Democrat Barack Obama's campaign said Thursday that Michelle Obama never used the word "whitey" in a speech from the church pulpit as he launched a Web site to debunk rumors about his campaign."
--NEDRA PICKLER, AP
The Obama campaign is now going to be spending more time addressing rumors?
"Yesterday I wrote about the new team that the Barack Obama campaign was building to counter internet rumor as well as deal with inconvenient truths, by way of offering the "party line" on how to counter the rumors or the damaging truths."
--Susan Duclos, Wake Up America
The Politician's Playbook says "to confront rumors, do not confront them." That's a smart move. The Mainstream liberal press has it's own "Don't ask Democrats, don't tell" policy. If the candidate doesn't talk about a rumor, the MSM will pretend it doesn't exist. No potentially-embarrassing questions that way--provided it's a Democrat candidate.
Addressing the rumors breaks the policy and the candidate is fair game.
As long as there have been rumors in politics, there has been one widely accepted way for a candidate to deal with them. Basically, it's not to. Otherwise, according to prevailing wisdom, all a candidate achieves is to elevate the rumors to a legitimate story for the media to feast on. That don't-go-there approach was Barack Obama's plan for months until, on the candidate's first full day of campaigning as his party's presumed presidential nominee, a reporter from McClatchy Newspapers who was traveling aboard his plane asked him about a particularly toxic bit of hearsay that was zooming around the Internet about his wife Michelle. Obama lost his cool. "We have seen this before. There is dirt and lies that are circulated in e-mails, and they pump them out long enough until finally you, a mainstream reporter, asks me about it," Obama said, bristling. "That gives legs to the story. If somebody has evidence that myself or Michelle or anybody has said something inappropriate, let them do it."
--Time: Obama's Anti-Rumor Plan
So is this a smart move by the man who gets the Mainstream Media all gooey inside? Here's one vote for "yes".
Spend time refuting straw man rumors--and that's less time spent talking about the issues: issues are not a strong point for the Senate's most liberal member.
Really, they aren't. When does Obama address the issues--other than the standard liberal boilerplate about health care and substituting "Change" for "Amen" at Obama revivals? Obama has a LONG list of "change"--and a FAR SHORTER list on how he's going to bring it about.
Much better to chat with the MSM about "rumors". The campaign surely will be careful to separate "rumors" and "unpleasant topics".
What rumors has the campaign tackled on its new website, http://www.fightthesmears.com.? Let's take a look. The website has a "Powered by Truth" blurb.
RUMOR: The "Whitey" tape purportedly showing Michelle Obama railing against "Whitey".
[Fightthesmears.com uses the words "THE SMEAR" and "LIE" instead of RUMOR.]
WEBSITE ANSWER: "No such tape exists," the campaign responds. "Michelle Obama has not spoken from the pulpit at Trinity and has not used that word."
[Whitey Tape Means Michelle O. is Going On a Trip-- Under the Bus]
RUMOR: Jeremiah Wright video of Wright damning America.
ANSWER: None, the video exists and the Obamas left Trinity Church after 20 years after Wright's "Goddamn America" threatened to damage the campaign. It's been rumored that this was a politically-expedient move on Obama's part. fightthesmears.com doesn't address this last rumor, either.
RUMOR: Senator Obama was sworn into the US Senate using the Koran.
ANSWER: "Senator Obama has never been a Muslim, was not raised a Muslim, and is a committed Christian." The website also offers a pic of Obama sworn in with a Bible used. This rumor is the equivalent of being asked, "What's your favorite color?"
RUMOR: Barack Obama Won't Say The Pledge of Allegiance/Won't Put His Hand Over His Heart. [Actual wording: "LIE: Barack Obama won't put his hand over this heart during the pledge of allegiance"]
ANSWER: "View video of Barack leading The Pledge of Allegiance in the United States Senate"
This particular Smear-Answer was, no doubt, in response to the video below.
When we (and other bloggers) first ran the video and picture, Obama's response was much different: he called it a "dirty trick". "DBKP Proud to be "Dirty Trickster"
There's other "smears"--such as "Obama's Books Contain Racially Incendiary Remarks"--and other "The Truth" answers; the quotes from Obama's books were--ready?--"Truncated and Out of Context".
"Change" apparently doesn't include changing that tried-and-true answer to a candidates getting nailed--especially when it's on paper, written by Obama himself.
The question remains: Is this a good move?
Again, we say "YES!" It gives the MSM something to chatter about. It also allows Obama to set the terms of the discussion. Write about the evil conservatives who insist that "Obama is a Muslim" and you don't have to write about his plans for socializing health care. Why get into a real discussion, where the facts are not as charismatic as repeating the mantra of "Change!"?
Make no mistake: Fightthesmears.com is just another attempt by Barack Obama to limit the discussion to topics with which he's comfortable.
And that's no rumor.
* Obama site confronts rumors
* New Barack Obama Website Called Fight the Smears
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