Via Hot Air, where Allahpundit doesn't really like the ad's suggestion that the reason Obama cancelled the visit was because he couldn't bring media. A valid quibble -- the cancellation apparently was due to Obama's military adviser having a snit over being excluded -- but ultimately irrelevant. The point is that this incident has now been woven into the McCain campaign's attack narrative about Obama, meaning that the Obama campaign will have to respond, in turn guaranteeing that Obama is forced into an ongoing discussion of an incident that puts him in an unflattering light. UPDATE: Fresh coverage by Fox News, ABC, Associated Press, the Politico, the New York Times, CNN and the San Francisco Chronicle. Here is Obama addressing the controversy with Fox's Bill Hemmer: (Via Hot Air.) "Our intention was not to publicize this at all," he says. So why was the Landstuhl visit listed on the press schedule? If the visit hadn't been on the press schedule, the cancellation wouldn't have been news. Duh. Meanwhile, Obama tries to spin it at a London press conference: John Hinderaker:
In the end, this character-revealing blunder may be the only thing voters remember about Obama's international excursion.Hope you enjoyed your tank ride, Governor Dukakis.UPDATE II: Steven Thomas of McClatchy News catches Team Obama on the horns of the photo-op dilemma:
Within hours of Obama's speech in Berlin, for example, campaign manager David Plouffe used a video of the event in a fund-raising letter. "Watch Barack's historic speech and share it with your friends," Plouffe wrote. The e-mail then included a red button urging them to "donate" and linking to a form making it easy to send online contributions ranging from $25 to $2,300.(Via Don Surber.) The fact that the trip was a substance-free media-oriented political spectacle only heightens the damage of the Landstuhl blunder.
"I'm not going to deny there's value," said Obama's chief political strategist David Axelrod during one leg of the trip.