Pay No Attention To This "Controversy"

Visitors to the Drudge Report right now are greeted with a large headline that Michelle Obama criticized Hillary Clinton for the way she ran her house. It's taken from this article in the Chicago Sun-Times which is incredibly complimentary towards her. The paragraph in question was almost an aside, saying:

At another stop, in Atlantic, Michelle said she travels with her husband in part "to model what it means to have family values," adding "if you can't run your own house, you can't run the White House." She didn't elaborate, but it could be interpreted as a swipe at the Clintons.

I would not have read Clinton into these comments had I read them without the commentary. It justs seems really out of place for what I've seen from Michelle Obama, who often talks about her own home life on the trail. Sure enough, Barack Obama said as much as soon as anyone asked him if the comments were about Clinton:
In a just-concluded conference call, Obama responded to the suggestion that his wife was slamming the Clintons. "She wasn't making any reference to that," he said. "If anybody who's been listening to Michelle on the stump, she's talked about the importance of family, and the need for our family to make sure that we're thinking about our kids during the process of this campaign. And she's repeated that in every stump speech. So, you know, there are no references beyond her point that we've had an administration that talks a lot about family values, but doesn't follow through on it, and part of the challenge for us in this campaign is making sure that we are talking the talk but also walking the walk. That's all it was referring to, and as I said, that's been a standard aspect of her speech for a long time.

TPM Cafe has the transcript of the line in question:
That one of the most important things that we need to know about the next President of the United States is, is he somebody that shares our values? Is he somebody that respects family? Is a good and decent person? So our view was that, if you can’t run your own house, you certainly can'’t run the White House. So, so we’'ve adjusted our schedules to make sure that our girls are first, so while he’s traveling around, I do day trips. That means I get up in the morning, I get the girls ready, I get them off, I go and do trips, I’'m home before bedtime. So the girls know that I was gone somewhere, but they don’t care. They just know that I was at home to tuck them in at night, and it keeps them grounded, and, and children, the children in our country have to know that they come first. And our girls do and that’s why we’re doing this. We’re in this race for not just our children, but all of our children.

The facts seem to be in alignment that this isn't about how Hillary Clinton runs her house.

The interesting thing is that in what is meant to be a glowing profile of Michelle Obama (which there seems to be a lot of this cycle, for whatever reason), a throwaway line on the Clintons is getting the most attention; and given how out of bounds that sort of attack on Clinton would be (even Mike Huckabee would agree), it will probably hurt the Obama campaign to the extent it gets any coverage.Michelle Stares Down Clinton in a Crowd … Not It's interesting how much something as trivial as a faulty media impression of one line of a speech could impact the election. And given how much traction this has gotten, it's clear that controversy really just feeds on itself to grow, even when there's little evidence of substance behind it.

Tags: 2008 election, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Candidate Spouses, Democratic Candidates, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Mike Huckabee, Republican Candidates (all tags)

Comments

3 Comments

Continued at 2008Central.net

Now that ain't right. Post it all or nothing.

by JoeCoaster 2007-08-21 10:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Continued at 2008Central.net

Yeah, boo on cross-posting half a diary.  Bad form.

by Steve M 2007-08-21 10:39AM | 0 recs
Seems like little more than site

advertisement. If they want that, they should pay MyDD for the ad space like everyone else.

by okamichan13 2007-08-21 10:46AM | 0 recs

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