The Campaign Spot

Obama: Palin’s Family is Off Limits, Except When It Isn’t

Barack Obama, Sept. 2:

“We don’t go after people’s families; we don’t get them involved in the politics. It’s not appropriate, and it’s not relevant,” he added. “Our people were not involved in any way in this, and they will not be. And if I ever thought that there was somebody in my campaign that was involved in something like that, they’d be fired.”

Howard Gutman, on the Laura Ingraham Show, Sept. 5:

“If my daughter had just come home at 17 years old and said, ‘Mom, Dad, I’m pregnant, we have a family problem,’ I wouldn’t say, ‘You know what we’re going to do? We’re going to take this private family problem … I’m going to go on the international stage and broadcast it to the world’,” he said.

Gutman later added: “If you take a daughter who’s got this emotional strife and subject her to the most intense scrutiny of the world at this time in her life, I think you’ve put your career above your family.”

No sign that Gutman has departed the Obama campaign. In fact, we’re getting a rerun of something we saw earlier this year. Whenever we saw an Obama surrogate — say, Wes Clark, George McGovern, Jay Rockefeller, Tom Harkin, Democratic congressional candidate Bill Gillespie, Ed Schultz or Tony McPeak — attacking John McCain’s war record, the response was always the same – a short, curt, pro forma “we disapprove” statement from a spokesman, with no real consequences for the surrogate who stepped out of line.

Surprise, surprise, here’s the response from the Obama campaign:

“Obviously these comments do not reflect our frequently stated, crystal-clear view that families of the candidates should be off limits, and we hope that supporters on both sides will act accordingly,” Obama spokesman Bill Burton said in an e-mail, pointing out that Gutman has apologized in a statement to ABC News.

Ironic that a man named “Gutman” has exposed his preferred candidate as so gutless.