Sen. Barack Obama had a bad week, which he and his staff contrived to make worse.
Sen. Obama and Sen. John McCain appeared serially at a California mega-church
Saturday night. The contrast illustrates why Sen. Obama is leery of joint
Mr. Obama was long-winded and often evasive in his responses to questions posed by
Pastor Rick Warren, while Sen. McCain was crisp and direct in his responses to the
"The Obama people must feel that he didn't do quite as well as they might have
wanted in that context, because what they are putting out privately is that McCain
may not have been in the cone of silence and may have had some ability to overhear
what the questions were to Obama," NBC's Andrea Mitchell said on the "Meet the
Press" program Sunday. "He seemed so well prepared."
The subtext is The One could not be bested unless the old white guy cheated. But by
making a charge they can't possibly prove, Obama aides look like bad sports, said
Megan McArdle of the Atlantic.
"This was a serious misstep by the Obama campaign, and his supporters could best
help him by never mentioning it again," she said.
Whining is one way to make a poor performance seem worse. Another is to get caught
in a lie.
In 2003, Sen. Obama voted against a bill in the Illinois legislature that would have
protected the lives of infants born alive after botched abortions. The language of
the bill was identical to the federal Born Alive Infants Protection Act, which had
passed the U.S. Senate unanimously the year before.
The National Right to Life Committee issued a press release on Sen. Obama's vote.
When a reporter asked Sen. Obama about it, he responded:
"Here's a situation where folks are lying. I have said repeatedly that I would have
been completely in, fully in support of the federal bill that everybody supported
which was to say that you should provide assistance to any infant that was born
even if it was the consequence of an induced abortion."
On Sunday, after the NRTLC released documents proving the language in the state bill
was identical to that in the federal bill, an Obama spokesman acknowledged his boss
had "misstated" his position.
There was much consternation among Democrats and journalists last week when a book
savagely critical of Barack Obama Jerome Corsi's "The Obama Nation" debuted at
number one on the New York Times best seller list.
Sen. Obama's campaign issued a 40-page rebuttal. "Jerome Corsi is a discredited
liar who is peddling another piece of garbage to continue the Bush-Cheney policies
he helped perpetuate four years ago," said Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for Sen. Obama.
Mr. Vietor was referring to the 2004 book "Unfit for Command," which Mr. Corsi
co-wrote with John O'Neill of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Many Democrats
blame Sen. Kerry's defeat on his sluggish response to the charges made in that book.
They've vowed never to let that happen again, which accounts for their effort to
nuke the Corsi book.
This is a mistake. What gave "Unfit for Command" its power was that of 23 officers
who served in John Kerry's squadron, 15 considered him unfit. By contrast, when
Democrats were trying to manufacture a scandal about President Bush's service in the
Texas Air National Guard, they were unable to find a single squadron mate who had
anything critical to say. By linking the new Corsi book to the Swift Boat veterans,
Democrats give it a credibility it doesn't deserve.
And the Obama campaign's response to the Corsi book was replete with factual errors
of its own.
"Much of what (Corsi) writes is troubling and fictional," wrote ABC's Jake Tapper.
"But that doesn't mean that the Obama campaign shouldn't hew closer to the truth."
I hope you won't buy the book. Mr. Corsi is a nutcase, and his book is filled with
poorly sourced innuendo. But the over the top response to it pretty much guarantees
Mr. Corsi will sell more copies than he deserves to.
At least the Obama campaign had the good sense not to draw attention to David
Freddoso's "The Case Against Barack Obama," which debuted at number five on the New
York Times list. It's long on fact, short on innuendo, and absolutely devastating to
Sen. Obama's reputation.