One theme I’ve picked up on Barack Obama is his innate need to take both sides of an issue, and then argue that his simultaneously holding opposing viewpoints is in no way a contradiction or a paradox. And I’m not the only one — last night I saw my first Republican-aligned attack ad that harped on the same theme.
Well, Senator Both Ways has pulled it off again, with his recent trip to Germany.
When Obama first sought permission to speak at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, he reassured his hosts that it was not a campaign event. That didn’t work, so he moved on to another Berlin landmark, the Tiergarten. And Obama clearly said that he wasn’t there as a candidate:
“Tonight, I speak to you not as a candidate for President, but as a citizen – a proud citizen of the United States, and a fellow citizen of the world.”
So it wasn’t a campaign event. Fine.
Then, at the last minute, Obama canceled a trip to visit American troops at Rammstein and Landstuhl. Landstuhl, it should be noted, is where a lot of Americans wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan end up for treatment. Why did Obama blow off this opportunity to meet with the troops?
Well, at first it was because of scheduling conflicts. They didn’t have time.
That excuse held up just long enough for Obama to announce that since his trip had some “down time,” he wanted to play tourist around Berlin.
That’s when excuse #2 was trotted out. Since the bill for Obama’s trip was being footed by his campaign, it would have been “inappropriate” for him to visit the troops — that would have come across as a political move, and he wouldn’t want to do that.
But… but… but… I thought he wasn’t there as a candidate, and the Germany speech wasn’t a campaign event. Obama himself said so!
So the Germany trip was a campaign event when it got him out of visiting the troops, but it wasn’t when he was seeking permission from the Germans to make his grand speech.
I think Obama needs a little sign around his neck, like one of Harry Mudd’s androids, that says “campaigning.” It can light up when he’s doing stuff related to his campaign, and stays dark when he is doing other stuff.
No, strike that. We’re in the midst of an energy crisis. It’d be lit up almost all the time. Make it read “not campaigning.” He’ll save a fortune on batteries.
(Ed Morrissey has more details here)