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Presidential preliminaries are over and the main event begins

Richard G. Carter | 10/12/2012, 4:17 p.m.
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Aside from Clint Eastwood's devastating "empty chair" put-down of Obama at the GOP convention, reports during the Democrats' gathering of Bill Clinton's 2008 comments about candidate Obama were the most telling. Said Clinton, "Give me a break. This is the biggest fairy tale I ever heard."

According to the late liberal journalist Tim Russert of "Meet the Press" fame, Clinton also said the following that year about Obama to the late Sen. Ted. Kennedy, "He'd have carried our bags." And according to a book called "Game Change," written by outspoken liberal journalists John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, Clinton said, "A few years ago, this guy [Obama] would be getting us coffee."

In another book, "The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House," Edward Klein, former editor of the New York Times Magazine, said Clinton called Obama "incompetent" and "an amateur who has no clue about how the world operates." Other incisive comments were uttered by Democratic and Republican leaders before, during and after their conventions, which took place within days of each other. To wit:

Obama--asked to grade himself in an interview by a Colorado television reporter--answered thusly: "An incomplete." Hmm...

Paul Ryan, GOP vice presidential candidate, said, "Barack Obama is trying to sail a ship with yesterday's wind ... Hope and change has become attack and blame, smear and fear."

Tim Pawlenty, former Republican governor of Minnesota, said, "Barack Obama fooled us. But it's understandable. A lot of people fail at their first job ... With any luck, in a few months, Barack Obama finally will get some experience in the private sector."

Two of the best convention speeches were by impressive wives Ann Romney and Michelle Obama. Unfortunately for the latter, much of the media after she spoke so eloquently was focused on the Democratic platform's removal of the word "God" and of Jerusalem as the legitimate capital of Israel, enraging countless Jewish voters.

On Sept. 5, Bret Baier of top-rated Fox News Channel conducted a fiery interview of a blustering Sen. Dick Durbin on the subject. This embarrassed Obama so much that he intervened, ordering the Democrats into amending their platform. And in a sheepish, highly questionable voice vote the following day, the party very reluctantly restored "God" and "Jerusalem." Uh-huh.

And that's the name of that tune.