Thursday, July 10, 2008

Manufactured Controversy Over Obama Family Interview Smells Fishy

Access Hollywood is getting a lot of mileage out of an interview with the presumptive Democratic nominee and his family. I'm referring, of course, to Barack Obama, his wife Michelle, and daughters Malia and Sasha, ages 10 and 7 respectively.

But before we get into any of the ensuing controversy, isn't Malia's 4th of July birthday worth reflection? I can't remember a time when anyone running for president was either born on or had an immediate family member born on the 4th of July.

Yes, of course, some presidents who served when the nation was still in diapers, and Uncle Sam, whoever his relatives are, but other than those relics, can't think of a 4th of July baby connected to the presidency. Barring a planned C-section, Malia's 4th of July birthday is quite remarkable then, don't you think?

I think it's a message from G-O-D pointing to our next president.

Okay, not really. Kismet thinking like that is just plain weird and generally holds no significance. However, I do think the coincidence is a tad unusual and wonder why the mainstream media hasn't relished this red, white, and blue tidbit, given their massive focus on the family interview.

According to Access Hollywood, Obama regrets his entire family speaking with the press, as seen in this exchange with Matt Lauer on Today:

'If you had the chance to do it over again?' Matt asked.

'We wouldn’t do it again and we won’t be doing it again,' Barack answered.
So, why all the negativity over an almost gaffe free interview giving the public a glimpse of the real Obamas? Certainly, no one is expecting the Senator's children to behave like robotic angels. If they did, I might wonder whether the Obamas were raising trained seals instead of little girls.

Little Sasha is only 7-years old, for crying out loud. The way she squirmed and revealed the "minty gum" secret was slightly adorable. Why some people call that exploitation or inappropriate exposure, I don't know. Is it because we got so used to Bill and Hillary going to extremes to keep Chelsea out of the limelight?

I'm referring to Bill's White House days, not when Senator Clinton ran for president. The Clintons scrupulously guarded Chelsea's privacy like two mother hens keeping an egg away from the weasels. Early on, someone made some crack about her braces and for the rest of Bill's presidency anything Chelsea was off limits.

And try this on for size. Maybe Chelsea Clinton wasn't the kind of kid a president would want exposed to the media. Maybe Billary was afraid Chelsea would reveal a side of their family they didn't want the public to see, a side that might make them look socially awkward, piercing the facade of the larger than life Bill Clinton, who knows? Maybe Chelsea was painfully shy and they didn't want to screw her up psychologically. Conjecture, conjecture, conjecture.

There was, in fact, a reason the Clintons belittled the media into keeping Chelsea out of the press. All I'm saying is the Obamas shouldn't be put to task for Bill and Hillary's parenting decisions. Or for the Bush's attempts to keep their twin out of the press. Er, um, 'nough said.

It's been a long time since any President or presidential candidate offered America a glimpse of his family. Contrary to the way some pundits seem to be interpreting this gesture, it shows a tremendous level of trust and comfort with the children he and Michelle are raising. Plus, I really enjoyed seeing the man interact with his family.

Access Hollywood, a celebrity gossip news program, conducted the interview, not Meet the Press. It was supposed to show the lighter side of this candidate. Goodness sakes alive, can't a man relax with his wife and kids on the 4th of July?

Which brings to mind something more insidious possibly going on behind the scenes in this manufactured brouhaha. Are tongues wagging in an effort to discredit Senator Obama's decision making abilities? He trots the kids out for the cameras, then says on national TV he won't be doing it again, like he regrets the decision. What's next? He drops the nuclear bomb, then says he regrets that decision too?

Can you see where I'm going with this?

Mark my words. The fight for the Democratic nomination is not over. Oh, you may think Obama wrapped up enough delegates to put him over the top, but anything can happen at the convention. This nomination is not set in stone, despite the MSM announcement of Obama as victor.

Hillary is as mad as a hornet's nest over not being offered VP. If the Clinton machinery can stir up enough media negativity, that might persuade enough superdelegates to question the strength of an Obama candidacy, consequently unraveling state delegate support, and then, well, anything is possible. The general public is just a tad bit too complacent thinking Obama's nomination is a lock.

Lately, the MSM has been very careful to refer to Senator Obama as the presumptive nominee. Not as careful with Senator McCain, if you catch my drift.

So, there you have it. A fine young American family celebrating a 4th of July birthday and dishing with Access Hollywood. A media fire storm over pretty much nothing. I don't know about you, but I smell something rotten in Denmark.