That, and other news, in today’s Political Panorama.
As much as YouTube tries to gain entree into the mainstream of political coverage, via its CNN debates, it is still at its most powerful for the unexpected, verite moments that users post on its site. The latest is the case of Andrew Meyer, a 21-year-old University of Florida student who the New York Times already has labeled a political martyr in the making. He was arrested on Monday at a John Kerry speech, in which Meyer posed an extended series of questions to the presidential candidate. Among them: Why not impeach Bush? Why didn’t he ask for an Ohio recount? What is it with Skull and Bones? He went on for several minutes — apparently too long for the tastes of campus police. Before Kerry could answer (he called them “important questions”), the police were hauling Meyer away as he screamed “What did I do?” Then they tasered him, as some in the audience shouted, “Police brutality. Rodney King!” Kerry can be heard saying, “I’ll answer his question. Unfortunately, he’s not available to come and swear me in as president.” The video already has registered more than 156,000 hits.
Kerry issued the following statement today, which is diplomatic and probably doesn’t say what he wanted to say, which is “Keystone Cops.”
“In 37 years of public appearances, through wars, protests and highly emotional events, I have never had a dialogue end this way. I believe I could have handled the situation without interruption, but I do not know what warnings or other exchanges transpired between the young man and the police prior to his barging to the front of the line and their intervention. I asked the police to allow me to answer the question and was in the process of responding when he was taken into custody. I was not aware that a taser was used until after I left the building. I hope that neither the student nor any of the police were injured. I regret enormously that a good healthy discussion was interrupted.”
Obamagirl, Continued: Amber Lee Ettinger, aka “Obamagirl,” released a new video today, this time a salute to U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, with cameo by rapper Mims.
O.J.’s Pick: As campaigns tout endorsements from Oprah and Magic, here’s one that they may not be too excited about. O.J. likes Hillary. According to ABC News’ The Note, this one is circulating in GOP circles.