Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Obama's 'much-ballyhooed' trip

Generally speaking, when a reporter says something is "much-ballyhooed," he means it as a putdown -- the "much-ballyhooed" prize fight that ends with a first-round KO, the "much-ballyooed" film sequel that fails to meet expectations, and so forth.

So when the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza began by writing of Barack Obama's "much-ballyhooed trip abroad this week," I was expecting a hit job. Instead, it was a gooey discussion of Obama's "gravitas" at a press conference in Amman, Jordan. After eight paragraphs of suitably reverent worship of St. Obama, however, Cillizza felt compelled to admit:
The press conference wasn't all roses for Obama, however, as he provided Republicans more rhetorical ammunition by again refusing to say he should have supported the troop surge last year.
Obama said that "we don't know what would have happened" if the plan he put forward in early 2007 -- a plan that would have had all combat brigades out of the country by March 31 of this year -- had been implemented.
That is sure to be fodder for Republicans who were up in arms last night over the fact that Obama told ABC's Terry Moran that even in hindsight he did not support the troop surge.
Already McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds is out with a statement condemning Obama's attitude toward the surge.
In the third paragraph, Cillizza described the need for Obama to "convey . . . bipartisanship" and in the sixth paragraph credited the Democrat with taking "the high road," but Cillizza sees no possibility that anyone but a partisan Republican might criticize His Hopefulness.

After pointedly referencing the McCain campaign's complaints about "the allegedly fawning coverage of Obama's trip" (allegedly), Cilliza then went into full-court fawning mode, concluding that, in terms of demonstrating suitably presidential gravitas, Obama "cleared that hurdle with ease." An objective fact!

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