Co-workers chide my “man crush” on Barack Obama, and it’s true—I’m a fool for this candidate. His suits and stoic eyes, oration style, lean stature, the timbre of his voice, largesse of his ears, hope, change, blah, blah, blah.
But lately Obama’s inept and shady communications team is souring my infatuation, and endangering his candidacy. Here’s the most recent—and obvious—example of this ineptitude.
You’ve all heard it. Bill Burton’s response to The New Yorker cover depicting Obama and his wife as Muslim extremists:
“The New Yorker may think, as one of their staff explained to us, that their cover is a satirical lampoon of the caricature Senator Obama's right-wing critics have tried to create. But most readers will see it as tasteless and offensive. And we agree.”
Wow! This is a PR disaster, cleverly obfuscated by the press. The New Yorker “may think” it is satire? So Burton, and in turn Obama, believe a venerated magazine that firmly supports the candidate actually believes he and his wife are Muslim extremists.
Burton just lent credit to every e-mail string and news commentator’s suggestion that Obama is a Muslim extremist. Instead of chuckling at it, or having no reaction, the campaign tucked its tail between its legs, cried foul and tried to get the public whooping mad and horribly offended.
Reminds me of allegations of fear-mongering that Obama’s camp leveled against President Bush, John McCain and Hillary Clinton.
With the cartoon, Obama’s communicators tried to shift public skepticism of the candidate onto The New Yorker and its tasteless cartoon—stupid move guys. Seems like you can’t take a joke.
Here’s what the response should’ve been, according to Jon Stewart.
“Obama is in no way upset about the cartoon that depicts him as a Muslim extremist, because you know who gets upset about cartoons? Muslim extremists, of which Barack Obama is not. It’s just a f****** cartoon.”