Friday, May 09, 2008

Obama Making Fun Of McCain's Age

Throughout his political career, Sen. Barack Obama has run dirty campaigns against his opponents. When he first ran for the state senate in Illinois, he got his primary opponent disqualified so he could run unopposed. In Chicago politics, the general election is a formality. When he ran for the U.S. Senate, he forced open sealed divorce records of his Democratic primary opponent and his Republican general election opponent. Revelations therein wrecked both opponents' campaigns, paving the way for an easy victory for Obama. Yet to be nominated by the Democratic Party, Obama is already subtly raising questions about Sen. John McCain's age. As the Redstate blog notes, Obama told a reporter this week that Sen. McCain is "losing his bearings", a less than subtle attack on his age as he criticized McCain for what he termed "smear politics." The McCain campaign was quick to respond. Senior advisor Mark Salter said:


First, let us be clear about the nature of Senator Obama's attack today: He used the words 'losing his bearings' intentionally, a not particularly clever way of raising John McCain's age as an issue. This is typical of the Obama style of campaigning.

We have all become familiar with Senator Obama's new brand of politics. First, you demand civility from your opponent, then you attack him, distort his record and send out surrogates to question his integrity. It is called hypocrisy, and it is the oldest kind of politics there is.

Redstate blog points out that Obama has often gotten away with making sexist references about Sen. Hillary Clinton. Quoting from ABC's Jake Tapper, Redstate offers these examples:


Jake Tapper first noted this when Obama said that Hillary was "taking out the claws." At the same time he noted that Obama would use "[l]anguage such as 'when she's feeling down' 'periodically' she 'launches attacks.'" Tapper noted that a number of female reporters and bloggers picked up on this. Later Obama complained that Hillary was "throwing the China" at him. Again, Tapper heard the dog whistle. Tapper noted that this "feeds into the 'harridan' caricature of Clinton."
You can bet if a Republican opponent used those words to describe a female candidate like Clinton, the media would be all over them demanding an apology. Democrats and womens' groups blasted Former Gov. Mitt Romney, for example, when he criticized his female opponent for behaving in a way that he said was "unbecoming."

Now, I'm not going to pretend to be surprised or pretend these sorts of exchanges don't happen in political campaigns all the time. It's just that Obama has been presented with this aura of being above the politics of personal destruction when he in fact has a track record of hitting his opponents below the belt as much as the next politician. He should be the last to complain when people keep raising questions about his past judgment, which they most certainly will in this campaign.

21 comments:

Wilson46201 said...

Now we know why McCain almost flunked out of Annapolis. How can a third-generation Navy man not know that this is a NAVAL TERM that means an individual has lost sight of their navigational standards. It has nothing to do with AGE…Navy men and those that used this slogan were ALWAYS referring to people who had become sidetracked away from their presumed course. Young captains could “lose their bearings” as well as old ones.

Sad that McCain doesn’t even know Naval Terminology!

Advance Indiana said...

I made an exception and allowed Wilson to post a comment. He never misses an opportunity to trash a veteran.

Advance Indiana said...

A thesaurus definition of "to lose one's bearings" is "to become bewildered." He may as well have said, "He's fallen and he can't get up."

dokkaq said...

Thesauruses don't contain definitions.

artfuggins said...

in this case, Wilson is 100% correct.

Bart Lies said...

Well, I think the wordplay was meant to be a variation of 'losing his marbles' which is certainly not some flattering nautical term.

Lance Rasmussen said...

AI should have said a synonym, not a definition. Not that it changes anything, as you'd have to be willfully blind (hence Wilson's comment) to not percieve the connotation of Obama's remark.

Change!

Lance Rasmussen said...

"Now we know why McCain almost flunked out of Annapolis. How can a third-generation Navy man not know that this is a NAVAL TERM that means an individual has lost sight of their navigational standards."

How the hell would Obama know anything about naval terms? Maybe he learned it at a yacht club during his pampered upbringing?

Change!

Think Mps said...

I have to agree with Wilson.

This seems like another moment where you can see what you want to see. For example: I see McCain trying to pull a judo move in turning Obama's rhetorical skill against him - 'Obama is so good at it [rhetoric] that anything he says is on purpose and carries hidden meaning. Of course he's subliminally trashing McCain via his age.'

Or, 'Obama is so dexterous, as a result of playing basketball, that of course he flipped off Clinton, that was no accident.'

See how easy it is?

tarrandwoolley said...

Do you even follow the whole story. When specifically asked about this moment and Mark Salter's letter, McCain said he did not think Obama was talking about his age. .spin, spin, spin as usual. In any event, maybe McCain should not have implied to the American people that Hamas wants Obama to be President when both McCain and Obama have the exact same policy towards dealing with Hamas.

iPOPA said...

If someone says, "Let me get my bearings," they are talking about orientation relative to their surroundings. I mostly hear the comment "losing one's bearings" in a moral context, such as when a devout or steadfast person "loses their way." In short, there is only a slam on old people in Obama's comment if you are looking for one.

k said...

Gary you are allowing your base hatred of Obama to show a bit too much - Jack Ryan, Obama's initial Republican rival in the Senate campaign sank his own ship. He lied to GOP officials about what his divorce records contained and then major papers, including the Chicago Tribune went after the sealed records. Although the Tribune has endorsed Obama, it can hardly be called supportive of Democrats in general - it has not endorsed a democrat for president since 1872! I live in Chicago as well as Lafayette, IN and I really believe you need to chill on your characterizations of Obama as evil

Advance Indiana said...

K, Get your facts straight. David Axelrod is a former reporter for the Tribune. He is the dirtiest of sleaze political operators in that town. He used his connections to the paper to peddle the stories about Jack Ryan's sex life and divorce files. Bottom line, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. Obama's private sex life is on the table since he had made his opponents' sex lives an issue in every campaign.

legaldiva said...

I think you missed the boat on this one AI. It wasn't a slam on his age, but rather, the insane statements he made re: Obama and Hamas. It seems the goal is to spin nothing into something to justify disdain for Obama. While I find it sad, it seems to be the status quo for a lot of people that simply aren't interested in real dialogue on the issues.

Watcher on the wall said...

Oh, yet another 'witty post' from Wilson. Why does everything he post smell? Could it be the odor of his past dumpster diving that just can't be washed off?

artfuggins said...

bartlies..wants to interpret the words the way he wants then accuse the Obama campaign of being unkind...in addition, I dont think many people living on food stamps in Kansas belong to any yacht club.

Doug said...

I think the McCain camp would very much like this to be about age, but it's just not the case. If this were about age, it might avoid uncomfortable questions about whether Johnny McStraightTalk has lost his way -- to the extent he ever really was an upright moral maverick.

Now he's just a run-of-the-mill right-winger; tax cuts, huge deficits, useless war, lip service to the Bible thumpers, and all.

Lance Rasmussen said...

"in addition, I dont think many people living on food stamps in Kansas belong to any yacht club."

Obama never lived in Kansas. Not for a single day.

Bart Lies said...

If one can almost flunk out of police school and go to Congress, why can't one almost flunk out of Ananapolis and be President?

artfuggins said...

Not many people living in Hawaii on food stamps belong to Yacht Clubs............is that better???

chris corwin said...

i have to agree--the anti-obama mud is getting to high here.

obama's comment was so obviously NOT about age.

it was a humble and gracious admission that every human being at one point or another doesn't always do what they aspire to do.

he was saying that he knows senator mccain intends to run a sleaze-free campaign, as does himself, and that it simply doesn't always happen.

when one is not where they intend to be they have "lost their bearings".

in the same interview he admitted that his own campaign had not always lived up to his ideals and he apologized for that.

i don't understand how one's hatred of a certain candidate can prevent one from seeing such an obvious truth -- but then i don't understand the capacity of faith (or its evil twin brother "anti-faith") in all its incarnations to colour our judgments.

i suppose that @thinkMPS is correct -- we all probably see what we *want* to see.

personally, though, i want to see the truth.