Barack Obama made a fairly routine appearance on ABC’s Nightline last night. All the usual issues were addressed except that Obama directly addressed Clinton lackey James Carville’s remark in the latest issue of Newsweek that, “If she (Clinton) gave him one of her cojones, they’d both have two.”
On Nightline Obama fired back, “Well, you know, James Carville is well-known for spouting off his mouth without always knowing what he’s talking about, and I intend to stay focused on fighting for the American people because what they don’t need is 20 more years of performance art on television. And that’s what James Carville and a lot of those folks are expert at … a lot of talk and not getting things done for the American people.”
He’s right Carville is a believer in the philosophy that perception is action. In other words, as long as it looks like a politician is doing something that is good enough. These questions about Obama’s toughness another way of labeling him as a weak liberal, this is exactly what the GOP plans on doing this fall.
Many have complained that Clinton is taking plays straight from the Republican playbook, but in many ways, she is doing Obama a huge favor. By dealing with these tactics now, Obama will be ready for the same attacks when McCain and the Republicans bring them in the fall. This whole question of toughness is a silly distraction anyway. No candidate can be a serious contender for the presidency without being tough.
The real question isn’t toughness, but how a candidate responds to adversity. When Clinton faced adversity, her campaign completely imploded. McCain won the Republican nomination by default this year, but if we look back to 2000, when McCain was challenging George W. Bush, when things got tough, he wilted and faded away. Obama keeps impressing by the way he bounces back, I think this, not toughness, is the true measure of presidential timber.
Read more about Obama on Nightline: