I’d like to believe that I was the first blogger out of the millions out there to comment about Barack Obama’s use of the phrase “losing his bearings” to describe John McCain’s Hamas-hearts-Obama statement. I did, after all, post it almost simultaneously with Obama saying it. At the very least, I’m tied with everyone else who did that.
I bring this up because, unsurprisingly, it has become a big deal.
Michael Cooper at the Caucus wrote this morning that one of McCain’s senior advisers quickly released a statement denouncing (and I assume rejecting) Obama’s choice of words:
“First, let us be clear about the nature of Senator Obama’s attack today: He used the words ‘losing his bearings’ intentionally, a not particularly clever way of raising John McCain’s age as an issue. This is typical of the Obama style of campaigning.”
Obama’s spokesman Bill Burton got in a nice little zinger in response:
“Clearly losing ones bearings has no relation to age, given this bizarre rant that Mark Salter just sent out.”
Ok. Two things could be going on here. One is that Obama did very intentionally and very cleverly choose the words “losing his bearings” as a subtle way to bring up McCain’s advanced age. If that’s the case, the McCain campaign would seem to have made a big mistake by pointing it out because all they’re doing is re-emphasizing the point that McCain is, in fact, old.
The McCain folks made an even worse mistake if Obama did not intentionally try to make a point about McCain’s age because lo and behold it got brought up anyway – by the McCain campaign.
Kind of reminds me a certain fictional “open mike” moment that was meant to bring up an opponent’s apparently lack of intelligence.