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Why Obama need not speak

Posted: December 19, 2008 7:08 p.m.
Updated: December 20, 2008 4:55 a.m.
I was struck by CNN correspondent Campbell Brown's recent column in which she recommends that Barack Obama be more forthright with the American people about his connection to thoroughly disgraced Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

The surprise was not because Ms. Brown is usually somewhat biased in favor of the President-elect, but because she seems to overlook the fact that not being forthright is exactly what has served Obama so well.

Let's recall some comparable moments.

During the third presidential debate, Sen. McCain challenged Obama to be precisely what Ms. Brown suggested - more forthright - except this time about Obama's friendship with Bill Ayers, the unrepentant terrorist.

Obama's answer to this daring challenge: "(Bill Ayers) will not be a member of my administration." So there.

Obama completely ducked the challenge and yet was promptly rewarded by more than 64 million voters with a seat in the Oval Office.

And this was not a first for Obama.

During the Democratic primaries in March, America first got to see the rousing sermons performed by the so-called Reverend Jeremiah Wright, in which, among many other things, Wright used God's name in vain to denounce the United States and mimicked sexual acts while mocking Bill Clinton - right at the pulpit.

Despite having attended the church for more than 20 years, having been a member of it for almost as long, having been married by Reverend Wright, and having had his children baptized by Wright, Obama's simple "I had never heard him say those things before" was enough to satisfy our supposedly sophisticated American voters, even though Obama was caught saying that Wright's sermons "got a little rough" long before the controversy had even broken.

These telling - or not-so-telling - incidents are in addition to Obama's never saying a solitary thing about Tony Rezko, the slumlord he bought his house from, and Obama's utter refusal to release his senior thesis, of which the title alone suggests some harsh criticism of U.S. policies toward the now-obliterated Soviet Union.

And these are only the beginning of other associations, to put it mildly, about which Obama has been able to use his right to remain silent and escape any censure.

So, in response to Ms. Brown, I ask, Why should Obama say anything? He got away with it in the election, and it is only logical that he expects to get away with it now.

For Obama, this is no time for a change in tactics.

Dan Rhys is a Valencia resident and a school teacher. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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