CHICAGO (TDB) -- Illinois Sen. Barack Obama is getting roughed up in the Windy City for using a line in his stump speeches that nearly carbon copies the original crafted by John Edwards, who is trailing the Chicagoan in the Democratic presidential primary race. Obama has been saying something like this: "I've been long enough in Washington to know that Washington needs change." He delivered that line Tuesday to the Communications Workers of America in Chicago.
(The Bellwether is in Chicago for a few days doing some scoping.) But Sun-Times political columnist Lynn Sweet went after Obama right away -- as did others here -- and pointed out that Edwards long ago used a similar line. What did Edwards say? In his 2003 presidential campaign, the then North Carolina senator would remark, "I've spent enough time in Washington to know how much we need to change Washington."
Columnist Sweet ripped Obama, saying he's becoming prone to gaffes as a campaigner. She said they were mounting, and particularly found his explanations about the Philip de Vellis "1984" anti-Hillary ad less than satisfactory. She wrote Obama told Larry King that the YouTUBE spot exceeded the skills and equipment his media consultants. "We don't have the technical capacity to create something like that," Obama told the CNN talk show host. But de Vellis claimed he did in on a Mac on a Sunday in his apartment.
"It's too early to say whether the gaffes slow Obama's momentum -- or if they become barricades, extracting a more significant price for the Illinois Democrat's White House bid. They are getting noticed."
She didn't mention that one major tracking poll, Rasmussen Reports, showed Obama's numbers fell last week after the Hillary ad dustup.