Obama Backs Larry Craig? Change We Can't Believe In!
Just as Dewey defeated Truman, Barack Obama supports Sen. Larry Craig (R-Men's Room).
A la the Chicago Tribune's famous "Dewey Defeats Truman" headline, folks all across Idaho are howling over a snafu that put presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama on a political button with Larry Craig, who isn't even running for reelection in Idaho on account of his arrest in an airport men's room sex sting.
The unlikely pair appear together on a button under Obama's signature campaign banner: "Change We Can Believe In."
But that kind of change is too much for anyone to believe in. Even if the conservative Idaho senator were running again, rest assured, Obama would not be lending his name to that reelection effort, or his face on an Obama-Craig button.
Suffice it to say, the button was a mistake. The button maker, Tigereye Design in Ohio, got the wrong Larry. The face they meant to put on the button was that of Idaho Senate Democratic candidate Larry LaRocco.
At least they got the name correct. Underneath the photos of Obama and Craig, the button reads: Obama for President/LaRocco for U.S. Senate.
LaRocco campaign spokesman Dean Ferguson tells us LaRocco "just laughed like everyone else did" when he found out about the button snafu. The funny thing is, the LaRocco campaign didn't even commission the button.
"Apparently the company made the buttons on their own volition," Ferguson says. "We didn't ask for the buttons."
Nevertheless, Ferguson predicts the Obama-Craig button will be a collector's item. "Larry Craig is very conservative and Barack Obama is the Democratic candidate for president. Seems like an unusual pairing," Ferguson said, chuckling.
Ferguson says veteran political journalist Bill Hall, editor emeritus at the Lewiston Tribune in Idaho, told him he spotted the Obama-Craig button online and quickly ordered 10 of them, knowing they'd surely become collector's items. The (subscription only) Lewiston Tribune was first to report the button scoop, then other newspapers across the state carried news of the snafu on their Sunday edition front pages, including Sen. Craig's media nemesis, the Idaho Statesman.
An L.A. Times blogger, among others, followed up with this funny take.
Tigereye Design, which makes buttons for unions and other Democratic causes and candidates, seemed mortified by the mistake. "First, let us apologize to the Larry LaRocco campaign for the dark cloud we have placed over their efforts," says Justin Hemminger, the political coordinator for the button maker.
However, Hemminger says Tigereye cannot be blamed. Here is the explanation he provided: "When our designer sat down to make this button, he positioned his mouse pointer over a photo of Larry LaRocco. This particular designer uses a fairly wide pointer arrow, which may have been in contact with a photo of Larry Craig."
A wide pointer arrow, eh? Is that like a computer's mouse's equivalent of a wide stance?
Hemminger added, "Let us be clear: We do not stand behind Larry Craig, and never have."
The Obama campaign declined to comment. But appearing on a button with Larry "wide stance" Craig seems to be as bad as it gets for the ever-lucky Obama.
Mary Ann Akers
July 28, 2008; 5:35 PM ET
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