‘Give me a break’ in context

The new political ad from Mitt Romney against Barack Obama will probably appeal to voters with short memories and a lack of context — the bread-and-butter of politicians these days.

The ad, of course, comes a day after former president Clinton got the headlines with his endorsement of Obama.

It also has very little to do with any issue in the campaign so far.

Foreign Policy must’ve seen the ad coming because it revisited the context around “give me a break” in an article issued yesterday.

The quote referred to a dispute in the campaign between then-candidates Obama and Hillary Clinton over opposition to the war in Iraq. Obama had claimed that he had opposed the invasion of Iraq “from the beginning,” when he was on record supporting the invasion in 2003.

The full quote:

“It is wrong that Senator Obama got to go through 15 debates trumpeting his superior judgment … and never got asked one time, not once, well, how could you say that when you said in 2004 you didn’t know how you would have voted on the resolution, you said in 2004 there was no difference between you and George Bush on the war … and there’s no difference in your voting record and Hillary’s ever since?” Clinton asked. “Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen.”

Clinton’s comments were as much an indictment of a political news media as it was of his wife’s opponent at the time.