Friday, March 7, 2008

The cluelessness of Obama campaign staff

Hey, if I can write about the cluelessness of Nancy Pelosi, maybe I ought to just make “political cluelessness” in general a blog theme. (Send me tips and URLs to Socratic Gadfly.)

Obama has two staffers who get the dunce cap.

First, top Obama foreign policy advisor Susan Rice says of both Hillary Clinton AND her own boss that “they’re not ready” in terms of foreign policy experience.

Shooting your own self in the foot is bad enough; shooting your boss in the foot, and not in a backgrounder, but in an interview, is pretty effing stupid.

Second, Obama foreign policy aide Samantha Power tried an ex post facto comment retraction of a comment about Hillary Clinton:

“She is a monster, too – that is off the record – she is stooping to anything.”

(Oh, an “arrogance” meme aside — why are you giving an interview to a foreign newspaper when your boss hasn’t even won the nomination yet?)

And, a personal aside. I’ve been the journalist on the receiving end of just such a gaffe myself, when a school district superintendent called the federal Title I program a “candy store” in the middle of a school board meeting, then tried to retract it. Trying an ex post facto off the record claim is like waving a red flag before a bull.

Now, lemme see on the fallout. Tweety Chris Matthews will probably go into misogynist mode with both snafus being about women. Maureen Dowd will probably figure out a new spin on “shoulder-pad feminism” or worse, while more serious analysts will wonder if Power didn’t just prove Rice right.