Where Buzz Tries to Begin

It starts as a side story.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Sen. Barack Obama’s refusal to wear an American flag lapel pin along with a photo of him not putting his hand over his heart during the National Anthem led conservatives on Internet and in the media to question his patriotism.

Now Obama’s wife, Michelle, has drawn their ire, too, for saying recently that she’s really proud of her country for the first time in her adult life.

Conservative consultants say that combined, the cases could be an issue for Obama in the general election if he wins the nomination, especially as he runs against Vietnam war hero Sen. John McCain.

“The reason it hasn’t been an issue so far is that we’re still in the microcosm of the Democratic primary,” said Republican consultant Roger Stone. “Many Americans will find the three things offensive. Barack Obama is out of the McGovern wing of the party, and he is part of the blame America first crowd.”

Does this have legs? Consider, as they say, the source.

“He is maybe the sleazist political operative this side of Karl Rove…”

Doo dee doo doo, doo dee do; doo dee doo do doot;
de doo dee doo do
Doo dee doo doo, doo dee do; doot! dee do do doot. doot. doot.

Times up! Who is, who is,

Who is Roger Stone. Oh, yeah, this guy.

ALBANY, Aug. 21 — Lawyers representing Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s father, Bernard Spitzer, say a prominent political consultant who has been working for State Senate Republicans threatened the elder Mr. Spitzer this month in an anonymous, invective-laced phone message.

The allegations against the consultant, Roger J. Stone Jr., were laid out in a letter sent Tuesday to Senator George H. Winner Jr., an upstate Republican who is chairman of the Senate Committee on Investigations and Government Operations. A copy of the letter was obtained by The New York Times.

Mr. Stone, a seasoned practitioner of hard-edged politics who worked for Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Ronald Reagan and for George W. Bush in the 2000 recount battle, adamantly denied the allegation in an interview, calling it “the ultimate dirty trick.” He asserted that allies of Governor Spitzer may have gained access to a phone in his Manhattan apartment to make the threatening call.

The message, left at Bernard Spitzer’s Manhattan office just before 10 p.m. on Aug. 6, says that Mr. Spitzer, 83, a wealthy real estate developer, would be “compelled by the Senate sergeant at arms” to testify about “shady campaign loans” he made to his son during Eliot Spitzer’s unsuccessful campaign for attorney general in 1994.

Yeah, I’ll consider the source.

Will the main stream media?

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