During his run for the presidency, Barack Obama frequently referred to himself as “a constitutional law professor.” To cite one particularly obnoxious example, which turned out to be indicative of the president’s lack of class, Obama stated at a March 30, 2007 fundraiser that “I was a constitutional law professor, which means unlike the current president I actually respect the Constitution.”
But now, Obama’s spokesman is denying that Obama was a constitutional law professor. Here is an exchange from a press conference last week:
Helen Thomas: Why is the president blocking habeas corpus from prisoners at Bagram? I thought he taught constitutional law. And these prisoners have been there . . .
Robert Gibbs: You’re incorrect that he taught on constitutional law.
During the campaign, some, including the Hillary Clinton campaign, took issue with Obama’s claim that he was “a professor of constitutional law” on the fairly silly grounds (in my view) that he was merely a lecturer, not a real professor. But I don’t believe that even Obama’s adversaries questioned that he taught constitutional law.
Now his spokesperson is doing just that.
Gibbs probably meant that Obama didn’t teach the marquee course called “Constitutional Law,” but instead taught courses dealing with various aspects of constitutional law, notably the equal protection clause. If Hillary Clinton or the Republicans had tried to make such a distinction, they would properly have been ridiculed for their effort.
Obama could use a new spokesperson.
VIa Matthew Frank.