Sunday, May 11, 2008

Obama Aide Resigns After Reports of Meetings With Hamas

A top Middle Eastern advisor to Sen. Barack Obama, Rob Malley, resigned from the campaign after the Times of London disclosed that he had been meeting with the Hamas terrorist group. Sen. Obama criticized former President Jimmy Carter for his recent meeting with Hamas leaders. Obama said of Carter's decision to meet with Hamas:

"That's why I have a fundamental difference with President Carter and disagree with his decision to meet with Hamas," Obama said. "We must not negotiate with a terrorist group intent on Israel's destruction. We should only sit down with Hamas if they renounce terrorism, recognize Israel's right to exist and abide by past agreements."

Sen. John McCain angered Obama recently when he noted that Hamas leaders have expressed support for Obama's campaign. Obama called McCain's comment "smear" politics and poked fun at his age, saying McCain has "lost his bearings." The only candidate who appears confused as of late, though, is Obama. Speaking to a group in Oregon this week, Obama stated that the United States is made of more than 50 states. What? Here's the quote:

"It is wonderful to be back in Oregon," Obama said. "Over the last 15 months, we’ve traveled to every corner of the United States. I’ve now been in 57 states? I think one left to go. Alaska and Hawaii, I was not allowed to go to even though I really wanted to visit, but my staff would not justify it."

He never missed a beat after making the glaring error. If you still don't believe me, check out the video here. Can you imagine the reaction if Bush or McCain had made such a glaring error? The media and pundits would have been poking fun at them for weeks. In Obama's case, it slides right past them.


Concerned Taxpayer said...

That's that liberal democrat math. That's how they can take our money, multiply it a thousandfold, and give it to people who won't work, and make us ALL happy!

Mark said...

The other thing that's sliding right by the media is Obama's doublespeak regarding Iran. Recently his campaign has come out and said that Obama would never meet unconditionally with Iran (or any other rogue state). Too bad he said in a televised interview last year that he would meet with Iran without conditions. Change!

David Myers said...

Now how do you spell potato?

Gary R. Welsh said...

The point often overlooked in the Quayle spelling incident, David, is that the spelling flash card prepared by the school and handed to Quayle had "potato" spelled "potatoe". Here's a good summary by Paul Mickle of how that blunder played out:

When he got the Munoz Rivera School, Quayle spoke with some women involved in the program, saw a drill team perform and looked in on some self-esteem classes before his aides started hustling him off to another classroom for a staged spelling bee.

"What are we supposed to do?’’ I asked Keith Nahigian, the advance man who had prepared this little photo op,’’ Quayle wrote.

"Just sit there and read these words off some flash cards, and the kids will go up and spell them at the blackboard,’’ the handler told the VP.

"Has anyone checked the card?’’ another aide asked.

"Oh, yeah,’’ responded Nahigian. "We looked at them and they’re just very simple words. No big deal.’’

Enter William Figueroa, 12, a sixth-grader from the Mott School in the South Ward who had been bused to Munoz Rivera to take part in the vice presidential event.

Figueroa knew how to spell potato, and he wrote it in a legible script on the blackboard when Quayle announced his word for the spelling bee.

Quayle looked at the blackboard, then at his contest card, and gently and quietly told the boy, "You’re close, but you left a little something off. The e on the end.

"So William, against his better judgment and trying to be polite, added an e’’ and won applause for it from those assembled in the classroom, including Mayor Doug Palmer, Quayle wrote.

The misspelling wasn’t mentioned until the end of the press conference afterward, when one reporter asked Quayle, "How do you spell potato?’’

"I gave him a puzzled look, and then the press started laughing. It wasn’t until that moment that I realized anything was wrong,’’ Quayle wrote.

"None of the staff people had told me. Caught off guard, I just rattled on a little to fill the air — something about how I wasn’t going to get into spelling matters — but I knew something was really amiss.’’

Indeed. At about the time of the gaffe, in fact, The Trentonian’s night reporter was arriving at the office and hearing the editor’s plea for a story suitable for page 1.

"What are you talking about? You’ve got the vice president in town today,’’ the reporter said.

"You know Quayle’s not going to say anything newsworthy,’’ the editor responded.

"I’m not talking about his political message. I’m saying watch for Quayle to foul up something,’’ the reporter said.

Soon after, the reporter who had covered Quayle’s Trenton tour showed up in the newsroom and was ask how the event had gone.

He said Quayle delivered the usual political pap, prompting the night reporter to holler out, "Yeah, but what did he foul up?"

"Well,’’ the reporter responded, "Quayle can’t spell potato.’’

The editor had his front-page story, complete with the only media interview with Figueroa, who said the experience made him believe all the talk about the vice president being "an idiot.’’

Soon after the paper hit the streets, the scene in the Trenton classroom was playing on national television, just as Quayle had warned his wife it would be when he got home from Trenton the night before.

Comics loved it, and a staffer from the David Letterman Show called The Trentonian the morning after seeking help locating Figueroa so he could be invited on the show.

The next day, after his father sent him for a haircut and warned him to speak a bit more diplomatically about the vice president of the United State, Figueroa made his national television debut.

The Trenton kid wowed the Letterman audience. He told of the spelling bee, saying, "I knew he was wrong, but since he’s the vice president I went back to the blackboard and put an e on the end and went back to my seat.

"Afterward, I went to the dictionary, and there was potato like I spelled it.’’ Figueroa wouldn’t call Quayle an "idiot’’ again, in deference to his father, William Collazo, and Palmer, who had called the boy’s mother and warned that funds for Weed and Seed could be cut off if the VP got mad enough.

"I know he’s not an idiot,’’ he told the goading Letterman, "but he needs to study more. Do you have to go to college to be vice president?’’

From then on, the potato incident would become a campaign weapon for the Democrats backing Clinton and Gore. Figueroa was flown in to deliver the pledge of allegiance at the Democratic National Convention that summer.

Image-conscious Quayle laughed it off on the outside. But as his book indicates, he was fuming mad about the gaffe and blamed his aides for letting it happen and the press for exploiting it.

He referred to Gore saying in a speech that a leopard had changed it "stripes,’’ and said if he had said that, "there would have been a week of Quayle jokes on the late-night shows and three dozen editorial cartoons set inside zoos.’’

The media’s "obsession with my small verbal blunders went beyond the bounds of fairness,’’ Quayle wrote in his book.

Now, fast forward five years to 1997, when The Trentonian decided to look up William Figueroa to see how he was doing after his hour of fame.

By then, he was a 17-year-old high school dropout who had fathered a child and was working a low-paying job at an auto showroom.

Quayle, Mr. Family Values, couldn’t be reached for comment on what had become of his "potato’’ nemesis.

Mann Law, P.C. said...

Long explanation. Quayle was a boob and should never been elected to anything. Just like Obama's 59 states in the US.

MissouriDemocrat said...

Everyone I know down south has been warning me that Obama is a muslim, obama is for iran, obama is for hamas. I thought surely all these fancy dancy democratic powerhouse players wouldn't be supporting someone that were all those things. I am afraid I was wrong, they do. We must defeat this man he is a threat to all of us.

IndyPaul said...

AI incorrectly states that Malley was "a top Middle East advisor" for Obama. Obama's top foreign policy advisors include Anthony Lake and Richard Danzig, but not Mr. Malley. Malley gave the canpaign some informal opinions, that's all. He met with Hamas in connection with his job as a foreign policy analyst with International crisis group.

The 57 state remark was obviously dry humor. The full quote of Obama's on McCain includes 'losing his bearings as he campaigns, indicating that McCain is loosing his former maverick persona, as McCain knows Obama has the same policy re Hamas as he.

artfuggins said...

oh, Missouri make America ashamed!!

Gary R. Welsh said...

IndyPaul, One of the commentators on the Sunday news programs pointed out that Obama is continually making reference to McCain's "half century of service to his country"--another subtle reference to his age. He's a smart man, and he chooses his words very carefully.

Gary R. Welsh said...

IndyPaul said, "AI incorrectly states that Malley was "a top Middle East advisor" for Obama."

And Rev. Wright was never a spiritual advisor to Obama. Isn't that the line now?

M Theory said...

Aren't Cheney and Bush the advisors to McCain? Not sure which is worse, a crony of Bush & Cheney or Obama.

Do you really think that the powers that control government care which of the three get elected? This just a show for the population with the purpose to divide and polarize us.

What the population should be talking about in a united voice is how to take control of printing money away from the illegal banking cartel (The Federal Reserve). That's what they don't want you to talk about.

Keep arguing about who becomes president and ignore the giant elephant in the room.