I’m sorry, but as Barack Obama has said before, words matter, and Wesley Clark’s despicable attack on John McCain’s service demonstrates the Obama campaigns desperation. Make no mistake about it, Clark was speaking as a surrogate for Obama’s campaign. Obama can’t take those words back, and it’s pathetic that Obama, for all his self-righteous rhetoric about words mattering and judgement, he seems to think that he can make up for various misjudgments and missteps by writing it off as a boneheaded mistake, or by coming up with some longwinded, manufactured excuse that’s suppose to make it okay.
Word matter, Obama. Clark’s attack on the service and patriotism of John McCain is beneath the dignity of a presidential campaign. A simple “disavowing” of Clark’s comments isn’t enough.
UPDATE, by Mark Noonan: And Senator McCain shows real class:
“If that’s the kind of campaign that Senator Obama and his surrogates and supporters want to engage in, I understand that,” he said. “But it doesn’t reduce the price of a gallon of gas by a penny” or do anything else to help Americans.
He added a moment later, “I know that General Clark’s comment is not an isolated incident. I have no way of knowing what involvement Senator Obama has in that issue.”
UPDATE II, by Mark Noonan: Clark’s comments have raised a lot of military ire:
The Obama campaign’s disgraceful attacks on John McCain’s military service are unworthy of the ‘new politics’ Barack Obama claims to represent. John McCain has proven his leadership and courage by putting his country first in the most trying of times, refusing early release from prison and standing strong with his fellow POWs. Barack Obama should realize that these tactics have no place in this campaign, and he can make that clear by denouncing these reprehensible comments. – Colonel Tom Moe, former inmate of the “Hanoi Hilton”
As a Marine pilot who served in Vietnam , I am deeply concerned about the disgraceful remarks from Barack Obama’s campaign surrogate, Gen. Wesley Clark, regarding John McCain’s military service. John McCain is proud of his record of always putting the country first from his time in the Navy, in Vietnam , and through to today. Being in command of a military squadron, regardless of whether the country is at war or peace, requires the true leadership that is necessary when assuming total responsibility for the well-being of the men and women in one’s unit. John McCain’s military experiences solely qualify him to be Commander-in-Chief when compared to any other candidate running for President of the United States .
Having gone down in a helicopter myself in Vietnam , I know firsthand what is required to stay cool under fire. When John McCain was shot down, there is no doubt that he was in total control of the situation and made all the right decisions under fire. I personally feel betrayed by Gen. Clark’s statements against John McCain. And when Barack Obama allows his surrogates to attack John McCain’s military record, it simply proves that Barack Obama is to be nothing more than a typical politician who will say anything to get elected. – Colonel Jack Jackson, veteran of 600 combat missions in Vietnam
Senator John McCain is an American hero and an inspiration to those of us who have served our country, faithfully and fully, in times of war. He understands sacrifice like only a wounded war veteran and former POW could. At a time when fewer and fewer Americans know what it is like to serve in our armed forces, Senator McCain’s experience will be immeasurable when he is elected President. Barack Obama’s willingness to allow his campaign to smear Senator McCain’s service is an insult to all of us who have worn the uniform. – Master Sergeant Terry Benson, 24 year Air Force veteran