For those of you who are actually interested in straight talk, I would recommend you peruse yesterday’s Obama appearance on Meet the Press. Despite Russert’s incessant and unceasing idiocy, attempting one gotcha after another, to include even engaging in Dowdification of the first order to attempt to portray Obama as a hypocrite, the Senator calmly, rationally, and clearly answered the questions.
It was, in a word, refreshing. I felt like a candidate was actually treating me, the viewer, like an adult with a brain (in my case, this can be a risky assumption at times). My favorite exchange (which illustrates perfectly the sheer stupidity of Russert while demonstrating the endearing honesty of Obama), which I have cut from a larger segment on campaign fund-raising:
MR. RUSSERT: But if you say you don’t take federal lobbyist but you take state lobbyist money…
SEN. OBAMA: Well, Tim…
MR. RUSSERT: …or you take money from people who work for federal lobbying firms, or you take $2 million from people who work on Wall Street or hundreds of thousands of dollars from people who work in pharmaceutical companies, isn’t it just a word game?
SEN. OBAMA: Tim, I mean, this is the problem when you want to try to fix Washington is if you take certain steps to improve the process, then people will say, “Well, it’s not perfect.” Well, of course it’s not perfect. That’s the problem for running for president right now is you’ve got to raise millions of dollars in order to compete. We’ve got more small donors than every other candidate on the Democratic side combined. We have set out admittedly imperfect rules to try to reduce the influence of money in politics. But you are absolutely right. Most of the people that are writing $2300 checks are wealthy people, and that’s one of the problems with our political system. That’s something that I am intent on changing, and I’ve got a track record of actually bringing about change that I believe nobody else has.
Obama clearly believes money in politics is a problem (we can agree to disagree- I say let it all hangout and have immediate public disclosure), and has worked to “fix” this problem, yet what Russert is trying to do is to make him choose- have no chance at be elected because he takes NO money to finance his campaign, or to ackowledge he is a hypocrite.
It is, of course, insulting to anyone who actually listens to what Obama is trying to say, but typical of the sort of drivel that passes as hard questioning on MTP.
At any rate, I am still not inclined to vote for Obama (I am still holding out hope for Dodd), but I thought his performance yesterday was very solid. It is not too often that someone appears on MTP and I have a much higher opinion of them afterwards (Russert’s idiocy seems to sully everyone it touches). This was a rare exception.