It’s inevitable that a lot of people are taking credit for the outcome of the Texas and Ohio primaries. In reality, the outcome was more or less the result of “Saturday Night Live.”
Think about it. They were the ones who sicced the media on Barack Obama by spoofing them for treating him with soft kid gloves.
The skit was so effective that Mrs. Clinton was able to use it during the debate the following week, where she suggested that perhaps Obama needed a pillow.
The effect of Hillary’s sarcasm and the earlier SNL skit was to spur the media to take a closer look at Obama, whom they had all but elevated to sainthood over the past year.
So they began to look below the surface. Lo and behold, out popped Tony Rezco and what has become known as “Naftagate,” the word coined by delighted Clinton campaign staffers to describe secret talks between an Obama campaign official and Canadian bureaucrats.
On the very eve of the crucial primaries, the media had created serious doubts about Obama’s credibility by exposing the falsity of his denials that any such negotiations had taken place.
The effect of that revelation in Ohio, where NAFTA is a dirty word, was devastating. Here was Obama attacking the Clinton’s backing of the North American Free Trade Agreement and promising to junk the treaty until it was renegotiated while at the same time a top official of his campaign was telling the Canadians sotto voce that he really didn’t mean it — it was all just campaign rhetoric.
It got even worse when Obama held a press conference and answered a mere eight questions, and when the pressure got too strong he turned his back on the media and walked away. If you want to provoke the media to get hot on your heels and dig deeper into your clouded background, that’s the way to do it.
As long as the media and the rest of us play in his sandbox, and on his terms, Barack Obama loves the playing field. As soon as the game moves out of his sandbox, it seems to unnerve him.
When you are president of the United States of America you are constantly playing in other people’s sandboxes, and if you don’t know how to play the game outside of your own sandbox you don’t belong in the White House sandbox.
In the space of a couple of days, Barack Obama showed that he is not equipped to be president of the United States. He showed that he folds under pressure. As long as he was treated by the media as being above criticism he seemed immune from the attacks ordinary mortals endure when running for office.
Once the media stopped worshiping at the Obama altar and was forced to take a close look at him, however, he lost his immunity and was shown to be a mere human like the rest of us.
Whatever new disclosures about Obama emerge in the coming months — and you can be sure there will be some because the Clinton attack machine never runs on idle — he can be expected to react as he did last week: angry and resentful that his treatment at the media’s hands was a case of lèse-majesté.
As last week proved, he was not garbed in regal splendor but instead was stark naked.
The would-be emperor had no clothes.
©2008 Mike Reagan. If you’re not a paying subscriber to our service, you must contact us to print or web post this column. Mike’s column is distributed exclusively by: Cagle Cartoons, Inc., Cari Dawson Bartley. E-mail Cari@cagle.com, (800) 696-7561.