Who said the following?
"Senator Clinton says that she did not intend any offense by it, and I will take her at her word on that."The answer is, of course, Barack Obama, in response to a question about the tempest surrounding Senator Clinton's ill-advised and historically questionable comparison of her candidacy to that of Robert Kennedy's. So why are you giving him over the rantings of some of his internet supporters? Obama can't control the message that independent bloggers throw out there--and yes, despite the rumors of 400 hired Obama bloggers, the fact is that most are independent--just as Clinton can't control the people at No Quarter or Hillary is 44 or McCain can't control the ravings of The Corner or Little Green Footballs.
Certainly some bloggers have imputed the worst possible motives to Senator Clinton, but Senator Obama didn't, and what's more, unlike what happened when Senator Obama slipped on his "bitter" comment, he didn't seek to turn this to his political advantage. He didn't have bumper stickers made up saying "Clinton wants me dead" or make commercials with her words repeated making the comparison over and over.
But when it came to Obama's ill-chosen words, Clinton's campaign had a field day, making bumper stickers that said "I'm not bitter," and running ads. Clinton herself took Obama to task for that in commercials and speeches. Notice that I didn't even mention bloggers who trumpeted this message--I didn't have, to, because it was Clinton's campaign that echoed this message throughout the media. Via Balloon Juice.
But on Clinton's remarks, it's been this response from Obama:
"Senator Clinton says that she did not intend any offense by it, and I will take her at her word on that."Tell me, Dr. Krugman, what else is Senator Obama's campaign supposed to do here? It hasn't used Clinton's words in attack ads, or even tried to exploit them in any way. Should offical Obama surrogates wade into the mire of the blogosphere in order to officially repudiate anyone who takes a position that they disagree with? Not exactly the best use of resources, I'd argue, especially given that the number of people who were aware of this political infighting was probably smaller than your reading audience.
But in the end, Dr. Krugman, since you are concerned with party unity and Senator Obama's responsibility for uniting a party that been pulled apart (a little) by this campaign season, tell me--what exactly is Senator Obama supposed to do about this divide that he neither caused nor exacerbated? What?