Clinton Twists, Obama Flips

Here's the full context of what Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, told the editorial board of the Reno Gazette-Journal, in which he had the temerity to assert that Republicans don't necessarily have cloven hooves.

Asked how his being the nominee might help down-ballot candidates, such as Senators and Congressmen, get elected, he said: "If I'm the nominee, one thing I'm convinced about, I will have a better chance of bringing in people of like mind. One of the things I'm very proud of in this campaign is I think we've already changed the political dialogue. I mean, you think about it, you know, when Mitt Romney starts talking like me. Right? Which wasn't the case when he started off. But suddenly everyone's ...'Change.' And you have someone like a Huckabee who is doing very well, basically taking a similar tone of, 'Well, we can disagree without being disagreeable.'

"I think that we're shifting the political paradigm here. And if I'm the nominee, I think I can bring a lot of folks along on my coattails. You know, there's a reason why in 2006, I made the most appearances for members of Congress. I was the most requested surrogate to come in and campaign for people in districts that were swing districts, Republican districts where they wouldn't have any other Democrat.

"That was based on their read of the fact that, you know what, this is somebody who can reach out to independents and Republicans in a way that doesn't offend people…I don't want to present myself as some sort of singular figure. I think part of what's different are the times.

"I do think that, for example, the 1980 election was different. I mean, I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that, you know, Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. They felt like, you know, with all the excesses of the 60's and the 70's and government had grown and grown but there wasn't much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating and he tapped into what people were already feeling. Which is, people wanted clarity, we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamic and entrepreneurship that had been missing, alright? I think Kennedy, twenty years earlier, moved the country in a fundamentally different direction. So I think a lot of it just has to do with the times.

"I think we're in one of those times right now. Where people feel like things as they are going aren't working. We're bogged down in the same arguments that we've been having, and they're not useful. And, you know, the Republican approach, I think, has played itself out. I think it's fair to say the Republicans were the party of ideas for a pretty long chunk of time there over the last ten, fifteen years, in the sense that they were challenging conventional wisdom. Now, you've heard it all before. You look at the economic policies when they're being debated among the Presidential candidates and it's all tax cuts. Well, you know, we've done that, we tried it. That's not really going to solve our energy problems, for example. So, some of it's the times. And some of it's, I think, there's maybe a generation element to this, partly. In the sense that there's a, I didn't did come of age in the battles of the 60's. I'm not as invested in them.

"And so I think I talk differently about issues. And I think I talk differently about values. And that's why, I think we've been resonating with the American people."

You can watch the whole thing HERE.

Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, has taken one section of this and totally mischaracterized it to say that Obama was saying Republicans had "better" ideas.

"I have to say, you know, my leading opponent the other day said that he thought the Republicans had better ideas than Democrats the last ten to fifteen years," she said. "That's not the way I remember the last ten to fifteen years."

One can argue that Obama, during a heated primary, shouldn't give his opponents such easy opportunities to twist his words. And maybe that's a rookie mistake - as with his attempt to actually answer the question at the Vegas debate when asked his greatest weakness.

But that doesn't mean we should let the twisters of his words off the hook. Because that's being complicit in dishonesty.

Turning from dishonesty to hypocrisy, it's the height of the latter for Obama to continue to remain mum on the nasty Spanish-language anti-Clinton radio ads being run by the Obama-backing union UNITE Here. In the closing days of the Iowa caucus, he was quite outspoken about a Clinton-backing union assailing his health care plan, and a mysterious group running $750,000 worth of TV ads promoting former Sen. John Edwards, D-NC.

Now el gato got his tongue? Pretty lame.

- jpt

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