Obama and the 'Hypocrisy' Charge
By Ben Pershing
After a convincing election win, a much-praised transition and an inauguration that sent his supporters into the stratosphere, the biggest risk for President Obama was that he wouldn't live up to his own hype. More specifically, that he would be called a hypocrite.
Well, that's exactly what's happened. Allegations of hypocrisy -- of not matching his deeds to his words -- have been lobbed at Obama since day one of his presidency, bedeviling his efforts at bipartisanship on the stimulus package, nearly derailing Tim Geithner's bid for Treasury secretary and, yesterday, prompting Tom Daschle's withdrawal as nominee for Health and Human Services secretary.
"Did I screw up the situation? Absolutely," Obama acknowledged during a TV interview yesterday, adding that he understands there are "not two sets of rules" for people in public life. And Robert Gibbs made a similar point during his press briefing Tuesday: "You can't set a standard of responsibility but accept a different standard of who serves," Gibbs said.
But here's the key question: Did Obama "screw up" by not meeting his own goals, or by making them so lofty in the first place?
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