Joel Mowbray reports: The Obama campaign strikes again

Our occasional correspondent Joel Mowbray ([email protected]) reports:

In a bizarre yet now predictable move, the Barack Obama campaign has decided to impugn David Freddoso, a conservative reporter who is perhaps the most careful of the Democrat’s critics.

After pitching a fit last month over National Review writer Stanley Kurtz appearing on Chicago-based WGN-AM — the premier talk station in the Midwest and hardly a right-wing operation — Obama’s people are back at it, this time protesting an interview with Freddoso, the author of the New York Times-bestselling The Case Against Barack Obama.

The Democratic nominee’s people spilled forth with hyperbole, saying in an e-mail to supporters that “Freddoso has made a career off dishonest, extreme hate mongering.” Urging Obama supporters to flood WGN with angry phone calls, the e-mail stated that “your help is urgently needed to make sure his baseless lies don’t gain credibility.” (And it’s not as if Freddoso had unfettered access to the airwaves, as he was debating a Democrat on the pre-recorded show last night.)

Charging someone with “baseless lies” and “dishonest, extreme hate mongering” is pretty strong stuff. Unfortunately for Obama, little evidence exists to support the accusation. About the worst nugget Obama’s opposition researchers could unearth was Freddoso’s flip comment four years ago that Hillary Clinton had received Botox treatments.

Anyone familiar with Freddoso’s work knows that he is a by-the-book reporter, and perhaps limiting his commercial appeal, not much of a bomb-thrower. In The Case Against Barack Obama, in fact, Freddoso steers clear of conspiracy theories or sensationalism based on anonymous single sources. Rather, his argument boils down to this: Far from being a transformational figure, Barack Obama is a typical liberal politician who has benefited from ambition, luck, good timing, and a healthy dose of Chicago’s machine politics.

Freddoso’s book might not be flattering, but it’s hardly inflammatory, either. Which is why the Obama campaign’s vicious rhetoric is so puzzling. Freddoso is the best up-and-coming reporter on the right — and with his Obama biography sitting squarely at number 5 on the New York Times bestseller list, he’s pretty much already arrived.

Perhaps the campaign is so bothered by him because his careful recitation of facts and caution against overstating the evidence makes his book more persuasive to fence-sitting votes. So, the logic appears to be that smearing Freddoso will marginalize him in the eyes of the mainstream media and swing voters.

Ironically, the campaign’s gross overreaction only serves to buttress the main thesis of Freddoso’s book: Unlike his self-marketing as a post-partisan leader, Obama is just another politician, lashing out at his opponents when his odds of winning appear more and more remote.

The Obama campaign has a thuggish modus operandi that thrives in the cone of silence afforded it by its allies in the mainstream media.

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