October 20, 2005

And the first nomination for Least Justified Highlighting of Barack Obama....

A NYT article today begins:
In three and a half hours of hearings at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Ms. Rice was both conciliatory and combative, rebutting the gloomy assessments from senators of both parties but at the end offering a weary concession to Senator Barack Obama, Democrat of Illinois.

"I understand that, yes, it might not work," Ms. Rice told Mr. Obama, referring to American plans to raise the effectiveness of Iraqi forces and heal Iraq's fractious society. "But every day we have to get up and work at our hardest to make it work."

Obama is never quoted in the article, and we are given no indication of what he might have done to wrest this "concession" from Rice. Statements of numerous other senators appear further down in the article.


knox said...

Great headline.

It's been nonstop a**kissing from the press since the democratic convention.

Unknown said...

A weary General Eisenhower was forced to admit that Operation Overlord might not work.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee began to weep in unison, insisted that he call it off, grabbed their binkies and went home.

Steve Donohue said...

Let me just say that stars that reach this bright a shine 3 or 4 years before any potenital presidential run seldom retain their luster for long enough to succeed. He's going to have to do more than be "generally liked amiable black senator who defeated sweaty Alan Keyes", which I think is his official position right now.

He'll come back to earth. Everyone does, whether rightly or wrongly.

ALH ipinions said...


Did you happen to see the Hearings you reference?

I’m sure your readers will be justifiably weary of anything published in the New York Times.

Nevertheless, it is indeed noteworthy that Obama elicited this concession from Rice. And, he may have succeeded in this regard because - by the time his turn came to question Rice - she was so mentally and physically weary of the politically motivated bloviating by other Senators that she suffered little of the (Michael Crowe) "tell what they want to hear" syndrome.

Then again, Obama may have succeeded because he treated her with the respect her office demands and did not try to score cheap political points in his colloquy with her.

Too Many Jims said...

Because my 19 month decided last night that midnight was entirely too early for him to be down for the night and because C-SPAN is a great cure for a child inflicted with temporary insomnia, I actually watched the replay of this hearing. (I tried to get the video to play on the C-SPAN site to see if my recollection of the events was correct but I could not get the video to play.)

It was an interesting hearing at the end. I started watching part way through Boxer's questioning of Rice. These two hate each other so much that they should book them as part of Wrestlemania and let them really go at it. One thing was clear, if Rice was going to make any "concession" it was not going to be to Boxer.

When Boxer was done, it was Nelson's (of FL) turn to ask questions. Rice reminded Lugar that she had to be over in the House in about 10 or 15 minutes. Nelson passed his turn to Obama. Nelson said he passed because he had not been in the hearing for as long so he wanted Obama to go first. I suppose it is possible that he passed because Obama is developing a reputation as a good questoner.

At any rate, Obama did strike me as a good questioner. He was cordial and polite which was a marked contrast to Boxer. He did a good job of laying out his one of his primary concerns, namely the fractured nature of Iraq. He pointed out that some of the Iraqi military do not even fight under the Iraqi flag, rather they fight under the Kurdish flag. I think that her "concession" came when he pressed her to spell out whether it would be a unitary state down the road, she was distracted by the fact she had had a long day and that she had to meet with the house side as well. So, I don't think he "wrested" the concession in any particular way.

All that said, you are definitely right that if they are going to write that she "offered a weary concession" to him, they should articulate what he said to get that out of her.

tcd said...

I'm sure if Obama gets in Hillary's way, he'll be sorry. Hillary will make sure of it.

PatCA said...

Well, at least they didn't call him a rock star.

Does anyone think that the chief of staff guy to Hillary's...er, Geena's First Lady on CIC looks like him?

Laura Reynolds said...

I think the senate should have a rule that "questions" in a commitee hearing can only be one sentence (and so many words) long. If additional questions are needed to clarify an answer fine, but this rambling bloviating is ridiculous.

Obama will get the Mario Cuomo ('84) treatment, annointed as the next great hope. Good luck with all that.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Money can't buy the publicity that the MSM will lavish on their "rising star."

Michael Van Winkle said...

I guess they're trying to make up the spanking Rice delivered in her confirmation hearings.