Friday, May 30, 2008

The Obama gaffe meme

I see that John Fund is trotting out the Obama Gaffe meme in his column today in The Wall Street Journal. There's nothing new in his column, those who read blogs have seen this one taken out for a test spin in recent weeks. I don't think this dog will hunt.

Obama has gotten off "easy" because it's apparent that he is incredibly bright and obviously has a strong command of the issues. No one doubts his intelligence so if he makes the occasional "gaffe" no one sees it as indicative of any greater intellectual short comings.

McCain really hasn't gotten much heat at all over his Shia/Sunni nonsense so the idea that somehow Obama is getting off easy in comparison is I think pretty suspect, at best.

This is a new right-wing narrative that's been trotted out in the last couple of weeks. It's followed the familiar pattern - starting on the blogs and on right-wing radio, migrating into the "respected" columnists pieces, next it's on to TV where it will be repeated by Very Serious political analysts and then next thing you know McCain campaign surrogates will pick it up.

I don't think it has any real staying power. It's trying to play on fears that Obama is somehow "not ready" for the presidency but he's so obviously smart and so articulate people aren't open to persuasion on the issue.

Also, if those examples are the best Fund can come up with they're in trouble - there isn't anything in that column that raises a red flag about a single substantive issue. The Vienna example in particular is weak as it's a charge that hinges on historical interpretations and voters don't give a damn about that. Not to mention that was almost 50 years ago so who even remembers Vienna or any of the details surrounding it outside of your grandfather and some history professors?

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