July 25, 2007

Clinton, best in the debate, and best in the after-debate.

I think in these last two days it's become clear that Hillary Clinton is the Democrats' best candidate. In the most significant moment of the debate, the candidates were asked "[W]ould you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?"



Obama immediately says "I would," not really noticing the detail to the question. He'd meet "without preconditions"? He goes on to plug in some material, which he will use in the after-debate period about how wrong Bush has been to think that "not talking to countries is punishment to them."

Clinton gets a lucky break when the questioner, who's in the audience, is given a chance at a follow up and throws the question to Clinton. I think Clinton had seen her opportunity the instant Obama said "I would," and here, with the chance to speak next, she deftly takes full advantage:
Well...
A disarming "well," as if this isn't going to be word-for-word perfect...
I will not promise to meet with the leaders of these countries during my first year. I will promise a very vigorous diplomatic effort because I think it is not that you promise a meeting at that high a level before you know what the intentions are.

I don't want to be used for propaganda purposes. I don't want to make a situation even worse. But I certainly agree that we need to get back to diplomacy, which has been turned into a bad word by this administration.

And I will pursue very vigorous diplomacy.

And I will use a lot of high-level presidential envoys to test the waters, to feel the way. But certainly, we're not going to just have our president meet with Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez and, you know, the president of North Korea, Iran and Syria until we know better what the way forward would be.
Live-blogging, I say "this is the precise point in the debate where I conclude... that Clinton is the superior candidate." But as impressive as this is, her campaign also deserves credit for forefronting this interchange the day after the debate, and Obama must take a second downgrade for the way he handled the after-debate.

Listen to him struggle through this interview with Iowa's Quad-City Times. Now, let's look at the coverage in today's newspapers.

The Boston Globe
:
Yesterday, Obama's campaign tried to clarify his remarks by saying that he wouldn't agree to meet with such leaders before lower-level diplomatic work was done. But Clinton's campaign seized on their divergent answers, arguing that it exposes both her command of world affairs and Obama's greenness. "Senator Clinton is committed to vigorous diplomacy but understands that it is a mistake to commit the power and prestige of America's presidency years ahead of time by making such a blanket commitment," her campaign wrote in a memo.

Obama's campaign put out its own memo yesterday saying his is the approach that would keep America safe.

"Obama's tough but smart approach to America's diplomacy is exactly the kind of change and new thinking that excites voters about an Obama presidency," the memo said. His campaign also pointed to a remark Clinton made this spring in which she said, "I think it is a terrible mistake for our president to say he will not talk with bad people."

Clinton's campaign yesterday also employed former secretary of state Madeleine Albright to speak to reporters about Clinton's knowledge of diplomacy and the appropriate use of American power. "When all is said and done she knows that being president is about protecting the country and advancing national security interests," Albright said, adding that Clinton shows "a very sophisticated understanding of the whole process."
So Obama falls back on his mantra "change," showing his dreadful tendency to rely on abstractions and generic hope messages. He's gotten on a long way with such material, when speaking to admiring crowds of people who are just getting to know him. But it's horribly inadequate to fight off a formidable opponent on a specific issue.

And his attempt to catch Clinton in a contradiction could only work if we lacked the most basic powers of discernment. So Clinton said it's "a terrible mistake for our president to say he will not talk with bad people"? It can be wrong both to say "I won't talk" and to say "I will talk." The position Clinton took at the debate was that talks had to be planned and developed through a diplomatic process. She's rejecting both hardcore positions: promises to talk "without preconditions" and intransigent refusals to talk.

The Daily News:
Political observers said they expected Clinton to waste no time using Obama's comment to shore up her standing among key voter blocs, such as Cuban-Americans in bellwether Florida and Jewish voters who may find the idea of a sitdown with the Holocaust-denying president of Iran disturbing.

Team Clinton plans "to use these issues in outreach in the states [and nationally] with Jewish leadership and Jewish grass-roots voters," a Democratic operative familiar with the Clinton campaign told the Daily News.

Obama's camp said that approach wouldn't impress anybody. "There is a smallness to such misleading attacks that voters reject," said Obama spokesman Bill Burton....

In a race where Obama has presented himself as the fresher face, the exchange handed Clinton the perfect opening to "prove she's more experienced and would provide a steadier hand at the helm of the ship of state," said Democratic consultant Hank Sheinkopf.

To push that message, the Clinton campaign swiftly arranged a morning press call with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who didn't attack Obama directly but called the New York senator "a person who understands how the American presidency works."

The Obama campaign quickly trotted out its own stable of surrogates, including former Clinton administration national security adviser Anthony Lake, who argued, "A great nation and its President should never fear negotiating with anyone and Sen. Obama rightly said he would be willing to do so."
So, Lake pretends Obama said what he should have said -- that is, what Clinton said.

Lynn Sweet in the Chicago-Sun Times:
During the day Tuesday, the Clinton and Obama campaigns issued dueling critical memos while advisers sparred over who appeared more presidential. The candidates each gave interviews to the Quad City Times in Iowa, the state with the crucial lead-off presidential vote, where they escalated the rhetoric.

"I thought that was irresponsible and frankly naive," Clinton told the paper. Obama, she said, gave an answer "I think he is regretting today."

Obama told the paper that Clinton's camp was trying to score "political points."
Yes, she's not just demonstrating that she's right on the issue, she's demonstrating how to be a strong candidate, which is actually more important as the Democrats decide who they want to be the candidate.
He stood by his response and that Clinton's position was not that different from the Bush administration policy, so she "can't claim the mantle of change."
"The mantle of change." I wonder what people picture when they hear the word "mantle." Really, think about it for a while: The Mantle of Change, The Mantle of Change, The Mantle of Change. Doesn't it sound like something you win at a stage of a video game?

The Obama rhetoric is getting stale and repetitious -- just as Hillary is trouncing him in the after-debate!
Obama's campaign was trying to regain its footing after walking into a potential political minefield. The debate story in the Miami Herald, another early primary state where Cuban Americans make up a voting bloc, said Obama and Edwards "suggested Monday that they would meet with two leaders who top South Florida's most-hated list: Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez."

If he met with Chavez, Obama told the Iowa paper, it would be to tell him "what I don't like" while finding areas to "potentially work together."

"I didn't say these guys were going to come over for a cup of coffee some afternoon," Obama said.
That coffee line tries to brush off the controversy as lightweight and meaningless, but it is his biggest showdown with Clinton thus far.

He barely shows up for the showdown.

UPDATE: What about the second day after the debate?
"The notion that I was somehow going to be inviting them over for tea next week without having initial envoys meet is ridiculous," he said...
So from "coffee some afternoon" to "tea next week"...

116 comments:

Bruce Hayden said...

I still don't like the woman, and in particular, her ethics. But she is looking more and more like the best the Democrats have to offer.

I do find it interesting tat she won on reality here, whereas fairly recently, candidates were winning on their ability to cater to their party's net crazies.

This may mean that as she pulls ahead, she moves back towards the center on national security issues, where she really was I think until fairly recently. While that won't get her net crazy votes, it is much more likely to play well to swing voters.

The big question I have with this dust up is whether it will affect the probabilities of a Clinton / Obama ticket.

Dewave said...

I wonder how many democrat officials Obama thinks need to cozy up to these dictators before they are mollified. Albright, Kerry, Carter, and Pelosi don't seem to have done the trick, but maybe Obama can come riding to the rescue!

save_the_rustbelt said...

George Bush made Hillary a viable candidate and he seems to be doing everything possible to elect a Democrat in 2008.

I think when we (the GOP) get our brains kicked in, the dittoheads crazies will be discredited and sanity may return.

TMink said...

Agreed. Now what will happen with her through the roof negatives in the general election? I bet things will be really ugly in the general election campaigns.

Trey

hdhouse said...

the ditto heads are out full herd on this already. "how can you talk to murderers" cries Rush. Just more appeasement and defeatism" by Sean.

The assault on Hillary has started and they are now blaming her for "assault on talk radio"..trying to silence what they can't defeat.

She could say anything and the rightwing pigs will attack...there are still some fools on here that are convinced she shot Foster still!

She was clearly superior to a bunch of very good people. If the dems nominate her it will be 8 years of unrelenting personal attacks so what the hell does it matter to 25% of the country what she says or how well she says it.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I still don't like the woman, and in particular, her ethics. But she is looking more and more like the best the Democrats have to offer.

Sad but true. All I see in Obama is Jimmy Carter redux, just better looking and more articulate but from a foreign policy standpoint, utterly clueless.

If this shows anything it’s the complete lack of experience on his part. While he is not expected to be a foreign policy expert, he needs to be smart enough to surround himself with some and give him sound advice. Hillary at least had 8 years to see how the process worked so that gives her an edge and probably a better contact list of knowledgeable advisors.

Hoosier Daddy said...

there are still some fools on here that are convinced she shot Foster still!

And there are some fools who think Bush orchestrated 9/11. Neither side has a monopoly on idiocy despite your faith in the purity of your side of the aisle.

AllenS said...

Obama brought a knife to a gun fight.

Zeb Quinn said...

Yeah but she has a situation going on making it difficult to ever actually win what with 51%+ of the general electorate having vowed to vote for her opponent no matter whomever that might be.

Sarah said...

I like the image of *insert Democratic candidate here* having a meeting sans preconditions with all of those leaders at the same time. It would be like Bruce Wayne having the Joker, Two-Face, Catwoman, Scarecrow, the Riddler, Mad Hatter and Ra's al Ghul over for tapas and martinis. I wonder if it would end in an all out brawl.
I just hope every day that if Hillary wins the ticket, she doesn't get defeated because she's missing that apparently critical Y chromosome. We need more hope for our young men and women, not less.

Internet Ronin said...

While I don't give a rat's behind what the dittoheads are saying, this is a good example of Obama being out of his league, not just by saying what he did, but the later attempts at clarification and deflection of criticism.

Clinton, OTOH, is head-and-heels more polished and prepared than the rest of the jokers on the stage. The claims that she has no ideology may be true, but I'd rather have another Nixon in the White House (sans Watergate, of course) than another naif like Carter.

Richard Fagin said...

Sen. Clinton is a long, long way from being a dummy and she's certainly going to answer debate questions in a way that makes sense to a lot of people. She'll get more than a few policy questions right, too. That doesn't mean the President made her a viable candiate. The press made her a viable candiate. The President has done plenty of things that are wrong, plenty that are spot on and more than a few inbetween. With the press having declared war on the guy, though, he gets no public credit even for the things he does well. It's easy to conclude that Bush "made" Clinton or anyone else a viable candidate.

Conversely, the press completely glosses over Sen. Clinton's glaring substantive faults. Want socialized medicine? Check. Want negative check off for union certification elections? Check. Want all sitting U.S. attorneys fired? Check. Want the EEOC headed by a major race baiter? Check. Want the 2003 tax cuts to expire? Check. The Wall Street Journal will be reprising its guillotine-imaged op-eds styled "the class warfare ecomonmy" from 1993. You get the picture. Sen. Clinton is the candidate who screams (yes, screams, accoding the meaning of posts on this blog from a few days back) "We're going to take things away from you for your own good!" I wouldn't care if she could recite the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica verbatim from memory - a person who holds such beliefs, so clearly expressed, is unfit to lead a nation of free people. When you start with the assumption that the average Joe is too dumb to handle his own affairs, you have the makings of a serious tyrant. Intelligent, competent, self-assured? Of course. but DAMNED dangerous.

Maxine Weiss said...

We can't have a President who's going through Menopause. Can you imagine a Menopausal woman trying to make a decision on, say, Bay of Pigs ???

Menopause saps all judgment and I don't want a President who has hot flashes during Cabinet meetings.

It's very debillitating.

Justin said...

hdhouse said...

She could say anything and the rightwing pigs will attack...

If the dems nominate her it will be 8 years of unrelenting personal attacks...

How is this different from what we're seeing right now? Oh yeah, the roles are reversed.

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

Obama told the paper that Clinton's camp was trying to score "political points."

Well, duh.

I imagine Clinton is well aware that the Republicans have a little political ammunition from the North Korean six party negotiations that now seem to be bearing fruit. The administration's determination ignore the criticism from the left and go all hands-on and bilateral is proving effective.

There must be some few historical leaders with the personal presence and discipline to accomplish something in person. Then there are the many that delude themselves. From George Bush's odd connection with Vladimir Putin to the Jimmy Carter ouevre, to Neville Chamberlain's pride in his own persuasiveness, personalizing international confrontation has an unfortunate history.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Frankly, I thought Obama substantively crushed her in that interview (I didn't hear any struggling; the sound quality is simply worse and he always pauses and uses uhms and ahs, even when giving speeches).

Furthermore, his rapid response was more formidable than hers. I don't see the world in which Hillary got out of this a clear winner. Certainly not in Iowa. Being called a triangulating flip-flopper on the war who is carrying Bush's water isn't a victory.

Not to mention Hillary's answer made no sense, given the actual question. The question was whether you'd have no preconditions as to outcomes, which is why Anwar Sadat's talks with Israel were mentioned in the question itself. We refuse to talk to rogue nations directly unless they meet certain demands beforehand. That has nothing to do with diplomatic spadework (i.e., being briefed).

It has to do with "do X, or we won't talk". Obama is simply saying "I'll talk without demanding they do X beforehand".

Hillary is simply lying.

As for her answer showing experience, please. You can easily Google pictures of her kissing Arafat's wife (terrorist), hugging Gerry Adams (terrorist), or of Madeline Albright toasting a glass of champagne with Kim John Il (dictator). The idea that a President might be used for propaganda purposes, so therefore we should not talk to dictators, is idiotic -- Bush is used for propaganda purposes by rogue nations because he doesn't talk to them. Rogue nations use propaganda. Period.

Clinton's playing up of the inexperience meme is also subtly racist. What she's really suggesting is that Obama is dumb because he's black. No, she isn't saying that directly, but she knows very well there are people who will take it that way.

Also, and this is important: Hillary's answer scored the worst with the focus group watching the debate. That focus group was comprised of hardcore Hillary supporters. She didn't come out of the gate to attack Obama because he had made a slip. She came out of the gate to fix the shitty answer she gave at the debate. Buying into her version of events is just letting her get away with the triangulation that she always uses to patch up mistakes.

Frankly, I think Hillary got clobbered as badly as Mitt Romney did on the sex-education issue, and I wouldn't be surprised if Obama hadn't planted that questioner to bait Hillary. I also suspect that Reverend attacking John Edwards was a plant, too, probably from the Hillary camp.

Mortimer Brezny said...

The full question:

"In 1982, Anwar Sadat traveled to Israel, a trip that resulted in a peace agreement that has lasted ever since. In the spirit of that type of bold leadership, would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?"

B said...

Madeline Albright: architect of today's current problems with North Korea.

If Hillary considers Madeline for Secretay of State - or holds her as an example of an effective one - then Hillary's judgment is seriously in question.

Using Albright as a spokesman should disqualify any candidate from being taken seriously about foreign policy.

Mortimer Brezny said...

"Edwards, Obama and Clinton improved their standing with the dozen voters, chosen randomly as a cross-section of Democratic voters by a local interviewing firm.

Of the three, Obama got the most out of the debate. Once it was over, on a scale of 1 to 10, he went from 7 to 7.8, indicating how comfortable voters would be with him as President. Clinton moved from 6.7 to 7.4 while Edwards went from 7.7 to 7.8."

http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Turn+the+dial%2c+rate+the+Dems&articleId=ddbc5684-9c77-444b-969b-d28728e39b5d

Mortimer Brezny said...

So Obama falls back on his mantra "change," showing his dreadful tendency to rely on abstractions and generic hope messages.

No. That was the theme of the debate itself and the focus of the question that sparked the controversy.

Sarah said...

"We can't have a President who's going through menopause..."

Great. So women are biologically incapable of holding any kind of position of great power? Can't do it when you're young- might get pregnant and then what? Can't do it when you're out of that phase- menopause will make you too emotional to make rational decisions. Can't do it when you're old- age will riddle your mind with disease. Success is then limited to how much personal gain we can achieve in our limited female capacity. It's nobody's fault except mother nature's. Don't you love it when there's such an easy excuse for predjudice?

Mortimer Brezny said...

If this shows anything it’s the complete lack of experience on his part. While he is not expected to be a foreign policy expert, he needs to be smart enough to surround himself with some and give him sound advice.

Yes, because Obama is dumb. Or, perhaps, Hillary Clinton is playing with words. No, she's never done that before. Obama must be dumb.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Maxine said:We can't have a President who's going through Menopause.

Wow Maxine, that's rough. I guess by the same standard, pre-menopausal women would also be a no no since the last thing you want is a female with her finger on the button who forgot to take her Midol when her Aunt Flo comes to visit.

Considering a lot of menopausal women hold pretty important positions and manage, I think your concerns are a little unfounded.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Mortimer said Yes, because Obama is dumb

I didn't say he was dumb, I said he lacked experience which is not the same as questioning his intellect.

But you knew that didn't you or were you just playing with words?

PatCA said...

Her response was good--it made her look like a grownup with a bunch of teenagers. I really do believe she and Rudy would be the most ruthless on terrorism--and IMO ruthlessness is a good thing. Rudy is just proven tough, and she wants to change the Clinton soft-on-terror legacy.

From the start, I've thought Obama is just...soft. He talks the happy talk like a mid-level academic. He does nothing to inspire confidence in his leadership, but that's just me although I would imagine there are many like me outside the Dem primary nexus.

Mortimer Brezny said...

He talks the happy talk like a mid-level academic.

Except someone who teaches constitutional law at the University of Chicago is not a mid-leval academic. He's a top-level academic.

Mortimer Brezny said...

I didn't say he was dumb, I said he lacked experience which is not the same as questioning his intellect.

No, what you said in full was what I quoted: "If this shows anything it’s the complete lack of experience on his part. While he is not expected to be a foreign policy expert, he needs to be smart enough to surround himself with some and give him sound advice."

Mortimer Brezny said...

Her response was good--

Her response avoided answering the question, which should be obvious if you listened to the Quad City interview she gave. Not to mention that the audience, mostly comprised of her supporters, liked her answer the least of all three: Obama, Edwards, and Clinton.

Hoosier Daddy said...

No, what you said in full was what I quoted: "If this shows anything it’s the complete lack of experience on his part. While he is not expected to be a foreign policy expert, he needs to be smart enough to surround himself with some and give him sound advice."

And out of that you came up with the translation that I inferred he was dumb?

Obama may be a smart lawyer but that doesn't make him a smart politician. Sorry but even though I don't like Hillary, she runs circles around him. That is not a slam on his intellect but rather his political prowess.

Mortimer Brezny said...

And out of that you came up with the translation that I inferred he was dumb?

You think he gave a bad answer and that he lacks the experience to give a good one. You say that he should be smart enough to have people around him to supply him with good answers, given his lack of experience. That he didn't give a good answer means he doesn't have such people around him, meaning he isn't smart enough to get those people around him. You are quite plainly insuating Obama is not "smart enough," which is why you used the phrase "smart enough."

Yes, when you said "smart enough" I translated that as "smart enough." Someone who is "not smart enough" is "insufficiently smart".

Mortimer Brezny said...

Sorry but even though I don't like Hillary, she runs circles around him.

I frankly see no evidence of that.

Mortimer Brezny said...

he needs to be smart enough to surround himself with some and give him sound advice.

That is what you said. That has nothing to do with "political prowess".

Der Hahn said...

Mortimer

Given your analysis of the question, Clinton's answer was barely acceptable and Obama's was absolutely abysmal.

You are probably correct that we're dammed if we do talk and dammed if we don't talk to Iran, North Korea, et al in terms of the propaganda they will generate. I think you're ignoring the enormous victory that even starting unconditional talks represent to these regimes. They want the legitimacy direct negations represent, and we should leverage their desire to extract the maximum amount concessions before we formally sit down at the table. Direct talks in any forum are the end, not the beginning, of the process.

Once the formal talking starts, as opposed to the back channel wheeling and dealing, they've gotten the one and only thing they really desired. See Korea, North. Cross reference with Carter, Jimmy and Agreed Framework.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Der Hahn,

Oh, you're right that from a conservative viewpoint, Obama's answer was the worst and Hillary's was minimally okay. But from a liberal viewpoint, Obama's answer was the best and Hillary's answer was atrocious. (And the substantive flip-flop is that Hillary put herself out there as a transformative liberal and suddenly at the debate is touting the status quo realist stance.)

I happen to be a neo-con on foreign policy. So my point is not that I preferred Obama's answer.

It's that Obama answered the actual question correctly, especially given the audience, and Hillary is trying to cover her ass with the left by fabricating a controversy. I don't like that kind of shifty crap. Answer questions honestly. I might not agree as a matter of policy (or vote for you), but at least I'll respect you.

Calling someone "inexperienced" or insinuating that he is dumb because he is honest and principled is just rotten.

I mean, yuck. Ewwww.

Jeff said...

"The question was whether you'd have no preconditions as to outcomes, which is why Anwar Sadat's talks with Israel were mentioned in the question itself. We refuse to talk to rogue nations directly unless they meet certain demands beforehand. "

I don't think the rogue nations we will not speak with can in any way be compared with Israel.
Israel position-we want peace, but are unwilling to unconditionally surrender to the Arabs.
Arabs position-we want peace, but only by shoving all the Jews into the sea or killing all of them, whatever.
I am pretty sure if NK said "we decided we are going back to feeding our people and opening up the country a bit and wondered if we could talk to the US about it, the response would be more favorable AND closer to the analogy of the debate question.

Mortimer Brezny said...

I think you're ignoring the enormous victory that even starting unconditional talks represent to these regimes.

Nope. That's just the difference between being a pessimist (realist) or an optimist (liberal) on foreign policy. I happen to be a realist, but the question was from a liberal viewpoint at a liberal debate. Hillary gave a realist answer after claiming she'd be a liberal on foreign policy. That's a flip-flop. Obama gave a solid liberal answer. Not my cup of tea, but the right answer for the forum.

Mortimer Brezny said...

I don't think the rogue nations we will not speak with can in any way be compared with Israel.

I never said I bought the comparison. But liberals do, and that was the question. Maybe if Hillary had articulated why she thought the question was bogus, that would have been a good answer. She didn't do that. She gave a crap answer and then tried to spin in the next day.

PWS said...

I think when Ann says she is the best candidate, that's not quite accurate; she demonstrated better presidential skills: she was circumspect and thoughtful in her answer that was probably the right one on the merits.

To me, being a good candidate means being electable. Hitting back on a foreign policy point doesn't necessarily enhance her electability.

People are starving for something positive and Obama taps into that yearning very well. Hillary still has baggage even if she has the best skills to be president.

Even though I lean left, I don't like her because she seems to be an opportunist like her husband with no fidelity to principle.

Zeb Quinn said...

At this point in her life Hillary is clearly postmenopausal.

Me, her biological stage concerns me least about her.

Mortimer Brezny said...

she seems to be an opportunist like her husband with no fidelity to principle.

This is what I saw in her answer to that question.

PatCA said...

"He's a top-level academic.


Proving my point: happy talk leads to academic success.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I frankly see no evidence of that.

Opinions vary.

Mortimer Brezny said...
That is what you said. That has nothing to do with "political prowess". (in regard to my comment that he Obama, needs to be smart enough to surround himself with some and give him sound advice.


It's calling into question his political prowess, his ability to understand the political ramifications of dealing with nasty foreign powers.

You inferred that I was implying Obama was dumb. Questioning his political prowess, astuteness or whatever you want to call it isn't the same as questioning his intellect. If you can't see that then lets agree to disagree.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Calling someone "inexperienced" or insinuating that he is dumb because he is honest and principled is just rotten.

Oh please, grow up.

I mean, yuck. Ewwww.

to wit.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Oh please, grow up.

No, you would never stoop to hurling insults at people, like insinuating they are dumb or immature. And you would never imply that principle and honesty have no value in choosing who should represent your party in the general election. Because you're a stand-up, all-American patriot. Who is never wrong.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Proving my point: happy talk leads to academic success.

That wasn't your point at all, because what your statements showed is that academic success leads to happy talk. Which is just another way of saying academics tend to be very liberal. Not much of a point, there.

Yes. Obama is a liberal. That's the point: Hillary gave a realist answer at a liberal debate. That's an error.

If you don't like the liberal viewpoint on foreign policy, fine! Neither do I! But that doesn't mean Obama is so dumb he didn't know what he said. Or that Obama made an error because he is inexperienced or ignorant. He's just a liberal. And a very smart liberal at that.

Hillary isn't a liberal, and she gave a very non-liberal answer at a liberal debate. Which is why she attacked Obama. To cover her ass.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Which is freakishly huge, by the way.

Kevin said...

Well, as I wrote on my blog here:

http://fundamentalsandfalsehoods.blogspot.com/2007/07/hillary-vs-obama.html

what Ann says about the Hillary/Obama thing is interesting. Is she right? Maybe. I agree Senator Clinton's answer to the debate question was superior, in terms of principle, common sense, statecraft, etc.

One caveat, though: this doesn't necessarily mean that Senator Clinton now has a big leg up among Democrats for the nomination. Remember, we're talking about Democratic primary voters here. They're far more liberal. And I think that means that such voters love the idea of being willing to talk with anyone, any time. There are a lot of Democrats who clearly believe that negotiations, talking, in and of itself is almost always a good thing. Now had a Republican candidate, in the Republican primary season, made a statement like Obama's at a GOP debate, oh, no question, he'd be finished among Republicans. But the Democrats' nomination won't be decided by Republicans, or members of the mainstream media, or us (hopefully sensible) bloggers. It'll be decided by Democratic primary voters. And they may see this, along with the Clinton Machine's heavy cannon fire in the wake of it, very differently. We'll see.

Mortimer Brezny said...

They're far more liberal. And I think that means that such voters love the idea of being willing to talk with anyone, any time.

Yes, that WAS THE POINT OF THE QUESTION.

Mortimer Brezny said...

his ability to understand the political ramifications of dealing with nasty foreign powers.

Yes, because Obama isn't smart enough "to understand the political ramifications of dealing with nasty foreign powers."

Henry said...

In 1982, Anwar Sadat traveled to Israel, a trip that resulted in a peace agreement that has lasted ever since. In the spirit of that type of bold leadership...

Thanks for the full question, Mortimer, though I still think Obama got it wrong.

The problem is that the question sets up a faulty premise. It asks the candidates to put themselves in the role of hero in their response.

Any politician that assumes they are going to solve international problems by personal suasion (in the spirit of Anwar Sadat or Jimmy Carter) is an untrustworthy egoist. I don't think Obama is necessarily such a person, but he definitely fell for a trick question.

When Chamberlain spoke the words "Peace in our time" he was invoking Benjamin Disraeli's return from the Congress of Berlin ("This is the second time in our history that there has come back from Germany to Downing Street peace with honour. I believe it is peace in our time."). Chamberlain had the ego to match Disraeli but not the chops.

Mortimer Brezny said...

The problem is that the question sets up a faulty premise. It asks the candidates to put themselves in the role of hero in their response.

I don't disagree! But that was the question, and it's the liberal viewpoint that liberal voters believe in!

Mortimer Brezny said...

I don't think Obama is necessarily such a person, but he definitely fell for a trick question.

Here's where we part. I thought the question was sincere. I didn't see any falling into any traps. I saw a realist give a realist answer and a liberal give a liberal answer. But, um, it was a liberal debate.

Hoosier Daddy said...

No, you would never stoop to hurling insults at people, like insinuating they are dumb or immature.

You're trolling now right? I insulted him? Wow, that's stretching things a bit. Immature? Well perhaps 'inexperience' can be implied to be immature but most grownups usually see the word immature as not acting ones age.

If you don't like the liberal viewpoint on foreign policy, fine! Neither do I! But that doesn't mean Obama is so dumb he didn't know what he said. Or that Obama made an error because he is inexperienced or ignorant.

I never said he didn't know what he said. What I am saying that what he said was not politically smart. He may very well believe in it and it warmed the cockles of his liberal audience but when he comes back to the real world of dealing with hostile foreign powers, it simply isn't the right way to go about it.

Actually, I don't even know why in the hell I'm in this discussion. I'm not planning on voting for either one so here is your hook back.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Immature?

No, you called me immature by suggesting I should grow up.

I would probably vote for Fred Thompson over either Hillary or Obama.

I may prefer a realist foreign policy, but that doesn't make a candidate a know-nothing idiot for being a liberal. There are liberals who know how to get things done, like Graham Allison, Ashton Carter, Joseph Nye, etc.

But Hillary attacking Obama for being a liberal is just a horrible mistake.

Pete Who? said...

How is it possible that an tenderfoot like Obama gets this far in the campaign without having to answer that type of question? The same can be said for the Republican pols as well, btw (although I'm confident McCain and Giuliani at least would have avoided Obama's mistake).

And as much as I'm impressed with Clinton's response, it really isn't that tough of a question. If this is the standard by which we judge the foreign policy acumen of prospective Presidents, I predict another miserable 4-8 years.

Mortimer Brezny said...

I'm confident McCain and Giuliani at least would have avoided Obama's mistake

Yes, because they are Republicans trying to win conservative and realist votes. Not Democrats trying to win over liberal and internationalist votes. It would be a mistake... for a Republican.

Roger said...

I think Mortimer raised a good point: that of perspective. from a liberal view point, Obama said the right thing. And from a conservative (or perhaps real politik) view point, Hillary said the right thing.

As far as Madeline Albright, or for that manner any Sec State, of course they will be making toasts with some pretty unscurrious characters--it is the role of diplomacy, to prepare the groundwork for head of state visits.

I come at the issue from what I hope would be a real politik assessment: when is it in the national interest for a summit leve meeting. From the standpoint, HRC's position is, I believe, the preferable one and Obama's is, at best, naive.

Roger said...

oops--and scurrilous characters too--PIMF

Mortimer Brezny said...

From the standpoint, HRC's position is, I believe, the preferable one and Obama's is, at best, naive.

Except the premise of the question was that not-being-realist can get better results. The question assumes a context in which realism has already tried and failed. It is impossible that Obama's answer was thus naive. (This is why Hillary's attack is nonsensical once you see the entire question.)

PatCA said...

Mortimer, you're sort of a one-man wrecking crew today. What is your point about the debate anyway?

Mortimer Brezny said...

What is the point of your question?

Roger said...

Mortimer: I havent followed the whole issue in much detail, but wasn't the premise of the question "meeting without preconditions?" Those preconditions, I assumed (perhaps incorrectly) would not include normal diplomatic demarches or other modes of contact. If normal diplomacy or other methods of contact had been tried and failed, then perhaps it would be appropriate for leader to leader contact; however, that contact could be made in personal back channel letters or via trial balloons first. A face to face meeting strikes me as a bit risky if it ends up backfiring in some way.

Perhaps the bottom line has nothing to do with foreign policy; rather, it has to do with the whole debate approach: debates are not the appropriate forum to address complex policy questions that need to be defined and agreed upon--and indeed the post debate "clarification" by spokespersons or campaigns is not helpful.

John Stodder said...

I'm unimpressed with this "issue." Hillary might be scoring points with this, but with the wrong crowd. Most Democratic primary voters probably agree with Obama without qualification, especially with the full context understood. Castro? Hugo Chavez? Come on over, dudes!

Clinton is, more or less, restating the practice of every US president once they actually assume office. If Obama is elected, he would do no different.

Secondly, it's way too early for this gaffe to have any meaning. Obama has eons of time to recover, if in fact that's what he has to do, which I doubt. If this exchange had occurred the Friday before the Florida primaries, it would have an impact. But we're still six months away from voting.

Two important constituencies who will be impressed by Hillary's post-debate counter-moves are the Democratic establishment, especially the lawyers and lobbyists who make money off international dealings when a Democrat is president; and the bigtime, mainstream media.

From what I can tell, Hillary already has the first group. The Wise Persons already see her as the better candidate for a raft of cynical and sincere reasons. As for the press, my sense is they want to back a winner. They backed her husband beginning in late '91 because he looked like a winner. There's no sentiment about this. The press just thinks any Democrat as president is better than any Republican. Hillary, Obama -- whichever. Show us you can win.

The main thing Hillary accomplishes with her pretense of concern about this issue is to deprive Obama of the victory he earned Monday night. He was the clear winner, as far as I'm concerned. But the post-debate has turned that victory into a draw, or even a loss. But it's not like she's demolished him. It's a short-term tactical advantage at best.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Those preconditions, I assumed (perhaps incorrectly) would not include normal diplomatic demarches or other modes of contact.

That is Hillary's spin.

But the point of mentioning Anwar Sadat's 1982 talks with Israel is that Anwar Sadat went in with no up-front demands, i.e., "You do X, or else we will not talk." That is what preconditions means.

For example, "We will not talk to North Korea until they give up their nuclear warheads." As opposed to talking with them and telling them at the meeting, "Give up your nuclear warheads."

Hence, the propaganda point: "They'll just use the meeting to propagandize." Which is nonsense, because they'll use the lack of a meeting to propagandize, too.

Her answer frankly made no sense, and she was just dodging the question so she can tack to the center if she wins the nomination. I don't support triangulation; do you?

Mortimer Brezny said...

Most Democratic primary voters probably agree with Obama without qualification, especially with the full context understood. Castro? Hugo Chavez? Come on over, dudes!

Exactly.

Mortimer Brezny said...

The main thing Hillary accomplishes with her pretense of concern about this issue is to deprive Obama of the victory he earned Monday night. He was the clear winner, as far as I'm concerned.

Thing is, I just think this proves his victory. She looks petty and grasping. And this has to hurt her in Iowa, which Obama doesn't plan to win, where Edwards is leading, and a state that Hillary cannot afford to lose.

Roger said...

Mortimer: re triangulation: I would prefer candidates stake out a firm position and hold on to it (cf GW Bush and Iraq). On the other hand, the political realist in me says that especiallly for a democrat you have to first navigate the hard core democratic base first in the primaries and then move to the center--thus, to me, triangulation is simply a political necessity and not doing will likely doom a candidate (cf Dennis Kucinich).

Finally, while you have done a detailed job in analyzing the this issue, do you honestly believe anyone else in the general electorate will spend the time and energy you have? or just go for the sound bite. And I do think HRC wins the sound bite contest among the "non-attentive" public

Mortimer Brezny said...

And I do think HRC wins the sound bite contest among the "non-attentive" public

Maaaaaybe. But as John Stodder pointed out, she's possibly scoring points with the wrong people.

Where this counts is Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina. I don't think Hillary helped herself in any of those places. She may have hurt herself in Iowa in particular. Obama certainly helped himself in new Hampshire.

Honestly, I'm just an ordinary guy who happened to watch the debate. (So I know Hillary's lying.) And I'm sure plenty of people in South Carolina, where the debate was held, know it, too.

Roger said...

Mortimer--will be interesting to see how each side plays the sound bites, if they do at all. Anyway--thanks for a civil discussion--always appreciated.

Fen said...

Finally, while you have done a detailed job in analyzing the this issue, do you honestly believe anyone else in the general electorate will spend the time and energy you have? or just go for the sound bite

Agreed. I find Mort's analysis to be valid. Despite that, what I heard from Obama was an implied crticism of Bush: if we just sit down and TALK to these guys, we can resolve our differences.

That resonates with the Left and repels the Right. I doubt the electorate sees the nuance that Obama intended. Hillary was savy to distort it and score a few points off Obama - she's prepping the inexperienced fool attack.

Mortimer Brezny said...

That resonates with the Left and repels the Right. I doubt the electorate sees the nuance that Obama intended. Hillary was savy to distort it and score a few points off Obama - she's prepping the inexperienced fool attack.

Oh, certainly. But I fail to see how you can rely on the black vote while calling your black opponent an inexperienced fool. I would suspect there will be backlash.

Fen said...

You give them the VP slot. Blacks Democrats are already used to being treated that way.

Dewave said...

Clinton's playing up of the inexperience meme is also subtly racist. What she's really suggesting is that Obama is dumb because he's black. No, she isn't saying that directly, but she knows very well there are people who will take it that way.

So, any time a white person criticizes the judgement/experience/wisdom/etc of a black person, it's racist, because there are some people out there that will assume it's all because the black person is black?

Surely you don't think that's a reasonable approach. It robs the word 'racist' of any real meaning.

Mortimer Brezny said...

You give them the VP slot. Blacks Democrats are already used to being treated that way.

As I said the other day, no self-respecting black person would vote for that. A Clinton-Obama ticket would garner far fewer black votes than a ticket with either Hillary or Barack and someone else. Not to mention Hillary wouldn't want to run with Obama, because she thinks it would hamper her chances of picking up two Southern states, which she needs to win. If Obama gets the nomination, Hillary Clinton is neither young nor a change agent, so she gets the boot. Obama is likelier to pick a liberal Republican VP. If Obama or Hillary gets the nomination, the other will not be VP.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Surely you don't think that's a reasonable approach.

I didn't say racist. I said subtly racist. But, yes, if you knowingly encourage racist thinking and directly benefit from it, uh, that counts. It's no different from the Southern strategy. Fen certainly gets the point.

Mortimer Brezny said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_strategy

Check out Lee Atwater's quotes.

Revenant said...

I think Obama will definitely be President one day, unless he screws up somewhere along the line. Right now, though, he clearly isn't ready for it.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Lee Atwater's quotes:

You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say 'nigger'—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.
And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me—because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Nigger, nigger."


You can't say certain words, so you say inexperienced fool, instead.

Oh, and Hillary supported Barry Goldwater back in the 60s, when Goldwater strongly opposed civil rights.

Maxine Weiss said...

I have it on good authority that Hillary Clinton is in the throes of Menopause. She's not "post-menopausal" at all. She was a late-bloomer, and now finds herself deep in the bowels of the beast.

By the time she would take office, she'd still be having hot flashes.

A menopausal woman can hold various offices, but not something as serious as the Presidency.

Just as you wouldn't put an all-out menopausal woman in the military....someone who's going through that type of debilliating menopause has no business assuming the Presidency.

In the old days, a woman in Menopause would take to her bed for the duration. Nowadays you've got 'em out campaigning for leader of the free world.

That's progress?

Henry said...

Mortimer, you forget that Obama is inexperienced (relative to front-runners (Clinton & Guiliani) and for anyone with a shred of realism regarding foreign policy, his answer is foolish.

Perhaps Obama is willing to take on the mantle of idealism even with the risk of looking naive, but his post-debate comments seem a lot more defensive than that.

Clinton is playing the longer game. Whoever wins the Democratic nomination has to beat a Republican and she has no interest of letting the base mold her into another Kerry.

Henry said...

You can't say certain words, so you say inexperienced fool, instead.

Apparently you can't say "inexperienced fool" either.

This goes beyond Teflon.

Joseph Hovsep said...

I agree that Clinton came off as the more credible candidate and more skilled debater in that exchange, but I think people are reading a little too much into it. Essentially, Obama gave a 30-second answer to a question he perceived to be an opportunity to highlight the likely difference between Bush's demonization and ostracization of leaders of rogue states and a Democratic president's approach. So, Obama stressed that he would talk to these leaders (as opposed to ignore, demonize or use military force against them). Clinton took full advantage of her fortuitous chance to follow up and gave a more nuanced and smarter answer and one that distinguished her from both Obama and Bush, but the opporunity to follow up an opponent's answer is a big advantage afforded by the timing. I think Clinton scored a big tactical victory as a debater. I don't think this necessarily translates into a big difference in how the two would actually conduct foreign policy.

Maxine Weiss said...

I don't even think a woman in menopause is fit to drive. I was behind some woman trying to merge while having a hot flash. Women drivers on a good day are a terror.

Face it: women have a rough time during "the change".... and they really shouldn't be out running around.

Cedarford said...

Wow. Just from the sheer number of "Mortimer" posts defending Obama's flub it is clear Barack damaged himself pretty good.

The question ignored, but Clinton and Biden knew full well, that Sadat's visit was coming after three years of intense low-level talks between the Egyptians, Israelis, Brits, and USA about peace, throwing the Russians out, safe passage on the Suez, and guarantees Israel would get trading land for peace with Egypt. Sadat came to seal some deals already agreed to and decide on other deals on the table.
Anyone with diplomatic history knowledge knows this. Obama did not.
And Obama's answer was ill-informed on several levels.

He said Reagan talked to the Soviets. TRue, but only after 5 years of refusing to talk to them face-to-face in High Summit until they had something to offer. Even then, he disliked it and collapsed the Iceland Summit by walking away from the consternated commies.

But that ignores that below "Personal Presidential Diplomacy" the Reagan realists were busy talking away at lower levels to any "evil" government interested in dialogue, but more importantly to every friend and ally of the 175 nations then existing. Something Bush II sadly ignored way to much.

Hillary slammed him on his "Open Door to Dictators" policy, but she could have done worse damage by mentioning that 535 nationally elected officials, 50 Governors, 800 leaders of important US organizations and Heads of State of 110 "friendly" countries cantain significant percentages that would love 4 hours of Pesidential time and most, save for Congressional leaders and heads of state of Really Important Countries - will never get it.

Obama, if he had any executive experience, would know that he can not maintain an open door policy for any enemy that wishes his time when time management precludes meeting with supporters, friends, and neutral parties. That is why the President is just one of 100s of thousands in the Executive - he can't "do it all". Same with the insipid idiots that think a President could attend the funerals of 2200 "hero soldiers, hero cops, hero special victims" a year and get anything done.

**********
Finally Mort pulls out the race card: But I fail to see how you can rely on the black vote while calling your black opponent an inexperienced fool. I would suspect there will be backlash.

Because we all know there is no such thing as an inexperienced black fool.
The only reason that there are no inexperienced 40-something white or Asian lawyers from top schools that had moderate success in their legal careers and a quick political rise but with only 2 years of national experience running for President is no one would take such a bid seriously. Despite their many thousands, their telegenic looks and articulate speech, some even with magnificent breasts as alluring as having a Magic Negro absolving liberal guilt!
None are on the Presidential candidate stage because the Party and donors believe they are too inexperienced!

Mortimer Brezny said...

Clinton is playing the longer game.

And lying about it, and backtracking about lying about it.

Calling Obama inexperienced is a non-sequitur and a cover-up for her answer, which was shit in the context of the Democratic debate and the Democratic primaries/caucuses in IA, NH, and SC.

Not all foreign policy wonks are realists. Many are liberals, including most of those who served in Clinton's administration and who are credible., e.g., Graham Allison, Ashton Carter, and Joseph Nye. They all served under Clinton and all teach at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and Public Policy. Obama isn't saying anything you won't find in their textbooks or writings in foreign affairs magazine. Which is exactly why Clinton is a flip-flopper; she held herself out as a transformative liberal, then hopped over to the realist camp, and now she's claiming she's a liberal again. Playing the longer game ain't the same as trying to have it both ways. That isn't experience: it's triangulation, it's unprincipled, and it's dishonest.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Because we all know there is no such thing as an inexperienced black fool.

While there are individuals who fit the mold of that well-worn stereotype, Barack Obama is not one of them. Purposely tarring Obama with that stereotype is as repugnant as claiming he is inauthentiucally black, as some black powerbrokers do.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Cedarford,

You are the ideal target for Hillary Clinton's tactics.

And prove my point.

EnigmatiCore said...

"I do find it interesting tat she won on reality here, whereas fairly recently, candidates were winning on their ability to cater to their party's net crazies."

I could not agree more. It gave me great comfort, too, because assuming she is the nominee for the Democrats, it means that at least one of the candidates will be able to think quickly and come up with responsible positions. This is much more important than right-or-left orientation.

So far, only two candidates meet that test to me-- her and Rudy. Two have not met that standard but have not proven themselves incapable- Obama and Fred. Obama has teetered close to falling off, though. The rest, from Edwards to Biden to Romney to McCain, all are off my radar. Especially Edwards.

Mortimer Brezny said...

This goes beyond Teflon.

:)

Mortimer Brezny said...

Two have not met that standard but have not proven themselves incapable- Obama and Fred.

Interesting. I find these the most compelling candidates in the field.

Than again, I thought John McCain v. Bill Bradley in 2000 would have been ideal. What do I know!

Mortimer Brezny said...

she has no interest of letting the base mold her into another Kerry

Kerry got molded because he tried pathetically to appeal to the center ("I hunt! ... -ed once"), rather than running to the left. The Democrats were idiots to select a candidate on "electability" because their "electable" candidate was not elected. They should have simply gone with Dean and run on what they actually believed. I mean, they would have lost, either way, right?

Mortimer Brezny said...

his post-debate comments seem a lot more defensive than that

Actually, I'd call them offensive. He hasn't done much defending of his statements. Most of it is attacking Hillary for supporting Bush-lite policies and flip-flopping on foreign policy.

EnigmatiCore said...

"I find these the most compelling candidates in the field."

I find them interesting, though I would not use the word compelling.

Both have my interest, and could cross the threshold into compelling. I think it is because of the charisma and the initial savvy they showed.

The reason I said that Obama is in risk of falling off of this characterization is because when he is given a chance to show himself, as with this debate, he does not live up to the level of interest that his first impression suggested.

Fred has not put himself into things such as debates, so he has not failed to live up to his promise yet the way Obama has.

Fred and Obama are the 'imagine what you want' candidates at this point. They drew a nice outline, and people are imagining the colors. But they have to color their worlds. Until they do, they are just figments of our imaginations, exciting in the possibilities, but non-substantial in the whole.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Imagine this:

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/07/25/290301.aspx

Cedarford said...

Mortimer has taken up a shovel alongside his black moral redeemer.

It's getting worse. ABC is now breaking news that hours before the debate Obama met with some of the uppercrust execs of the MSM and informed them that he had the best knowledge & abilities in foreign affairs of any candidate, Republican or Democrat. The buzz after the "off the record" meeting then Obama's debate flub compounding questions on how much he has a clue on foreign policy to the degree that ABC asked Obama's camp if the answers Obama gave and his comments to the astonished execs were actually true.

Obama's camp confirmed it:

At a closed-door, off-the-record meeting with media mavens and corporate titans at the Time Warner Center in Manhattan Tuesday evening, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., the freshman senator who just three years ago was an Illinois state senator, said he had better judgment about foreign policy than any presidential candidate in either party.

"One thing I'm very confident about is my judgment in foreign policy is, I believe, better than any other candidate in this race, Republican or Democrat," Obama said.


John McCain, hearing of the remarks, said he was therefore the candidate most qualified to be in the decathalon because he watches track and field on TV and has given "race metaphors" in many of his speeches.

The execs, shocked, began asking Obama why he knew more about foreign policy than 30-year Chairman of Foreign Affairs Joe Biden, McCain, Richardson's UN and Latin American experience, Hillary who has met with leaders of 82 countries, Duncan Hunter of 20 years experience running House Armed Services, Giuliani who has extensive experience with UN issues and numerous trips overseas promoting NYC?

Obama deepened his hole with his explainations why he knew more and had better judgement:

1. He majored in International Affairs as an undergraduate.
2. He gave a speech opposing the Iraq War as a State Senator when "most others in the race were clearly wrong".
3. He lived overseas as a kid for a few years, so he sees America and the world with "different eyes".
4. He has relatives overseas he hears from now and then (His Muslim father's family in Kenya and his Muslim stepfather's family in Indonesia) so he gets "regular updates."

Mortimer, please, drop the shovel you are digging his hole with and do Obama a favor and also rip the shovel from the naive, inexperienced Obama's hands.

In followups to the Obama claims of foreign policy mastery, Fred Thompson revealed he played an Arab on TV once and Mitt Romney bragging about "knowing the nuances and nailing foreign policy" from his two years abroad
as a Church Missionary where "even the French liked me!" And Dennis Kuchinich revealed he knows quite a bit about foreign policy from eating foreign Vegan dishes & dating an Albanian gnome and seeing the world through their eyes. Dennis did not mention the gnome's gender. Edwards said he sued a foreigner successfully once - "300 dollars and the Filipino stylist didn't even layer my hair properly." Not mentioning Hillary or Obama, he cited his suing knowledge as a reason why he could run circles around the judgement of Joe Biden - "Now much money has he ever collected from foreigners as Chair of Foreign Policy?"

shadow said...

Ann, I think you're judging Obama too quickly and making too much of this one exchange. Obama's often accused of being light on substance, but whenever I've seen him interviewed in a situation where he's not limited t0 30 second sound bites, he's provided plenty of specifics and shown sound judgements on complex issues. I'm quite confident he'll make a strong run all the way to the end.

Personally, I think all 3 democratic frontrunners would be excellent presidents. I've always liked Hillary a lot, but I'd have a very hard time supporting her because of her vote for the resolution authorizing the use of military force in Iraq. I hate to focus on a single issue, but this one indicates an incredible lack of good judgement. I thought it was extremely obvious at the time that Dubya had already made up his mind to invade and that he was concealing his real reasons from us and that it would be a total disaster. Hillary should have known this too.

EnigmatiCore said...

Mortimer, that he did not do that at the debate, or even immediately after, tells me he was fed that attack.

Good to know he has someone around him he listens to with some balls, but not nearly as good as if he had some himself.

As for Fred, it looks like a Ron Paul type decided to attack him. Good response-- total dismissiveness.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Cedarford,

You are the ideal target for Hillary Clinton's tactics.


Somehow the idea of Cedarford being enamored enough by Hillary Clinton's tactics to vote for her makes me certain the end is indeed nigh.

Forgive me if I am being presumptuous.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Mortimer, that he did not do that at the debate, or even immediately after

Actually, he did. He sent a memo to the press the next day and gave an interview to the Quad City Times the next day. The problem is that people like you have bought into Clinton's narrative of events, in some cases, without seeing the debate, hearing Obama's full answer, reading the entire question that was asked, or seeing the video montage that accompanied the question.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Mortimer has taken up a shovel alongside his black moral redeemer.

Aside from the obvious racism of this comment, if your argument rests on the consistency and coherence of Hillary Clinton's statements on foreign policy, then methinks you doth protest too much.

hdhouse said...

Gosh Mort...I was just gonna say you talka too much...all protesting aside.

Mortimer Brezny said...

I guess I beat you to the punch.

Luckyoldson said...

In case anyone missed it, I've been telling everyone here that Hillary will be our next President.

Oh, and here's something I've commented on before:

Disfavor for Bush Hits Rare HeightsIn Modern Era, Only Nixon and Truman Scored Worse, Just Barely

President Bush is a competitive guy. But this is one contest he would rather lose. With 18 months left in office, he is in the running for most unpopular president in the history of modern polling.

The latest Washington Post-ABC News survey shows that 65 percent of Americans disapprove of Bush's job performance, matching his all-time low.

In polls conducted by The Post or Gallup going back to 1938, only twice has a president exceeded that level of public animosity -- Harry S. Truman, who hit 67 percent during the Korean War, and Richard M. Nixon, who hit 66 percent four days before resigning.

Luckyoldson said...

I'm sure many of you didn't notice, probably because Hillary's tits, but Obama had a carrot in his pocket and Biden had an onion ring in his lapel.

Weird, huh?

Cedarford said...

Mortimer, circa his 25th or so post why Obama-God is right.....

"Mortimer has taken up a shovel alongside his black moral redeemer."

Aside from the obvious racism of this comment....


Not at all, critics have noticed in movies and books the Rise of the Magic Negro - who comes from humble roots, has no education - but functions as a literary device of dispensing profound wisdom and absolving the white protagonist of all his doubts, troubles - and most of all - dominant race guilt. And guides the lead white character on his journey of success because the Magic Negro also has moral superiority.

MOrtimer of course pulled the race card before my Magic Negro one -when he was unable to rebut other posters on Obama being inexperienced and naive. So old guilty white guy Mort has to post effectively saying - the "only people that think Al Sharpton or Obama are inexperienced and naive", are racists.

You don't get white or Asian neophytes because they don't fill the bill that liberals crave so much for a morally superior black redeemer to come along no matter what their executive experience, knowledge level, and reasoning skills are.

Obama not only flubbed with his "Open Door to Dictators' policy, but speaking to media elite that he knows his foreig policy/defense skills are the best from his college major, living overseas with Muslim relatives, and giving a speech against going into Iraq in the Illinois legislature.

And in the last debate, same sort of stuff. The question "if an enemy nukes a major city, what do you do?" - Obama said his first priority was to "support the 1st responders aiding the victims". Hillary said her 1st response would be to "find out what enemy did it, then retaliate with all our force".

Obama is bright, articulate, but in a space as a candidate for highest office that no such white or Asian with similar experience would be allowed..and his lightweight platitudes show why his white or Asian peers are at least 10 years away from similar consideration for our highest executive office.

Revenant said...

I'm less concerned with whether or not Hillary or Obama talk to dictators, and a lot more concerned with what they plan to say when they do.

If "talk" means "let them know where we stand and listen to where THEY stand", Bush and all his predecessors have done that.

If "talk" means "give them concessions", talking is an atrociously bad idea. Why on Earth should we give one inch of ground to some pissant third-world dictatorship? At least the Soviet Union was strong enough to pose a serious threat to us, such that we had to care what the Soviets wanted. We've no reason to care what North Korea wants.

Luckyoldson said...

Revenant said..."If "talk" means "give them concessions", talking is an atrociously bad idea."

You must be referring to the weapons Reagan traded for hostages we didn't get, or his dealings with Noreiga, or Saddam.

Right?

hdhouse said...

Lucky--

Revenant has no idea what he is talking about nor does he care about how dumb he sounds when he says it.

You can't debate with him. He is void of facts. Its just Rush Limbaugh drivil..the old "on-off switch". He doesn't care what Korea thinks. We just tell them and they either fall in line or we ignore them. That is the massive stupidity and arrogance of the rightwing. Elected President and your are King of the World. I think the Titanic sunk didn't it?

Hoosier Daddy said...

hdhouse said:Revenant has no idea what he is talking about nor does he care about how dumb he sounds when he says it.

You can't debate with him. He is void of facts.


Aren't you afraid of lighting striking you by making this statement? Since I have been on here I have yet to see you make a coherent argument, let alone show facts on any topic other than defending Imus but rather resort to calling anyone an inch to the right a neo-con idiot and mouthpiece for Rush/Sean et al.

hdhouse said...

give yourself a break Hoosier Daddy...

Slogans are not facts much as you nuts on the right like to think them. Look at the blindass assertions put forth on this very thread...you can find them pretty easy, they contain "all", "everyone knows", "liberals", "MSM is", "liberal press"...etc.

those are slogans. do nothing, mean nothing statements.

clean up the rightwing act before you get huffy with me.

Mortimer Brezny said...

only people that think Al Sharpton or Obama are inexperienced and naive

I never said anything about Al Sharpton. I criticized Hillary's tactic.

Mortimer Brezny said...

The AP article is factually incorrect.

It says: "Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama tried to turn rival Hillary Rodham Clinton's words back on her Wednesday, saying her vote to authorize the Iraq war was "irresponsible and naive."

Except Obama criticized her vote during the debate. Worse, Clinton made her "irresponsible and naive" comments to the Quad City Times on Tuesday. On that same day, Obama called Clinton "irresponsible and naive" for her vote to authorize the War in Iraq, in an interview to the same newspaper. So it is simply not true that he "tried to turn her words against her on Wednesday". He repeated the same charge he made at the debate, and threw those words in her face a few hours after she made them, on Tuesday.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Slogans are not facts much as you nuts on the right like to think them.

You mean like 'bumper sticker wars?' "Culture of Corruption?"
"Vast right wing conspiracy?" "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention?

Those kinds of slogans?

Revenant said...

Aren't you afraid of lighting striking you by making this statement? Since I have been on here I have yet to see you make a coherent argument, let alone show facts on any topic other than defending Imus

Heh!

I'm also not sure what "facts" he's talking about here. I simply said that making concessions to third-world dictators was a mistake. Unless hdhouse thinks it is a "fact" that giving concessions to third-world dictators is a *good* idea I'm not sure what he's whining about.

He's right that it is a waste of time for Lucky to ask me questions -- but only because I'm not actually reading Lucky's posts anymore and therefore probably won't notice any questions are being asked. :)

Revenant said...

I also like the fact that all of the "slogans" hdhouse is accusing us "nuts on the right" of using in this thread have appeared exclusively in Cedarford's posts.

My only contributions to this thread have been the aforementioned opinion that giving concessions to third-world dictators is bad, and the opinion that Barack Obama has a great shot at becoming President once he gets some more experience. I'm not sure which of those is the "right-wing slogan". Maybe HD can explain.