CNN’s Jack Cafferty: Now Its Obama’s Campaign That’s ‘Flawless’

Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator| NewsBusters.orgApparently, it must have not been enough for Jack Cafferty on Monday to merely call Barack Obama’s overseas trip "almost flawless" on Monday’s The Situation Room. On Tuesday’s program, Cafferty opined that it was a "mystery" that Obama didn’t have more of a lead in the polls. "It seems like that Obama should be miles ahead of McCain when you consider the political climate. Americans can no longer stand President Bush or the Republican Party or the war in Iraq, and, of course, there's the deteriorating economy." He continued: "...Obama has run a pretty flawless campaign, highlighted by that hugely successful trip overseas last week. John McCain, on the other hand, spent last week making one mistake after another."

Pretty flawless, Jack? How do you so quickly forget issues like the Illinois senator’s church that he attended for two decades and his pastor, Reverend Wright? How about his "bitter" comments about people in Pennsylvania?

Cafferty then listed possible reasons for Obama’s lackluster performance: "One Democratic pollster tells The New York Times Obama still faces a lot of obstacles. He's young, African-American, relatively inexperienced, and has a background that not very many Americans can relate to.... Robert Novak wrote in his column that Obama's difficulty reaching the 50 percent mark is due to a, quote, ‘overwhelmingly white undecided vote of 10 percent to 15 percent.’"

He also extrapolated from two other quotes by Novak to bash McCain: "Novak, a Republican booster, describes McCain as ‘wooden’ and acknowledges -- quoting here -- 'Not even Bob Dole's dismal candidacy in 1996 generated less enthusiasm in GOP ranks than McCain's current effort’.... To be called more wooden than Bob Dole is to be called really wooden, Wolf."

The full transcript of Jack Cafferty’s commentary, which began 7 minutes into the 6 pm Eastern hour of Tuesday’s The Situation Room:

JACK CAFFERTY: It's a mystery to many -- why isn't Barack Obama farther ahead in the polls? CNN's poll of polls show Obama leading by five. He's up 45 to 40 over John McCain. In most polls, he rarely breaks 50 percent. A new USA Today/Gallup poll actually shows McCain leading Obama 49-45 percent. That's among likely voters. It seems like that Obama should be miles ahead of McCain when you consider the political climate. Americans can no longer stand President Bush or the Republican Party or the war in Iraq, and, of course, there's the deteriorating economy. And Obama has run a pretty flawless campaign, highlighted by that hugely successful trip overseas last week. John McCain, on the other hand, spent last week making one mistake after another.

One Democratic pollster tells The New York Times Obama still faces a lot of obstacles. He's young, African-American, relatively inexperienced, and has a background that not very many Americans can relate to. Also, his rival, McCain, has a history of appealing to independent voters, which is part of the reason why his supporters argued during the primaries that he was probably the strongest general election candidate. A pure Republican likely would not have done as well. Robert Novak wrote in his column that Obama's difficulty reaching the 50 percent mark is due to a, quote, 'overwhelmingly white undecided vote of 10 percent to 15 percent.' It's left some Republicans speculating whether John McCain might be able to actually back into the presidency, much like he did his party's nomination. This is despite the fact that even Novak, even Novak, a Republican booster, describes McCain as 'wooden' and acknowledges -- quoting here -- 'Not even Bob Dole's dismal candidacy in 1996 generated less enthusiasm in GOP ranks than McCain's current effort.'

Here's the question, then: Why isn't Barack Obama doing better in the polls? Go to CNN.com/CaffertyFile [and] post a comment on my blog. To be called more wooden than Bob Dole is to be called really wooden, Wolf.

BLITZER: (Laughs) All right, Jack. Stand by. We're going to discuss this and more later.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center