My take on the remark, after reading dozens of blogs and other accounts
, as well as seeing the video
, is that Mr. Obama said what he said on purpose, in a way that gives him "plausible deniability." Unfortunately, the video doesn't include the immediately following remark about "old fish", which context is the clincher for me that it was intended. Likewise the video
from several months ago in which Mr. Obama may or may not have indirectly given Hillary Clinton "the finger," which I believe was also carefully staged to provide plausible deniability. In both videos the crowd reaction clearly shows that they "got it," just as in both videos the context of Obama's own words and behavior strongly suggests that the remark/gesture was intentional.
That said, I don't think it's a big deal in the sense that bribery or being bankrolled by a foreign entity would be, but it does give an insight into the candidate's character. In my view, it makes Obama look like an eighth grader in a suit. That kind of tactic is sophomoric and very "unpresidential."
Mr. Putin, Mr. Ahmadinijad and Mr. Chavez won't be impressed, although Mr. Chavez might be miffed that Mr. Obama is copycatting.
UPDATE 20080910:1030PDT: Here's
Obama's "explanation" of his remark. I rest my case.
Labels: Election, Obama, politics, weasel words