Slate: Obama the Do-as-I-say candidate

posted at 9:39 am on April 20, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

John Dickerson got an opportunity to take a train ride with Barack Obama, but Obama’s supporters might run Dickerson out of town on a rail if they read his column at Slate. Instead of fawning all over the candidate of Hope and Change, Dickerson instead reported on the Audacity of Hypocrisy. Dickerson quickly tired of hearing complaints about tit-for-tat politics from a campaign enthusiastically participating in it (via Memeorandum):

At the next train stop, I’m going to stand behind Senator Obama when he speaks. When he’s decrying the trivial distractions in politics, I think he may be crossing his fingers behind his back.

As the Senator’s campaign train wound from one speech where he denounced tit-for-tat politics to the next speech where he denounced tit-for-tat politics, his campaign hosted a conference call to engage in the practice the candidate was busy denouncing. I suppose it would have been an even greater act of chutzpah for the Obama campaign to host the conference call while Sen. Obama was denouncing that kind of behavior, but not much more of one.

Obama campaign aides scheduled the call to talk about Hillary Clinton’s fantastical story about her breakneck race to shelter under sniper fire during a visit to Bosnia. You might think this would be the last story the Obama campaign would be pushing, because in Wednesday’s debate the Senator mistakenly suggested his campaign had only discussed the issue because reporters had brought it up, not because they were trying to take advantage of Clinton’s extended work of fiction. To push the story again now would make Obama look even more insincere about that claim. …

While the candidate was denouncing the distractions, his aides were promoting them. Three veterans of the Bosnia conflict joined for a conference call to explain just how crucial this particular distraction was, and why we should ignore Senator Obama’s guidance and get obsessed with this issue.

So what was Team Obama’s excuse for having a retired general claim that Hillary couldn’t be President because she couldn’t lay the wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier? It can’t be a What Will Karl Do scenario, because the Obama campaign doesn’t even account for the possibility that Hillary could win the nomination. I guess they like the politics of distraction as much as the next candidate, especially when their poll numbers begin to slip.

Of course, the Tuzla Dash is a perfectly legitimate point to raise on the campaign trail, since Hillary created the problem by lying about it as a means to argue for her broader experience for the presidency. Similarly, questions about Obama’s political allies and advisers are legitimate issues to question for a candidate who has argued that his superior judgment makes experience and voting records irrelevant. If Obama wants to play in this league, then he and his team need to quit whining about being asked tough questions, especially if they play the same game themselves.

Maybe that will start today; it certainly didn’t start yesterday. As soon as the conference call questioning Hillary’s right to lay a wreath on the grave of a soldier who “probably” died from sniper fire, Obama stepped off the train — to denounce “the scourge of petty distracting attack politics.”


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I’m sure a close look at mccain’s history could give ammunition for claiming that he is a liar also, but the two democrat candidates have been caught in bold face lies in this campaign and still half the American people support them. Am I wrong to be so terrified that soon this countries leaders will be elected by people who think like rosie o’donnell and don’t think like me?

peacenprosperity on April 20, 2008 at 9:46 AM

Michael Kotyk, a retired veteran of the Navy broadened the significance of Clinton’s yarn: “We’ve had 8 years of dishonor. We need honor. If you’re going to tell stories then you’re not displaying honor.”

THis lowlife is supporting a coward tht refuses to defend the country and he says “We’ve had 8 years of dishonor.”

Neither this pathetic piece of garbage nor Obama is fit to even discuss honor as they are leading the charge for America to surrender to our enemies.

Absoltely pathetic.

This false-flag, Al Queda backed candidate will melt like a candle under hot wax when compared to a true man of honor like John McCain.

JayHaw Phrenzie on April 20, 2008 at 9:54 AM

She’s got the kitchen sink flying, the china flying. The buffet is coming at me

I think that is a sexist remark Barry.

benrand on April 20, 2008 at 9:56 AM

peacenprosperity on April 20, 2008 at 9:46 AM

I completely understand your concerns, having lived in the Los Angeles area for most of my adult life. I do recall having these same concerns when Reagan was elected. I found a “confidence” in the American people during the Reagan years; esp. when Reagan carried the national vote by such huge margins for his second term. The fact that the media shovels Liberalism down our throats 24/7; Hollywood shovels Liberalism down our throats 24/7; well, this makes it seem like 50% of the country supports Liberalism when in reality it’s probably more like 25%.

Democrats have a real nightmare on their hands this cycle; running a white woman against a black man eats into their historical base. The female vote and the black vote are absolutely necessary for Democrats if they are to compete in a national election.

Keemo on April 20, 2008 at 10:02 AM

This false-flag, Al Queda backed candidate will melt like a candle under hot wax when compared to a true man of honor like John McCain.

JayHaw Phrenzie on April 20, 2008 at 9:54 AM

Bravo . . . well stated.

rplat on April 20, 2008 at 10:19 AM

peacenprosperity on April 20, 2008 at 9:46 AM

-and-

Keemo on April 20, 2008 at 10:02 AM

I too understand peacenprosperity’s concern, but want to pick on Keemo’s thoughts.

It’s definitely too early for “terrified.” Nervous? Absolutely. However, the important thing to keep in mind about the Clinton and Obama nonsense is that once you look past it, there’s nothing to “excuse” it. In other words, neither has accomplished anything profesionally for a prospective, independent voter to think, “Well, that story was a whopper, but on the other hand he/she has a proven track record of…” All they have is their word, and when that doesn’t count for much, they’re in deep doo-doo.

For an interesting take on this, head over to the Weekly Standard and read PJ O’Rourke’s story of his tour of the USS Theodore Roosevelt. (Really…There is a connection.)

scatbug on April 20, 2008 at 10:21 AM

For an interesting take on this, head over to the Weekly Standard and read PJ O’Rourke’s story of his tour of the USS Theodore Roosevelt. (Really…There is a connection.)

scatbug on April 20, 2008 at 10:21 AM

Absolutely right on.

If McCain had nothing but his military service to hang his campqaign on, he’d still be far, far ahead of a communistic, pampered and, ultimately, ineffectual and offensive “community activist.”

For that matter, he’d be far, far ahead of a lying, ineffectual welfare queen who has spent the vast majority of her adult life living off taxpayer money, too.

MrScribbler on April 20, 2008 at 10:38 AM

scatbug on April 20, 2008 at 10:21 AM

Couldn’t agree more…

Keemo on April 20, 2008 at 10:46 AM

She’s got the kitchen sink flying, the china flying. The buffet is coming at me
I think that is a sexist remark Barry.

benrand on April 20, 2008 at 9:56 AM

wow

funky chicken on April 20, 2008 at 10:57 AM

It gets weirder:
Obama campaign Repudiates its own surrogates

Spokesman Hari Sevugan: “We obviously do not agree with that sentiment.”

MayBee on April 20, 2008 at 10:59 AM

So if BHO really is the Do as I Say candidate, then he really is pushing for the nanny state with him in charge..

Do as I say, not as I do is how I get by as a parent.. :)
(only kidding, for the most part about the parenting thing)

DaveC on April 20, 2008 at 10:59 AM

At the next train stop, I’m going to stand behind Senator Obama when he speaks. When he’s decrying the trivial distractions in politics, I think he may be crossing his fingers behind his back.

Listening to his supporters whine about the ABC debate questions this week, you know they wouldn’t think he had his fingers crossed behind his back because George Stephanopolous had nailed his arms to the cross…

…which is actually Obama’s advantage right now in the primary versus Hillary. His supporters are so fanatical, and Axelrod and the rest of the staff know that they are, to the point that it doesn’t matter what the campaign does behind the scenes to Hillary, as long as Barak keeps up the idealized image his supporters have of him being “above politics”. And anything bad the campaign says on background about Hillary (or Bush or McCain) is taken as gospel by his believers when it comes out through the media.

Even if you’re an atheist, if you believe your political enemy is the devil, whether its Hillary Clinton or George W. Bush, then you also have to have a savior, and that’s what Obama is to these people. As long as he maintains his hold on them through the end of the primary season, he can pretyt much run out the clock on the nomination, based on the current delegate count (The current group of acolytes probably isn’t enough to get Barak elected in the fall, but they’ll worry about that problem later, with the answer likely being using the big media ‘fr’endlies’ to try and turn McCain into Ol’ Scratch and attract more True Believers for November).

jon1979 on April 20, 2008 at 11:03 AM

Methinks the blooom is coming off the rose…and some in the leftist press are rising from their slumber…

Harry Schell on April 20, 2008 at 11:06 AM

For the politically engaged, every election season is a nail-biting exercise in mourning the foolishness of something the electorate hasn’t actually done yet. What would it have said about our country if we had elected a simpering fraud like Kerry, or a ranting lunatic like Gore? We pulled out of those nose dives, and I have hope we’ll be smart enough to avoid electing either of the joke candidates the Democrats have fielded this time. The biggest problem with the electorate is how much it, along with the political parties, has calcified. Huge blocks of voters are permanently locked into the orbit of one party or the other, and only now – a scant decade before the first pillar of American socialism, Medicare, shatters under the weight of its unfunded liabilities – do we see the faction lines in both parties flaring up and producing seismic tremors. As much fun as it’s been to watch Hillary and Obama rip each other to shreds, we should never forget the ugly factional battles the GOP faced during its primary season. What does the “average swing voter” make of all this? I fear Peacenprosperity is right that many of them have been sucked into the black hole of Rosie O’Donnell-grade stupidity… but with all the pressures applied by biased media and liberal culture, it really should be worse, and I take comfort from knowing that it isn’t. The swing voters decide based on what little of the storm of information, and disinformation, swirling around the candidates sticks to them. I think that in the end, they’ll look at Obama and hear a ranting buffoon screaming “God damn America!”, they’ll look at Hillary and see Bill standing behind her in a haze of corruption, grinning… and they’ll look at McCain and see the guy who wouldn’t accept a ticket out of the Hanoi Hilton until all the other Joes went with him. No contest.

Doctor Zero on April 20, 2008 at 11:06 AM

Michael Kotyk, a retired veteran of the Navy broadened the significance of Clinton’s yarn: “We’ve had 8 years of dishonor. We need honor. If you’re going to tell stories then you’re not displaying honor.”

THis lowlife is supporting a coward tht refuses to defend the country and he says “We’ve had 8 years of dishonor.”

Neither this pathetic piece of garbage nor Obama is fit to even discuss honor as they are leading the charge for America to surrender to our enemies.

Absoltely pathetic.

This false-flag, Al Queda backed candidate will melt like a candle under hot wax when compared to a true man of honor like John McCain.

This guy appears to be a bit unhinged. A quick google search shows he’s all over the place in Democratic circles. He has a blog in an Obama blogging site. He’s also reveals in other blogs that he’s an unemployed aspiring poet and teacher so undoubtly in his circle of friends everyone is talking up Obama. Must be infectious. He is quoted in numerous places as a Navy vet for Obama. No doubt that the campaign is promoting him as yet another Vet for Peace and Obama…

Interestingly, he also has an older blog at newt.org a very Republican website, where he states just a few months ago that he admires McCain and throwing his support for Huckabee.

Someone who makes such a radical shift in a matter of weeks cannot be taken seriously.

SPCOlympics on April 20, 2008 at 11:20 AM

John McCain is on “This Week with George Stephanopolous” deftly answering and calmly handling far tougher questions than cry-baby Obama did at the debate.

What a contrast. President McCain will do a great job.

McCain is not afraid of a tough reporter, or pretty much anything else. The man is the definition of courage.

I am proud to be supporting him. :)

JayHaw Phrenzie on April 20, 2008 at 11:22 AM

Doctor Zero on April 20, 2008 at 11:06 AM

Impressive analysis.

Connie on April 20, 2008 at 11:22 AM

Stephanopolous “Elizibeth Edwards says that you have received Free health care your entire life, first with the military and then with Congress. Why can’t the rest of America get the same?”

McCain “That’s a cheap shot, but there were at least five years that my health care was provided by a different government. I think the Edwards and I have enough resources to handle our own health care”

SLAM!

JayHaw Phrenzie on April 20, 2008 at 11:25 AM

Stephanopolous “Elizibeth Edwards says that you have received Free health care your entire life, first with the military and then with Congress. Why can’t the rest of America get the same?”

That was dumb. Military health care is not free. It’s an employee benefit whose cost is partly offset by lower take home pay. Doubt if any of these MSM reports have taken a peak at the pay tables.

Also, wouldn’t this be an argument for actually joining the military?

SPCOlympics on April 20, 2008 at 11:31 AM

Obama’s whining is a huge mistake. Hillary’s complaining after another debate in Philly six months ago was a disaster for her.
You just keep on bitching, Messiah.

infidel65 on April 20, 2008 at 11:40 AM

For an interesting take on this, head over to the Weekly Standard and read PJ O’Rourke’s story of his tour of the USS Theodore Roosevelt. (Really…There is a connection.)

The point of O’Rourkes story is clear to most of us here, even those of us who can’t stand mccain. But the scarey part is that half this country appears clueless and that our msm, most, despite being self annointed snotty elitists have worked harder and accomplished much more then the lowlife obama, are pushing this same lowlife on America. How can a guy like stephanopoulus, who I think is a weasel but appears fairly intelligent and driven, sacrifice our country for a flawed ideology? I think we cannot get too over confident. There was a point during the impeachment of clinton that an awful lot of people didn’t believe the American people would reelect him and it wasn’t even close. If barry gets elected don’t think America’s enemies will have the patience to negotiate America’s fall with this idiot. I think the shinola will hit the fan on day one and snowball from there.

peacenprosperity on April 20, 2008 at 11:41 AM

The next President of the United States will be the person who is the best bold faced liar.

EJDolbow on April 20, 2008 at 11:42 AM

MayBee on April 20, 2008 at 10:59 AM

Liars, all of them.

WisCon on April 20, 2008 at 11:46 AM

For Obama, reality is a distraction.

Socratease on April 20, 2008 at 12:17 PM

Obama, a hypocrite? Really, amazing…the faithful will turn their backs on him…who would ever follow such a man…I wonder…

right2bright on April 20, 2008 at 12:25 PM

For Obama, reality is a distraction.

Socratease on April 20, 2008 at 12:17 PM

Yep, and for mainstream America, Obama is a distraction from reality.

petefrt on April 20, 2008 at 12:26 PM

Barack Hectoring Obama.

A new middle name for this charlatan.

Since all he does is b.s. in the same droning, monotonous semi-yell that is supposed to mesmerize the inattentive with its nasally-convincing tone of mock earnestness.

Hectoring the suckers.

Of which there seem to be plenty.

Who have invested this blank screen with their projected fantasies and who now do not want to admit that the film has broken and all that is showing is the emptiness of this standard political suit.

profitsbeard on April 20, 2008 at 12:47 PM

Elizibeth Edwards says that you have received Free health care your entire life

Free. Free? Oh, that pisses me off. I could use a lot of words to describe military health care, but that isn’t one of them. Job benefit, yeh, that’s just like “free”. What a moron. No difference between the government as an employer or as a welfare provider, not to some people.

MamaAJ on April 20, 2008 at 12:56 PM

“In this never-never land a couple of tinhorn Second City shysters–who, put together, don’t have the life experience of the lowest ranking gob-with-a-swab cleaning a head on the Big Stick–presume to run for president of the United States. They’re not just running against the hero John McCain, they’re running against heroism itself and against almost everything about America that ought to be conserved.

P. J. O’Rourke is a contributing editor to THE WEEKLY STANDARD”

Well written………

Seven Percent Solution on April 20, 2008 at 1:14 PM

“Elizibeth Edwards says that you have received Free health care your entire life, first with the military and then with Congress. Why can’t the rest of America get the same?”

Because McCain and every other veteran had the potential to find themselves at war on any given day. Any of you Code Pink lefty jerks want to get the same “free” healthcare, you know where the recruiting offices are.

All those soldiers getting wounded in Iraq are getting free health care too, some of them right there on the battlefield with bullets flying overhead.

Bishop on April 20, 2008 at 1:16 PM

I’d be a pedantic huffy-wuss too if I had to go home every night to a screaming, angry harridan.

whitetop on April 20, 2008 at 1:32 PM

I really think that in the minds of the superdelegates, they have to be trying to decide which of their two candidates is going to do the least damage to the Democratic Party during their four years in office. If that is the case, Thank God I am not a Democrat at this moment in history. Nor do I ever plan to be one regardless what the moment is.

pilamaye on April 20, 2008 at 1:43 PM

The fact is regardless of how amusing the Democratic primaries are the real race starts when the Democrates finally have a nominee for president. Then it is not about appealling to the party faithful but to the independants which make up about 40% of the voters. You cabn not win an national election with out your base nor without a majority of the independants. I think once the dust settles in Denver then both parties will have to start laying out specific policies, which is not in Senator Obama’s favor.

JKotthoff on April 20, 2008 at 1:54 PM

Lest anyone think John Dickerson is shilling for Hillary:

On February 29, 2008, Senator Hillary Clinton released a “red phone” television ad suggesting that her opponent, Senator Barack Obama, was unprepared to be President. On a conference call with Clinton staff, Dickerson asked, “What foreign policy moment would you point to in Hillary’s career where she’s been tested by crisis?” The question prompted “pregnant pause,” according to The Hotline, which wrote that “you could’ve knit a sweater in the time it took the usually verbose team of Mark Penn, Howard Wolfson and Lee Feinstein, Clinton’s national security director, to find a cogent answer.”

Buy Danish on April 20, 2008 at 3:13 PM

Great photo of Barry.

RobCon on April 20, 2008 at 3:29 PM

Is it any shock that a Democrat candidate promises an “attacks break,” and then doesn’t deliver?

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on April 20, 2008 at 3:32 PM

Hypocrisy, thy name is Obama. The problem is that there is a large portion of the electorate that is buying it. Obama is a rain-maker and the electorate is full of dust bowl farmers. Repeatedly, I have seen things revealed that I thought would bring the savior to his knees, Wright, Bittergate, Ayers, etc., but the fact is, he has a cult-like following that simply denies the cold hard truths: Do as I say, or do as I do; it just doesn’t matter. Whatever he does will be interpreted in the best of all possible lights and any opposition will be viewed as a moral sin against the messiah. McCain’s got a hard row to hoe.

second digit on April 20, 2008 at 3:36 PM

Great photo of Barry.

RobCon on April 20, 2008 at 3:29 PM

It sends a subliminal message: He can’t kick butt.

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on April 21, 2008 at 12:47 AM

Headline photo: “You’re in G. It’s in F#. Pick up the tempo,too……….Where’s the rest of that grass?….”

adamsmith on April 21, 2008 at 8:24 AM