Posted tagged ‘Debate Video’

Should We Be Afraid of “That One”…

October 8, 2008

So it appears that the Obama campaign is not too happy with John McCain’s reference to him last night as “that one”. I missed that part of the debate but have seen it over and over again on the news this morning. I’ve included video of this portion of the debate below.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Obama spokesman Bill Burton sent a one-line message to reporters after McCain made the comment that said, “Did John McCain just refer to Obama as ‘that one’?” And again at the conclusion of the debate, the Obama campaign emailed reporters, “Did John McCain refer to Obama as ‘that one’?”

McCain made the remark tonight when discussing a 2005 Senate vote on an energy bill. “There was an energy bill on the floor of the Senate loaded down with goodies, billions for the oil companies, and it was sponsored by Bush and Cheney You know who voted for it? You might never know. That one,” he said, pointing to Obama. “You know who voted against it? Me.”

Obama campaign manager David Plouffe also referenced the remark in his post-debate statement. “John McCain was all over the map on the issues, and he is so angry about the state of his campaign that he referred to Barack Obama as ‘that one’ – last time he couldn’t look at Senator Obama, this time he couldn’t say his name,” Plouffe said, referencing the first presidential debate at the University of Mississippi.

UPDATE: Asked about the remark, McCain campaign adviser Charlie Black said he didn’t believe McCain meant any disrespect and that Obama’s campaign was spinning the remark. “I’d have to go back and look at it. It appears to me that the Obama campaign decided before the debate that they would come in the spin room and instead of debating the issues they would say ‘John McCain is erratic,’” Black told reporters, “The American people think a lot of things about John McCain, but they don’t think he’s erratic. They [the Obama campaign] don’t have any substance in this debate, so let ‘em say it.”

From MSNBC:

Per NBC/NJ’s Mike Memoli, Biden said this morning that he didn’t think McCain meant to diminish Obama last night when he referred to him as “that one,” chalking it up instead to his discomfort in being the aggressor. “When John knows that he’s on the attack and he’s not feeling good about it, John never looks you straight in the eye,” Biden told TODAY’s Ann Curry. “If you notice, John didn’t make a whole lot of eye contact last night because I think John when he’s on the attack mode and making the other guy a bad guy, it’s just not his style.”

From the Huffington Post:

When McCain uses dehumanizing phrases like “that one” to refer to Barack Obama, he is implementing long-standing military techniques for dehumanizing one’s opponent during wartime.

According to military wisdom, dehumanization is a necessary technique during wartime because it enables human beings to kill other human beings without hesitation in combat situations.

Think about that.

Now, think about that in the context of an election in a country where racism is still prevalent and McCain’s opponent is the first black Presidential nominee in our nation’s history.

When McCain refuses to look at Barack Obama and refuses to use his name, he is employing modified versions of this same technique – and versions that could be said to fall on the acceptable side of the line of strategic judgment. But when McCain tolerates expressions of “Kill him!” targeted at Barack Obama during pro-McCain political rallies, he steps over the line – very, very far over the line.

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