Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Temper, temper Barack

Captain Ed tips us off to this post from Jim Geraghty at The Campaign Spot. It seems that Obama might have a temper problem, but not one in which any of the MSM is talking about:

Finally, a new and intriguing anecdote from David Mendell's biography of the Illinois senator, Obama: From Promise To Power, on page 125-126:

Obama, to be sure, had allies in the black caucus, but he had his share of critics as well. His chief antagonists were Rickey Hendon, who represented a district on the city’s West Side, and Donne Trotter, ho would run against Obama for Congress.

Hendon and other African-American lawmakers from the West Side often found themselves at odds with their South Side brethren, but the rift between Hendon and Obama was particularly acute. Hendon and Trotter would “just give Barack hell,” said Senator Kimberly Lightford, an Obama ally in the black caucus. Hendon, nicknamed “Hollywood,” because he once aspired to produce films, was a flamboyant personality in Springfield, known for his smart-aleck humor and occasionally inappropriate public manner. In one legislative session, the two nemses nearly came to physical blows when Obama, apparently inadvertently, voted against a bill that included funding for a project that assisted Hendon’s district.

Years later, details of the incident remain in the eye of the beholder. Obama supporters say that Obama had stepped away from his seat and asked someone else to vote for him, not an uncommon practice considering the thousands of votes each session. His proxy, however, accidentally voted against his wishes. When Obama asked that the record reflect that he voted the wrong way, Hendon publicly accused Obama of duplicity. Hendon has never been shy about holding back his feelings, and he had a special way of penetrating Obama’s usually smooth exterior. Soon, the two men were shouting at each other on the senate floor. They took their disagreement into a nearby room, and a witness said that Obama had to be physically restrained. Neither man cares to discuss the incident today, but Hendon remains unconvinced of Obama’s explanation that his vote was accidental. Individuals close to the situation say Hendon still believes Obama voted against his project to pacify North Side fiscal conservatives who were leery of some West Side projects. For his part, the rarely reticent Hendon won’t discuss the altercation, except to confirm that it occurred. “I have been advised to leave Barack alone and that is what I am going to do,” Hendon said. “I am going to let things stay in the past. It happened. That’s all I can say. It happened.”

Los Angeles Times talks about Hendon and Obama shouting on the Senate floor in 2002, but no word of any near-physical altercation.

This anecdote raises a few questions.

1. This book came out last year. No one else has thought this was worthy of mentioning or discussion? Lots of people get angry, and even the best of us have our tempers flare every now and then. But is this incident ignored because the image of a furious Obama, having to be physically restrained, so contrasts the nice guy/
secular messiah image we're seeing in the media?

2. Boy, that quote from Hendon sure sounds like clichéd dialogue from a mob witness from a cop movie, huh? Who "advised him to leave Barack alone"?

3. Any Democrat want to raise John McCain's alleged "temper issues" after this?

UPDATE: Mendell in a
later interview: “According to people I interviewed who were there, they said Obama was ready to throw some punches.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: No less than three readers point out that once again, Obama is suggesting the
buck stops elsewhere.

Captain Ed makes an interesting observation that's worth quoting here:

Note, too, that the incident shows Obama getting upset to the point of violence when his integrity got questioned. Doesn’t that remind readers of his reaction to Jeremiah Wright? He didn’t get bothered by anything Wright said until Wright asserted that Obama distanced himself only out of political expediency.

So, a chink has been found in the armor of the "messiah." Question him on his integrity and you might need to have someone nearby to have the man restrained. I know, that's going a bit too far, to a point, but he does have a temper. Now, of course, most people would get a tad irritated if their integrity were questioned, but to take it to the point of possibly throwing punches is a bit too far in and of itself.

But the question still stands: The New York Times had to make a big, fat, hairy deal about McCain's temper in the past. So has the WaPo. Where are they on this? Is their affection for Obama too much to actually act with a level of journalistic integrity? How about fair and balanced coverage? The LA Times ran a piece on 27 November 2007 regarding how Hillary ran her health care task force. In the piece it was noted how mean and vindictive she was in the process, including making veiled threats to those in Congress she discussed the plan with.

So where are the pieces about Obama's outburst? One would be nice, or is that too much to ask of the media who are so obviously in the tank for him? I mean, come on already. We bloggers can continue to complain and point out problems about John McCain, even though we'll be voting for him. (No, I can't speak for Michelle Malkin, or anyone else that is vehemently opposed to McCain, and thinks staying home is going to send a message to the GOP. Likewise those people probably think they'll get "another Reagan" in 2012 to succeed the second term of Jimmy Carter if Obama's elected.) But the MSM doesn't seem obligated to do their job and report legitimate news. Kind of funny when they believed McCain's temper was worth the wasted page space, but God forbid (or should it be "Obama" forbid?) they speak ill of their "messiah."

The media is showing their true colors. The mask is off. The Fourth Rail, like the emperor, has no clothes. They have no intention of covering anything that is detrimental to Obama. The last debate held where he was questioned about Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers was an anomaly. We won't be seeing that again. He whined over the questions, and has been doing his best to take things off the table for discussion. To date, we aren't allowed to talk about:

--His wife

--Jeremiah Wright

--William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn

--His middle name

--His ears

--His upbringing

--The fact he was born a Muslim

We're pretty sure that if any other incidents like this one will surely be put on the "banned" list of taboo subjects regarding Obama. It wouldn't surprise us at all. In his march down the road to the presidency he is trying to control every facet of discussion. What's sad is that he comes from the party that is supposedly tolerant, and believes in free speech, and yet he keeps ending any sort of serious discussion about himself.

But, like Captain Ed and Jim Geraghty, we await the media to report on Obama's temper. (Don't worry. We're not holding our collective breath.)

Publius II


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