July 23, 2008

What's In A Word?

I shouldn't be surprised by now, but I was a bit taken aback by the two headlines, one on top of another, by the Associated Press:

Obama Tells Israel He's Committed To Its Security

McCain Denies He Misstated Timing Of Iraq Surge

Look at that--Obama is "committed" (reuters had him "assuring" them he's a "friend); McCain "denies" and "misstates." Go figure. What's really interesting is that if you read these stories, you'll see that both articles report that each candidate made a "misstatement."


At issue are McCain's comments in a Tuesday interview with CBS. The Arizona senator disputed Democrat Barack Obama's contention that a Sunni revolt against al-Qaida combined with the dispatch of thousands more U.S. combat troops to Iraq to produce the improved security situation there. McCain called that a "false depiction."

Democrats jumped on his comments. They said McCain's remarks showed he was out of touch, because the rebellion of U.S.-backed Sunni sheiks against al-Qaida terrorists in Iraq's Anbar province was under way well before Bush announced in January 2007 his decision to send 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Iraq.

McCain asserted he knew that and didn't commit a gaffe. "A surge is really a counterinsurgency made up of a number of components. ... I'm not sure people understand that `surge' is part of a counterinsurgency."


Obama said Israelis could be certain of his commitment to Israel's security by looking at "my deeds."

"Just this past week, we passed out of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, which is my committee, a bill to call for divestment from Iran, as a way of ratcheting up the pressure to ensure that they don't obtain a nuclear weapon," he said.

However, Obama does not serve on the banking committee, and McCain's campaign seized on the mistake.

"Not only is it not his committee, but he's not even on the committee, he didn't vote on the bill, and he had nothing to do with its passage," McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said in a statement issued Wednesday.

Now, be honest--which one of these seems more egregious to you?

It's funny that Obama's "mistake" (a kind term, I think) didn't make it into the headline, isn't it?

UPDATE: Well, that was a quick update. I just noticed two other things: a headline for an AP video that claims McCain "flubs" timetable, and a link to Politico stating that "McCain Gaffes Pile Up." If you think Obama hasn't made his share of "gaffes," you can check my post here that references a few. The one that comes to mind is Obama thinking that Hillary was winning in the Kentucky primary because she was from "the nearby state of Arkansas," apparently forgetting that his state, Illinois, actually borders KY. I think that's actually a little more embarrassing than McCain's commenting on an imaginary Iraq/Afghanistan border, considering that Obama is actually from one of the places he screwed up.

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