Sunday, March 2, 2008

The talk of change that's no more than just rhetoric

Obama on the campaign trail:

That's the kind of change that's more than just rhetoric - that's change you can believe in.

It's change that won't just come from more anger at Washington or turning up the heat on Republicans. There's no shortage of anger and bluster and bitter partisanship out there. We don't need more heat. We need more light. I've learned in my life that you can stand firm in your principles while still reaching out to those who might not always agree with you.

Obama campaign on the warpath:

At 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Politico’s story about Barack Obama’s problems winning Catholic voters went live.

Within minutes, editor
Charlie Mahtesian’s phone started ringing.

The heated interaction beween
Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign and Politico's national political editor Saturday afternoon and evening was in many ways routine. But it was also a window into aspects of the political process outsiders do not usually see or understand.

The exchanges show the speed and ferocity with which operatives inside presidential campaigns argue even the slightest nuances of stories they believe could be damaging. They also show the hectic, on-the-fly judgments that journalists make as they try to abide by standards of fairness while pushing back against dubious spin.

Among a volley of staff members and surrogates for Obama’s campaign to call Mahtesian, the most combative was deputy communications director Dan Pfeiffer.

Mahtesian, who has written about national politics for nearly two decades, said Sunday he was taken aback by Pfeiffer’s bellicose tone.

"Who are you? I've never heard of you. What's your background?" Pfeiffer
demanded to know, Mahtesian recalled. ...

But campaign reporters with Politico and other publications tell me the response was characteristic of an Obama press operation that is becoming known, as is its counterpart in the Clinton campaign, for an aggressive style.

Listen, the heated interaction was routine. The author of this Politico article states that plainly. The Obama campaign isn't acting any differently than any other campaign.

Nothing to see here, right?

Exactly. Just like every other cynical politician, Obama's talk of change is no more than just rhetoric.

UPDATE: Via Redstate we have more and direct evidence of Obama on the warpath:

It's not quite eight in the morning and Barack Obama is on the phone screaming at me. He liked the story I wrote about him a couple weeks ago, but not this garbage.

Months earlier, a reporter friend told me she overheard Obama call me an asshole at a political fund-raiser. Now here he is blasting me from hundreds of miles away for a story that just went online but hasn't yet hit local newsstands.

It's the first time I ever heard him yell, and I'm trembling as I set down the phone. I sit frozen at my desk for several minutes, stunned.

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