Obama faces tough questions from the press pack

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Despite pulling off a handy win in Wyoming and running well ahead in Mississippi, the Obama campaign is still dogged by the kind of questions the Senator is said to be growing increasingly weary of answering.

According to the Jack McCormick’s The Swamp column in the Baltimore-Sun, Barack Obama has been testy ever since suffering stinging defeats in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island.

In recent days he has reportedly avoided talking with the press corps on his plane, ducked answering questions when pressed and scolded reporters who badgered him about both his campaign’s newly negative spin as well as specific attacks that his campaign has leveled against his rival Hillary Clinton.

Making matters worse, Senator Obama is still addressing major gaffes by some of his campaign staffers in recent weeks.

Campaigning in Mississippi on Monday, Senator Obama was awkwardly forced once again to explain to voters the meeting between Austan Goolsbee, a University of Chicago professor who advises him on economic policy, and the Canadian consul general in Chicago, in which the adviser allegedly downplayed the Senator’s tough talk about NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) as mere rhetoric.

After weeks of discussion and just about as many explanations, the Senator just can’t seem to quell reporters’ thirsts for answers about the encounter.

Ditto for Tony Rezko, questions about whom got Obama so heated in the days leading up to the Texas and Ohio primaries that he walked out of a press conference.

Then there is the ongoing questioning about Barack Obama’s true feelings regarding Israel.

Following the last Presidential debate in Ohio, Senator Obama called a meeting with Jewish leaders to reassure them that did indeed renounce the support as well as the endorsement of Louis Farrakhan, the anti-Semitic leader of the Nation of Islam.

However, the topic regained attention with the resignation of Obama foreign policy adviser Samantha Power who famously described Hillary Clinton as “a monster” in as interview with The Scotsman.

Now new reports about Ms Power’s public opinions, like her comment in 2002 that US troops should be sent to Israel to force the formation of a Palestinian state (a view she later recanted), and her criticism of the New York Times in 2003 for covering Israel too favorably, have led some to question the kind of advice she may have been giving the Senator about Israel.

Yet another embarrassing incident that the Senator would surely like to see put behind him.

Finally, there are the questions surrounding the endorsement of Hillary Clinton by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.

An Ivy League-educated African-American lawyer who ran on a platform of change as well, Nutter seemed a likely ally for Barack Obama in the City of Brotherly Love.

But Nutter has thrown his weight behind Clinton, promising to use the power of his office to secure votes for the New York Senator in the very city where Obama’s campaign hoped to find its strongest levels of support in the upcoming Pennsylvania primary.

Nutter’s stalwart support for Mr. Obama’s rival, has now eyebrows raised as to why.

Is it because Obama took time away from his own fledgling Presidential campaign to weigh in on behalf of Nutter’s opponent, US Representative Chaka Fattah, during the mayoral race?

And if so ,why did Senator Obama do so?

Additionally, why did Senator Obama support the establishment candidate with deep connections to an administration that was the subject of a federal corruption probe which resulted in 12 indictments and the conviction of a former city treasurer?

These and other questions are likely to continue to dog the Democratic frontrunner along the increasingly bumpy road to the party convention in August.

Looks like Saturday Night Live won’t be able to joke about Barack Obama’s easy ride in the media for much longer.

Duane Wells © 2008 GayWired.com; All Rights Reserved.