NH Union Leader: Barack Obama is not the candidate you thought you knew

The New Hampshire Union Leader blasts the dishonesty of Barack Obama in an editorial printed in today’s paper:

On Thursday, Obama said of McCain, “He has consistently opposed the sorts of common-sense regulations that might have lessened the current crisis.” That’s entirely untrue.

As The Washington Post pointed out in an editorial on Friday, McCain in fact has supported many new regulations of financial institutions, including some that Obama opposed. “In 2006, he pushed for stronger regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — while Mr. Obama was notably silent,” The Post wrote.

Obama attacked McCain for having a top financial advisor who supported a deregulation bill a few years ago. Yet two top Obama financial advisors, with whom he met on Friday to help him form his response to the current troubles on Wall Street, supported the same bill, which was signed by President Clinton.

Also last week, Obama released a Spanish-language ad that portrayed McCain as anti-immigrant and anti-Hispanic and tried to link him to immigration policies that were not his own as well as some choice Rush Limbaugh quotes that appeared to insult Mexicans.

Anyone who has followed the immigration debate knows that McCain is the most pro-immigration Republican on the national stage and that he is not in the least anti-Hispanic. To pull quotes from Rush Limbaugh, who has completely different immigration views than McCain and who opposed him on that issue for years (and still does) is completely disingenuous. The ad is so bad that even The New York Times called it “misleading.”

Obama’s campaign also accused McCain of lying when McCain’s campaign ran an ad saying that Obama supported sex education for kindergarteners. But the bill in question, which Obama supported in the Illinois state Senate, did indeed change state law to allow sex education for kindergarteners.

Obama has said that he won’t attack John McCain’s motives, only his policies. But he has repeatedly attacked McCain’s motives, suggesting that he has been bought off by oil companies and lobbyists.

Obama’s greatest strength as a candidate, aside from his oratorical skill, has long been his apparent sincerity and decency. Voters attracted to him think of him as that rarest of things: an honest politician. He has claimed himself that he would never engage in the sort of deceptive politicking that he says has tainted Washington for so long.

Yet here he is violating his own professed standards. This is not the Barack Obama so many voters in New Hampshire and elsewhere thought they knew. But it is the real Barack Obama. For despite his rhetoric, he is in fact campaigning so dishonestly that even The Washington Post and The New York Times have called him on it. Which means that he is in practice no different from those regular politicians against whom his entire campaign has been built.

I’m not a follower of the NH Union Leader’s editorial page, but this editorial makes it sound like these last couple of weeks were the first they’ve ever seen Obama be blatantly dishonest, and so off message from his “different kind of politics” mantra. As readers of this blog know, the man Barack Obama is running as is not the man he is – and we’ve known that since well before the last couple of weeks. From his lying about John McCain’s “hundred years war” statement, his misrepresentation of how McCain described the state of the economy several months ago, his penchant for double-speak (more here), to his routine race card playing, Barack Obama proved to many people long ago that instead of being an “agent of change,” a purveyor of a “new tomorrow,” that instead he is just more of the same … except he can give a damn good speech, provided he’s within touching distance of a teleprompter. Assuming that the NH Union Leader is just now coming to this conclusion, we welcome it. Better late than never.

New Hampshire is a state that can go either way this fall. It went to Kerry just slightly in 2004, and to Bush just slightly in 2000. The polls have shown Obama up by varying degrees there since May, but in only one instance was he up by double digits, so NH is still in play. I don’t know how big of a ground game Mc has in NH, but if it’s not significant game, then it probably should be. There’s a chance Obama could flip a couple of states that went to Bush in 2004: New Mexico and Colorado. McCain won’t be able to win without flipping a couple of states as well. One I’m sure he’s hoping to flip is Pennsylvania. In the even that he doesn’t, being able to flip a state like NH – and perhaps Minnesota and/or Michigan could mean just the difference Mc would need to win in November.

Stay tuned.

Related, via Factcheck.org:

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