Back when Hillary Clinton was viewed as the inevitable nominee, she ran a general election campaign, and responded to any questioning of her liberal credentials (especially on Iraq) with a sermon on how she’s been fighting the right wing machine for 15 years and it’s the evil Republicans that Democrats need to focus on. Her task was made easier because Republicans, especially then-frontrunner Rudy Giuliani, kept launching attacks on her to shore up support within their own party. But now, with Barack Obama viewed as the likelier nominee, presumptive GOP nominee John McCain has started focusing on the young Illinois Senator, and Clinton has been in the odd position of joining McCain in his criticisms. When Obama released his economic plan, a McCain economic adviser went on TV and said it looked like it was plagiarized from Clinton’s plan. The Clinton campaign sent out an email highlighting this quote, and Howard Wolfson mentioned it again on a conference call yesterday. When McCain called out Obama for waffling on his pledge to accept public financing in the general election, the Clinton campaign again jumped on the charge, citing it as further evidence that there was a gap between what Obama was promising in his lofty rhetoric, and what he could actually deliver. This development is not a very favorable one to Clinton, as the left is already starting to mobilize against McCain, so now she’s in the reverse position she was in the fall. Clinton, bizarrely, is now teaming up with the right wing attack machine against the left. Liberals, for instance, have already decided that McCain was a big phony when it came to public financing, and are in denial that Obama took a public financing pledge. (This even though when Obama was asked in a questionnaire in November, “If you are nominated for president in 2008 and your major opponents agree to forgo private funding in the general election campaign, will you participate in the presidential public financing system?” he answered “Yes.”) Of course, it’s in the best interest of McCain to keep the Democrats bitterly divided as long as possible. Strange bedfellows, indeed.