The Blog

Obama Stumbles

11:17 PM, Aug 11, 2008 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
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Presidential elections are decided by a series of important moments. This may be one of them.

Barack Obama put out another statement on the developments in Georgia and moved even closer to where John McCain was at the moment the crisis began. He read it, on vacation in Hawaii, standing in front of a tall brown fence wearing a casual blue jacket. You could almost smell the cookout taking place next door. The video of the statement is striking. Obama is reading it, and speaks haltingly.

It is oddly reminiscent of John McCain's performance in 2000, when he read a statement detailing his position -- more accurately, his campaign's position -- on the Confederate Flag. (McCain later said he didn't mean what he'd said.)

Just as McCain's reading of the statement was strange for someone known for speaking extemporaneously, Obama's hesitant and wooden delivery was odd for someone voters have mostly seen looking polished and delivering beautifully written speeches.

Will it matter?