Photo from source, New York Times
You never know what's going to gum up an election. It can be a dame in your lap on a boat (Donna Rice/Gary Hart), it can be an over-amplified scream (Howard Dean), or just a silly photo in a tank (Michael Dukakis). But sometimes, great strain can be put on a campaign by things that never happened, just on the strength of rumor, innuendo, paranoia and fantasy.
Barack Obama's campaign has not been thwarted--at least not yet--by the urban legends and rumors, but it sure didn't help. People have been asking, "why can't Obama seal the deal?" Well, it isn't much of a stretch to say that when at least 15% of the population believes these lies, a 4 - 11% lead is pretty damned good.
Now we know who started those rumors, and we also know a lot more about him. Andy Martin is a very interesting character, there is no doubt. He's a nutjob, but he's interesting. And he very well could have--still might have--affected a United States Presidential election with his paranoid ravings.
More interesting than that to me, is that it was an appearance on the horrible FOX "News" program, Hannity's America that brought Martin into the light. Sean Hannity, who has fed his own paranoid rantings seemingly directly to the John McCain campaign, has probably done more damage to Obama's campaign than even Martin did. Maybe this story will undo them both.
The Man Behind the Whispers About Obama
The most persistent falsehood about Senator Barack Obama’s background first hit in 2004 just two weeks after the Democratic convention speech that helped set him on the path to his presidential candidacy: “Obama is a Muslim who has concealed his religion.”
That statement, contained in a press release, spun a complex tale about the ancestry of Mr. Obama, who is Christian. . .
Read more at: New York Times