Just relaying a message

I'm still not following the primary (although I seem to be hearing a lot about the words "bitter" and "cling" of late), but that hasn't stopped other people from sending me bits and pieces. One of the key things that's drawn me to Obama has been his willingness to cut the crap and talk straight, much like you might see American presidents doing in movies such as "The American President." What follows is an example of exactly that, taken from last night's debate. Hat tip to my friend Arthur:

[Question about his relation to William Ayers of the Weather Underground]

SEN. OBAMA: George, but this is an example of what I'm talking about.

This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who's a professor of English in Chicago, who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He's not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis.

And the notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago when I was 8 years old, somehow reflects on me and my values, doesn't make much sense, George.

The fact is, is that I'm also friendly with Tom Coburn, one of the most conservative Republicans in the United States Senate, who during his campaign once said that it might be appropriate to apply the death penalty to those who carried out abortions.

Do I need to apologize for Mr. Coburn's statements? Because I certainly don't agree with those either.

So this kind of game, in which anybody who I know, regardless of how flimsy the relationship is, is somehow -- somehow their ideas could be attributed to me -- I think the American people are smarter than that. They're not going to suggest somehow that that is reflective of my views, because it obviously isn't.

This is exactly the kind of thing that I wish would happen more often in our country's political discourse. Of course, I wish that it would consequently be followed by embarassed apologies from the people that wallow in this kind of sludge on a day-to-day basis. Unfortunately, that never seems to happen.

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