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article imageAnother Questionable Barack Obama Answer About His Association With Rashid Khalidi

By Susan Duclos     Jun 7, 2008 in Politics
The video is of a clip of a Sean Hannity show, about an association between Barack Obama and a controversial figure by the name of Rashid Khalidi. Barack Obama's answer, via the video, and his comments from an April LA Times report, are contradictory.
The beginning of the video shows Barack Obama who was speaking at a synagogue in Florida to reassure them about his personal commitment to Israel, he was questioned about Rashid Khalidi by someone in the audience and more than his relationship with Khalidi struck me, what struck me was Obama's answer about the man, which seems to contradict or understate his association given that he spoke about him differently as was reported at the LA Times, in April of 2008.
His answer on the video above says, "You mentioned Rashid Khalidi, who is a professor at Columbia. I do know him because he talked at the University of Chicago and he is Palestinian, and I do know him and I have had conversations with him.
He is not one of my advisers, he is not one of my foreign policy people, his kids went to the lab school where my kids go as well.
He is a respected scholar although he vehemently disagrees a lot of Israel policy."
That was Barack Obama's answer to Jewish voters in Florida, yet in an April 2008 piece written by LA Times, we see a different set of comments from Obama about Rashid Khalidi.
It was a celebration of Palestinian culture -- a night of music, dancing and a dash of politics. Local Arab Americans were bidding farewell to Rashid Khalidi, an internationally known scholar, critic of Israel and advocate for Palestinian rights, who was leaving town for a job in New York.
A special tribute came from Khalidi's friend and frequent dinner companion, the young state Sen. Barack Obama. Speaking to the crowd, Obama reminisced about meals prepared by Khalidi's wife, Mona, and conversations that had challenged his thinking.
His many talks with the Khalidis, Obama said, had been "consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases. . . . It's for that reason that I'm hoping that, for many years to come, we continue that conversation -- a conversation that is necessary not just around Mona and Rashid's dinner table," but around "this entire world."
You can compare Barack Obama's different words in front of different audiences for yourself.
Which leaves the questions as to why Barack Obama is downplaying his association with a man whom he enjoyed pleasant nights around the dinner table with, when he is in front of a Jewish crowd.
It isn't just Hannity that is mentioning this, even Associated Press lists Rashid Khalidi in a piece they wrote two days ago mentioning people who "might complicate Obama's campaign".
You can read more about Rashid Khalidi at Wikipedia as a reference and the allegations of his Palestinian Liberation Organization ties, for yourself.
Rashid Khalidi, himself, is not the issue of this article, this article is about the difference in descriptions from Barack Obama's own words when he is front of once audience to his comments and praise when he is in a different place at a different time with a different audience. It is a question of judgment and the reader will decide for themselves if the growing list of questionable associations tied to Barack Obama is or is not indicative of his judgment or lack thereof.
In an of itself, one might be tempted to wave this off as a man just speaking diplomatically depending on what his audience is, but given the recent questions about other associations of Barack Obamas, like Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers, Tony Rezko, James Meeks, Michael Pfleger and the Trinity United Church which Obama attended for over 16 years, under the spiritual guidance of Wright, and Obama's contradictory answers regarding issues such as Rezko and Wright and now Khalidi, and it starts to bring about a question of Obama's judgment for people such as Sean Hannity in the video above as well as people around the blogosphere and in the media.
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