In keeping with his "messiah" image, Barack Obama might have been more at home in Bethlehem, Pa., than in Unity, N.H., when he and his "former" nemesis, Hillary Clinton, opened their new act on the road to mixed reviews.
We are supposed to forget everything they said about each other during the primaries. They didn't really mean it; or did they? This is why so many people are cynical about politicians. You never know if they are telling you what you want to hear, or what they hope you'll swallow in spite of evidence to the contrary.
As recently as late February, Clinton told "The 700 Club," "... there is a certain phenomenon associated with (Obama's) candidacy ... dangerously oversimplifies the complexity of the problems we face, the challenge of navigating our country through some difficult, uncharted waters." Has Obama become a ship's captain in so short a time?
Sen. Clinton opposed lifting the ceiling on Social Security payroll taxes, which Obama favors. Last November, during the Democratic Presidential Debate in Las Vegas, she said, "I do not want to fix the problems of Social Security on the backs of middle-class families and seniors. If you lift the cap, that is a $1 trillion tax increase. I don't think we need to do that." For a Democrat to oppose a tax hike is surprising enough, but does Sen. Clinton now support Obama's position?
In March on CNN's "Newsroom," Sen. Clinton questioned Obama's readiness to be commander in chief. She said she and Sen. John McCain had crossed "the commander in chief threshold. ... You will have to ask Sen. Obama with respect to his candidacy." Is he now suddenly ready?
On MSNBC's "Hardball," Sen. Clinton mocked Obama for arguing that, "living in a foreign country at the age of 10 prepares one to face big, complex, international challenges the next president will face."
Sen. Obama was also highly critical of Sen. Clinton, saying in January that she is "willing to say anything to get a political or tactical advantage," a tactic he said "(erodes) people's trust in government" and that she is "part of a perpetual campaign that ... keeps us from solving problems."
Obama also ridiculed Sen. Clinton's claims to experience, saying they amount to "osmosis, as a consequence of having been first lady."
Obama has been at odds with himself, as well as Sen. Clinton. He told Iraqi leaders he would consult with them and the U.S. military, but he has also said before such consultations he will order a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
On nuclear power, he was for it before he was against it. Last July, he said, "I actually think we should explore nuclear power as part of the energy mix." He repeated his support of nuclear power in September, but by December he said, "I am not a nuclear energy proponent."
Throughout the campaign, Obama said the D.C. gun ban law was constitutional, but on the day the Supreme Court found otherwise, Obama said, "it went beyond constitutional limits."
Now Clinton and Obama want to erase our memory banks, like that gizmo in the film "Men in Black." They even color coordinated their outfits to demonstrate how in-sync they have suddenly become. One needn't have been a fly on the wall at their private meetings to conclude some debt relief has been promised to the Hillary campaign in exchange for her support, though she and Bill have made enough money to relieve their own debt, but like true liberals they want others to pay the bill.
Speaking of Bill, The London Daily Telegraph reports the former president has told friends that Obama will have to "kiss my a--" to get his support. That he announced his "support" through an aide and not in person doesn't speak well for a unified party.
For all the talk of unity, it isn't union. One awaits the moment on "Meet the Press" or some other venue when Clinton and Obama are asked if they meant what they said about each other during the primary campaign, or should we believe what they are saying now?
If they were lying then, we can't trust him as president. If they were telling the truth then, we can't afford him as president.
E-mail nationally syndicated columnist Cal Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.