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.