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Barack Obama tries to repair a PR blunder, but 2 days too late
He's been a quick learner. But it's too late this time for the Democrat who wants to move into the White House next January. And then get his kids a dog.
As our Swamp colleagues report here, Barack Obama finally commented last night on the highly controversial Muslim cover of this week's New Yorker magazine. And he said all the right things. But he was about 54 hours tardy.
The controversial New Yorker magazine cover showing Barack Obama as a Muslim and his wife Michelle as a liberation fighter 72108
Sunday, as soon as the elitist magazine released its provocative cartoon cover, Obama declined comment, not wanting to elevate it to something important enough for a candidate to speak on. Fine. But, as The Ticket promptly reported here, advisors still sent out his communications director, Bill Burton, to denounce it:
"The New Yorker may think, as one of their staff explained to us, that their cover is a satirical lampoon of the caricature Sen. Obama's right-wing critics have tried to create. But most readers will see it as tasteless and offensive. And we agree."
The McCain campaign immediately (and ultimately self-servingly) issued a similar statement quoting Tucker Bounds as saying, "We completely agree with the Obama campaign. It's tasteless and offensive."
The cover of this week's New Yorker magazine depicts Obama in one-piece Muslim garb and headdress fist-bumping his booted, Afro-wearing wife Michelle in camo clothes with an AK-47 and ammo-belt slung over her shoulder beneath a portrait of Osama bin Laden while the American flag burns in the fireplace -- in the presidential Oval Office. Other than that, nothing particularly....
...incendiary in an election year full of rumors about the freshman senator's little-known past.
The cartoon has every detail that an intellectual magazine would think makes perfectly obvious over-the-top satire. And every detail that the Obama campaign would like the world not to think about or associate with its guy.
Denouncing it Sunday was an instinctive act. Genuine, to be sure. But really dumb damage control.
It was a huge PR mistake by a campaign that doesn't make many. The denunciations by both presidential campaigns accomplished one thing: They pushed a simple cartoon to the top of most-searched terms online and the top of the news lists of countless online sites, commenters, cable news shows, commentators and network TV newscasts for more than two days. No doubt it also helped the bottom line, boosting New Yorker single-copy sales this week.
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