Obama: Clark's words were an "inartful" distraction

Behold the new buzzword of the Obama campaign, used most recently to explain away his flip-flop on the D.C. gun ban and recycled here today to spin Wes Clark’s lame slap at McCain’s foreign policy credentials. (Gabriel Malor of Ace’s site e-mailed yesterday claiming that David Axelrod had deployed “inartful” in an interview on MSNBC as well, but I can’t find it.) I like it almost as much as “nuance”: It’s not quite a lie, it’s not quite an error, it’s just … “inartful.” That’s in the first clip, in which you’ll also find St. Barack lamenting the fact that the press won’t let him get back to talking about the real issues a day after he preempted the real issues to deliver his vanity speech on patriotism. The second clip, via McCain’s campaign, is Obama insisting that the passage in the speech heralding McCain’s military service wasn’t a last minute addition aimed at rebuking Clark but had been in the prepared text for months. I guess he figures he’s compromised enough by all the flip-flops lately that he can’t afford to be seen making yet another purely expedient move, even one so minor as that.

Update: Almost forgot. As for the differences between Clark’s remarks and the Swift Boat attacks on Kerry, Jim Geraghty offers three.