Obama: No Flamewars in the Senate, Please

I just got an email from someone on Obama's staff.  Apparently Obama doesn't want a flame war.

February 6, 2006

The Honorable John McCain
United States Senate
241 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC  20510

Dear John:

During my short time in the U.S. Senate, one of the aspects about this institution that I have come to value most is the collegiality and the willingness to put aside partisan differences to work on issues that help the American people.  It was in this spirit that I approached you to work on ethics reform, and it was in this spirit that I agreed to attend your bipartisan meeting last week.  I appreciated then - and still do appreciate - your willingness to reach out to me and several other Democrats.

For this reason, I am puzzled by your response to my recent letter.  Last Wednesday morning, you called to invite me to your meeting that afternoon.  I changed my schedule so I could attend the meeting.  Afterwards, you thanked me several times for attending the meeting, and we left pledging to work together.

As you will recall, I told everyone present at the meeting that my caucus insisted that the consideration of any ethics reform proposal go through the regular committee process.  You didn't indicate any opposition to this position at the time, and I wrote the letter to reiterate this point, as well as the fact that I thought S. 2180 should be the basis for a bipartisan solution.

I confess that I have no idea what has prompted your response. But let me assure you that I am not interested in typical partisan rhetoric or posturing.  The fact that you have now questioned my sincerity and my desire to put aside politics for the public interest is regrettable but does not in any way diminish my deep respect for you nor my willingness to find a bipartisan solution to this problem.

Sincerely,

Barack Obama
United States Senator

McCain will probably respond by killing Obama's dog.

Tags: Barack Obama, John McCain (all tags)

Comments

28 Comments

Re: Obama: No Flamewars in the Senate, Please

Jeez...

We're gonna have to buy a lot of aluminum bats this year, to protect ourselves from Repug Presidential-wanna-bes making great shows of their manliness by cowardly acts that hint at violence.

by palamedes 2006-02-06 02:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: No Flamewars in the Senate, Please

Not only will McCain kill Obama's dog, but Obama will respond by saying "the death of my dog in no way affects my desire to work with you in a bipartisan fashion."

This episode is truly surreal.  McCain is making a serious mistake, since his one Achilles' heel is his reputation for occasionally becoming unhinged.  His "reasonableness" is at the heart of his electability, and it's puzzling that he would choose to undermine it over the extremely inside-baseball issue of who is going to sponsor which reform.

by Steve M 2006-02-06 02:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: No Flamewars in the Senate, Please

maybe the truth is he can't control himself?

by bruh21 2006-02-06 02:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: No Flamewars in the Senate, Please

Kill Obama's dog? No way. But he might cook up his rabbit in a pot.

[Fatal Attraction]

by Ament Stone of California 2006-02-06 02:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: No Flamewars in the Senate, Please

You know, even for a junior Senator to take such a smack-down on the chin and respond with such politeness and a "can I still hang out with you guys?" tone leaves me curious. Is this an, "OK, we'll do it your way" response?

by torrentprime 2006-02-06 02:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: No Flamewars in the Senate, Please

No, Obama is behaving like an academic.  In academia you don't have flamewars.

by KimPossible 2006-02-06 04:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: No Flamewars in the Senate, Please

In academia you don't have flamewars.

WHAT?!

Think "sociobiology".

by Ed Fitzgerald 2006-02-06 05:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: No Flamewars in the Senate, Please

No, it's more like academics are used to people picking apart mundane points and exaggerating them into larger straw man attacks against their honesty and acumen as a scholar. Academics have to be able to respond in kind, but they also have to understand that it's all just how the game is played.

I don't that's why Obama is acting that way here. I think he is playing jujitsu with McCain, hoping he'll overreact and Obama can come through as the reasonable guy.

These are, arguably, the two most popular politicians in America. For McCain to stoop to such pedantry suggests that he is very insecure about 2008.

by elrod 2006-02-06 06:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: No Flamewars in the Senate, Please
Barack has too much class to wallow in the muck.
This is his style, and it's what brought him to the Senate in 2004
by v2aggie2 2006-02-06 08:30PM | 0 recs
Like I have said 30,000 times

REPUBLICAN McCain ----- Textbook Passive Aggresive Personality Disorder

by Sam Loomis 2006-02-06 02:33PM | 0 recs
McCain is making an ass out of himself

If there is one Democrat who can take him on publically, it's Barack Obama.  He better remember who he is up against.

Come on Obama, run for president in '08!  Obama vs. McCain, wow now there's a race.

by jkfp2004 2006-02-06 02:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: No Flamewars in the Senate, Please

Obama is making the typical Democratic mistake of being polite and nice - when what he NEEDS to to do is take an aluminum bat to McCain's balls.

Figuratively speaking, of course! :)

by sjs1959 2006-02-06 03:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: No Flamewars in the Senate, Please

Sorry, Sis, but like Torrentprime above, you are completely missing Obama's masterstroke here.  With utterly irreproachable politeness and niceness, he was indeed taking an aluminum bat to McCain's balls -- and barely figuratively.

This guy knows exactly what he's doing, and he's doing it exceptionally well.  Obviously, he will run for president someday, but not in 2008.  His sense of the game is too perfect for that.  I would hate to play poker with him.      

by Richter 2006-02-06 03:37PM | 0 recs
I don't know

This sounds like typical Barack. Maybe he emphasized it in private. But I'm sick of it.

We're playing patty cake and they're playing rugby.

hey Barack, "There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says, fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again."

Learn it, live it. You're getting screwed over.

by zappatero 2006-02-06 04:36PM | 0 recs
Who are you trying to kid?

Obama has been officially punked out and no one will take seriously.

by Gary Boatwright 2006-02-06 06:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Who are you trying to kid?

Again, I don't think you guys are getting Obama at all.  The above letter makes him look like a class act while calling McCain an untrustworthy jackass... and perhaps a tad unhinged (that would be the "I have no idea" part). That's not pattycake or getting punked -- that is very deft politics.  Yes, it is typical Barack:  typically brilliant.  I suppose you would have preferred him to throw a chair.  But as we all learned from the catastrophe of Saint Ralph's presidential campaign, political strategy should be based on what works, not what is emotionally satisfying... well, maybe some of us still have to learn that.

by Richter 2006-02-07 09:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: No Flamewars in the Senate, Please

Hate to say anything positive about Rove, but maybe he was right in the 2000 S.C. primary. Maybe McCain really is a psycho.

by Bush Bites 2006-02-06 03:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: No Flamewars in the Senate, Please

Actually, what Obama is doing is dealing with a bully in a dignified manner.  What's the point in a freshman going after a senior senator?  Better to let all the talking heads criticize McCain for getting unhinged.  All three letters are now on Obama's website.

by racerx20854 2006-02-06 03:30PM | 0 recs
On what planet?

Better to let all the talking heads criticize McCain for getting unhinged.

By talking heads do you mean Hannity? John Gibson? Maybe O'Reilly? Who are the talking heads who are going to back up a Democrat against McCain?

by Gary Boatwright 2006-02-06 08:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: No Flamewars in the Senate, Please

All of you who think Obama is being too "polite" don't understand the art of politics.  Obama just humiliated McCain with his letter.  Read it again a few times, its a total smack-down.

by j flynn 2006-02-06 03:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: No Flamewars in the Senate, Please

This has always been the knock on McCain, just like it was for Howard Dean - the "short fuse." This episode just goes to show that the old man is getting grumpier every day.

by bluenc 2006-02-06 04:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: No Flamewars in the Senate, Please

I once thought McCain was honorable and felt sorry for the attacks Bush/Rove laid on him in the SC Primary.  Since then I am seeing quite a different guy.  This hypocrite is now so pro-war and spends so much time kissing "DUBYA's" ass he is becoming foolish.  Take the gloves off DEM's it's about time we fought fire with fire.  McCain is a no good F--K!

by BE10sCoach 2006-02-06 04:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: No Flamewars in the Senate, Please

Maybe what really upset McCain is the prospect of being robbed of his signature issue, especially when '08 is sill a long ways off. If this is what's going on, he wouldn't even want the task force to be bypassed, let alone allow the Democrats be the ones to get credit for the reforms people want now, not three years down the road.

I mean, really, does this issue really need a task force? And why would the guy who is supposed to understand the problem and know how to fix it (McCain), be the one who is desperately attached to the idea of a task force???

by Ben Seeley 2006-02-06 04:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: No Flamewars in the Senate, Please

Frikkin awesome!

by bluenc 2006-02-06 06:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: No Flamewars in the Senate, Please

McCain will probably respond by killing Obama's dog.

Nah, it'll be much easier for him to help the administration asphyxiate the Constitution while no one is paying attention.

by Michael Bersin 2006-02-06 06:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: No Flamewars in the Senate, Please

Hey Lucas, are you a ghost freeper?  Because you don't make any sense.  

by j flynn 2006-02-06 07:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama: No Flamewars in the Senate, Please

I encourage everyone to call McCain's office (224-2235) and demand that he apologize to Obama for his over the top letter.

by racerx20854 2006-02-07 04:01AM | 0 recs
McCain's sold his soul

McCain's just playing politics here, GOP-style. He's attacking Obama -- a man seen by most people as a thoughtful, moderate Democrat -- for being partisan.

McCain's got the edge on Obama in terms of having the "likeable-moderate" image (he's just been around longer), so he's counting on average voters, particularly independents, hearing this from McCain and believing that Sen. Obama is being partisan.

It's an attempt to take credibility away from the Democrats on the issue of reform, thus helping neutrelizing the issue for November. A classic strategy out of the Rovian GOP playbook, and the fact that McCain is using it shows us how deep he's gonen into the same viper's den that is the Rove machine. We all know McCain's sold his soul to the devil -- this just proves the point again.

This man will do anything to be President -- another reason to fear a McCain presidency.

by LiberalFromPA 2006-02-07 05:40AM | 0 recs

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