Monday, May 19, 2008

Barack Obama Lays Down the Law and Picks It Up Again: "Lay Off My Wife," Even Though She's My Co-Campaigner (UPDATED x3)

Well, Barack Obama once again is showing he's got a mighty thin skin. Not a good trait for someone who aspires to be leader of the free world. The latest flap is Barack vs. the Tennessee GOP, which has been running ads making hay of Michelle Obama's statements regarding her newfound pride in the U.S., now that her husband has deigned to run for President and save us all. Barack thinks that, despite putting his wife (and occasionally the kids) on the stump for him for the past year, it's a dirty political trick to start taking potshots at his wife.

Obama should have learned a lesson, perhaps, watching John Kerry's presidential campaign implode when he made his military service a centerpiece of his campaign. You can't start off your campaign by proclaiming 'John Kerry reporting for duty!' and then act offended when the opposition starts questioning whether your military service is everything you were making it out to be.

Now, don't get me wrong. I think that modern politics has gotten to be a very dirty business, and even if a candidate chooses to put himself or herself up for public scrutiny, family ought to be off limits, or at least, should not be fair game as if the family was also running for the office.

UNLESS... the candidate -- with full (and enthusiastic) participation from the spouse -- makes his or her spouse essentially a co-campaigner and goes out on the stump. Michelle Obama's statements on the stump, on behalf of her husband, using her personal views to make her point, made her fair game. Sorry, Barack. You can't have your cake and eat it, too. And, from what I can see, Michelle Obama has been every bit as much of a campaigner as Bill Clinton is for Hillary. I don't hear Hillary whining about the unfair treatment of her husband.

Better grow some 'lizard skin,' as we litigators like to say, or you are not going to be able to last the rest of the campaign, much less (ugh) make it as president.

SEE MR. THIN SKIN HIMSELF: On Good Morning America, here. h/t Lynn Sweet.

UPDATED: OBAMA TO DECLARE HIMSELF THE DEM NOMINEE: It appears that Barack Obama has lost patience with Hillary and will declare himself the nominee after the Kentucky and Orgeon primaries are held Tuesday, despite the fact that he will not yet have enough delegates to be declared the winner before the Democratic convention. Hmm... just don't criticize this move otherwise, Obama is likely to go off in another rant on TV.

Interestingly, only recently David Axelrod, Obama's campaign chief, stated:

"Senator McCain has basically run free for some time now because we have been consumed with this. Everybody is eager to get on with this. We are not going to take anything for granted. But we are also going to spend time addressing broader issues. I mean, I don’t think we are going to spend our time solely in primary states." (emphasis mine)

Guess they must've changed their minds, or perhaps Axelrod wasn't in the loop on where Obama was headed. Or, perhaps he just has a different understanding of what 'taking something for granted' is, exactly.

Seriously, this move may backfire on Obama, bigtime. Just as many Clinton supporters were quietly starting to accept what appeared to be inevitable (remember when they said that about Hillary?), and the superdelegates were falling into line, he has to go make this big statement about how he's the guy? If you can read the tea leaves, this probably doesn't mean Obama would pick Hillary for VP, and it also will give Hillary supporters even more qualms about jumping in for Obama, which was already rumored to be a big problem for him. h/t Lynn Sweet.

UPDATED x2: Now it appears that Obama has thought better of declaring victory tomorrow and he will come as close to he can to declaring victory, without actually declaring it. Is this starting to become an obvious pattern of dissembling?

UPDATED x3: I don't get the print edition of the Chicago Sun-Times (seems like the only paper I do not happen to subscribe to), but I saw on the print previews on Channel 5 news last night that the wife-gate story is plastered all over the tabloid-like front page of the Sun-Times. Here's the accompanying article by Obama apologist and promoter Lynn Sweet.

Interestingly, the Chicago Tribune devotes barely half a column to the story (simply printing an AP story), and buries it on page 6 in my print edition. Is it that the Sun-Times will take any excuse to put Obama on the cover, or is there another reason for the massive disparity in treatment of this story between Chicago's two major (last) dailies?

IN CONGRESSIONAL NEWS: Steve Greenberg, who is running against Democratic incumbent Melissa Bean in IL-8, seems to be picking up steam. Michael S. Steele, conservative former Lt. Governor of Maryland, GOPAC Chairman and rumored VP possible for John McCain, was the keynote speaker for a Greenberg fundraiser last Thursday that fetched about $175,000. Also, Greenberg has a new campaign manager, Colin Corbett, on board.


Anonymous said...

Hooray, TA, for this great post. Michelle Obama is an integral part of his campaign and she IS fair game. Words are powerful statements, especially coming from educated folks like the Obamas. I'm not interested in her "what I meant was" since I heard her the first time. Nobody is picking on her. All they're pointing out is what SHE said, not once, but several times.

Barack and Michelle want us to believe that they're the 'new breed' of political reformers. Give us a break. They are as calculating, as clever, as in your face folks as everyone else out there. Once this campaign gets really into high gear, how's this going to mesh with all they've enjoyed in the teflon media to date. We saw how he crumbled during the Jeremiah Wright episode. We are seeing how he hems and haws when he is asked about his relationship with low life creatures like Ayars and Doehrn.

Fasten your seat belts, this party is just beginning.

Anonymous said...

It is all becoming cumulative in nature.

Add the recent stupid comment Obama made about visiting all 57 states of the union with one more to go, but his campaign advisors won't let him go to Alaska and Hawaii to the mix. If McCain made this slip, the press would have run with it to the end of time. Obama said this on May 8th. Hardly a peep of protest out of the media. Check it out on YouTube or the LA Times Blogsite on politics.

Now Obama is starting to grudgingly wear an American Flag lapel pin at some campaign stops after deriding them earlier as being a symbol that means nothing.

And now Obama is trying to break himself of the nasty habit of calling females "sweetie" in a condescending manner when they ask him tough questions about how he will help unemployed blue collar workers. If McCain called a female reporter "sweetie" all hell would have broken loose.

But he gets into a snit when President Bush talks about "appeasers" yet he has no problem portraying Bush and McCain as blood thirsty out of control war mongers!

Change and reform Obama is sounding more and more like change and reform Blagojevich did when he first ran for office. Funny, the same shady characters seems to revolve around both of them. Both empty suits with growing credibility problems.

It will be a most interesting campaign. Eisenhower vs. egghead Stevenson all over again.

Who says that history doesn't repeat itself?

Louis G. Atsaves

Annie said...

Great job TA, I watched him on GMA and loved the "just lay off my wife" in case they're watchin. OMG, I was watching and LAUGHING - P L E A S E - He overlooked 3 important issues:

1. Selecting the leader of the greatest country on earth is of high importance to many of us - and the First Lady matters.

2. Just because he picked her doesn't mean we have to - there still is choice in this Country.

3. Barack failed to acknowledge the Independents that were turned off by her comments. He is clever -he can stand up and take issue with the GOP, but the reality is if he saw US - the Independents bailing on him because of her - he'd denounce her comments as well!

Anonymous said...

I get the strong sense the Obamas actually don't like us regular Americans.

Publia said...

Barack Obama is a whiner, a bully, and really good at playing the victim. He also calls those who might question his anointment names: low class? racist? It's nice for him to stand up for his wife, but silencing fair comment when he sends her out as his chief political surrogate? Have any of you seen comments on what large teeth Michelle has, her similarity to "Olmarosa," (the Apprentice from Donald Trump's show) or the fact that her graduate thesis was --um--a little lacking? No, people have genuinely avoided personal comments. If Mr. Obama wants his wife off the table as a campaign issue, he should pull her out of the campaign.

Anonymous said...

Couple of points TA.

1. Really good to see Steve get going. I campaigned with Michael Steele, he beat a Kennedy in a state that hadn't elected a Republican in a generation, he's a smart charismatic leader that I hope gets out there with his great story as well. If anyone wants to know how dirty, racist, and disgusting Democrats can be they should ask him about the oreos (figure it out) he was pelted with at Morgan State. We of course as the party of Lincoln haven't done that to Obama.

2. I've given up on the Sun-Times, except for Neil Steinberg. Lynn Sweet and Steve Neal before her regularly trashed Mark when he first ran and she like every other columnist there are now unofficial spokesmen for that campaign.

3. Obama is one slick sicko. He's running a campaign largely based on the ill will Hillary Clinton got from the beating our right wing collegues gave her in the 90's-attacking Michelle Obama is definitley fair game. He and his media apologists at the Sun-Times and MSNBC are of the belief that because of the color of his skin, attacking him is considered racist.They should consider the damage his policies and hatred of America would do first.

4. Ellen's got another post ripping Tom Davis, who of course helped Mark beat the crap out of Lauren Beth Gash. This amounts to the welfare queen lecturing the ceo on success.

Anonymous said...

As much as it pains me to admit it, it looks like Melissa Bean is gonna retain her seat. A candidate who puts an inexperienced 22 year-old at the helm is one who 1) obviously doesn't know what he's doing and 2) probably couldn't find anyone else to take it. I live in the eighth district but I'm gonna campaign for Mark Kirk this fall. At least there I'm assured that my time and support will be put to good use.

Anonymous said...

Why does Mark Kirk's website continue to claim that his wife lives in Highland Park?

Is Kirk's wife fair game?

Team America said...

Oh, please. There's an enormous difference between telling people who your family is as part of your background and so people can see what kind of person you are, compared to putting your wife up on the stump for a year, making major speeches, talking to the media and essentially being a co-campaigner.

Is that you, PossibleFuture? Were you too embarrased to use your usual pseudonym on this silly question? I can see why.

Anonymous said...

Good for you, TA. Kimberly Vertolli Kirk does, indeed, "live" in their home when she's here in the district. Her career, very important to her, is in DC, as most know. And what's wrong with a woman with a NW Law degree using that in a field alongside her degree from US Naval Academy. Some congressional wives never move to DC but prefer to stay in their home districts. Others, like Kimberly, are offered great opportunities in DC, and why not. She and the Congressman actually get to see each other a whole lot more becuase he's home each night he's in DC. Some people are of such shallow minds, intent of spreading vicious, untrue and really nasty rumors that they need to be put down and put OUT. So, thanks TA for your answer to someone who should be posting on the catwoman's site, not here.

PossibleFuture said...

TA, nope, wasn't me. I have no idea what that was about. Hey, I thought you liked me?

Besides, I think Mrs. Kirk is hot!!!

Team America said...

Well, PF, based on my sitemeter info, it sure looked like you checking in early this morning and leaving that comment, but I'll take your word for it.

PossibleFuture said...

There are a number of Illinois residents (10th District neighbors as well and some even former elected officials) in our headquarters office here near Dulles airport...both Republicans and Democrats. Not all as rational as others. But I've heard several of them refer to your blog. We're all on the same network, I believe.

But thanks for the vote of trust.

Team America said...

Sure thing. It's nice to know people are out there reading in any case.

Say hi to your colleagues, and tell them to vote for Kirk. ;-)

PossibleFuture said...

Both you and Kirk definitely have some big fans here among us beltway bandits, that's for sure. Funny, though, each one of them prefers Obama over McCain. I think that's kind of curious, but they all have horror stories about doing business with McCain over the years.