Obama Conference Call 3/25/08

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Openness, transparency, tax returns! Also, sports analogies. Notes after

Quote of the call, in response to Q about releasing pre-2000 tax returns — or maybe state senate records:

GIBBS: I don’t know the address of the glass house Phil [Singer] must be living in.

A close second:

GIBBS: The definition of how one wins the nomination keeps morphing and changing…to something favorable to them [the Clinton campaign]… I have no doubt that soon they’re going to release their NCAA bracket… and [it will turn out that] having picked the right NCAA teams also determines who gets the nomination.

And you want policy? You got policy:

GIBBS: McCain said he wasn’t going to pander on the housing crisis… I don’t know how a presidential candidate coming up with a solution to 2 million people losing their homes can be considered pandering.

DISCLAIMER: These are contemporaneous notes, not a transcript. Dialog is as close as possible to actual words spoken, but please allow for human error and unintentional lacunae and/or elision. Editorial comments are perhaps regrettable but unavoidable, due to the excruciating nature of these calls.

GIBBS: Seven years of tax returns [posted online]… demonstrate our commentment to transparency… when the 2007 tax return is filed, it too will be posted… outlets across the country, inc the NYT, who endorsed Clinton, have said that the release of tax documents is a matter of routine… we believe Sen. Clinton should have to meet that routine standard…outlets have written about how little is known about their investments…

[My cell dropped out at this point. Resuming:]

[Q about whether Obama will prosecute former administration? Huh?]

GIBBS: I’m not a lawyer… [something about civil liberties...] … [and magically morphs into an answer about the primaries?] … All we’ve said is that we’re going to play by the rules… We made a commitment about MI, Florida…

[Q from Raw Story about releasing, I think, state senate records?]

GIBBS: I don’t know the address of the glass house Phil [Singer] must be living in to have the — pardon the term — audacity to [ask us to responds to a request when we've already released seven years] …. [shows our] commitment to transparency and open goverment that quite frankly hasn’t been met by either of the two candidates left in this race.

[Q from ANDREA!]: How does Obama respond to calls for Hillary to drop out of the race… does Barack Obama feel that it’s mathematically impossible [for her to get the nomination]?… or is he ok with continuing as long as they want to?

GIBBS: It’s not his decision to make those decision for others… we have a pretty important pledged delegate lead… it would be exceedinlgy difficult for the superdelegates to come to a different conclusion than the pledged delegates… I do think that somewhat curious on the part of the Clinton campaign is to keep moving the goal posts, if you’ll pardon the bad football analogy… i believe now they [want to take into account a state's electoral college]… phildelphia edit board [she said that pledged delegates could switch their votes]… [does that mean they] would go after someone else’s pledged delegates?… I do think it is curious… the definition of how one wins the nomination keeps morphing and changing…to something favorable to them [the Clinton campaign]… I have no doubt that soon they’re going to release their NCAA bracket… and [it will turn out that] having picked the right NCAA teams also determines who gets the nomination.

Avi from Politico: Is this all benefiting McCain?

GIBBS: As Gov Richardson said eloquently on Friday, it is time for us to come together as a party… as far as McCain… last week Sen. Obama called out Sen. McCain’s comments on Iraq… in his [Obama's] economic speech… he will refer to the Bush-McCain economy… today… Sen. McCain said he wasn’t going to pander on the housing crisis… I don’t know how a presidential candidate coming up with a solution to 2 million people losing their homes can be considered pandering.