Friday, May 30, 2008

It takes a crane

The media is hyperventilating over Obama's new "pastor problem." The story about Michael Pfleger led the news on MSNBC this morning. The network showed the clip of a Catholic priest (therefore, not a member of Obama's church) speaking at Trinity United and mocking Clinton for feeling like she was entitled.

Let's begin with the the clear differences between Pfleger's comments and Rev. Wright's -- Obama's first "pastor problem." First, Pfleger is white. Second, he was not talking about America getting its comeuppance on 9-11. Third, he was not the religious figure who turned around Obama's life, presided over his marriage, baptized his children. Fourth, he sounded more like a comedian than a preacher.

Below is the clip. Imagine, as you watch it, has a comedian who endorsed Obama, said the same thing and see if you think it would still be newsworthy.

The folks on Morning Joe were aghast. How is Obama going to explain this to the voters in Pennsylvania, the hosts asked. Fortunately, Chris Matthews of all people, was there to set them straight. He explained that this is a non-issue and that the news of the day is still the fallout from the McClellan book.

I couldn't take it any more, so I switched the channel. I turned back at 7:45 to see if they were still talking about it. They weren't but my guess is that if a crane hadn't fallen in New York, they would have been.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Hillary Clinton may be losing more than the Democratic primary. At an event in Montana last night, the New York Senator said, "You have to ask yourself, who is the stronger candidate? And based on every analysis, of every bit of research and every poll that has been taken and every state that a Democrat has to win, I am the stronger candidate against John McCain in the fall."

Of course, the premise of the comment is correct -- we should ask who is the stronger candidate -- the problem is that her answer is not based on fact. There are plenty of analyses, bits of research, polls and states "that a Democrat has to win" that show Obama is the better candidate.

Her thinking, besides being delusional, perfectly explains this campaign. She is looking at an old map. She -- and the media in their conversations about the challenges that lie ahead for Obama -- is relying on the way the country was in 2000. She is thinking that the race will be decided by Ohio or Florida because the coasts will go to the Democrat and the middle will go to the Republican.

But this isn't 2000, and the candidate isn't Al Gore or John Kerry or, despite her predictions, Hillary Clinton. One statistical analysis, for instance, predicted "that Clinton would win four states against McCain that Obama is favored to lose (FL, AR, WV, OH). Meanwhile, Obama wins eight states where Clinton would likely fail (MI, WI, IA, CO, NM, NV, WA, OR)."

Even more to the point, though, Clinton is grasping at straws. Her claim is worse than an exaggeration or an overstatement, it is a lie.