Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Obama owes the American people answers

So says Campbell Brown, in Obama needs to answer annoying questions where it appears some in the media aren't satisfied with the non-answers given by the President-elect:

Really, how silly of that reporter to dare ask you, Mr. President-elect, how it is that you completely mocked Hillary Clinton's foreign policy experience just a few months ago and yet now you think there is no one more qualified than she to lead your foreign policy team?

It's a clever device, treating a question so dismissively in an attempt to delegitimize it, as annoying as you may have found it. It is a fair question.

It was only in March of this year that Greg Craig put out a memo outlining point by point her foreign policy claims, calling them all exaggerated, just words, not supported by her record.

Now, look, maybe you regret what you said about Hillary Clinton. Maybe it was as you suggested Monday, all just said in the heat of the campaign.

If that is the case and you are both now rising above it, you deserve to be commended for that and could have been explicit in saying all of that Monday.

You could have explained the evolution of your thinking, instead of belittling a question you didn't like.

Brown isn't alone in taking issue with the "just for fun" comment, Boston Globe:
That statement raises several important questions: What else that Obama said during the campaign will he now belittle as mere byproducts of campaign heat? Does Obama not think it's important for the press to elucidate serious differences between leading political figures? Does Obama, who prides himself on consistency, believe he will be able to swat away challenges to that notion so easily, and what will that mean for his relationship with the media?

Dana Milbank covers the story:

"Well, I mean, I think --" Obama began. "This is fun for the press to try to stir up whatever quotes were generated during the course of the campaign."

"They're your quotes, sir," Baker pointed out.

"No, I understand. And you're having fun," Obama continued. "And there's nothing wrong with that. I'm not faulting it." Obama grinned broadly. Clinton smiled faintly.

Baker's "fun" was actually a serious, even startling, development: Obama, who campaigned against the Clinton way of doing things, is now engaged in a veritable restoration of the Clinton administration. As The Post's Al Kamen and Philip Rucker report, Obama has appointed at least nine veteran Clinton aides to top positions in his White House so far. Of the seven Cabinet-level nominees Obama has officially announced, four served in the Clinton administration.

How did Baker cover it? doesn't even acknowledge he was the one who asked the question:

Obama essentially said Americans should not take too seriously some of the things said during “the heat of a campaign.” Reminded of some of his caustic criticism of Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy experience — “grossly exaggerated,” his campaign called it — Mr. Obama shrugged off the discordant notes with a smile.

“This is fun for the press to try to stir up whatever quotes were generated during the course of the campaign,” he said. He went on to say that he and Mrs. Clinton shared a broad view of American interests, and he praised her experience.

What the media giveth, the media can take away...


Barga said...

no different than biden insulting obama then being his veep
just typical politicing

Jason R. said...

I'm just amused that someone in the media is asking the question.

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