Commentary Magazine


Posts For: April 19, 2008

They May Be on to Him

First we had the 100 days exchange, in which the mainstream media sided with John McCain, calling out Barack Obama for repeatedly misstating McCain’s words. Then, on Friday, Obama lifted a single line from a McCain interview to support his claim that McCain believes there has “been great progress economically over the last seven and a half years,” despite growing evidence that we are in economic trouble.

However, this time the McCain team was monitoring the cable news. They quickly put out a video showing the full McCain statement and Obama did not get away with his verbal sleight of hand. Within the same news cycle, mainstream media and non-partisan online news outlets picked up the video and reported the discrepancy between Obama’s take on McCain and McCain’s actual words.

What does this tell us? Obama’s staffers, perhaps lulled into an understandable sense of security, think they can slip misleading snippets of McCain statements into Obama speeches and interviews. But in a YouTube world, this is becoming increasingly hard.

The risk for Obama is that he may give the lie to the conceit that his is a new style of politics. As one report put it:

Although Obama gets substantial mileage out of running against politics as usual, he provided a reminder on Friday that he knows how to twist with the best of them.

And at least a few mainstream journalists are swimming against the pro-Obama tide.

First we had the 100 days exchange, in which the mainstream media sided with John McCain, calling out Barack Obama for repeatedly misstating McCain’s words. Then, on Friday, Obama lifted a single line from a McCain interview to support his claim that McCain believes there has “been great progress economically over the last seven and a half years,” despite growing evidence that we are in economic trouble.

However, this time the McCain team was monitoring the cable news. They quickly put out a video showing the full McCain statement and Obama did not get away with his verbal sleight of hand. Within the same news cycle, mainstream media and non-partisan online news outlets picked up the video and reported the discrepancy between Obama’s take on McCain and McCain’s actual words.

What does this tell us? Obama’s staffers, perhaps lulled into an understandable sense of security, think they can slip misleading snippets of McCain statements into Obama speeches and interviews. But in a YouTube world, this is becoming increasingly hard.

The risk for Obama is that he may give the lie to the conceit that his is a new style of politics. As one report put it:

Although Obama gets substantial mileage out of running against politics as usual, he provided a reminder on Friday that he knows how to twist with the best of them.

And at least a few mainstream journalists are swimming against the pro-Obama tide.

Read Less

Raising Money Off Obama’s Foreign Policy

In case you thought the Hamas endorsement of Barack Obama had escaped notice by John McCain, think again. John McCain’s team sent out a fundraising appeal with this:

Wednesday’s Democratic debate provided insight into Barack Obama’s positions on key foreign policy issues. As president he says he would immediately withdraw our troops from Iraq- even if he were strongly advised against this by our nation’s top military commanders. He would also hold direct talks with the Iranian regime- a regime that does not recognize Israel and is the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world. Iran’s president has even called for Israel to be “wiped off the map.” During the debate, Barack Obama once again refused to condemn former President Jimmy Carter- who publicly supports Obama- for holding talks with the Hamas terrorist group, a group supported financially, politically and military by Iran. Barack Obama’s foreign policy plans have even won him praise from Hamas leaders. Ahmed Yousef, chief political adviser to the Hamas Prime Minister said, “We like Mr. Obama and we hope he will win the election. He has a vision to change America.” We need change in America, but not the kind of change that wins kind words from Hamas, surrenders in Iraq and will hold unconditional talks with Iranian President Ahmadinejad.

It appears this issue will not disappear, at least if McCain can help it.

In case you thought the Hamas endorsement of Barack Obama had escaped notice by John McCain, think again. John McCain’s team sent out a fundraising appeal with this:

Wednesday’s Democratic debate provided insight into Barack Obama’s positions on key foreign policy issues. As president he says he would immediately withdraw our troops from Iraq- even if he were strongly advised against this by our nation’s top military commanders. He would also hold direct talks with the Iranian regime- a regime that does not recognize Israel and is the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world. Iran’s president has even called for Israel to be “wiped off the map.” During the debate, Barack Obama once again refused to condemn former President Jimmy Carter- who publicly supports Obama- for holding talks with the Hamas terrorist group, a group supported financially, politically and military by Iran. Barack Obama’s foreign policy plans have even won him praise from Hamas leaders. Ahmed Yousef, chief political adviser to the Hamas Prime Minister said, “We like Mr. Obama and we hope he will win the election. He has a vision to change America.” We need change in America, but not the kind of change that wins kind words from Hamas, surrenders in Iraq and will hold unconditional talks with Iranian President Ahmadinejad.

It appears this issue will not disappear, at least if McCain can help it.

Read Less




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