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Hey, Everybody, We’re Using Code Words!

Walter Shapiro reiterates this artificial division between the allegedly combative Obama of the Jefferson-Jackson dinner and the meek Obama of the following morning.  The differences between these two performances are deceptive.  Obama’s use of “code words” and circumlocutions to criticise his opponents is not really any more pointed or combative than what he said this morning.  If virtually the only people who understand Obama’s references are journalists and insiders, he has accomplished nothing, except to generate media coverage in which observers ridicule his supposed “uneven” and “zigzag” campaigning.  Instead of tearing down his opponents, he has simply exposed himself to another round of critical commentary and missed another opportunity to wear down Clinton’s lead.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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