One of the disappointing things about politics is that no one is pure, untouched, or blame-free. I’ve been harsh on Clinton lately, but it’s things like this that prevent me from embracing others like Obama.

Some of you active in 2004 remember the despicable anti-Dean ad in Iowa.

The ad (view the ad here) slowly moved in on a Time Magazine cover featuring bin Laden, zooming in on a close-up of Osama’s eyes, while saying that Howard Dean was an unqualified Democratic candidate because of his lack of military or foreign experience.

Tricia Enright, who was the spokeswoman for Howard Dean at the time, summed the ad up best, saying: “Whoever is behind this should crawl out from underneath their rock and have the courage to say who they are.” But Robert Gibbs, who was the spokesman for the group, embraced the slime ad against Dean, and refused to say who had funded the ad. Now sure, you can say that Gibbs was just doing his job. But Gibbs wasn’t just aligned with the group, he was in the leadership. The group took seed money from crooked former Senator Robert Torricelli to get off the ground, and then went out and raised over a million to run the ad. Gibbs was one of three people that made that ad happen.

Robert Gibbs is now Obama’s spokesperson.

As Jerome writes:

If Gibbs is gonna be the voice of Obama, then what I want to know is whether Gibbs has renounced his past association with the anti-Dean ad that Joe Trippi called the “the kind of fearmongering attack we’ve come to expect from Republicans,” one that “panders to the worst in voters.” Mistake?

And does Gibbs still believe that a Presidential candidate with “no military or foreign policy experience” is “unqualified”? Then how Gibbs, is Barack Obama going compete with John McCain on foreign policy. Howard Dean was right on Iraq too, ya know.

Obama clearly dipped into the slimiest corners of DC to pluck out Gibbs.

Politics is dirty business, indeed. And there’s no doubt that Obama’s rapid response has been stellar.

But one can’t help but get a little cynical hearing Obama talk about “changing the tone” and all that bullshit, while hiring a well-known smear-meister best known for his work trashing other Democrats.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Feb 22, 2007 at 11:14 AM PST.

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