Philip Klein reports the Obama campaign’s response to the endorsement of Obama by Hamas official Ahmed Yousef, a senior adviser to Ismail Haniyeh. Klein read Yousef’s endorsement to Obama campaign manager David Axelrod last night:
I told him that the words were spoken by Ahmed Yousef, and offered to read him the quote, which I proceeded to do from my Blackberry: “We like Mr. Obama. We hope he will (win) the election and I do believe he is like John Kennedy, great man with great principle ”
Axelrod focused on the Kennedy portion of the quote, and was “flattered” by the comparison.
“I like John Kennedy too,” Axelrod said. “That’s about the only thing we have in common with this gentleman from Hamas. We all agree that John Kennedy was a great president, and it’s flattering when anybody says that Barack Obama would follow in his footsteps.”
Michael Goldfarb notes the slipperiness of Axelrod’s response:
Axelrod first distances himself from the “gentleman from Hamas,” but in the next breath he embraces the gentleman/terrorists’ comparison to Kennedy, pronouncing it “flattering.” Only recently Obama declared that “nobody has spoken out more fiercely on the issue of anti-Semitism than I have.” Apparently there’s an exception for when anti-Semites compare Obama to Kennedy. Then all bets are off!
Obama would handle the question more adroitly than Axelrod, and would distance himself from Axelrod’s blather, but this is pathetic.
I offer this free advice to David Axelrod from a conservative Republican with no experience in electoral poltics and no intention of voting for Obama (me). If you get asked the question again on behalf of Senator Obama, try this: “Senator Obama renounces Hamas and everything for which it stands.” You might even want to issue a statement to that effect before you get asked the question again.