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May 16, 2008
Bush Throws, Obama Yelps
The mystery concerning President Bush's remarks before Israel's Knesset wherein he quoted a World War II era isolationist Senator, William E. Borah (R. Idaho), is this: Was it an attack on Barack Obama. Or, was it a trap into which Obama, and other Democrat politicians, stepped?
Did the Bush administration take a page out of Obamatactics and intentionally wrap credible denial (as in Obama being oblivious to his pastor's statements) around the entire episode? Unnamed White House sources leaked the claim that Bush meant to refer to Obama. Then, Bush's spokesperson denied that the quote was aimed at Obama. So what really happened here?
Let's consider two options.
President Bush meant to provoke an Obama response.
Perhaps, but Obama could have just ducked. In that case, when other Democrat luminaries protest that their alpha wolf has been hit, Obama, staying above it all, just shrugs it off saying,
President Bush knows that I have no intention of negotiating with terrorists when I'm president. So, I'm sure he wasn't talking about me.
After some patented Joe Biden (he actually said "bovine feces," the hard way) and Nancy Pelosi huffing-n-puffing, the story dies, since Obama doesn't need defending. On their way out of the dust-up, they accuse Bush of insulting our European allies. That always plays with the MSM.
In that case, McCain has no opportunity to remind voters of Obama's comments about face-to-face meetings with the leaders of several bad-actor nations. And, by the way, neither does Hillary Clinton, if she cares to use it. Plus, the media doesn't salivate over a story that, on balance, will not end up working in Obama's favor.
All that begs the question: So what does Obama have to gain by taking offense at a stone not clearly aimed at him? A chance to confront Bush? Maybe. But is the gain in doing that greater than the risk of reminding voters of his well-established position on direct talks with bad boys?
President Bush threw a stone and waited for yelps from whoever felt hit.
The pack has many domestic wolves. Pelosi toured Syria. Jimmy Carter dated Hamas. Rob Malley, one of Obama's foreign affairs advisors, recently resigned from the Obama campaign in the wake of his pow-wows with Hamas.
Pelosi yelped, delivering a predictable response feigning righteous indignation. In a similar vein, Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said,
Unprecedented? Hardly. "Sad?" For whom?
So, while the wolves yelp, Bush need only shrug, smile, and say, "Hey, when a stone is thrown."