This morning, I noted that the Clinton campaign, in deciding to attack Barack Obama on the grounds of character and lack of honesty, is over-reacting to Iowa poll numbers, and opening doors it should prefer remain closed. It’s now clear that Clinton is doing something even more dangerous — she’s making herself a laughingstock.
Specifically, Clinton has decided to attack Obama’s integrity by challenging his claim that “I have not been planning to run for President for however number of years some of the other candidates have been planning for.” Here is the Clinton campaign’s response:
“Senator Obama’s comment today is fundamentally at odds with what his teachers, family, classmates and staff have said about his plans to run for President,” Clinton spokesperson Phil Singer said. “Senator Obama’s campaign rhetoric is getting in the way of his reality.”
Immediately after joining the Senate, Senator Obama started planning run for President. “‘The first order of business for Senator Obama’s team was charting a course for his first two years in the Senate. The game plan was to send Senator Obama into the 2007-2008 election cycle in the strongest form possible’…The final act of the plan was turning up the talk about a potential Presidential bid, which was greatly aided by his positive press and suggestions by pundits that he run for President.” [U.S. News and World Report, 6/19/07 ]
His law school classmates say that Senator Obama has been planning Presidential run for ‘more than a decade.’ [A]ccording to those who know him, he has been talking about the presidency for more than a decade. “It was clear to me from the day I met him that he was thinking about politics,” says Harvard Law School classmate Christine Spurell. [Washington Post, 8/12/07 ]
15 years ago, Senator Obama told his brother-in-law he was planning to run for President. Craig [Robinson] pulled him aside [in 1992] and asked about his plans. “He said, ‘I think I’d like to teach at some point in time, and maybe run for public office,’ recalls Robinson, who assumed Senator Obama meant he’d like to run for city alderman. “He said no — at some point he’d like to run for the U.S. Senate. And then he said, ‘Possibly even run for President at some point.’ And I was like, ‘Okay, but don’t say that to my Aunt Gracie.’ I was protecting him from saying something that might embarrass him.” [Washington Post, 8/12/07 ]
So far, so good, I suppose. But the Clinton campaign continues:
In third grade, Senator Obama wrote an essay titled ‘I Want To Be a President.’ His third grade teacher: Fermina Katarina Sinaga “asked her class to write an essay titled ‘My dream: What I want to be in the future.’ Senator Obama wrote ‘I want to be a President,’ she said.” [The Los Angeles Times, 3/15/07]
In kindergarten, Senator Obama wrote an essay titled ‘I Want to Become President.’ “Iis Darmawan, 63, Senator Obama’s kindergarten teacher, remembers him as an exceptionally tall and curly haired child who quickly picked up the local language and had sharp math skills. He wrote an essay titled, ‘I Want To Become President,’ the teacher said.” [AP, 1/25/07 ]
Among lawyers, this is called “gilding the lily.” Among campaign operatives I imagine it’s called malpractice.
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