In the spin room following the debate, I asked Barack Obama’s chief strategist, David Axelrod, to respond to a report that a top Hamas official had endorsed Obama.
“I have no idea about that, I have not heard that,” Axelrod replied.
I told him that the words were spoken by Ahmed Yousef, and offered to read him the quote, which I I proceeded to do from my Blackberry: “we like Mr. Obama. We hope he will (win) the election and I do believe he is like John Kennedy, great man with great principle…”
Axelrod focused on the Kennedy portion of the quote, and was “flattered” by the comparison.
“I like John Kennedy too,” Axelrod said. “That’s about the only thing we have in common with this gentleman from Hamas. We all agree that John Kennedy was a great president, and it’s flattering when anybody says that Barack Obama would follow in his footsteps.”
Goldfarb takes exception to Team Barry’s willingness to accept compliments from terrorists but I’m not too worried. The campaign’s spent the past week huffing and puffing about how they find Hamas totally unacceptable, won’t deal with them, etc etc (unless of course they become heads of state, in which case everything’s peachy). As such, Axelrod’s reaction is less interesting as proof that they’re soft on terror than as further evidence, if any was needed, of how Pavlovian the Democratic response to the Kennedys remains. Even with an easy gotcha like this tossed at him, Axelrod can’t bring himself to give the obvious answer — “we reject totally any endorsement by Hamas” — simply because the sainted name is uttered.
Needless to say, it’s also a useful illustration of how well jihadist filth understand American political culture. They think they’ve got an ally in the left and they know the sort of sweet nothings they have to whisper to try to make nice. This attempt was fairly subtle. Not all of them are.