Obama On Clark
“Inartful” was the word Obama used Tuesday to characterize remarks Gen. Wes Clark made over the weekend and subsequently about McCain’s military service. . . . At a press conference, the Illinois senator was asked what he thought about Clark's comments, which seemed to downplay the significance of McCain’s military service -- he was shot down and held as a POW for five and-a-half years during the Vietnam War -- and whether he felt they were similar to the Swift Boat ads used to attack John Kerry in 2004.
“I don’t think that Gen. Clark, you know, had the same intent as the Swiftboat ads that we saw four years ago; I reject that analogy,” he said, before adding that he had said many times that McCain’s deserved honor and respect for his service to the country. “Now I have differences with him on policy, and I will vigorously debate a lot of the decisions he’s made when it comes to national security that have weakened our capacity to meet the threats and challenges of the 21st century. But that certainly doesn’t detract from his past service to America.”
[MORE . . . ]
. . . Obama, who said he had not spoken with Clark, seemed to bristle when asked why he had not talked with him and whether he felt the former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO owed McCain an apology, suggesting voters had more pressing matters on their minds.
"I guess my question is why, given all the vast numbers of things that we've got to work on, that that would be a top priority of mine?” he said. “I think that, you know, right now we're here to talk about how we can make sure that kids in Zanesville and across Ohio get the kind of support that they need and communities that are impoverished can start to rebuild. I'm happy to have all sorts of conversations about how we deal with Iraq and what happens with Iran, but the fact that somebody on a cable show or on a news show like Gen. Clark said something that was inartful about Sen. McCain I don’t think is probably the thing that is keeping Ohioans up at night."
If they has stuck to this story yesterday, Obama would have been better off. The Burton "reject" statement was his mistake. Now he will get hounded about it. And McCain wants to keep it going:
Apparently Barack Obama now thinks that smear attacks on John McCain’s military service are fair game. One day after earning praise for rejecting Gen. Clark’s attacks, Sen. Obama clarified that his remarks had been written months before and were not even aimed at Gen. Clark. After repudiating his own repudiation, he went on to ask why an apology to Sen. McCain from Gen. Clark would even be a priority. All Barack Obama has to do is tell his campaign surrogates to stop criticizing John McCain’s record of service and this discussion would be over. Apparently his campaign has no intention of doing so. The McCain campaign will not sit idly by and let these ongoing attacks go unanswered.”
(Emphasis supplied.) My advice to Obama is to let McCain keep spittling outrage about it. No one except us and the Right blogs and the Beltway bloviators really cares about this story.
By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only
|< Tuesday Afternoon Thread | Now It's Webb's Turn >|