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The Warmonger Strategy

4:58 PM, Apr 5, 2008 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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Obama made an appearance in North Dakota last night:

Obama was introduced by North Dakota's three-man Congressional delegation, whom he greeted as friends, Sens. Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan and, as Obama called him, "Ed Pomeroy." Rep. Earl Pomeroy gave Conrad a sheepish grin at the joke.

Radio talk show star Ed Schultz warmed up the crowd, attacking Sen. John McCain as "a warmonger," before Obama arrived in the room.

Obama thanked Schultz, saying he was the "voice of progressive radio," and someone "who knows a little bit about sports."

In late February, McCain was introduced at a rally by talk radio host Bill Cunningham. Cunningham called Obama a "hack Chicago-style Daley politician," and twice emphasized Obama's middle name, Hussein, in an all around nasty warm-up act. Immediately after the event, and with no prompting from the press, McCain apologized for Cunningham's remarks: "I take responsibility and I repudiate what he said."

In contrast, Obama made not a peep about Schultz's attack on McCain.

Worse still, Obama seems oblivious to just how offensive the attack is. To call someone a warmonger is to say that person doesn't care about the troops and the sacrifices they make. It's no different than questioning McCain's patriotism, but right now it looks like questioning McCain's patriotism will be a core element of Obama's general election strategy. Obama says McCain wants a 100 year war in Iraq. It's a ridiculous accusation. Only someone completely indifferent to the sacrifices war demands could want such a thing, and yet Obama is trying to convince voters that McCain is just such a man--a warmonger. Perhaps he can no more disown this line of attack than he can disown his own campaign.

Update: This afternoon Obama says McCain "wants to continue this war in Iraq maybe for another 100 years," and his traveling press secretary says "John McCain is not a warmonger and should not be described as such."

Those two statements are mutually exclusive.

HT: Instapundit