Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Obama on Sponsered Bipartisan Stimulus Package

Barack Obama had quite the full day today. First up, he was discussing some legislation he sponsored while in the Senate:
“In January, I outlined a plan to help revive our faltering economy,” Obama said, “which formed the basis for a bipartisan stimulus package that passed the Congress.”
This sounds very relevant to the current banking crisis. Only that's the problem. It sounds relevant but even Democrats on the hill say it isn't true. From ABC blogger Jack Tapper:
Is that true?

Democrats on Capitol Hill who support Obama say no.

Wanting Obama to win, however, none will say so on the record.

But media accounts from the time make it clear that even though Obama, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., all offered legislation to provide stimulus to the economy, congressional leaders looped them and their legislation out of negotiations.


"Among Reid's toughest tasks will be keeping Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., and Barack Obama, D-Ill. who are on the campaign trail touting proposals laden with ideas Republicans detest sidelined in the talks while Democrats seek broader agreement with the GOP," wrote the Associated Press the same day.
Tapper notes that McCain commented on Obama's claim today:
In Vienna, Ohio, this afternoon, McCain said that Obama today "claimed that the Congressional stimulus package was his idea. That’s news to those of us in Congress who supported it. Senator Obama didn’t even show up to vote."

That's true. (McCain was there, and he voted for it.)
What is telling here is (once again) the arrogance. Newspapers track the discussion of legislation in Congress. CSPAN covers it on TV. All votes are tallied and part of public record. Why would you claim something that five minutes of fact checking can disprove? Even more astonishing, why would you say you outlined legislation that you didn't even vote on?

Sadly, I suppose, you would do these things if you were comfortable that the media would never call you on it. Fortunately there are blogs now and they do check these things. And given the public perception on how much in the tank the media is for Obama, even they might start doing their job once and a while. I know part of politics is painting things in a positive light for yourself but there's a limit to how much artistry the public will accept. More discussion of this at the Corner and at Hot Air.

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