New information has come out about the relationship between president Barack Obama and the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. There is credible evidence (produced by Ed Klein in his book Amateur) the Obama indirectly attempted to bribe Wright to refrain from saying anything negative about Barack during the last presidential campaign.
A Republican Super-PAC subsequently decided that this material would make good fodder for a television advertisement, but Mitt Romney shot it down. On the grounds that he wanted to engage in a campaign based on the issues rather than one dependent on mudslinging, he asked that this strategy be scraped.
The situation is reminiscent of the one that occurred four years ago. Then candidate John McCain insisted that Obama’s connection with Wright not be exploited for political ends. McCain deemed painting Obama in the same colors as a man who thundered “God damn America” from the pulpit to be too sleazy.
Today Romney may be making a similar calculation. He apparently decided that portraying the president as a slimy manipulator would backfire. Because Obama is well liked, the public might come to his defense—on the assumption that no president should be treated disrespectfully.
There is also the race issue. Because Obama is perceived as black, saying something insulting might be perceived as racist. This same likelihood makes it injudicious to raise the question of Barack’s use of hard drugs when very young or his flirtation with socialists and Marxists when in college.
This is very much a double standard, but one Romney has to be aware of. Others in the media, such as Sean Hannity, can pick up the cudgels and demand that Obama be vetted as rigorously as his opponent, but Mitt cannot. He must at least appear to stay above the fray.
How then should the public react? Ed Klein’s book is well titled. Barack Obama remains an amateur even after nearly four years in the White House. He is probably the least prepared person to enter the presidency in the twentieth century. Perhaps he is rivaled by Warren Harding and Harry Truman, but Truman actually served several terms as a senator.
What this comes down to is that we would do well to understand why Obama knows so little about governing. We would also do well to realize why his is infatuated by leftist political solutions and why he has so little appreciation of how economics works.
Nor would it hurt if we grasped the degree to which our president has long been a deceptive manipulator. Many years before he entered the corrupt precincts of Chicago politics, he was a disingenuous schemer. Indeed, he thrived in the partisan arena that he deliberately sought out precisely because of the skills he brought to the endeavor.
Sadly, Romney is handicapped in his political aspirations because he has more honor than the man he is seeking to unseat. He too is plainly capable of playing hardball, but he seems to have limits Obama does not.
If this is true then let us hope that honor counts for something when the time comes for voters to select our nation’s next chief executive.