Monday, November 19, 2007

Barack Obama's Dirty Secret

This didn't take long. The mud is being flung in the 2008 presidential race, with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama trading sound bytes over rumours of a secret scandal and, now, Republican rivals of Mitt Romney, shocked by his sudden surge, are being forced to deny they are behind a nasty push-poll attack on his Mormon faith.

It is the Hillary/Obama tilt that is most fascinating, of course, since it looks like they have the most to lose. There has yet to be any speculation on exactly what skeleton may or may not be in Obama's closet. But we can guess, can't we? It has to be cocaine or pot, an affair (with either a man or woman), or some sort of payoff or bribe. Anything else can almost be laughed off. Hillary's camp, of course, can deny any involvement.

Obama can whine about the politics of personal destruction or that he is being "swift-boated." But in the end, he takes on a little water doesn't he? And his pathetic performance in the last debate doesn't help. Coming out of the previous debate, he had Senator Clinton on the run. But his answers to the (red herring) question on driver's licenses for illegals made him look like just like one of the boys. He couldn't give a straight answer.

Suddenly, Barack Obama has to deal with these vaguely alluded to personal scandals, without the benefit of an accuser. . .or even a specific charge against him! He has to deny unspecified transgressions, or go on the counterattack. However, it is hard to counterattack when your accuser denies ever floating the rumors. Yesterday, Obama demanded the Clinton campaign--or anyone at all--bring the charges out into the light of day. Remember when Senator Gary Hart dared reporters to air the charges against him? About two days later all we saw were pictures of him with Donna Rice on his aptly named boat, The Monkey Business. It will be interesting to see if this imbroglio fades away or picks up steam.


Kev said...

I don't consider Obama's response to the Novak floated scandal story whining. The Clinton silence was a tacit endorsement of Novak's "reporting". So Obama's team challenged either Novak or Hillary to come forward if they had any info and then we saw the Wolfson non response follow up smear about inexperience. If there are any of her campaign's fingerprints on such rumor mongering she it's over for her too.

While I agree that tactically Obama's response to the DL was a mistake but I don't think it was a matter of not being able to answer a straight question. And his overall performance was anything but pathetic.

Sure he looked off balance on the occasions the audience raucously booed him during his responses. Didn't it trouble you a little that Wolf and crew made no attempt to contain the audience's conduct. I mean this ought not be the WWF.

Jack Brummet said...

First, re: the booing. In debates before it's always been the clapping that was shut down. I don't remember boos ever. I thought Obama did OK in the rest of the debate, but I thought his DL answer was pathetic and colored the rest of the night. After that answer, for my part, he joined the ranks of Dukakis and Kerry as a sure-fire loser.

For me, the rumors just skirt the edge of hardball. . .and I don't really think they were floated with the Senator's approval (explicit or otherwise). You've heard the story of LBJ telling his campaign team to float rumors that his opponent for congress often has sex with his pigs. Someone said "We can't say that Lyndon! You know it's not true." "Sure," LBJ said, "but let's just him deny it."

If I was in Clinton's boots, I'd keep silent too, and let the little bugger squirm.

Jack Brummet said...

One more note re: the booing. The booing reminded me most explicitly of the film Idiocracy, and every day since I've seen that movie, I see instances of idiocracy on the march...

Kev said...

C'mon, Jackie, it's not going to turn on a flub in the middle of a quasi debate that most viewers, I'd bet, saw as rigged especially after HRC's planted softball Q's at her "let's have a conversation at my town hall meeting" just that week. Don't forget he lit up the JJ dinner when HRC did a lumpen waltz like call and response. And, Howard Wolfson and you may be the only ones calling Barack's response to the Novak story whining. Oh, and check out his chuckle about her experience vis a vis economic policy. She's sliding in the early states and so is inevitability.

Kev said...

Oh, and, let me understand, it's accepted convention to contain clapping but not booing. Now, that's a comment that would make WJC proud.