[Guest post by DRJ]
I don’t plan to read Jerome Corsi’s book Obama Nation so the closest I may come is reading this response from ABC News’ Jake Tapper.
The good news for the Obama campaign is that Tapper describes much of Corsi’s book as “demonstrably false, irresponsible, and feverishly conjured” and “indefensible.” The bad news is Tapper notes several “greedy” overstatements in the Obama campaign’ rebuttal:
Tapper says Corsi is anything but an apologist for the “Bush/Cheney Attack Machine,” as the Obama campaign labels him, and that it’s “not fair to blame [Corsi’s] nasty screed on the President.”
Tapper claims the Obama campaign is wrong to label as a “LIE” Corsi’s allegation that, when Obama ran for state senator, “(i)nstead of stepping aside in deference to (then-state senator Alice) Palmer, Obama decided to fight her for the nomination.” In fact, Tapper says, that’s true.
Tapper stated that, contrary to the claim of the Obama campaign, it was not “baseless” of Corsi to “to question why Obama was using [Gov. Deval] Patrick’s words as his own without crediting him.”
Tapper expresses doubts about the Obama response to Corsi’s claims regarding Obama adviser Air Force General Merrill ‘Tony’ McPeak (Ret.). According to Tapper, Corsi alleged McPeak holds anti-Israel views and the Obama campaign claimed Corsi described McPeak as anti-Semitic, a claim Tapper questioned.
In my opinion, Jerome Corsi had little to do with the ability of the Swift-Boat Veterans to raise doubts about John Kerry four years ago. The veterans’ detailed claims, the number of veterans who participated, Kerry’s inability to refute the claims and his unwillingness to release his military records, and Kerry’s own inflammatory and questionable rhetoric as a war protester and Senator (“seared, seared”) made the Swift-Boat claims effective.
Nevertheless, it’s clear the Obama campaign sees Corsi’s book as a threat and has responded aggressively. That may be good politics but it makes me more uneasy with the campaign’s weak response to Obama’s associations with people like Tony Rezko, Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers.
I don’t blame the Obama campaign for targeting Corsi and his book but they won’t succeed solely by refocusing the story on Corsi. The story is Barack Obama and he will always be open to attacks like Corsi’s until he defines himself.
Barack Obama is a cipher. He’s spent his whole life being all things to all people and now he’s doing it on a national scale. If Obama can’t define himself – and so far he hasn’t – there will be plenty of people like Corsi who will be happy to do it for him.