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The latest Hillary attack against Barak Obama is "I think the best description actually is in Barack’s own book where he said that he is a blank screen and people of widely different views project what they want to hear. He just hasn’t been around long enough. But with the blank screen it gives you a chance to just really infuse it with whatever you hope for, whatever you want without knowing."*
If that’s all her people could come up with from "The Audacity of Hope", his 362 page book – and that’s in the prologue on page 11 – they should be worried. Everyone should read Obama’s "blank screen" quote in context to gain an understanding of his character:
Undoubtedbly, some of these views will get me in trouble, I am new enough on the national political screen that I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripe project their own views. As such I am bound to disappoint some, if not all of them. Which perhaps indicates a second, more intimate theme to this book – namely how I or anybody else in public office, can avoid the pitfalls of fame, the hunger to please, the fear of loss, and thereby retain that kernel of truth, that singular voice within each of us that reminds us of our deepest commitments.
The rest of this paragraph shows Obama to be a man of insight, candor and self-awareness
If at this late date in the campaign this is all the smart people in Clinton’s inner circle can come up with from a book chock full of specifics and personal revelations from her opponent, it suggests we won’t see a miraculous comeback before the Texas and Ohio primaries.
If they used a removed from context phrase from the prologue because they are just now getting around to reading the book I can only attribute this to arrogance since these are very bright political professionals.
Don’t expect Hillary to quote two other insightful sentences that are on page eight of the prologue:
Most of us are wise to the ways of admen, pollsters, speechwriters, and pundits. We know how high-flying words can be deployed in the name of power, expedience, greed or intolerance.
I haven’t yet heard or read any members of the mainstream media put Obama’s "blank screen" comment in context. I hope that if they don’t, Obama himself does.
I give Obama a great deal of credit for being forthright in his prescience in recognizing the blank screen phenomena before he actual became a phenomenon.
The crucial part of the paragraph from the book won’t be quoted by Hillary Clinton.
In it Obama says that he recognizes that people will project their views on him but that he is "bound to disappoint some, if not all of them."
Can you imagine Clinton saying that about herself in any context?
* In an interview with Cynthia McFadden on Nightline (LINK).