On Today, Matt Lauer pounced (oh yes, the MSM is flexing its “we are not in the tank” credentials) in an interview with Barack Obama. Here’s the exchange:
NBC’s Matt Lauer: “Three minutes later in an interview with Meredith Vieira, Joe Biden, your running mate was asked the exact same question, ‘should the federal government bailout AIG?’ And he said, ‘No, the federal government should not bailout AIG.’”
Barack Obama: “I think that in that situation, I think Joe should have waited as well.”
Lauer: “But it’s the kind of thing that drives people crazy about politics. Sounds like you were trying to score some political points against John McCain using his words, when your own running mate had used very similar words.”
Yikes. In the wake of last night’s flap (in which Biden slammed the ill-conceived computer ad), it is becoming apparent that these guys are not on the same page. For a candidate who repeatedly stressed that we should judge him by how he conducts his campaign, it is ironic that his most important hiring decision (the VP) and his first supervisory role (corralling Biden) are going so poorly.
One additional point: in the same interview, Obama waved off the Sarah Palin phenomenon, saying that although she was drawing big crowds “those were probably not my voters.” While probably true, it is not a New Politics–or even an old politics –thing to say. Political gurus will tell you that you never write off voters. You never want to send out the message that you don’t care about a segment of the electorate. Once upon a time Obama said these words:
The pundits, the pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too. We worship an “awesome God” in the Blue States, and we don’t like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and yes, we’ve got some gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.
We’ve come a long way, haven’t we?