Sen. Barack Obama 
(August 2008)

Congratulations to Barack Obama, who along with Senator McCain can probably look forward to several appearances inn the Scoreboard’s “Liar of the Month” category in coming months, for getting there first with a bona fide howler and being called on it almost instantly by the otherwise worshipping and love-smitten press.  

"Nobody thinks that Bush and McCain have a real answer to the challenges we face. So what they're going to try to do is make you scared of me," Obama told a crowd. "You know, he's not patriotic enough, he's got a funny name, you know, he doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills."  The McCain campaign immediately called foul, accusing Obama of playing “the race card” and implying that McCain would play to racial fears in the upcoming campaign.  

“Heaven forbid!” cried the Obama camp. When he was asked if Obama was referring to race, Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said, "No. What Barack Obama was talking about was that he didn't get here after spending decades in Washington. There is nothing more to this than the fact that he was describing that he was new to the political scene. He was referring to the fact that he didn't come into the race with the history of others. It is not about race."  

Ah. “Spending decades in Washington like…George Washington? There wasn’t even a city called Washington when he was president. Maybe Obama meant Abe Lincoln, who briefly served in the House of Representatives? That can’t be it. Andrew Jackson? No, he also came to Washington as an outsider; in fact, his arrival was greeted as if he was Attila the Hun sacking Rome. Surely Obama wasn’t referencing General Grant, who never held elective office before being elected president. Did Benjamin Franklin “get here” after spending decades in Washington? Well, actually, if Obama meant becoming president, old Ben didn’t “get here” at all. Neither did Alexander Hamilton, whose face in on our ten-spot, but then, Obama did say the presidents on the bills. So what, in fact, do Washington, Lincoln, Jackson and Grant have in common besides being famous Americans? Do they look alike in any way? Hmmm. Well, Grant and Lincoln have beards, and Washington and Jackson have white hair (though Washington’s is a wig), but the latter have no facial hair and the former are brunettes. They’re all men, but then, so is Obama, as Hillary Clinton’s die-hard fans will remind you in a heartbeat. So how exactly does Obama look than these great Americans?

"This notion that somehow I was playing the race card is ridiculous," Senator Obama told NPR. "What I said in front of a 98% conservative rural white audience in Missouri is nothing that I haven't said before. I don't come out of central casting when it comes to what presidential candidates typically look like. It doesn't just have to do with race. It has to do with my name. It has to do with my biography and my background. It has to do with our message of change."

Obama’s name makes him look different? Interesting---I would have guessed that his name made him sound different. “Central casting”…let’s see: three of the four on the bills were generals; is Obama talking about military experience? That seems unlikely. “Message of change”…does Obama really believe that he had more of a message of change than the first president? Lincoln was the first openly anti-slavery president; that seems like a pretty big change, doesn’t it? “Biography”---could Obama have meant that he was going to be attacked by McCain for not literally having the same biography as one of the dead presidents? Because it is hard to see a lot of similarity among them in this respect, either. Most of the men on the bills came from origins that were as humble or more so than Obama’s.

Well, now the Scoreboard is being even more coy than Obama…sorry about that. Of course “doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills” referred to race! Everyone in the audience, everyone who read it, everyone who understands English and code and innuendo knows it. And Obama, who is famous for his facility with words, is hardly a piker when it comes to communicating.

That makes the denials of his intended meaning now 1) dishonest 2) silly, because nobody believes or could ever believe them, and 3) a ticket to David Manning Liar of the Month fame. 

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