From the Presidential campaign news today, two profiles in courage.
The first is from Mitt Romney. Remember in 2008 when John McCain stood up to a voter making crazy accusations about Barack Obama?
In 2008, Senator John McCain of Arizona famously corrected a voter at one of his town halls who stood up and declared that she could not trust Mr. Obama, who she called “an Arab.”
“No, ma’am,” Mr. McCain said at the time, taking the microphone away from the questioner. “He’s a decent family man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that’s what this campaign is all about.”
Romney had his chance at a McCain moment yesterday and, characteristically, blew it:
“We have a president right now who is operating outside the construction of our Constitution,” Mr. Romney’s supporter said aloud at the campaign event … “And I do agree he should be tried for treason. But I want to know what you are going to able to do to help restore balance between the three branches of government and what you’re going to be able to do to restore our Constitution in this country?” [Ed: ignore the ridiculousness of the question, please].
“As I’m sure you do, I happen to believe that the Constitution was not just brilliant, but probably inspired,” Mr. Romney said, sidestepping the woman’s comments about treason, a crime still punishable by death in the United States. Mr. Romney also allowed the woman a follow-up question.
The second is from the Obama campaign. After the flurry of stories about comments from Vice President Biden and the Secretary of Education on gay marriage, David Axelrod had this to say to reporters:
Mr. Axelrod said “there couldn’t be a starker contrast” between Mr. Obama, who repealed the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law for gay, lesbian and bisexual members of the military services and quit enforcing a federal law against same-sex marriages, calling it unconstitutional, and Mr. Romney, who has supported efforts to repeal state laws for same-sex union and to establish a federal constitutional amendment against them.
Really, Mr. Axelrod? There’s nothing the President could do or say that would sharpen the contrast with Romney on the gay marriage issue? Nothing at all?