I guess I can understand it. You spend a lot of time with a candidate on the campaign trail, watching their every move. Listening to their evey word, fart, burp, and whistle. And it doesn’t hurt is the candidate is young and not so ugly. You can develop a schoolgirl crush on the candidate. It happens. But should it color the way you do your job? I think the answer is a resounding NO!

Andrea Mitchell, NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, is at the center of an Obama controversy for the second time in as many months. Last month, during the Jesus Obama World Tour when Obama snubbed the wounded troops in Germany, the McCain campaign ran an ad that said Obama had time to go to the gym for a workout, but didn’t make time for the troops because they would not allow cameras inside the hospital. Mitchell jumped to Obama’s defense on MSNBC saying “Obama had no intention of bringing any cameras with him. I was there. I can vouch for that…..That literally is not true.” Continuing in her defense of her hero, she said ““It just seems inexplicable that this whole thing has been such an issue. But clearly the McCain campaign wants this to be an issue, wants to paint him as someone who’s unfeeling about the troops.” Yet oddly enough, Obama’s campaign has yet to offer a valid reason for the cancellation of the visit. Conventional wisdom says that, if you want to be Commander in Chief, you make the time to visit the wounde troops while you are there. No excuses. While it may not be the camera restriction, it has to be something. Obama did find time to make it to the gym to work out and play basketall, right? I would bet those guys, wounded in the service of their country, would have loved to shoot hoops.

Mitchell continued her love affair this week. After both Obama and McCain made appearances in a non-debate Presidential forum at Pastor Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church in Orange County, California, the Obama camp accused McCain of cheating. Of somehow hearing the questions being asked of Obama so that McCain could be better prepared to answer them, while McCain was supposed to be in a ‘cone of silence’. Mitchell repeated the vile and unsubstaniated rumor on Sunday’s ‘Meet the Press’.”The Obama people must feel that he didn’t do quite as well as they might have wanted to in that context, because what they are putting out privately is that McCain may not have been in the cone of silence and may have had some ability to overhear what the questions were to Obama,” Mitchell said. “He seemed so well-prepared.”

First of all, there is no damn CONE OF SILENCE! It was a goof! Hello? Anyone remember Don Adams or see this year’s remake of “Get Smart”?

Despite assurance by both Warren and the McCain campaign that there was no way McCain could have heard anything going on during Obama’s time on stage, Mitchell propped her hero up once again. Since journalists are supposed to be fair and unbiased, and not support one campaign over another, I can only assume that Mitchell is smitten with Obama and unable to control herself.

The bigger issue at play here is exactly what Obama insiders have been afraid of all along. Obama, a gifted orator, cannot handle himself very well without a prepared speech and a teleprompter. Impromptu conversations about his life, the issues, or his talking points leave Obama looking like a deer in the headlights, and leave the people watching him feeling uncomfortable and squirming in their seats. It is difficult to watch Obama caught off guard – he gets the same look on his face that my six year old gets when I ask her a question she does not know the answer to. You want to give him the answer just to get that look off of his face.

Truth will out in the next two months, as Obama has to face McCain in the debates. How will he fare there with no teleprompter? No doubt that his handlers will drill him like Opec to be sure he does not fumble, but as my dad was wont to say, that dog just won’t bark. Experience will trump, and Mccain will show himself the bette leader, the better speaker, the better candidate. And then Andrea Mitchell can have unfettered access to her love crush, and stare at him to her heart’s content. Obama, as Portier, will not win over the class tough guys. Andrea “Lulu” Mitchell, he may have taken you from crayons to perfume, but that is as far as this ride goes.

Tags: NBC Obama