Ask Tough Questions? Yes, They Can!Another big rookie mistake is to cut short a press conference and run from the room. It only amplifies the importance of the questions and Obama's lame response.
By Dana Milbank
March 4, 2008
SAN ANTONIO It took many months and the mockery of "Saturday Night Live" to make it happen, but the lumbering beast that is the press corps finally roused itself from its slumber Monday and greeted Barack Obama with a menacing growl.
The day before primaries in Ohio and Texas that could effectively seal the Democratic presidential nomination for him, a smiling Obama strode out to a news conference at a veterans facility here. But the grin was quickly replaced by the surprised look of a man bitten by his own dog.
Reporters from the Associated Press and Reuters went after him for his false denial that a campaign aide had held a secret meeting with Canadian officials over Obama's trade policy. A trio of Chicago reporters pummeled him with questions about the corruption trial this week of a friend and supporter. The New York Post piled on with a question about him losing the Jewish vote.
Obama responded with the classic phrases of a politician in trouble. "That was the information that I had at the time. . . . Those charges are completely unrelated to me. . . . I have said that that was a mistake. . . . The fact pattern remains unchanged."
When those failed, Obama tried another approach. "We're running late," the candidate said, and then he disappeared behind a curtain.
Before he beat his hasty retreat, however, Obama found time to assign blame for the tough questions suddenly coming his way. "The Clinton campaign has been true to its word in employing a 'kitchen sink' strategy," he protested. "There are, what, three or four things a day?"
Spoken like a man who had just been hit on the head with a heavy piece of porcelain.
The sharks are in the water and they smell blood! It's about time.