Edwards can attack Hillary directly and Obama can attack her obliquely with little or no comment but when Hillary attacks Obama - he whines and attacks her indirectly; then, he is called presidential for his efforts.
Something is screwy.
Was it a mistake to attack Obama? Emphatically not. Clumsily executed, perhaps, but overall good strategy.
Why?? Because it shows Obama's weak response when attacked. He retreats into a feel good, preacher like sermon that studiously avoides dealing with the issues.
C'mon Barack: stand up - when you are confronting people who really want you to lose, you have to fight them directly. You cannot retreat into a fantasy world of make believe where you control all the issues and can repeat your feel good mantras.
Debating or negotiating in that manner guarantees that you will lose, unless you have a superior force to back you up. That in turn will mean that if Obama becomes President, he stands a larger chance of creating a war as a result of a weak debating posture than a President who will stand up and argue face to face.
Here's an indirect attack: "If other folks want to engage in those kinds of small-time tactics then that's their prerogative, but that's not what we're going to focus on." Quoted by Perry Bacon here: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2007/12/05/clinton_campaign_volunteer_out.html
If you try either with a Giuliani, a Romney or any other Rep, they will eat you alive.
And, if you try it with a well connected defense contractor or a terrorist state, God help us.
Conclusion - don't let Obama get away with indirect attacks and /or retreat into his own LaLa land of feel good rhetoric. The country cannot afford it.