November 3, 2008

Did Obama just give McCain the finger (while "congratulating" him)?



Drudge seems to think so. Wonkette thinks Drudge is evil.

81 comments:

Chris Wren said...

Oh, if someone accused me of "palling around with terrorists" even through a proxy, they'd get more than the finger from me.

EDH said...

He gave Hillary the fingure too in a very similar manner.

AJ Lynch said...

I don't think anyone does that naturally or accidentally more than once. Punks will do it very intentionally "look at me I so clever".

mccullough said...

Seems like a stretch. He did the same thing to Hillary.

Besides, McCain could kick Obama's skinny ass so Obama would have to be careful. McCain goes to shake Obama's hand and gives him the kung-fu grip.

chickenlittle said...

wonkette says: And This Is Why Matt Drudge Has Had No Impact On The Election

Huh?

mcg said...

Evil? Nah. Silly? Yeah.

Joan said...

Well, Drudge was pretty much compelled to cover that "scratch" since he covered it when Obama did it to Hillary. (Yes, I know that's not a link to Drudge... it's the LAT.)

And after having to go to the trouble of denying that he did it intentionally, is there any way at all we can believe that this was a meaningless gesture?

tim maguire said...

I'd be inclined to dismiss it as a careless gesture except that Obama has a history of such careless gestures at particular moments. It's the same reason why I think the "lipstick on a pig" comment really was directed at Palin--watch the Hillary finger video and the Palin pig video together and note the similar deliveries.

Dr Dre's Underpants said...

This is silly.

Besides he is not just giving McCain the finger. It's all you typical white people clinging to your guns and your religion.

Or he is flashing gang sign.

mrs whatsit said...

Ugh. I have to believe that, this time, he did it on purpose. Last time, it could have been an accident, but not twice, not after the did-he-or-didn't-he fuss that erupted last time. What a juvenile, passive-aggressive, and un-Presidential way to behave. If the man acts with such a junior-high snarky lack of self-discipline just before his election, with the outcome still at least slightly in doubt, how on earth does he plan to behave once the coronation is over?

I am really embarrassed for him.

Mark said...

Yep. That's just Obama's way of letting the Kool Kids know he's using the Great American Middle like the tools they are.

SteveR said...

McCain won't be the last one getting the finger.

ricpic said...

I thought Obama goan repsent Murrica. How comes he cain't git no honkies in duh pitcher behind hisself, hmmmm?

MadisonMan said...

Only black muslims who pal around with terrorists give the finger while congratulating someone.

Mark said...

mrs. whatsit, I'm embarrassed for us.

Well, once all the good people who've projected their best hopes onto Obama realize what they've actually elected, they can take solace in the fact that he will at least still be black.

Minzo said...

Something I just discovered- and I apologize its a bit off-topic- but turns out Mccain wants to cut defence spending. If this is true, why isnt more being made of it? Hasnt he and Palin hammered Obama for precisely this season? Arent many people entrusting their vote in Mccain because they think this is precisely what Obama will do?
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2008_10/015452.php

peter hoh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Synova said...

I don't watch a whole lot of Obama speeches... does he rub his fingers on his mouth often?

Baron Zemo said...

Perhaps dear lady he is signaling that he would like to manipulate the clitoris of the elderly spinsters who are voting for him.

You can start without him while enjoying the election returns and a nice glass of win.

peter hoh said...

Might have helped to see a few more seconds of tape, but if it was intentional, Obama has one heck of a poker face.

Minzo said...

Ooops sorry...here is the right link:

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2008_10/015452.php

Synova said...

As far as that goes... I know some older men who use their middle finger to point.

I can't really imagine anyone of my generation not having been brought up to be hyper aware of just how terribly naughty that finger is. Obama *did* go to high school in the United States, didn't he?

Minzo said...

Ok for some reason I cant post that link but I am curious: have Mccain's defence cutting proposals been misrepresented or is he actually planning to do this? And if so, why is no one talking about it?

veni vidi vici said...

"Well, once all the good people who've projected their best hopes onto Obama realize what they've actually elected, they can take solace in the fact that he will at least still be black."

And even then, some will bemoan the fact that he's only *half* black. Like the old "socialism would work if only it were tried the *correct* way" canard, this one's probably going to have some legs if your prediction is correct.

Mark said...

Minzo, are you a volunteer, or are you getting paid by Axelrod?

"Might have helped to see a few more seconds of tape, but if it was intentional, Obama has one heck of a poker face."

Peter Hoh, Obama is supposedly a very good poker player.

Triangle Man said...

Can't you just wait for him to do that to Ahmadinejad? How about Putin? So much more effective than calling him "Pooty poot".

From watching the third debate in HD it seemed that he might have some spit control issues. I think this was just a necessary wipe.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

NO. This is ridiculous. Obama had something bothering him on the corner of his mouth and used his finger to wipe.

It was an innocent gesture and means nothing other than he might drool occasionally.

veni vidi vici said...

Minzo,

In both candidates' cases, there will undoubtedly be defense spending cuts as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down during their terms. Iraq is already in "Virginia Slims" territory compared to its condition a couple of years ago.

I think the difference is where Obama has signalled intention to cut beyond the wartime-runups, into the missile defense systems and research for future weapons systems. By contrast, McCain represents the constituency that believes such cuts are not a good idea.

Minzo said...

"Minzo, are you a volunteer, or are you getting paid by Axelrod?"

Is that your debating tactic? Write me off as an Obama staffer? Makes it easy not to address my point I guess.
For the record, Im not American and I dont live in America. Im just asking a bloody question

Patm said...

The Socialist Party candidate for President of the US, Norman Thomas,
said this in
a 1944 speech:

"The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of "liberalism," they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened." He went on to say: "I no longer need to run as a Presidential Candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democrat Party has adopted our platform."

Mark said...

Threadjacking is often considered impolite, minzo. Also, if you're not an American, where's your dog in this hunt?

DBQ, I'd buy your theory except he first does the dab with his index finger, pauses, then switches.

Try it out yourself. Start scratching a spot on your face with a finger, then do it again. To bad we don't have a bunch of freshmen to run a quick psych study on to see how many spontaneously change fingers.

Jen Bradford said...

Yeah, I'm sorry to say I think it was intentional. Partly because he did it to Hillary, but mostly because he is an extremely disciplined man, and would never make some "unconscious" gesture while talking about McCain on the campaign trail.

It's his "tell", really - the flicking off his shoulder move was a turn-off in a similar way, because it belies all of the rhetoric. At the end of the day he finds a way to say "f-ck you" to his opponents while claiming to be on the moral high-road.

Daryl said...

How many politicians do you know who make a habit of randomly touching their faces during speeches?

It doesn't happen. It's very poor public speaking. And we know Barack is good at public speaking, even if we know very little else about him.

He's rude and immature. He's thin-skinned. He doesn't handle criticism or dissent very well. He's not up to the job.

LarsPorsena said...

"Might have helped to see a few more seconds of tape, but if it was intentional, Obama has one heck of a poker face."

I think in poker-speak that gesture would be called a "tell".

Jen Bradford said...

larsporsena - jinx!

Minzo said...

"Threadjacking is often considered impolite, minzo. Also, if you're not an American, where's your dog in this hunt? "

Well we are talking about Mccain and Obama in this post so strictly speaking its hardly a hijack and I was hardly impolite. That said, even if I dont really have a dog in this fight that shouldnt prevent me engaging in a discussion on the US elections.

AlphaLiberal said...

That's one dumb assertion.

AlmaGarret said...

Just more evidence of the immaturity of the Democrats. Once is maybe an accident. Twice? I don't think so.

Although this is a pleasant reminder of a great Seinfeld episode when George was convinced a waitress was giving him the finger ...

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LonewackoDotCom said...

Speaking about poker, what happened to BHO's poker buddy? Someone needs to keep a scorecard showing the FBI investigation/convicted felon status of all of BHO's previous affiliates.

The finger question is certainly important as it goes to character. But, parents across America might be even more interested in Obama wanting to recruit pre-teens and then use them to get votes.

No, really: it's right there on his site.

laura said...

DBQ - I agree, there's nothing here

mrs. whatsit -I am really embarrassed for him. I think not. Please, get over yourself.

mrs whatsit said...

Laura wrote "I think not."

Sorry, Laura, of course I should have realized you'd know more about what I find embarrassing in a Presidential candidate than I do. What could I possibly have been thinking? Such persuasive reasoning, too.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Yeah, because on the eve of an election with all eyes on him and every single moment on the public stage being a crucial chance to convince those last undecided swing voters, the barely-in-the-lead candidate says "Fuck You" to his opponent.

Anyone who believes this is, like Drudge, beyond desperate and severely stupid.

Nichevo said...

MadisonMan said...

Only black muslims who pal around with terrorists give the finger while congratulating someone.


RACIST!!!1! I'm sure he picked it up from Ayers. Ayers probably taught him how to pee.

Henry said...

I just wish he'd stop saying "wanna"

Jen Bradford said...

ZPS - it's not "desperation", it's a judgment call based on his past gestures of this sort. It's the easiest thing in the world to laugh off when it's pointed out, and yet he also gets points from people who get a kick out of it. He can say the lipstick line was just a figure of speech because it is. But he's not stupid, and he heard the crowd respond, and they obviously loved it as a slam on Palin (as he knew they would). Why insult our intelligence by assuming we'd have to be demented with hatred for the guy to think, yeah, that's an Obama move. An extremely safe/deniable "risk" is about as ballsy as it gets.

mrs whatsit said...

Leaving aside the name-calling in the second half of your comment, Zach, I do agree with you that it's an awfully improbable way for a person in his position to behave. If it hadn't happened once before, I'd be scoffing right along with you. But it did happen before, and at a rather similar moment. That's what is giving me trouble. It seems to me to be even more improbable that such a polished, suave speaker would make a mistake like this TWICE than that he'd do it intentionally now.

What would change my mind would be video of him touching his face with his middle finger during a speech at a moment when he didn't just happen to be talking about his opponent. If there's film of such a thing, then I'll accept that it's just an unfortunate habit. But in that case -- could we, at least, hope that he will work on getting better control of his gestures before he starts negotiating with short-fused foreign leaders?

Darcy said...

I think it's a whole lot of nothing. I don't like the guy, but that does not look intentional.

Love Drudge, though.

ricpic said...

I'm not embarrassed for him, I'm embarrassed for us. We're going to elect this callow piece of viciousness president? Only a people unconnected to the earth could so misread character.

Terry said...

Obama's flipping off of McCain and Hillary; his use of "bamboozled" and "hoodwinked" in some speeches; his "bitter", "clinging" remarks; his intimidation tactics against media outlets; his desire to "spread the wealth", force electrical rates to "skyrocket" and to bankrupt coal power are some clues to the mystery of what Obama really believes in his heart of hearts.

Darcy said...

And by the way, it's Wonkette that's pretty evil, based on the captioning of a picture of Trig Palin on that site the other day. Disgusting.

Rose said...

Watch Menendez on Cavuto REFUSE to answer questions regarding tax rates, tries to stay on talking points re: Capital gains - won't address 70% - 50% - 36% INCOME tax rates - unreal.

Lies, deceit and dissembling - this all should have been vetted long ago.

That's the tragedy of this election.

AJ Lynch said...

Yeah sad to say it but if the next four years are normal and uneventful, I will be shocked.

Best case is Obama's delusions of grandeur will force Americans to take a very hard look at what the govt should do and what the govt should keep its hands off.

Christy said...

Get used to it people. We will have at least 4 years of carefully crafted plausible deniability.

AJ Lynch said...

Menendez is cut from the same tax and spend liberal cloth as Shumer, Pelosi, Frank and Obama.

Menendez is a poster boy for why states like NJ are dying.

antiphone said...

Can people wait much longer for the Althouse, Drudge sex video to be released? It’s just a question.

chickenlittle said...

Darcy said: I think it's a whole lot of nothing. I don't like the guy, but that does not look intentional.

In the Clinton flip off, it is clear from the audience reaction, and Obama's chuckle afterwards, that it was intentional.

The clips from today re McCain are cut off too soon to make such a distinction.

michael farris said...

Given his history of this particular gesture I'd go for intentional.

My guess is that it's an indulgence. Anyone that disciplined in public most of the time has to let off steam somehow. He probably doesn't have the option of being a complete SOB in private (I think Michelle keeps him on a short leash there) so he goes for occasional plausibly deniable passive aggressiveness gestures and comments in public (the pig comment was also intentional and very much aimed at Palin).

AlphaLiberal said...

Although this is a pleasant reminder of a great Seinfeld episode when George was convinced a waitress was giving him the finger ...

Hee, heee. That was a good one.

And about as serious as this kind of thing needs to be taken.

antiphone said...

He probably doesn't have the option of being a complete SOB in private (I think Michelle keeps him on a short leash there)

A classic example of projection.

reader_iam said...

He sounds a little sticky-mouthed, he licks his lips, he wipes one side of his mouth with his index finger, the other side with his thumb, and then goes back to the other side with his third. Honestly, from my perspective I think he's just wiping his mouth and didn't quite get it all one side. That strikes me as the "Occam's Razor" of it (obviously). I suppose one could get all unconscious-expression about it, even in that case. Still, I vote for the more innocent "wiping-his-mouth" explanation.

Jen Bradford said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jen Bradford said...

Try making the gesture yourself, and see if it feels natural. I vote hell no.

blogless said...

I think it's a whole lot of nothing, too, and you can make a reasonable argument both ways. People are pretty much going to interpret it based on their subjective views of Obama.

Speculation just distracts from the real issues, don't you think?

Observer said...

Angry, paranoid conspiracty theorists always make the best body language experts. It's going to be fun watching some of you psychos for the next four years!

Jen Bradford said...

People are pretty much going to interpret it based on their subjective views of Obama.

The sad thing is that this subjective interpretation applies as much to his policy statements as his hand gestures. People are determined to believe what they want, which is predictable. But Obama encourages this tendency, which is my problem with his candidacy.

He is courting voters whose wishes he has no intention of fulfilling, and we don't even know which ones they are. The Moveon crowd or the moderate crowd? We'll see.

antiphone said...

Speculation just distracts from the real issues, don't you think?

Seriously, you expect a discussion of real issues here? This blog is all about the porn.

antiphone said...

People are determined to believe what they want, which is predictable. But Obama encourages this tendency, which is my problem with his candidacy.

As opposed to McCain?

Palladian said...

"Seriously, you expect a discussion of real issues here? This blog is all about the porn."

Porn? How'd you get cast? You're a serious hard-on killer.

Palladian said...

"Angry, paranoid conspiracty theorists always make the best body language experts. It's going to be fun watching some of you psychos for the next four years!"

That's what I thought right about this time 4 years ago when it became clear that you fucknuts and your candidate Lurch were going to lose but, believe me, it got really old really fast.

Terry said...

"Watch Menendez on Cavuto..."

Did you catch the not-so-veiled threat that Menendez made against Cavuto?

Menendez, after taking a verbal shellacking by Cavuto said, "I hope you are not one of the ones forced off the air", referring to when they pass the new "Fairness Doctrine" which was mentioned earlier.

Palladian said...

I'm confused... Is Wonkette still written by that talentless ginger whore that started the thing? I seem to remember that Althouse posted a picture of some nicotine-fingered Bob Dylan-circa-Freewheelin-wannabe faggot wearing Woody Allen glasses and referred to him as "Wonkette" sometime back.

Jen Bradford said...

antiphone, absolutely as opposed to McCain! What two groups is he supposedly courting? The base of the GOP has no illusions at all about him being a soldier for their cause.

I can't count the number of times it would have been easier for him to avoid sticking his neck out on issues where he disagreed with the GOP. The reason the base hates him is a major reason why I admire and trust him. I think his instincts are humane, and he's no ideologue.

antiphone said...

The base of the GOP has no illusions at all about him being a soldier for their cause.

Can it be said that the GOP Base has no illusions about Obama being an undercover Socialist, anti-American terrorist, Muslim etc. and that the McCain campaign has not encouraged their desire to believe such things?

Pastafarian said...

This does seem to be an odd habit -- extending his middle finger while discussing his opponent. I'm not sure if it's intentional, though.

But the spittle-wiping or grooming behavior while discussing his opponent does seem to convey contempt for his opponents, on a subconscious level. That much seems indisputable. I think that he considers both Hillary Clinton and John McCain to be beneath him in intelligence, if not on the evolutionary tree.

And this prompts me to raise a delicate subject: I wonder if Obama is himself racist against white people. His condescension toward "typical white people" and the ignorant inbred western Pennsylvanian gun-clingers -- I think that a strong case can be made for this.

And yes, I know that he himself is half-white; but maybe his racism is fueled by a self-loathing, or by resentment of his white mother (it was "Dreams of My Father", after all, not dreams of anyone that actually raised him). Bobby Fischer's mother was a Jew, and he was an antisemite.

Antiphone, AlphaLiberal, ZPS, et al -- please proceed to insult me and point out how I'm actually the racist for suggesting such a thing.

vbspurs said...

Yes, he did. When he unloads with an insult, he pauses, and puts his hand on his face.

It's his tell.

It's Not Conscious

(It's his subconscious at work)

Cheers,
Victoria

AlphaLiberal said...


Antiphone, AlphaLiberal, ZPS, et al -- please proceed to insult me and point out how I'm actually the racist for suggesting such a thing.


Well, your comment is dumb, but it doesn't mean you are. But it does seem you're pretty desperate to find new ways to insult Obama.

Look, sometimes a finger is just a finger.

dualdiagnosis said...

wonkette has no place pointing fingers at anyone after the implication that Trig would have been better off aborted rather that wear an elephant costume.

This time I don't see it, the last time at Hillary I think it was pretty clear that he was flippin' her off..

road warrior said...

are people really serious about this. I saw both the hillary "finger" and the McCain "finger" and they both look pretty harmless to me. Would anybody on that big of platform really be childish enough to flip somebody off. Even the liberal illuminati would resort to that. this is so ridiculous.

ShadowFox said...

Given the context of his comments both in the Hillary episode and here, I would certainly suspect intent. There is just too much verbal connection to the act and, in both cases, he smiled and/or smirked following the gesture.

In Obama's defense, the two gestures are quite different and may well be a casual habit. I keep trying to make my 6 year old stop pointing at everything with his middle finger--using the index finger is bad enough, but he always uses the middle one. So it could be just a long-developed bad habit.

And both gestures are far less obvious than either Scalia's Sicilian salute (back-handed chin rub) to the press or W flipping off into a live camera as a joke. Scalia later denied that he intended anything by the gesture, but it was really hard to miss.

Synova said...

And this prompts me to raise a delicate subject: I wonder if Obama is himself racist against white people. His condescension toward "typical white people" and the ignorant inbred western Pennsylvanian gun-clingers -- I think that a strong case can be made for this.

I don't think so. I really don't.

In my experience, only white people are hyper-aware of their duty not to do or say anything that might possibly, in some way or other, maybe, be perceived as racist.

So my *expectation* is that if a minority person is racist he or she will probably just express it freely. And so you get some of the stuff Michelle comes up with, and you get Barry talking about bitter-clingers and not understanding that this would bother anyone over much. I don't for a moment think that there is any *hidden* racist sentiment.