Patrick Healy writes for the NY Times:
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton appeared at Philadelphia’s City Hall this afternoon, a few hours after Senator Barack Obama delivered a major speech on race not far from here. But despite the speech’s high profile and intense media coverage of it, Mrs. Clinton said at a news conference she had not heard it yet or read the text.
Many reporters muttered in disbelief during and after her remarks, surprised that a candidate as diligent as Mrs. Clinton -– who always talked about being well-prepared and doing her homework -– would not have read the speech yet. The fact that she was not prepared to comment on it, however, will keep the race issue alive for at least another news cycle, since reporters will keep seeking her reaction.
In her opening remarks, Mrs. Clinton said she was “very glad” Mr. Obama had made his speech, given that she said that race had been a “complicated” issue in America that had been marked by “pitfalls” and “detours.” Asked why she was glad, she said that issues of race and gender are “important” and twice called them “difficult issues.”
Asked if she thought Mr. Obama had done enough to denounce racially divisive remarks made by his pastor, the Rev, Jeremiah Wright, Mrs. Clinton replied, “I think that question should be directed at him” -– referring to Mr. Obama.
She was also asked if she could do anything more to tamp down the issue of race in the campaign, since some Obama supporters have blamed her campaign for stirring it up. She said she and Mr. Obama have called truces on numerous occasions, and added that “we have admonished our staffs and supporters” to avoid incendiary language.
In response to another question, Mrs. Clinton said she was not sure if she would deliver a speech that was similar to Mr. Obama’s.
“I don’t know, I haven’t read it, I have to think about it,” she said.