Wednesday, April 25, 2007

She's Not Buttering Him Up

Maureen Dowd is so off base here.  Obama got more hype than he knows what to do with -- but that doesn't win elections.  At such a critical time, voters want SUBSTANCE, not hype.

The Obamas are both skeptical of hype. Michelle dryly told a reporter at her husband’s Senate swearing-in that perhaps someday, he would do something to earn all the attention he was getting.

But it may not be smart politics to mock him in a way that turns him from the glam J.F.K. into the mundane Gerald Ford, toasting his own English muffins. If all Senator Obama is peddling is the Camelot mystique, why debunk the mystique?

Besides, the coolly detached candidate, striving to seem substantive, is good at turning down the heat himself. He manages to tamp down crowds dying to be electrified. He resists surfing his own wave of excitement.

And of course Dowd can't break her string of 5,000 consecutive snarky columns, so she ends with a cheap shot that Obama long ago said was a mistake and apologized for:

In order to get a bigger yard for their new house on Chicago’s South Side in 2005, the Obamas got into what the senator now confesses was a “boneheaded” real estate arrangement with a sleazy political dealmaker named Tony Rezko, who has been indicted on influence-peddling charges.

On Monday, The Chicago Sun-Times reported more shady Rezko news: “Obama, who has worked as a lawyer and a legislator to improve living conditions for the poor, took campaign donations from Rezko even as Rezko’s low-income housing empire was collapsing, leaving many African-American families in buildings riddled with problems,” from a lack of heat to no lack of drug dealers and squatters.

Mr. Obama riposted that “it wasn’t brought to my attention.” But isn’t that where a dazzling, tough, smart and connected wife could help a guy out?


April 25, 2007

Op-Ed Columnist

She’s Not Buttering Him Up


Usually, I love the dynamics of a cheeky woman puncturing the ego of a cocky guy.

I liked it in ’40s movies, and I liked it with Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel, and Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis in “Moonlighting.”

So why don’t I like it with Michelle and Barack?


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