Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Obama tries to defend himself; fails miserably

In March he met with reporters from the Chicago Sun-Times to deal with questions surrounding his ties to Tony Rezko, and about how much the Chicago fixer raised for him. Captain Ed saw that today Barack Obama sat down with reporters from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in an effort to "spin" his "bitter" comments from last Friday:

Sen. Barack Obama said yesterday that the flap over his characterization of small town voters as "bitter" represented a distraction not just from his campaign message but also from Democratic efforts to overcome stereotypes that Republicans have exploited for decades.

"What I do regret is that in one quick statement that wasn't phrased properly I detracted from what I think has to be a genuine effort on the part of Democrats to speak to constituencies we haven't always reached out to," Mr. Obama said during a wide-ranging interview with the Post-Gazette editorial board.

Yeah, it's a "distraction" all right. He seems to think everything is a distraction during this campaign cycle as Brian Faughnan of the Weekly Standard noted on 28 March of this year. He cites a number of quotes where Obama claims that criticism of him, his ties to others, or his issues are a "distraction" from his worthless, empty rhetoric of "hope" and "change."

But enough about "distractions." Let's go a little deeper into the piece:

As he spoke, the Illinois senator wore an American flag pin in his lapel, something that he has not made a habit of recently. It was an omission that Internet accusers had seized on to raise questions about his patriotism.

The candidate explained that he had received the pin just hours earlier from a disabled Vietnam-era veteran at a campaign event in Washington, Pa.

"This notion that somehow I was refusing to wear flag pins was just not accurate,'' Mr. Obama said of the blog-borne criticisms on the issue. "I wore one right after 9/11, and at some point stopped wearing it as I guess a lot of people did, and a reporter asked me about it. All I said was I haven't been wearing one. I do think that after 9/11 I saw a lot of people who were wearing flag pins but voting in ways that I thought didn't always speak to what I think our patriotism requires."

Robert Gibes, a press aide traveling with the senator, said that the gift of the flag pin hadn't been expected and had nothing to do with the timing of the small town values imbroglio.

"This wasn't some kind of statement I was making," Mr. Obama said. "A disabled veteran who has fought for his country asks you to wear one, that's something I'm happy to do." Pointing to his wrist, he added, "It's the same reason I wear this bracelet that a mother gave me after a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Her 20-year-old was killed in a roadside bombing so I haven't taken it off since.''

Two things about the above. First on 4 October 2004, in an interview with ABC News, Obama was asked about his lack of a flag pin. This was what he said then:

"You know, the truth is that right after 9/11, I had a pin," Obama said. "Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we're talking about the Iraq War, that became a substitute for I think true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security, I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest.

Um, memo to Senator Obama: One need not wear a pin on their chest to show their patriotism. I don't, unless I'm going to some sort of rally for the troops. They defend this nation, our Constitution, and our flag. I'll honor their sacrifice by wearing an emblem of this nation, and what they stand for. BUT, it's questionable now for him to wear it. He clearly said he wouldn't wear it, and now he is. Seems a tad bit hypocritical to us, at least.

Secondly, the wristband. Now I've scoured virtually every picture source of Barack Obama that I could fine on the Internet. Guess what? I didn't find a single picture of him wearing the wristband. He claims it was given to him when he did a campaign stop in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin primaries were on 19 February. It's now 16 April. I have yet to find a single photo showing him wearing this wristband. I'm not saying he's lying simply because I can't find a photo of him wearing it. It does, though, cause me to raise an eyebrow regarding how truthful the man is.

But let's move on:

"Let's be clear, there has been a really systematic effort to suggest that I'm not sufficiently pro-Israel,'' he said. "The fact that my middle name is Hussein, I'm sure, does not help in that regard ... Again some of this dates back to the '60s between the African-American and the Jewish community as a consequence of [Louis] Farrakhan. There was flap about some of Jesse Jackson's statements during his presidential race, so I inherit all this baggage."

While repeating an earlier statement that he disagreed with former President Jimmy Carter's decision to meet with representatives of the Palestinian group Hamas during his current trip to the Middle East, Mr. Obama said, "The fact is, though, that no one's been a more stalwart ally of Israel.... My support of Israel is as strong as Sen. Clinton or [Sen. John] McCain.

"Groups like AIPAC [the American Israel Political Action Committee] would confirm that.''

As Captain Ed notes, AIPAC doesn't rate elected officials or political candidates, so we sincerely doubt AIPAC could corroborate that assertion. Second, he claims to be the most "stalwart ally" of Israel, yet then backpedals to say that Hillary and McCain are on par with him. So, those are the only three people who support Israel? What about Joe Lieberman? What about Ed Koch? What about Duncan Hunter? What about Mitt Romney? What about President Bush or President Reagan? Better yet, what about Harry Truman, who helped int he creation of Israel, and was the first leader of any nation to recognize their existence?

I think there's a level of chutzpah on Obama's part to proclaim that he is the strongest ally of Israel. Ed Lansky of the American Thinker has posted an interesting piece talking about those close to Obama that are anti-Semitic. Furthermore, he has called for unilateral nuclear disarmament for every nation in the world, including Israel, and has said that those that don't agree to this give Iran and North Korea "an excuse" to create their own. Additionally, it's striking that he calls himself a "stalwart ally" when he has said he would meet with our enemies -- and more than a couple that are Israel's enemies -- without preconditions. Hardly the track record of someone who is such a strong ally.

In this Pittsburgh Post-Gazette piece, he has tried to spin himself as something he's not. He's tried to spin, again, the "bitter" comments he said last week. In short, this puff-piece was designed to allay the fears and concerns of Pennsylvania voters. He's bleeding badly because of his verbal gaffes, and spinning it isn't going to help him.

Publius II


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