Mark Salter can shove it up his azimuth
"He used the words 'losing his bearings' intentionally," Salter wrote in a release, "a not-particularly-clever way of raising John McCain's age as an issue..."
But Obama's statement is an excellent one that gets right to the issue and seems aimed right at a former sailor's heart. Bearings, after all, simply means (as Merriam-Webster puts it) "the situation or horizontal direction of one point with respect to another or to the compass." In other words, Obama is saying that McCain, who has repeatedly said he would run a clean campaign is losing sight of that goal when he suggests Obama is the Hamas candidate.
Any sailor should know that and one would think a campaign that tried to make a big deal out of the spelling of the word "flak" would not want to get into a semantic argument about a word McCain more than likely understands all too well.
And, when you watch the video and hear what he said in context, Obama's answer seems extremely classy, making Salter seem like a child.
Update: Marc Ambinder has the best description of the tone of Salter's lengthy rant: measured high dudgeon.