The Plank

And Have We Mentioned His Middle Name?

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Good lord. Via Josh Marshall, here's CNN's Jeff Greenfield "analyzing" Obama's decision to go without a tie:

The senator was in New Hampshire over the weekend, sporting what's getting to be the classic Obama look. Call it business casual, a jacket, a collared shirt, but no tie. ...

But, in the case of Obama, he may be walking around with a sartorial time bomb. Ask yourself, is there any other major public figure who dresses the way he does? Why, yes. It is Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who, unlike most of his predecessors, seems to have skipped through enough copies of "GQ" to find the jacket-and-no-tie look agreeable. ...

Now, it is one thing to have a last name that sounds like Osama and a middle name, Hussein, that is probably less than helpful. But an outfit that reminds people of a charter member of the axis of evil, why, this could leave his presidential hopes hanging by a thread. Or is that threads?

That's cute. They might've also noted that Obama likes movies... just like Kim Jong Il! I'd declare this a low point in CNN's political coverage, but I'm worried someone will find a counterexample. What this does suggest, though, is this. Democrats often fret about finding a presidential candidate who won't get mocked, skewered, and otherwise unfairly tarred by the media the way Al Gore was in 2000. But I can't think of a single Democratic candidate who won't receive this sort of treatment on some level. Obama was supposed to be the media darling. But if the kids want to throw spitballs from the back of class, there's not much stopping them.

--Bradford Plumer

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