AOL Hot Seat Poll: Will Obama’s flip-flops matter?

posted at 8:10 am on June 28, 2008 by Ed Morrissey


I based today’s AOL Hot Seat poll on this post from yesterday, which featured competing analyses by Charles Krauthammer and Margaret Talev from McClatchy on how much Barack Obama’s policy reversals matter. I included just the last three reversals for space considerations, but we could have included his reversals on Jeremiah Wright, Jim Johnson, NAFTA, and so on. Have they damaged the brand?

Keep checking back here all day to see the results. Over 3,000 people already voted through AOL before I had a chance to post this poll here, and 70% of all respondents said that he can’t be trusted. Every state but North Dakota had a majority for that selection, and North Dakota just hadn’t had any votes cast yet. Even in New York, with 200 votes, Obama could only garner a third to say that he had good reasons.


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Wait a minute. I selected No, but not because he had a good reason, as the answer says, I just dont think the MSM will allow it to hurt him.

You should not have a question, with a yes or no answer, then add to the end of the answers.

WoosterOh on June 28, 2008 at 8:17 AM

Ive been thinking alot a bout the Rez Wright thing.

I think that he set up the “I could never disavow him thing”

The he asked the good Rev if he could go to a bunch of events and talk all crazy.

Then Obama could play it off like he had gone “over the line” and denounce him.

It all seemed too perfect.

Squid Shark on June 28, 2008 at 8:19 AM

Even in New York, with 200 votes, Obama could only garner a third to say that he had good reasons.

That surprises me. I would have guessed Obama sheds flip-flops like a duck sheds water.

petefrt on June 28, 2008 at 8:20 AM

The Answer I’d like to give is, “of course, in a rational world, it should absolutely matter, but that’s not where we live.”

Nyog_of_the_Bog on June 28, 2008 at 8:21 AM

Any politician that shreds his entire legislative history, takes both sides on every major issue, wantonly throws his friends and family under the bus, doesn’t vote on most matters before the senate, lies about what he has clearly stated in the past, plays the race card while accusing others of doing the same, surrounds himself with con-men and charlatans, etc., is not a man that should occupy the White House.

David in ATL on June 28, 2008 at 8:29 AM

Wait a minute. I selected No, but not because he had a good reason, as the answer says, I just dont think the MSM will allow it to hurt him.

You should not have a question, with a yes or no answer, then add to the end of the answers.

WoosterOh on June 28, 2008 at 8:17 AM

Agreed. And this sounds like some of the arguments the Donks use when they are claiming an election has been stolen.

When I was a child there was a film that came out called “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. It scared the hell out of me. I have that same feeling in my gut watching the Obama movement.

JonRoss on June 28, 2008 at 8:30 AM

These are not the flip-flops I thought I knew.

NeighborhoodCatLady on June 28, 2008 at 8:35 AM

Some 527 group should put together a video compilation of all of Obama’s lies and flip-flops. It could start with Obama’s 2006 appearance on Meet the Press, where he tells Tim Russert that he will absolutely not be a candidate for President or Vice President in 2008, then shows Obama in 2007, announcing his candidacy for the presidency in 2008.

Obama: Lying through his Teeth, from Day One.

AZCoyote on June 28, 2008 at 8:37 AM

Obama should have a double digit lead at this stage; the fact that he is tied with McCain in the recent Rasmussen poll, should be a good indicator that despite having the MSM 100% in his camp, the American people are getting an honest look at this politician. Obama is just another Democrat politician, willing to say and do anything to obtain power; lacking in moral integrity; seemingly clueless when it comes to American traditions, global economy, national economy, principles behind capitalism, and as usual with all Democrats, the man is weak on national defense and the protection of the American people. Obama is no different than the man powerline writes about below…

Delahunt’s disgrace

Here is the exchange between Rep. William Delahunt (D, Mass.) and Cheney chief of staff David Addington at the House committee hearing broadcast live on C-SPAN on Thursday as accurately recounted by CNN:

Delahunt asked repeatedly whether the topic of waterboarding, a controversial interrogation technique that simulates drowning, ever came up.

Addington replied that he could not discuss that because “al Qaeda may watch C-SPAN.”

“Right,” Delahunt responded. “Well, I’m sure they are watching, and I’m glad they finally have the chance to see you, Mr. Addington.”

“Yeah, I’m sure you’re pleased,” Addington shot back.

“Given your penchant for being unobtrusive,” Delahunt said of Addington’s ability to stay behind the scenes.

In this exchange, Delahunt identifies himself with a vicious enemy of the United States, implicitly acknowledges the danger they pose to officials such as Addington and professes his satisfaction that he has helped set the enemy’s sights on Addington. Delahunt is both a fool and a reprobate. He does not understand that his good will toward al Qaeda means nothing to them, and his encouragement of their mission is simply vile.

As FOX News reports, Delahunt claimed that “under no circumstances” was he implying during the hearing that al Qaeda may target Addington. “That’s absurd. That was not my intent,” he told FOX News. “And I’m sure Mr. Addington knows that was not my intent.” Addington, however, knows no such thing. He knows that Delahunt was freely expressing his hatred of the Bush administration in a manner that was both disgusting and disgraceful.

Delahunt is lacking in the manhood that calls for a man who to stand by his words or apologize for them. He says he was just trying to express his happiness to see Addington. Delahunt said he recalls saying “I,” not “they,” during the testimony, though he did not.

That Delahunt cannot defend what he said is indicative of the disgrace he has caused himself, the House of Representatives and his constitutents in the Tenth District of Massachusetts. What is to be done? In “Damn us and all our party if we let this go,” the directors of Redstate call for Delahunt’s censure:

If you do not call your Congressman today and demand the House of Representatives, at the very *least*, censure Congressman Delahunt, well damn us all. We have no right to carry on our fight.

The number is 202-224-3121 and Congressman Delahunt’s email address is william.delahunt@mail.house.gov. [Congressman Delahunt can be reached at 202-225-3111 and by fax at 202-225-5658.]

And some intrepid reporter should ask Mr. Obama what he thinks of this. After all, Mr. Delahunt was one of Mr. Obama’s early supporters and is now an Obama superdelegate. Of course, you can ask Barack Obama yourself at (866) 675-2008.

When you call your Congressman, you should make sure he knows an apology from Mr. Delahunt will not suffice. Delahunt clearly is lying about and denying his statement. “I’m sorry” would just be more of the same.

Whether or not “I’m sorry” would suffice, it is the least that is called for, together with an acknowledgement by Delahunt of the offense he committed. As for the rest, the gentlemen of Redstate have it right.

Lacking in moral integrity!!!

Keemo on June 28, 2008 at 8:37 AM

Captain, your poll does not include the option: “No, people don’t care.” BHO supporters excuse his indiscretions as necessary in order to somehow win another vote. BHO detractors realize that for those who support him, there is nothing he can do to disillusion them because his disappointing comments mean nothing incriminating. Gaddafi makes that clear; let BHO say whatever so long as he gets elected.

Given that Obama’s malleable comments on his virtual platform mean nothing I’d be curious to poll if that matters. Same results, no doubt.

maverick muse on June 28, 2008 at 8:38 AM

AZCoyote on June 28, 2008 at 8:37 AM

“BARACK-TRACK”

maverick muse on June 28, 2008 at 8:39 AM

I don’t think those are the only two answers to the question.

I think he had good reasons (he needs to win the White House) and he can’t be trusted. But I don’t need to trust a politician: just to predict them. And Bambi is nothing if not predictable.

Lehosh on June 28, 2008 at 8:43 AM

Leave it to the PC ubertard vocabulary selectors to reference their “virtual” to corrupt the root of the word.

maverick muse on June 28, 2008 at 8:43 AM

“good” reasons vs. selfish reasons

maverick muse on June 28, 2008 at 8:44 AM

Yes, we do need a third option. “He can’t be trusted; it won’t matter.”

I’m afraid that the combo of the media generally being in the tank for him, combined with his “celebrity-messiah” status may ultimately be too tall a mountain to climb.

Do I hope I am wrong? Yeah; you betcha.

pbundy on June 28, 2008 at 8:51 AM

When I was a child there was a film that came out called “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. It scared the hell out of me. I have that same feeling in my gut watching the Obama movement.

JonRoss on June 28, 2008 at 8:30 AM

Scariest movie evah! Obamatrons are 21st century pod people, and the moral of the story is – don’t fall asleep on election day.

Buy Danish on June 28, 2008 at 9:02 AM

“What flip-flops?” – Obamaations.

TooTall on June 28, 2008 at 9:10 AM

If there is a relentless split screen campaign using Obama’s eloquence against him, continually showing before and after’s in his own voice, it will work. A couple of times won’t do the trick.

The McCain campaign has to use Obama against himself. McCain and crew are not savvy enough to put things in their own words without sounding sniveling.

Other than that McCain needs to get up to ANWR. We don’t need old well worn platitudes about energy independence in the future. We need new crude oil yesterday. If prices continue higher, with the attendant pain and suffering, McCain’s rhetoric and strategy will seem out of touch. His was a message that should have been stressed when crude was at $50 a barrel. Now it’s just chasing from behind.

Going forward I continue to think energy bills are going to be the defining campaign issue.

patrick neid on June 28, 2008 at 9:11 AM

WoosterOh on June 28, 2008 at 8:17 AM

I agree with Wooster.
A. No
B. Yes

This would clear up the results of so many polls. And clearly let us answer them. Many times, I find that I can’t choose yes or no because of the attached phrases.
The question is about damaging his candidacy. Then, suddenly, I’m supposed to say he can’t be trusted, or he had good reasons.
Why do so many pollsters do this?

bridgetown on June 28, 2008 at 9:13 AM

According to the Dems, only Republicans “flip-flop”; Democrats “re-evaluate their position based on new data.”

rmgraha on June 28, 2008 at 9:18 AM

Mark Leven somehow got Dela*unt (don’t want to get banned) live on the phone last night. In case you didn’t hear, he denied what he said. Then Leven played the tape and Dela*unt acted surprised and said he misspoke (for sure). I agree, someone needs to really press this entire episode with Obama. It may take a lot more work than usual but I really think the Obamasnatchers can be smothered in their pods.

JonRoss on June 28, 2008 at 9:19 AM

rmgraha on June 28, 2008 at 9:18 AM

Exactly. I think they’re calling it artful pragmatism now. or summin

ronsfi on June 28, 2008 at 9:40 AM

Wait a minute. I selected No, but not because he had a good reason, as the answer says, I just dont think the MSM will allow it to hurt him.

You should not have a question, with a yes or no answer, then add to the end of the answers.

WoosterOh on June 28, 2008 at 8:17 AM

I didn’t vote for the same reason.

burt on June 28, 2008 at 9:44 AM

Ed posited that No response for a reason. If he had put forward any mention of the media it would have turned off the kool aiders and they would not have voted no.
I believe the media is lying about the polls in order to boost Comrade Obama’s income stream.

Beto Ochoa on June 28, 2008 at 9:54 AM

Although I voted Yes just to see the poll results, I agree that it’s really a No, that most won’t care.

OT – Did anyone else see Gen’l Wesley Clark’s poll from Huffington Post on the right-hand side asking if McCain was going to issue in Bush’s 3rd term?

I admit…I was tempted, so I took the poll (answering No, of course), and a surprising 53% of almost 80,000 people said the same thing!

Wesley, you putz…not getting the overwhelming “lemming” mentality you were hoping for. That’s just gotta hoirt…

Miss_Anthrope on June 28, 2008 at 10:00 AM

The answer is “no”. Not because he had “good reasons”. But because he’s “perfect” and “sinless” in the eyes of the msm.

Rod on June 28, 2008 at 10:22 AM

Going forward I continue to think energy bills are going to be the defining campaign issue.

patrick neid on June 28, 2008 at 9:11 AM

ditto. Gasoline prices are nothing when compared with heating your home in the Northern half of the US. Both parties will be blamed and there will be hell to pay.

JiangxiDad on June 28, 2008 at 10:37 AM

“Obama could only garner a third to say that he had good reasons.”

Well, I could have just as easily voted that one. He does have good reasons, 1) he wants to be president so that 2) he can turn the country into a socialist paradise, which just so happens to be an oxymoron even for socialists.

The problem is that his flip-flops are intended to hide these reasons. Thus my can’t trust him vote.

Dusty on June 28, 2008 at 11:24 AM

Well, hide the second reason. He isn’t hiding how desperately he wants to be president.

Dusty on June 28, 2008 at 11:25 AM

He can’t be trusted but he will be elected on a tide of Bush-ennui and the HopeandChange canard.

Ares on June 28, 2008 at 12:21 PM

I think the options are little misleading.

It is true that he can’t be trusted, but will it hurt him very much in the general? Maybe not.

Grafted on June 28, 2008 at 4:53 PM

and the moral of the story is – don’t fall asleep on election day.

Buy Danish on June 28, 2008 at 9:02 AM

Indeed. We might wake up in hell.

Entelechy on June 28, 2008 at 6:56 PM