Obama in the – Daily News and Inquirer’s – haaaa-ouse


Will Bunch has already posted a couple of items about tonight’s meeting of the Daily News and Inquirer Editorial Boards (and reporters) with Senator Barack Obama.

In this one, Obama goes at length to explain Cling-gate (ok, Dick Polman, I’m totally using that as my shorthand for the guns at church comment). Perhaps trying to remind folks in the room about Senator Clinton’s Excellent Bosnia Misadventure, he uses the words of a supporter who said that Obama “misspoke but didn’t lie.” In case no one else was remembered Clinton’s “misspoke” explanation of the sniper fire, Bunch spells it out for us:

That last comment about how he “misspoke but didn’t lie” was a telling one, because it was in this same room two weeks ago that his rival Sen. Hillary Clinton also acknowledged that she “misspoke” about landing in the line of Bosnian sniper fire, which had been shown by tapes of the event to be untrue.

The post includes video of Obama’s appearance. Unfortunately, it’s not share-able or embeddable in any way.

In his second post, Bunch relays Obama’s answer to his question about prosecuting high-level Bush administration officials if it is determined that they willfully broke the law in ordering torture of detainees:

The bottom line is that: Obama sent a clear signal that — unlike impeachment, which he’s ruled out and which now seems a practical impossibility — he is at the least open to the possibility of investigating potential high crimes in the Bush White House. To many, the information that waterboarding — which the United States has considered torture and a violation of law in the past — was openly planned out in the seat of American government is evidence enough to at least start asking some tough questions in January 2009.

Obama’s entire answer is in the post is after the jump.

What I would want to do is to have my Justice Department and my Attorney General immediately review the information that’s already there and to find out are there inquiries that need to be pursued. I can’t prejudge that because we don’t have access to all the material right now. I think that you are right, if crimes have been committed, they should be investigated. You’re also right that I would not want my first term consumed by what was perceived on the part of Republicans as a partisan witch hunt because I think we’ve got too many problems we’ve got to solve.

So this is an area where I would want to exercise judgment — I would want to find out directly from my Attorney General — having pursued, having looked at what’s out there right now — are there possibilities of genuine crimes as opposed to really bad policies. And I think it’s important– one of the things we’ve got to figure out in our political culture generally is distinguishing betyween really dumb policies and policies that rise to the level of criminal activity. You know, I often get questions about impeachment at town hall meetings and I’ve said that is not something I think would be fruitful to pursue because I think that impeachment is something that should be reserved for exceptional circumstances. Now, if I found out that there were high officials who knowingly, consciously broke existing laws, engaged in coverups of those crimes with knowledge forefront, then I think a basic principle of our Constitution is nobody above the law — and I think that’s roughly how I would look at it.


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