Obama: Presumptuous or Taken Out of Context?

From CBS News' Steve Chaggaris:

A quote in today's Washington Post has Barack Obama's opponents salivating at the prospect of using it against him while Democrats are insisting it's taken completely out of context.

While speaking to a closed door meeting with House Democrats yesterday, the Post quoted him as saying, "This is the moment . . . that the world is waiting for... I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions."

The Republican National Committee sent around the quote first thing this morning as part of its "Audacity Watch," where they've been hitting Obama for acting presidential before he's even elected.

A House Democratic staffer, however, tells CBS News that this quote is taken way out of context.

"The Post left out the important first half of the sentence," the staffer said, adding that the quote was more like, "It has become increasingly clear in my travel, the campaign, that the crowds, the enthusiasm, 200,000 people in Berlin, is not about me at all. It's about America. I have just become a symbol..."

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., who was in the room, pointed out to Fox News that the line was taken completely out of context.

"It was not about him," Clyburn said.


  • Steve Chaggaris

    Steve Chaggaris is CBSNews.com's Executive Editor, Washington.

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