In the course of just a few minutes, Obama said two things at tonight's Saddleback Valley Community Church event that struck me as disingenuous. First, he claims to have worked with John McCain on bipartisan campaign finance and ethics reform legislation. I think John McCain might remember things differently. Recall the following exchange:
"I would like to apologize to you for assuming that your private assurances to me regarding your desire to cooperate in our efforts to negotiate bipartisan lobbying reform were sincere," McCain writes. Obama attended a meeting with McCain and senators committed to a bipartisan task force on ethics reform. McCain left the meeting convinced that Obama was open to working closely together, according to an aide. But the next day, Obama wrote McCain that he preferred his own party's legislation to a task force and suggested McCain take another look at the Democratic caucus's Honest Leadership Act, which does not have a Republican cosponsor.
The second objectionable comment came when Obama told the story of a senator who opposed legislation prohibiting lobbyists from buying meals. In his account, the unnamed senator asked, "where are we supposed to eat, McDonalds?" This time Obama said that wouldn't be such a bad idea given how many Americans eat at the fast food restaurant. His account of the same conversation differed back in December 2007.
Obama recalled a conversation he had with another senator who was giving him grief about working for the meal ban. The other Senator questioned to Obama, "What do you expect me to just start eating at McDonalds all the time?" Obama recalled his response, "You get paid $160,000 a year, you can even afford Applebee's, you don't even have to stoop so low as to eat at McDonalds." Some in the crowd were seen raising their eyebrows as Obama, the man who touts himself from the South Side of Chicago, critiqued the popular fast food chain.
Obama wants you to know that he now hearts Mickey D's. He's not an elitist or something.
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