats and Kennedy leaned in towards her. They shook hands. Obama stood icily staring at Clinton during this, then turned his back and stepped a few feet away. Kennedy may've wanted to make peace with Clinton but Obama clearly wanted no part of that. As president, Obama has said he would meet with the U.S.'s enemies without precondition. But making nice with Clinton apparently is another mattter after the increasingly angry fight the two have waged, with charges and countercharges, for the Democratic presidential nomination. The sense in the press gallery was that Obama didn't cover himself in glory. Someone even used the word "childish." (Not this writer.) Judging by how much conversation there was about this brush off in the press gallery, Americans will be hearing a lot more about this tomorrow and in coming days.


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