Monday, May 19, 2008

You Don't Tug on Superman's Cape

You don't spit into the wind
You don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger
And you don't criticize Obama's wife

Senator Obama laid down another Line That Must Not Be Crossed today on Good Morning America. As it turns out the Tennessee GOP posted a video mocking Michelle Obama's statements in a speech she made in Madison earlier this year.

Today Obama went into high dudgeon mode:

“If they think that they’re going to try to make Michelle an issue in this campaign, they should be careful, because that I find unacceptable — the notion
that you start attacking my wife or my family,” he said.

“For them to try to distort or to play snippets of her remarks in ways
that are unflattering to her I think is just low class and I think they — most
of the American people would think that as well,” he said. “I would never think
of going after somebody’s spouse in a campaign.”

I would agree with Obama if his wife had not been out on the hustings. But she has been. Certainly Obama's opponent was the subject of plenty of scrutiny while her husband ran for president and remained so throughout his presidency. And I'm certainly old enough to remember all manner of attacks from the portside concerning the deportment and demeanor of Nancy Reagan, culminating in the infamous book that Kitty Kelley wrote about about her a full four years after she'd left Washington. It's a little late now for the Sir Walter Raleigh stuff.

Sen. Obama needs to understand that he's not going to be able to proscribe the debate. I certainly understand the impulse - it's a hell of a lot easier if you don't have to face tough questions or suffer the strafing that comes from the media, blogosphere, etc. And I certainly understand the desire to protect one's family from attack. It gets rough and if you're not willing to subject your family to scrutiny, you shouldn't run. That's why Colin Powell is a private citizen today. And Sen. Obama needs to understand one other thing - the Tennessee GOP's attacks are nothing compared to what he'll face should he actually get the office he seeks. He won't be able to whine to Robin Roberts about Kim Jong Il or Hugo Chavez or Ahmedinejad.


Anonymous said...

Come on. That was just a little political theatre. Nobody ever hurt themselves by gallantly defending the mother of their children.


Mark Heuring said...

Political theater? Not what it looked like to me, especially in context. But again, we'll see.