Defending Bob Johnson

Didn’t want to let this one slip by before the end of the day.  

Today on a conference call (if I had a nickel for every time I used that phrase), a reporter compared Samantha Power’s “monster” remark to the unsubtle allusion by BET founder Bob Johnson about Obama’s cocaine use.  

Keep in mind that Johnson’s denial—in which he claimed he had been referring to Obama’s time spent as a community organizer —was one of the election’s most indefensible statements to date.

But today, two months later, Wolfson half-heartedly went to bat for him:  

“In this instance, there was some initial … My recollection on this is not as good as it might be, it feels like it was a million years ago … There was some initial sense that Bob Johnson was referring to one thing, perhaps a sense he was referring to something else. … I don’t honestly remember if he ended up apologizing or not. … That is a decision he made. … I don’t mean to minimize his importance, but he is not part of daily campaign life that I imagine Samantha Power is or has been.”

There you have it. In one fell swoop, Wolfson recapitulates the whole sad flap: Johnson’s absurd denial, inadequate apology , and the campaign’s attempt to distance itself from his remarks, before finally settling back on the message at hand: Samantha Power.