Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Discord in the Obama camp?

Yesterday, Sen. Joe Biden, the vice presidential running mate of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, told CBS's Katie Couric that the Obama attack ad on Sen. John McCain’s ignorance of computers and technology was “terrible.”

Asked whether he’s disappointed with the tone of the campaign, including the ad that Couric characterized as “making fun of John McCain’s inability to use a computer,” Biden said “I thought that was terrible by the way.

“I didn’t know we did it and if I had anything to do with it, we would have never done it.”

When Biden was in Ohio, he had another of those 'Joe being Joe' moments when he said he 'supports clean coal for China but not for the United States.'

"We’re not supporting clean coal," he said of himself and Obama.

According to the Obama website:

Develop and Deploy Clean Coal Technology.

Obama’s Department of Energy will enter into public private partnerships to develop five “first-of-a-kind” commercial scale coal-fired plants with clean carbon capture and sequestration technology.

Then this morning, Obama had to reprimand Biden about another comment.

"What has been clear during this entire past ten days is John McCain has not had clarity and a grasp on the situation," Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., told NBC's Matt Lauer in an interview that ran this morning.

Lauer was talking about how Obama hit Sen. McCain for flip-flopping on the AIG bailout -- saying he opposed it one day then announce he supported it the next day.

But, as Lauer pointed out, scarcely three minutes after McCain said he opposed the AIG bailout last week, "in an interview with Meredith Vieira, Joe Biden, your running mate was asked the exact same question, 'should the federal government bailout AIG?' And he said, 'No, the federal government should not bailout AIG.'" (As we noted at the time.) "And I think that in that situation," Obama said, "I think Joe should have waited as well."

"But it's the kind of thing that drives people crazy about politics," Lauer said. "It sounds like you were trying to score some political points against John McCain using his words, when your own running mate had used very similar words."

"No, hold on a second Matt," Obama said. "I think what drives people crazy about politics is the fact that somebody like John McCain who for 26 years has been an advocate for deregulation, for 26 years has said the market is king and then starts going out there suggesting somehow that he's a populist who's been railing against Wall Street and regulation -- that's what drives people crazy about politics."

Obama doesn't answer the question about the contradiction, he just changed the subject to his own point - a good political strategy for the interview, but it leaves everyone wondering about the 'flip-flopping.'

Of course, just as everyone was excusing Biden for his gaffes, he makes another one.

"When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened,'" Barack Obama's running mate recently told the "CBS Evening News."

Except, Republican Herbert Hoover was in office when the stock market crashed in October 1929.

And even though I wasn't alive during that time, I'm pretty sure television wasn't around then.

With these incidences, many are wondering if the rumors that Biden will resign from the ticket for 'health reasons' might have some validity. I think such a step would do more harm to Obama than keeping Biden on the ticket, especially because this penchant of Biden to insert his foot into his mouth was well known. But it does make you wonder...


navyvet said...

C'mon Maggie,

It is just Joe being Joe.....

Go Sarah!


historymike said...

In two weeks, we won't even remember Joe's latest pre-senior moments or - for that matter - McCain's "the fundamentals of the American economy are sound."

We'll have new campaign stupidity to take their places.

The only real discord in the Obama camp - to answer Maggie's titular question - is over Barack wanting to duct-tape a sock in Biden's mouth, versus those in the campaign who recognize that Biden can fire up the traditional working class Democratic base.

Ultimately, I think the election will come down to the economy. If we continue to see stock market volatility, bank failures, and other negative economic news, Obama wins by default, since national polls show Americans blame Republicans over 2:1 for the financial crises.

If things stablize, McCain has an even money chance to win.

If the economy stabilizes and there is either: a) major good news from Iraq/Afghanistan; b) the capture of Bin Laden; or c) a pregnant ex-Obama girlfriend materializes, then McCain wins by about 20 electoral votes.

However, IMHO: neither of these flawed candidates will be capable of either fixing our floundering financial system or being the sort of inspirational leader the country needs.

Hate to be a doom-and-gloomer, but things look mighty dire from my keyboard, and I see a bad moon a-rising (apologies to John Fogerty).

Maggie said...

Actually, since financial markets have ups and downs and we're currently in a down, I think whomever is elected will get the credit for the turnaround. Not that the president will really have had an impact on the market, but whoever is in power gets the credit/blame regardless.

Unknown said...

I was ready to compliment Biden on at least taking a stand that the commercial was wrong. Then I read the update:

UPDATE: Biden issued a statement tonight, saying, “I was asked about an ad I’d never seen, reacting merely to press reports. As I said right then, I knew there was nothing intentionally personal in the criticism of Sen. McCain’s views, which look backwards not forwards, and are out of touch with the new economic challenges we face today. Having now reviewed the ad, it is even more clear to me that, given the disgraceful tenor of Sen. McCain’s ads and their persistent falsehoods, his campaign is in no position to criticize, especially when they continue to distort Barack’s votes on an issue as personal as keeping kids safe from sexual predators."

Maggie said...

Well, Lisa, the comment couldn't go unrepudiated - this is politics after all.

I don't remember where I read it today, but someone was joking about the campaign releasing the 'Biden correction' to the press at the same time they were handing it to him so he'd know what he was saying.

Google Analytics Alternative