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Democrats’ Media Relations

This rather innocuous blog mention of Barack Obama swatting away a reporter’s question gets big play in the national media. Why? Because it fits into a pattern of snippy interchanges with the press and an unwillingness to respond spontaneously to queries.

Meanwhile, in today’s media call, the Clinton team tried to set the bar for Pennsylvania. According to Howard Wolfson and Geoff Garin, since Obama has outspent them 3 to 1 and forked over $7M in TV ads, he must win–or it’s more evidence of his inability to knock Hillary out. They rebuffed media questions, suggesting the bar for “success” was really a double digit win. And as for that latest ad: Wolfson and Garin insisted that it’s “positive” and not a dig at Obama for whining in the debate.

The reporters generally weren’t buying it, nor did they seem to appreciate the Clinton camp’s distinction between Obama’s admission that McCain would be an improvement over President Bush (which the Clinton camp jumped on for being inconsistent with the entire Democratic general election message) and Clinton’s own admission that McCain had passed the commander-in-chief test. So when the McCain camp complains about less than glowing coverage, his staff should perhaps consider that their opponents aren’t exactly getting bouquets from the working press, either.



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