Awesomely artful dodger

With a decision on the Heller case imminent, the Barack Obama campaign is flip-flopping backtracking away from an earlier statement that the DC statute in question is constitutional:

ABC News' Teddy Davis and Alexa Ainsworth Report: With the Supreme Court poised to rule on Washington, D.C.'s, gun ban, the Obama campaign is disavowing what it calls an "inartful" statement to the Chicago Tribune last year in which an unnamed aide characterized Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., as believing that the DC ban was constitutional.

"That statement was obviously an inartful attempt to explain the Senator's consistent position," Obama spokesman Bill Burton tells ABC News.

The statement which Burton describes as an inaccurate representation of the senator's views was made to the Chicago Tribune on Nov. 20, 2007.

In a story entitled, "Court to Hear Gun Case," the Chicago Tribune's James Oliphant and Michael J. Higgins wrote ". . . the campaign of Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said that he '...believes that we can recognize and respect the rights of law-abiding gun owners and the right of local communities to enact common sense laws to combat violence and save lives. Obama believes the D.C. handgun law is constitutional.'"

Well, it's certainly a relief to hear that his earlier belief was an inaccurate representation!

As to why it's inaccurate now, they're not saying it has anything to do with the pending Heller decision. Rather it's inaccurate because Obama has "refrained from developing a position."

No really.

The Chicago Tribune clip from Nov. 20, 2007, is an inaccurate representation of Obama's views, according to Burton, because the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee has refrained from developing a position on whether the D.C. gun law runs afoul of the Second Amendment.

When Obama has been asked on multiple occasions to weigh in on the D.C. gun case he has regularly maintained that the Second Amendment provides an individual right while at the same time saying that right is not absolute and that the Constitution does not prevent local governments from enacting what Obama calls "common sense laws."

Although he has been willing to describe his general views on this topic, Obama has sidestepped the question of whether the ban in the nation's capital runs afoul of the Second Amendment.

I'd say that unless "sidestepping" now includes backtracking, he's doing more than sidestepping.

He is disavowing his previous position as "inartful."

OK, so what does that make his current, um, position?


I think so. I also suspect there will be a lot more artfulness before this campaign is over. But what should we call this process, this artful spinning of the previously inartful?


Why not? While there seems to be no such word as "artfulizing," it's logically consistent with "awfulizing."

And if Obama isn't an awfully awesome artfulizer, then who is?

MORE: Hot Air questions the timing of Obama's artfulizing of the inartful:

Suddenly, with the general election looming, Obama discovers that his campaign's statement was inartful. This seems rather puzzling, because before he ran for public office, Barack Obama was supposed to be a Constitutional law expert. One might expect the "inartful" excuse on wetlands reclamation or some other esoteric matter of public policy, but the Constitution is what he supposedly studied at Columbia and Harvard. One has to wonder whether Obama has any competence even in his own chosen field to have seven months go by before realizing that he got the Constitutional question wrong.


We used to call John Kerry a flip-flopper for his enbarrassing quote on his opposition to Iraq war funding. Obama has now changed position on almost every key position in this election, and exposed himself as incompetent as a Constitutional law analyst as well. Democratic superdelegates may want to rethink their position on this nomination before Obama changes his party registration, too.

Artfulizing his party registration too?

That would be waaay awesome!

Via Glenn Reynolds, who gives Obama the benefit of the doubt and blames the (presumably inartful) staff.

posted by Eric on 06.26.08 at 08:53 AM


"That statement was obviously an inartful attempt to explain the Senator's consistent position,"

As one who believes that Republicans lie 50% of the time and Democrats 90% of the time, that quote jumped out at me. It's all-purpose. You don't have to know which candidate, which party, or which decade the quote is from. You can just look at it in all its beauty and know that whatever senator it is, he doesn't have a consistent position.

Assistant Village Idiot   ·  June 26, 2008 10:57 AM

Naturally it's just not possible to deduce Obama's position on the Second Amendment. Sure, he has voted to ban all handguns, and to ban nationwide concealed carry, and to ban all semiautomatic firearms, and to ban gun dealers within five miles of schools and parks, but that's just not enough data to infer what his position might be.

After all, he is supposedly a Constitutional scholar, fully capable of reading the shortest, most directly written amendment and concluding that the words mean what they say.

Steve Skubinna   ·  June 26, 2008 12:41 PM

Hahahahaha- I just finished this cut and paste and even I can't remember which quotes are from Obama and which are from Yogi Berra.

"There is a right to own guns and that the state can regulate that right"

"This is like deja vu all over again."

"Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula? I mean, they’re charging a lot of money for this stuff."

"I want to thank you for making this day necessary."

“Thank you Sioux City…I said it wrong. I’ve been in Iowa for too long. I’m sorry.”

"If you don't know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else."

"If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress."

"That statement was obviously an inartful attempt to explain the Senator's consistent position,"

"I am in favor of pro-growth policies for American business. However, we need to make sure that such policies bring fairness to all Americans and not just business."

"I'm not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did."

" I don't need pubic financing because our private financing is all being raised from the public anyway."

"I've now been in 57 states -- I think one left to go." --

"Issues are never simple. One thing I’m proud of is that very rarely will you hear me simplify the issues"

"I never said most of the things I said."

"We made too many wrong mistakes."

dr kill   ·  June 26, 2008 5:09 PM

OBAMA’S ARTISTRY OF THE AMBIGUOUS - It is not his lack of experience that will work against him.

Obama would be well served by his hired help if it could move him to specifics on numerous critical fronts.

Voters are looking for definitive action while they battle overwhelming increases in costs on all fronts.

PacificGatePost   ·  June 28, 2008 3:22 PM

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