Monday, November 3, 2008

Is This Your Idea of an October Surprise? Obama's Illegally Residing Aunt

News that Obama's aunt, Zeituni Onyango, illegally resides in the United States has emerged as perhaps the wimpiest "October Surprise" in modern election history. First of all, the news did not appear until November, which disqualifies it from having October Surprise status in the first place. Furthermore, the story seems so deeply removed from any rational criterion used to select a president that it barely warrants coverage, except to say how ridiculous of an issue it is.

Despite the story's trivial nature, Obama has apparently decided to silence the matter by compassionately offering Onyango up to immigration authorities. During a recent interview with the suddenly omnipresent Katy Couric, the following exchange takes place:

Couric: You have an aunt who's been living in this country apparently illegally, and your campaign says any and all appropriate laws should be followed. So would you support her being deported to Kenya?

Obama: If she has violated laws, then those laws have to be obeyed. We're a nation of laws. And, obviously, that doesn't lessen my concern for her. I haven't been able to get in touch with her. But, I'm a strong believer that you obey the law.

According to a Los Angeles Times article on the subject, immigration authorities have already ordered Onyango to leave the country, so her ongoing presence here presumably violates legal authority. Although Obama does not directly answer Couric's question on the issue of deportation, in the context of the interview his response could only mean that he supports the argument that his aunt must go.

Ideological Disclaimer: For those of you do not regularly follow this blog, I am a lifetime Democrat (for lack of a viable progressive alternative). Nevertheless, I believe that the media have covered many "stories" simply to malign candidates and that most of these stories have targeted Republicans, particularly Palin. The media cannot rationally justify their obsession with fashion-gate, baby-mama-drama, child-reimbursement hysteria, false allegations of book burnings, lies about creationism, and the overblown discussion of Palin's supposed lack of knowledge of the Bush Doctrine (which lacks a coherent definition). This story is just another in a series of "incredibly lame" journalistic moments.

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