During his run for the presidency, Barack Obama frequently referred to himself as "a constitutional law professor." To cite one particularly obnoxious example, which turned out to be indicative of the president's lack of class, Obama stated at a March 30, 2007 fundraiser that "I was a constitutional law professor, which means unlike the current president I actually respect the Constitution."
But now, Obama's spokesman is denying that Obama was a constitutional law professor. Here is an exchange from a press conference last week:Helen Thomas: Why is the president blocking habeas corpus from prisoners at Bagram? I thought he taught constitutional law. And these prisoners have been there . . .
Robert Gibbs: You're incorrect that he taught on constitutional law.
During the campaign, some, including the Hillary Clinton campaign, took issue with Obama's claim that he was "a professor of constitutional law" on the fairly silly grounds (in my view) that he was merely a lecturer, not a real professor. But I don't believe that even Obama's adversaries questioned that he taught constitutional law.
Now his spokesperson is doing just that.
Are you wondering why the press isn't ridiculing Obama and Gibbs for this?
Nah. Me neither.
But let's just check on the fact checkers.
Here's FactCheck.org defending Obama's claim:
His formal title was "senior lecturer," but the University of Chicago Law School says he "served as a professor" and was "regarded as" a professor.Click on the link for the entire defense. So who's right, Gibbs or FactCheck?
Slate refers to this the argument as to whether he was a lecturer or a full professor as a "tempest in a teapot" and defends Obama
When Obama was in the classroom, he was a law professor
The New York Times is above the fray and simply discusses the wonderfulness of Professor Obama.
When Jaime Escuder, a University of Chicago law student, was searching for a professor to supervise an independent project on prisoners’ rights, he turned to Barack Obama, but not for his politics. As a student in Obama’s constitutional law class in 2001, Escuder was impressed by his teacher’s ability to see both sides of an argument.
The Chicago Sun Times headline reads: Professor Obama was a listener, students say
and begins the article with
It was only three words in his 20-minute speech announcing his candidacy -- "taught constitutional law." But his students and colleagues at the University of Chicago say those words would make Barack Obama a different kind of president.
"It certainly is an advantage that he really knows the Constitution of the United States," said Professor Cass Sunstein. "I don't know if we have had a president that knows as much about the founding document as he does."
I'm wondering if - in view of the fact that press spokesman Robert Gibbs denies that Obama taught constitutional law - whether there is a memory hole big enough for all of the facts about Obama that it will need to hold?