Friday, March 14, 2008
If it offends you I condemn it!
"All of the statements that have been the subject of controversy are ones that I vehemently condemn." -- Barack Obama
This seems to be the General Rule of Obama--if it's going to damage him, he condemns it! And rejects and denounces. Vehemently! The Rule would seem to apply to all past and future controversial statements--his campaign could get that sentence printed up on little laminated cards and hand them out to reporters, or include them after the statements of all Obama surrogates, like those fine-print 'void where prohibited' waivers. "Condemned if controversial."
Is it that easy? Noam Scheiber raise some questions, especially:
How plausible it is that Obama wouldn't have known about Wright's, er, greatest hits. Obama strongly implies he didn't know his pastor had a habit of giving nutty sermons up until the outset of his presidential campaign. Is that believable?
Obama also engaged in a bit of McCainly overdenial, Scheiber notes. Specifically, did he have to deny that he had "personally heard" Wright utter any of the "controversial" statements? Wouldn't it be smarter to say "I heard him say some wacky things on occasion but dismissed them as his own eccentric political views. Like many Americans, I don't agree with all my pastor's political preachings." Even if Obama doesn't remember hearing any of those particular controversial statements, what if he remembers wrong?
Remember, this is a controversy Obama had to know was coming since at least (by his own admission) the beginning of his campaign. Ideally, he'd have issued his HuffPo statement many months ago.** In any case, it's not something he had to hastily draft. Unless he's clueless, he's been working on it for a while.
**--The obvious analogy is to George Bush hoping he could skate through the 2000 election without having to address his DUI conviction--a bit of wishful thinking that arguably cost him a clear-cut victory, plunged the election into the Florida recount mess, and eerily foreshadowed his vastly more consequential wishful thinking on Iraq ...and immigration ... and Social Security. ... 10:04 P.M. link