Well, not yet …
posted at 8:30 am on July 22, 2008 by Ed Morrissey
The Barack Obama campaign provided another gaffe, this one more of a Freudian slip, in responding to questions from the press about holding political rallies abroad. One of the “senior policy advisers” tried explaining the difference between political rallies and speeches, but wound up reinforcing why Barack Obama’s Berlin speech is a political rally — as well as reinforcing the arrogance of the Obama campaign. Politico’s Carrie Budoff Brown reports, emphases mine:
But senior aides engaged in a bit of rhetorical gymnastics Tuesday as they faced reporters who questioned their resistance to acknowledging the political aspects of Obama’s week-long, high-profile tour against the backdrop of an intense American presidential campaign.
At a morning background briefing, reporters parried with senior advisers on the characterization of Obama’s speech Thursday in Berlin as a campaign rally. The outdoor speech at the Victory Column could draw thousands of people, similar to the size of Obama events in the United States.
“It is not going to be a political speech,” said a senior foreign policy adviser, who spoke to reporters on background. “When the president of the United States goes and gives a speech, it is not a political speech or a political rally.[“]
“But he is not president of the United States,” a reporter reminded the adviser.
“He is going to talk about the issues as an individual … not as a candidate, but as an individual, as a senator,” the adviser added.
Unfortunately for Obama, the adviser had it right. When the President travels abroad and gives a speech, it is not a domestic, electoral political speech, but that’s because the President actually has the office already. Barack Obama hasn’t yet even officially won his party’s nomination, let alone be elected as our head of state. The adviser explained rather neatly why holding big rallies in Berlin is inappropriate for a candidate running for the US presidency. It’s obviously a political rally, made so by the fact that Obama is running for the White House.
They want to have this both ways. As Brown reports, the Obama campaign has framed this trip as a means for Obama to get to know the people with whom he’ll deal if he wins the election. That’s political in and of itself, and that doesn’t account for the massive rally at the Siegessäule monument. If all Obama wanted was a listening tour, he would have confined himself to diplomatic meetings and fact-finding events. Instead, he wants to have a massive rally, which is on its face a political event and a political speech, unless Obama does nothing but talk about the World Cup.
Once again, the Obama arrogance shines through the double-talk. Anyone want to bet that the “senior policy adviser” was Dr. Susan Rice?