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September 7, 2008
Obama Dials Up His Trash Talk
It's time to go on Obama Trash Talk Watch. He's demonstrated a proclivity toward using such language when under stress.
That was early noted in a Wall Street Journal op-ed written by the man Democrats love to hate, the diabolical Karl Rove, who therein analyzed Hillary Clinton's victory in the New Hampshire primary.
You couldn't help but smile. It reminded Democrats what they occasionally like about her. Then Mr. Obama followed with a needless and dismissive, "You're likable enough, Hillary."
Her remarks helped wash away the memory of her angry replies to attacks at the debate's start. His trash talking was an unattractive carryover from his days playing pickup basketball at Harvard, and capped a mediocre night.
At least one pro-Obama blog labeled Rove's observation as racist. Silly.
At best, Obama's comeback to Hillary was an example of borderline trash talk. It might better fit under the category of justifiable sarcasm.
Trash talk usually conveys a tone of bravado-infected self-assurance.
Remember when the NFL broadcasts used to occasionally put a live microphone on the field? That was before on-field trash talk became standard football fare. From there it spread down through the college and high school ranks, and then deep into American vernacular speech, along with its similar non-verbal version -- "high-fives." Today, men and women high-five after the most mundane of accomplishments. (I saw two guys high-five when the waiter brought each a full slab order of barbequed ribs. I left before they finished eating. Maybe they leapt up on a nearby table, awaiting hugs.)
Obama deploys trash talk under pressure, like he did at a North Carolina rally back on August 19. It was reported there that,
Or else what? More trash talk? That's what's come, anyway.
On September 6, at a Bon Jovi fund-raising event, Obama said,
High-fives all around.
McCain got the wadding beat out of him on a regular basis for several years by really bad interrogators, and Palin has teenage children and hunts Moose. So who's Obama trying to scare with his trash talk? Probably just pumping up his followers.
Look for more trash talk from Obama as the race tightens. Perhaps he can consult the Reverend Jesse Jackson for suggestions. Jesse has demonstrated skills along that line.