26 October 2008

Rumor Central: Obama's Inaugural Address

Granted, Senator McCain is trying to inject a little humor into his stump speeches. In doing so, he's employing a new weapon against Senator Obama: he's claiming that Obama's arrogance is so unbounding that he's already written his speech for 20 January:
"We just learned from a newspaper today that Sen. Obama's inaugural address is already written," McCain declared, as a crowd of about 1,200 responded with jeers. "I'm not making it up.

"My friends, when I pull this off, I have a request for my opponent," McCain continued, a broad grin etched on his face. "I want him to save that manuscript of his inaugural address and donate it to the Smithsonian. And they can put it right next to the Chicago paper that says 'Dewey defeats Truman.' " (L A Times)
The paper the Senator refers to is the New York Times. The article, written by Peter Baker and Jackie Calmes, discussed the Obama camp's transition plans (not a presumptuous move --presidential candidates typically make such plans prior to election day). John Podesta, former chief of staff for Bill Clinton, leads Obama's transition team, and, according to the article,
Mr. Podesta has been mapping out the transition so systematically that he has already written a draft Inaugural Address for Mr. Obama, which he published this summer in a book called “The Power of Progress.” The speech calls for rebuilding a “grand alliance” with the rest of the world, bringing troops home from Iraq, recommitting to the war in Afghanistan, cutting poverty in half in 10 years and reducing greenhouse gases 80 percent by 2050. (New York Times)
In his eagerness to poke fun at his opponent, Senator McCain failed to note the article's detail that Podesta published the "draft" in a book. Podesta claims that the "draft,"
was a literary device used to close his book about “the history and successes of progressive politics in the 20th century.”

Podesta says he wrote the speech in March, when he was working for Hillary Clinton's campaign for the Democratic nomination, and it wasn't clear who the party's candidate would be.

Obama's campaign says Podesta wrote the speech on his own, unsolicited, for his book, and not for Obama. (ABC)

Granted, it is a funny little poke. But it seems rather reminiscent of the Clinton campaign's bringing up a theme Obama wrote in Kindergarten top "prove" the senator's ambition: that was supposed to be a joke too. It didn't play out that way.

Seriously--the McCain campaign's resemblance to the Clinton campaign seems to be growing stronger each day.

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