Whether the lights are on or off, is anybody home?
It should be billed as the Battle of the Lightweights, although Hillary Clinton is clearly right at the top of their weight class, and the question should be, not if Barack Obama is fit to answer that hypothetical 3am phone call (it could come at 3;10), but whether he can rise above the ranks of amateur. He's clearly the least qualified candidate ever to make a serious run for the Presidency in modern history (mine), and that means he's the least qualified ever, because no one as inexperienced as he would have even dared run in earlier times.
Of course, that says even more about the electorate than it does the candidate.
But the cracks are stating to show.
In an Ohio debate, Obama vowed to change NAFTA. Later, it was alleged that he had pre-qualified his remarks with Canadian officials when a CTV report said Obama told the officials well ahead of time that it would be just "campaign rhetoric." Obama denied doing such a thing.
Except that he did.
It turns out that some Canadians do something that's a bit old-fashioned – they take notes and write memos. Now the Obama campaign is saying that Canadians misinterpreted what they were told.
What happened to that grand eloquence?
And today, the Canadian Prime Minister, whose name is being withheld pending official lookup, told Parliament directly that Obama is sending mixed signals.
So clearly, they were told something. And we can assume that it wasn't "I'm going to scrap NAFTA forthwith so get used to it," because, well, that would be real news in Canada's capital, Snowville, Ont. (I think).
So from there, it hardly matters what was said (except to Canadians), because at the very least, it was ambiguous, and intentionally so. Is this the sort of new diplomacy Obama is going to bring to the Presidency?
And lest you think that's only one minor mistake, consider the following from the Associated press:
"When it came time to make the most important foreign policy decision of our generation the decision to invade Iraq Senator Clinton got it wrong," Obama said.
He said that Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a fellow Democrat from neighboring West Virginia, had read the intelligence estimate as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and had voted against the war resolution.
Rockefeller, who is now chairman of that committee, endorsed Obama on Friday and campaigned with him on Saturday.
Rockefeller called Obama "brilliant" and "well grounded" and prepared to take the reins as commander in chief.
Just one slight problem with that brilliant preparedness, Jay, and it's a problem which the AP's Tom Raum outrageously failed to report: Rockefeller not only voted FOR the authorization of force, he urged his colleagues to do so in a speech.
Now it's true that Rockefeller urged that war be the last resort after all other avenues have failed, but that's a judgment call on the part of the President, and there can be no doubt that Jay Rocking authorized force.
And there's a new Clinton ad which alleges that Obama, as chairman of a Senate subcommittee set up to monitor al-Qaida activities in Afghanistan has never convened it – because he's too busy campaigning, and Obama appears to confirm it.
There's something about Barry
Finally, the new buzzwords in the Clinton camp are "buyer's remorse." Those words will become a battle cry if Hillary manages to win both Ohio and Texas. I'm not sure her double victory would be a good thing because it would certainly restore a lot of her footing, but the thrill of contemplating what would happen next is alluring.
Now I leave you with this question: Has Gloria Steinem always been insane?