Sen. Obama's Politics of "Calculation" (OR) Write Your Own Captions
If someone reported these stories about Sen. Clinton, can you imagine the loathing and hyena-like attacks that would ensue against her for being "fake" and "calculating" and God knows what else?
The Barack Obama campaign organized an "economic roundtable" of South Carolinians, scheduled with the Illinois senator for 11:30 a.m. today. But nearly an hour and a half before the event -- at 9:36 a.m. -- the campaign e-mailed to reporters a text of what the participants "said."
"At the Columbia roundtable, Donna McGreevy, a mother of two grown sons, said her family was feeling pinched on all sides by the weakening economy," the e-mail read. “When it comes to the economy I have firsthand knowledge and experience in just about every area where we are seeing problems."
Ben Smith flags this sharp-edged quote from Obama adviser Steve Hildebrand:
"The Clintons have always put people in a box - they look at everything through racial lines, gender lines, geographic lines; they tend to segment people," said Steve Hildebrand, a senior Obama adviser who spearheaded his Iowa effort. "She goes to Nevada and sits with Latinos in their living room to court their vote - that's not the way Barack approaches people [emphasis in original]. If the Clintons paint him as the black candidate, no one's going to stop them from doing that. They are playing the same old-style games."
Hildebrand is right, Obama doesn't sit with Latinos in their living room to court their vote. He sits in their backyard.
From an "economic opportunity" photo-op in Van Nuys, California 10 days ago...
It was billed as a roundtable conversation with plain folks at Jason’s Deli in Charleston. Barack Obama joined four women at a table for a conversation – the same kind of thing he’s done countless times in his campaign.
Christina Stewart, a dance teacher, cancer survivor, and volunteer instructor of underprivileged children brought her daughter, Camille.
Camille is eight years old. She has cerebral palsy and is profoundly disabled. She cannot walk. She cannot speak.
“We live a life that is unbelievable,” Mrs. Stewart told Obama. Unbelievable because her daughter has been uninsurable, save for very basic Medicaid coverage that doesn’t come close to addressing her needs.
Mrs. Stewart currently pays $200-a-month out of her own pocket for various medications such as Prilosec because her daughter suffers from “excruciating” acid reflux. Medicaid won’t pay for it. Indeed, Medicaid will pay only for one hour of physical therapy for Camille, according to her mother.
Obama was riveted by her story. He told her of his plan to reform Medicaid, to do away with wasteful spending that would free up better care for her daughter.
But here’s the thing: when Obama and Mrs. Stewart had this conversation, Camille was no longer between them. because after initially placing her at the senator’s side, after the photographers captured both in the same frame, and after mouthing some faint sounds that had the very slight potential of being disruptive, Camille was wheeled away. First to the edge of the deli, then outside altogether.
Continued below the fold.
I don’t doubt Obama’s concern for the child and children like her. His policies are designed to address such incredible misfortune. But Camille today was basically a political prop. Someone to be seen but not heard – even if she could speak.
“Where’s my beautiful daughter?” Mrs. Stewart asked after the conversation ended. “She’s outside in a van,” was the response....
Of course, considering that the media ejects pro-Clinton commentators on Sen. Obama's say so, I'm not holding my breath.
UPDATE: Commenter Sarah adds a correction to the CBS report: "I live in Charleston and I know the family in question. Camille was taken out of the restaurant because her parents understood her reaction to the new place and new people; like everything they do for their daughter, it was protective of her. Please don't use this situation to spread false information about Obama's campaign. "