Monday, March 31, 2008
Senator Obama-About that Questionnaire......
"Yeah ok, that's my handwriting. But I still didn't write it."
Recently, I commented that the Clinton-Obama primary race was starting to look like the Great Sausage Race, where two brats take turns doing pratfalls. Last week, it was Hillary getting nailed on her phony Bosnia sniper fire story. Now it's Obama getting caught on an old questionnaire he submitted when running for state senator in Illinois. Both issues (which their respective supporters are dismissing as insignificant) cast doubts on their credibility.
Coincidentally, both snafus happened in 1996. The same year Hillary was "dodging sniper fire" in Tuzla, Obama was submitting-and amending a policy questionnaire in which he stated his positions on various issues. The issue has come to light thanks to Politico.Com, which was recently given the questionnaires in question.
In 1996, Obama, then running for state senator for Illinois, was requested to fill out a 12-page policy position questionnaire to the liberal, non-profit group, "Independent Voters of Illinois- Independent Precinct Organization (IVI-IPO). In the form, Obama provided yes/no answers to questions regarding his positions on capital punishment, abortion, parental notification, gun control, government health care and other issues. The answers provided showed a uniformly liberal approach to the issues. As part of the process, Obama was apparently interviewed by the group, subsequent to which, an amended form was submitted the next day that contained Obama's handwritten notes with additions.
Late last year, in response to a Politico.Com article on the story, Obama's organization was queried about the questionnaire, which showed positions considerably more liberal then what he presently professes. The response from Obama's aides was that Obama not only had not filled out the form personally, but had never even seen or approved of the form, which had been filled out by an aide making erroneous answers not in line with Obama's actual beliefs-then or now. (It is not uncommon for political aides to fill out such forms on behalf of the politician.)
Just one problem. That was the amended form that was submitted and contained Obama's handwritten notes.
So now, the official party line is that while, yes, it is Obama's handwriting, that still doesn't show that he actually read or approved of the information provided.
So what does it all mean? If Obama's thinking on these issues has, in fact, evolved since 1996, why not say so? That is entirely normal. If Obama believes today what he said in 1996, why not say so? We can all disagree, but we could still respect the man's beliefs. Unfortunately, the amended form with Obama's handwritten notes suggest that he had a more hands-on involvement with the questionnaire than he and/or his aides have stated. At this point, even IVI-IPO is split on its support of Obama based on his shifting positions.
Whether Obama is a liberal or a super-liberal is beside the point. What is more important is that the senator is apparently being caught in a lie. First, he never saw the questionnaire, never read it, and never filled it out. What was written in 1996 did not reflect his views. Now-even though his handwriting is on the form-there "is still no evidence" that he read or approved the form.
So which is it, Senator? Hopefully, the mainstream news media will pin him down on this.
Sure they will.