GRAZ: I have been a relatively close observer of the campaign. I can't recall a single example of unseemly "sticking it to McCain while spouting high minded rhetoric." Expression is free, persuasion has obligations.
I’ve already mentioned Lizza and Jackson, so won’t rehash those. Of course the whole pattern started with Hillary and it’s hard to erase that from one’s mind because character judgments are naturally cumulative. One that stands out is the Patty Solis Doyle event which was a not-too-subtle way of informing Hillary and the World that she was not VP material. Not a healing gesture by any measure.
Another more recent example can’t be directly linked to Obama but that was obviously by design. It’s my understanding that whenever a candidate’s surrogate goes on one of the Sunday morning talk shows, they are clearly briefed by the campaign. Who better to dig McCain than the highly decorated military hero, Wesley Clark, who made his infamous and not-well-received comment that being shot down doesn’t qualify you to be president. While that may be technically true, it amounted to a serious political faux pas and likely ruined any chance that Clark had of joining an Obama administration.
Of course Obama came out afterwards to say that he valued John McCain’s service and that Clark didn’t express himself delicately enough (or something like that). Call it good cop, bad cop tactics but it all amounted to Obama getting his digs in, washing his hands of the whole affair, saying Bye, Bye to Wes and moving on.
Another time, McCain made some verbal gaffe and Obama chided that he “was losing his bearings”. Translation: Old, Senile, Not Fit to be President. Political fair game and mild criticism? Sure, except that Obama has really set himself up as being above it all and now we see that he is not. What was particularly amusing is that not long afterwards an obviously fatigued Obama uttered that he had been in 57 states and make a couple of other silly mistakes. I detect instant Karma blowback.
There may be more but those are the ones that came to mind and the campaign is still in its early stages so stay tuned.