Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Purpose-Driven Wife

At Saddleback Church tonight, Rick Warren asked each candidate who his "wise men" were:

Asked to name three wise people they would listen to, Obama named his wife, Michelle; his maternal grandmother, who lives in Hawaii; and, not limiting himself to only a third, named several Democratic and Republican lawmakers.

McCain named Gen. David Petreaus, head of U.S. troops in Iraq; U.S. Rep. and veteran civil rights leader John Lewis, D-Ga.; and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, a top adviser to his campaign.

He lauded Whitman for turning a five-person business into a billion-dollar piece of the economy. "It's one of these great economic success stories," McCain said.

Jake Tapper takes a closer look at Obama's answer to that question:

"Who are the three wisest people you know in your life and who are you going to rely on heavily in your administration?" Warren asked.

Obama joked that obviously the question would have to exempt Warren himself, then mentioned his wife Michelle, "who is not only wise but she's honest. And one of the things you need -- I think any leader needs is somebody who can get up in your face and say, boy, you really screwed that one up. You really blew that."

"Your wife's like that, too?" Warren joked.

Look at the question again: it's not about people you admire, or respect--it's about "...who are you going to rely on heavily in your administration?"

And Obama's answer includes his wife? (Not to mention his maternal grandmother??)

Haven't we been down this road before?

And why does it suddenly feel like 1992 again?


Irenaeus said...

I hope this comment and like comments, as well as her own campaigning, make her a fair target.

Red Cardigan said...

Obama's campaign will probably claim Michelle is *not* a fair target, though. Hillary set the precedent of being "the wife of the candidate" when it was convenient, and the "co-candidate" whenever she and Bill decided that was the better tactic. The Dems will probably continue that model.

Jeff Miller said...

So I guess the inclusion of his grandmother means that he will take advice from a "typical white person" who is was willing to throw under the bus in reference to Rev. Wright.

But really he was going for a cutesy answer to a serious question.

Red Cardigan said...

I'm pretty sure you're right, Jeff (may I call you Jeff? Somehow it seems as though I ought to call you "Mr. Curt Jester, Sir!"). But one of the things I find annoying about this is that a similar answer by a Republican candidate would probably have provoked a Sunday-morning head-wagging-fest wherein the Voices of the Networks that Be would have held an unofficial contest to see which of them could work the word "gravitas" the most often into solemn conversations about qualities Obama lacks.

And either way, Obama's covered. He can claim that he "always" told the electorate that Michelle would have a role in his administration, or that he "always" rejected that possibility, and answers like this make him as hard to nail down as most of his answers do on any matter of substance.

molly said...

Once again you say it so well! Bravo!