I guess we'll never know exactly what Bob Kerrey was thinking when, over the weekend, he referred to Obama as "Barack Hussein Obama" and mentioned his Muslim father and grandmother, or when he referred to Obama's childhood school in Indonesia as a "secular madrassa" on CNN yesterday. But maybe that's exactly the point. You have to admit there's a certain tactical brilliance at work here either way: Using people like Kerrey as surrogates--which is to say, people with a reputation for slightly offbeat pronouncements--means never having to say you're sorry. If they stay perfectly on message, then great. And if they go a bit over the line, well, that's fine, too. That's just Bob Kerrey being Bob Kerrey... It's genius.

Anyway, here's the YouTube of Kerrey on CNN if you'd like to peruse it yourself:

--Noam Scheiber