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The [Thursday] Papers

I guess Karl Rove really was George Bush's brain, because he appears to be operating without one now.

Kerry's Call
"Do you know where you end up if you don't study, if you aren't smart, if you're intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq."

Perfect Face
Mark Brown is singing my tune.

That's Jennifer!
As has been documented many times in this column, Sun-Times columnist Jennifer Hunter, the wife of the publisher who promoted her to cover the Obama campaign and who will decide the paper's endorsement, is in way over her head.

This time the victims are the Obamas.

When Michelle Obama recently said in a speech that "if you can't run your own house, you certainly can't run the White House," it was interpreted by the pundit class as a swipe at Hillary Clinton and the problems in her marriage. It was Hunter who first wrote, upon hearing the line at a campaign stop in Iowa, that it "could be interpreted" as a swipe against the Clintons.

In fact, today she hangs her defense upon her use of the phrase could be interpreted. Yes, well, it could be interpreted as a swipe against the Bush twins or Abe and Mary Todd Lincoln, too.

"It didn't take a huge leap of logic," Hunter writes.

No, just a faulty one.

As Hunter notes, her column hit The Drudge Report, the blogosphere, the cable news networks, and, finally, the pokey mainstream media, which, having had the time to check it out, instead just repeated Hunter's narrative-setting interpretation. (Though it does appear the New York Times got there first.)

A look at Michelle Obama's full remarks, however, backs up the campaign's claim that she was talking about her own family, not the Clintons.

"One of the most important things that we need to know about the next President of the United States is, is he somebody that shares our values? Is he somebody that respects family? Is a good and decent person? So our view was that, if you can't run your own house, you certainly can't run the White House. So we've adjusted our schedules to make sure that our girls are first, so while he's traveling around, I do day trips. That means I get up in the morning, I get the girls ready, I get them off, I go and do trips, I'm home before bedtime. So the girls know that I was gone somewhere, but they don't care. They just know that I was at home to tuck them in at night, and it keeps them grounded, and, and children, the children in our country have to know that they come first. And our girls do and that's why we're doing this. We're in this race for not just our children, but all of our children."

As Hunter ought to know, Michelle Obama has taken to speaking often recently of the travails of balancing career and family - and maintaining your values while doing that.

Of course, it could be interpreted differently. She could have been talking about the way Hunter and publisher husband John Cruickshank run their house.

Or she could have been talking about aliens. That's the problem with interpretation - especially the kind lacking insight. It's all in the hands - and head - of the interpreter. And I don't think Jennifer Hunter's head is a place we want to be.


AFTERNOON ADDITION: Bob Somerby weighs in.

Now I'll start getting mail from the Hillary people.

Model Home
Of course, it's dangerous territory for the Obamas to lean too heavily on their own family as a model given Michelle's statements about having to raise her kids as a single mother because her husband was gone so long - before he even got to the U.S. Senate.

And the sympathy card only goes so far when you consider Michelle's $300,000 annual salary and $1.65 million Tony Rezko-brokered house.

Which isn't to say I'm judging. It's to say I don't care much about their families - though I do care about their finances.

Obama Island
Now the Obama mail will start up again.

Daley Dose
* "Chicago got a Hoosier stiff-arm here Wednesday as two top Mayor Daley emissaries were turned back from testifying to an Indiana legislative hearing on the controversial expansion of a Lake Michigan BP oil refinery," the Sun-Times reports.

"At the Indiana hearing, [park district superintendent Timothy] Mitchell and Joe Deal, a mayoral assistant, waited about five hours through testimony from officials representing BP, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, the state chamber of commerce, unions and environmentalists."

Frustrating, isn't it?

"In reaction to the snub, Daley later said in a statement: 'The State of Indiana has not included anyone in this process to date, and today is another example.'"

Mitchell and Deal also complained that their travel time was extended because Meigs Field no longer exists.

* Joe Deal?

* "City Aims To Exploit Elderly For Political Gain By Announcing Crackdown."

Er, I mean, "City Aims To Crack Down On Those Exploiting Elderly."

Change Agent
"[T]he only place to find Obama and audacity in close proximity is on the cover of his book."

Hey, Chapman said it, not me.

Impeachment Grounds

The Beachwood Tip Line: Open to interpretations.


Posted on August 23, 2007

MUSIC - Lyric Opera Strike Settled.
POLITICS - USA Today's Op-Ed Disaster.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Come On, Vic!

BOOKS - Chicago Book Haul: The Dial.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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