Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Could his own words be used against him? You bet

Back in March, Hugh Hewitt discovered that Barack Obama put both of his books into an audio format. He obtained copies of them, and began playing them for his listeners. They were more than revealing, and The Politico observes that his words could very well haunt him in the general election:

Barack Obama has proved to be a difficult target to hit — just ask Hillary Rodham Clinton. Opposition researchers, though, hope that they’ve found a weapon to wound Obama in his own voice as recorded for the Grammy Award-winning audio version of his 1995 memoir, “Dreams from My Father.”

While candidates often have their own words turned against them in attack ads, it’s one thing to see past statements in block text and something else entirely to hear the same words in the office-seeker’s own voice.

“I think the audio version makes a much more immediate impact” than the print version of his memoir, said conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt, who has played audio excerpts from the book on his syndicated radio show. “It turns out to be very jarring to many ears to hear Obama talking about his youthful adventures, his attitudes on race.”

In “Dreams from My Father,” Obama tells the story of his multiracial background, childhood in Hawaii and Indonesia, college career in Los Angeles and New York, and years as a community organizer in Chicago, before entering Harvard Law School in 1988. The abridged audio version was released in May 2005 after Obama entered the Senate and was already being mentioned as a presidential candidate. It won the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album.

”Dreams from My Father” has been widely acclaimed as an introspective and insightful read far from the anodyne campaign-oriented books politicians often produce, traits that Obama’s critics believe make it ideal for use against the candidate.

In a passage describing his high school experience in Hawaii, for example, Obama explains the allure of drugs: “I kept playing basketball, attended classes sparingly, drank beer heavily, and tried drugs enthusiastically. … If the high didn’t solve whatever it was that was getting you down,” Obama intones, “it could at least help you laugh at the world’s ongoing folly.”

While Hugh states that audio clips could be used in political ads, he admits that wasn't his intention. But it can't be avoided. To truly hit him on his character these clips can be used, and should be used. Obama isn't going to be an easy person to bring down. He is raising tons of cash, his supporters are rabid, and his lock on the MSM is undisputed.

To bring him down to earth, we're going to have to hit him on the aspects of his views -- on the war, on foreign policy, on taxes and the economy, etc. But his character is one thing that remains virtually untarnished, unless you count his recent waffling on a variety of issues. These aren't policy changes; these are waffles because he's trying to run to the center now that he has the moonbat vote locked up.

Some researchers are warning that to use the clips could backfire. They point to the fact that this nation has elected two presidents already who admitted to using drugs. But forget the drug use portion of the audio. There are other aspects of the audio clips that could prove to be devastating to him. In the newer versions of the audio books there is a preface where he states that his words could be used against him. That's telling. Granted, he'd be a moron if he didn't think that his words cold be used in ads against his candidacy. But he's not a foolish person. He may be naive and inexperienced, but he is a shrewd campaigner.

It would be smart to pick the best pieces from the audio books, and use them, but don't pin the hopes of the election on that. As I said, it will take a lot to stop him, and it won't be easy. His constant waffling will do him in much quicker than audio clips, but in concert together, we can hand him a number of headaches.

Publius II


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