Obama Stammers, ‘No, I, I, I, I, I…’ Sticking
Up for Axelrod

compliments TM.com reader “Piper”

The Bhutto assassination has the potential
to be a game changer
. The volatility of foreign affairs and Obama’s lack
of accomplishments (or interest in running his own committee on them) makes Axelrod’s statement
all the more dangerous for his candidate. That became clear last night. So when
I watched Barack Obama on CNN’s “Larry King Live,” it was hard to
comprehend what was happening. What
a spectacle
. I couldn’t believe my eyes or ears. After an abominable day,
Mr. Obama came apart when Wolf Blitzer asked him a simple question about Axelrod.

Wolf Blitzer was standing in for King. At one point in the interview Wolf begins
to ask Mr. Obama about Axelrod’s panicked statement that had him blaming Clinton
for Bhutto’s death. Obama knew what was coming and obviously didn’t want Blitzer
to ask the question; hoping he could deter the news anchor from covering the
story that was all the buzz yesterday. As I watched it all unravel, I couldn’t
help but wonder why Obama didn’t just distance himself from Axelrod’s indefensible
statement, like Clinton continually has been made to do when people around her
make mistakes. But instead, Obama walked waste deep into the mess, owning it himself and sticking up for
Mr. Axelrod, when a simple apology would have been the smarter and classier
thing to do. But no, instead Obama turned obstinate and stubbornly got his back
up. It was a huge mistake on a day filled with amateur turns.

Sweet of the Sun Times
nails the quote and the context, but also nails Obama, as
he stuttered and stammered, trying to shut Wolf up, though to no avail. It was
a campaign classic.

Blitzer asked, “Your chief political strategist, David Axelrod, causing
some commotion out there today with his comments about Hillary Clinton, and
blaming her—at least some are interpreting it this way—blaming
her in part for a series of events that resulted in Benazir Bhutto’s assassination
today. Let me read to you what he said.”

Obama replied—and I think I nailed the quote here—“No,
I, I, I, I, I have to, I heard, I heard, I don’t need it, I don’t need
to hear what you read because I was, I overheard it when he said it, and this
is one of those situations where Washington is putting a spin on it. It makes
no sense whatsoever.”

(Might you wonder what “I overheard it” means? One should
not read this literally. Obama was not standing near Axelrod when he was talking
to reporters after the speech. A bunch of reporters were interviewing Axelrod
near the press risers at the back of the hall.)

Blitzer continued, “Tell us what he meant. Tell us what he meant.”

Obama said, “He was—he was—he was asked very specifically
about the argument that the Clinton folks were making that somehow this was
going to change the dynamic of politics in Iowa.

(At this point it was the reporter making the argument–asking if the
assassination would bring the campaigns more to foreign policy and “that’s
been more Hillary Clinton’s sort of strength, is that is that…that’s
what the Clinton campaign will say, that this plays right into her strength.”)

Obama: “Now, first of all, that shouldn’t have been the question.”

(Disputing a question is a technique Obama has used in the presidential
debates when confronted with being asked something he did not want to specifically
have to respond to.)
… ..

Obama says, “No, I, I, I, I,