I hope you weren’t among those people making fun of Howard Dean’s Iowa yelp in 04. The unearthing of Sen. Obama’s kindergarten papers, while an amazing feat of opposition research, could well go down as one of the more meaningless, evincing desperation, political attacks in history. Penn is floating the idea that the attack was a joke meant to teasingly illustrate the vaccousness of Obama’s “If I am asked, I will answer” act, pretending that he only thought about becoming President when he saw the multitudinous swirls of people begging him to run for the job. Joke or not, no one abso-bloody-lutely no one is thinking about Obama’s childhood essay. The story has become the “joke.”
I have a difficult time imagining that in the strategy session, no one considered that this joke was a) not funny b) handed to a candate who, though certainly enjoys a good laugh, cannot deliver a punch line that well c) attacked an opponent for doing something that a great many people do over their lifetime — dream big. Yes, I know, this was not the intent, the punch line is that Obama is disingenuine. Really, a disingenuine politician? SHOCKING! I believe I shall faint.
Given how poorly this “joke” has backfired, how little mileage you got out of it, how all the negative attention has turned towards your candidate, I suggest you punt. Don’t try and defend it. Send the candidate out there and admit the joke was bad, have her talk about her dreams as a kid, as a student (just don’t let Alexander Cockburn hear the speech) and how all of the people running for the job of POTUS have to be extraordinarily ambitious.
No thanks is necessary, Wolfie.