September 7, 2007

I Said I'd Do It And I Did

In response to an accusation of bias on Oval Office 2008, I was asked when I would report a gaffe on the part of my favorite candidate, Rudy Giuliani. I said, "When he makes one." Well, it looks to me like Giuliani stepped on it today on immigration, so with a heavy heart I reported a Giuliani gaffe. I can't say I was happy about it but if I'm going to be a mini-pundit, and still be intellectually honest, I have to call them as I see them. Giuliani needed to find a better response to the immigration issue than he did, and Hizzonner didn't even pursue an appropriate break-even strategy.

The campaign, by the way, has offered this video (unfortunately, it has a lot of background noise) as a long-form explanation, straight from Hizzonner himself, about his position on immigration. I happen to agree with him on this issue ("cracking down" on "illegal immigrants" would be as counterproductive as trying to grab sand by clenching our fists ever tighter), but that's not the point.

The point is, sometimes you've got to lay one up and play for the middle of the fairway, because if you shoot straight for the green, the ball might just go in the water. It's easy for me to second-guess a Presidential candidate; I'm not the one with the spotlights on me all the time. But then again, I don't want to run for President. If it takes you three minutes to explain why you did what you did, you need to get with your speechwriters and come up with a punchier, faster, easier-to-understand explanation -- and one that does not imply that the people whose support you are pursuing have made a very significant policy mistake (even if they really have done exactly that).

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