In fact, Sen. Clinton's criticism of NAFTA -- quintessential triangulation from President Clinton's administration -- sent the clearest signal that the era of triangulation had passed. Democrats were going to offer a policy vision that provided a clear contrast of principles to their opponents, instead of trying to blur the lines.
Granted, in the waning days of the campaign with time running out for Sen. Clinton to find an advantage, triangulation had a final spasm. The gas tax holiday. The threat to "obliterate" Iran. They proved ineffectual.
I'm not remembering events the same way Bill is. I remember the tough talk on NAFTA being immediately followed by frantic assurances to Canada from both campaigns that the talk was nothing but talk. And those are the frantic assurances we know about. As for the obliteration talk, even if one thought that Clinton's comment set her apart from Obama (I did not), in light of Obama's recent performance in front of AIPAC, it's impossible now to doubt that he's on the same page as Clinton. That isn't to say that either one of them is planning to obliterate anyone, only that neither is above saying that they might obliterate anyone if they think that it will help them get elected.
Frankly, I'm not sure that one can triangulate during a campaign since it's a term describing governance but let's say one can. Isn't triangulation the hallmark of Obama's creed? And that's cool, I suppose. I'm willing to accept that he knows more about getting elected than I do. If it takes being a uniter and not a divider to win in November, then triangulate away, mon frere. But just as it wasn't a good idea to give up any leverage by jumping on the Obama wagon during the primary, it won't be a good idea to fall too deeply in love with him while getting him elected. We can't for a second lose sight of the fact that he is no Progressive champion but that with unrelenting, unsparing and well-funded pressure from the ground, he may become one.