A Sour Whiff of Victimhood

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Jul 17, 2008 11:59 AM
Barack Obama is complaining about "the right" targeting his wife and is insisting that spouses should be off limits in the campaign because "they didn't sign up for this."

It's interesting that he'd do so given, as Amanda reports, that at least one of his surrogates has been attacking Cindy McCain.

Is anyone else beginning to sniff a sour whiff of victimhood?  Of course the campaign was legitimately upset about the New Yorker cover.  But from time to time, what with the relentless focus on "fighting" the "smears" (to a point where comics are afraid to joke about him) to the widely publicized self-flagellation about allowing his daughters to be interviewed, it does seem as though there's an element of self-serving sympathy mongering going on.

It's unbecoming.  Presidential politics is not a pursuit for the sensitive-minded or thin-skinned.

What's more, it's worth pointing out that Barack is actually wrong about whether candidates' spouses "sign up" for the rigors of a campaign.  They most certainly do (unless he's the biggest jerk in the world for running against his wife's deep and expressed wishes).  Children are the ones who don't -- and they are rightly left off-limits.

As long as Michelle Obama campaigns and acts as a surrogate on the trail -- not to mention providing interviews to kissy-kissy outlets like Entertainment Tonight and Access Hollywood -- she is fodder for commentary and, yes, even criticism.  Properly so.