Obama surrogate: McCain a "warmonger"; Update: McCain's not a warmonger, says Obama camp

The Barack Obama campaign showed its take on “New Politics” last night with an event in North Dakota, where the candidate generated a lot of buzz. Liberal talkmeister Ed Schultz created even more with his introduction of Obama. While warming up the crowd, Schultz called John McCain a “warmonger”, after which Obama thanked him for his speech:

Obama was introduced by North Dakota’s three-man Congressional delegation, whom he greeted as friends, Sens. Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan and, as Obama called him, “Ed Pomeroy.” Rep. Earl Pomeroy gave Conrad a sheepish grin at the joke.

Radio talk show star Ed Schultz warmed up the crowd, attacking Sen. John McCain as “a warmonger,” before Obama arrived in the room.

Obama thanked Schultz, saying he was the “voice of progressive radio,” and someone “who knows a little bit about sports.”

Contrast this with John McCain’s reaction to the introduction given him by Bill Cunningham in Ohio. When McCain found out that Cunningham repeatedly used Obama’s middle name in the preceding speech, he didn’t wait for the media to ask about it. He apologized, repudiated the comments, and promised to conduct a high-road campaign. And that was just for using Obama’s actual middle name.

Does Obama believe in reciprocity? Apparently not. Obama lets his surrogates do the namecalling at his events, and then comes on stage himself to blather about setting a new tone in politics and uplifting the level of discourse in DC. He has a fabulous start on it thus far, having his campaign events serve as a springboard for slurs against McCain — a man with one son already in this conflict and another about to begin a tour shortly.

Obama heralds himself as the candidate of change. So far, we’re just seeing the same tired, hysterical anti-war rhetoric coming from his events, delivered by a classless Air America host. If Obama wants to embrace that, then voters will understand which candidate talks about changing the level of discourse, and which candidate actually works to change it. Just as with most of Obama’s policies, it’s all talk and no action.

Update (AP): Here’s the “change” Ed was hoping for. They had to say something for the reasons laid out above, but doubtless this is more sweeping than the left would have liked. Isn’t the warmonger line their chief angle of attack on Maverick?

“John McCain is not a warmonger and should not be described as such. He’s a supporter of a war that Senator Obama believes should have never been authorized and never been waged,” said Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki. The campaign stressed that Obama was not present when the comment was made and that Schultz is not a campaign surrogate.