Did He or Didn’t, Does He or Doesn’t He?

Jeralyn at Talk Left has a whopper of a post outlining Obama’s role in a liberal survey dating back to when he first ran for office. Politico nailed Obama on the survey today:

The evidence comes from an amended version of an Illinois voter group’s detailed questionnaire, filed under his name during his 1996 bid for a state Senate seat.

Late last year, in response to a Politico story about Obama’s answers to the original questionnaire, his aides said he “never saw or approved” the questionnaire.

They asserted the responses were filled out by a campaign aide who “unintentionally mischaracterize[d] his position.”

But a Politico examination determined that Obama was actually interviewed about the issues on the questionnaire by the liberal Chicago nonprofit group that issued it. And it found that Obama — the day after sitting for the interview — filed an amended version of the questionnaire, which appears to contain Obama’s own handwritten notes added to one answer. 

Jeralyn weighs in on Politico’s piece and says:

It seems Obama changes his views to fit his particular audience. And he has a “penchant” for blaming staffers for his mistakes.

They allege Obama has a penchant for blaming his staff for gaffes ranging from missing a union event in New Hampshire to circulating opposition research highlighting the Clintons’ ties to India and Indian-Americans to underestimating the amount of cash bundled for his campaigns by his former fundraiser, indicted businessman Antoin “Tony” Rezko.

The Independent Voters of Illinois — Independent Precinct Organization (IVI-IPO) which provided the questionnaires with Obama’s handwriting to Politico, is troubled:

“One big issue was: Does he or does he not believe the stuff he told us in 1996?” said Aviva Patt, who has been involved with the IVI-IPO since 1990 and is now the group’s treasurer. She volunteered for Obama’s 2004 Senate campaign, but voted to endorse the since-aborted presidential campaign of Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio) and professed disappointment over Obama’s retreat from ownership of the questionnaire.

“I always believed those to be his views,” she said, adding some members of the board argued that Obama’s 1996 answers were “what he really believes in, and he’s tailoring it now to make himself more palatable as a nationwide candidate.”

Who can know for sure? Who wants to take a chance? Hillary’s positions aren’t much different than Obama’s but at least we know where she stands. As I’ve said many times, the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t and why should we buy a pig in a poke?

Is Obama better than McCain? Of course. But there’s another choice right now, one who is a straight shooter. Much as the media and Democratic party leaders wish it weren’t so, the nomination race is not over. There are ten states with 12 million voters yet to weigh in — as well as hundreds of superdelegates who can decide at the last minute. We should let them all have their say.

Let the voters decide. This race is far from over and we keep finding out more truths about Barack Obama that conflict with what he’s said in the past. I’m with Jeralyn on this, I know where Hillary Clinton stands on things, but with Obama it’s all murky.

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