Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards Shines

I believe I was the first blogger to note the importance of Edwards not raising his hand when asked whether there is a Global War on Terror.  Ben Smith at the Politico posted it a few hours later, followed by Wonkette. And now it's moving outward. For a major candidate, this is a very significant departure from the bipartisan consensus, and I only wish that Edwards had noted it with more than a raised hand.  Indeed it's going to be tough for him to escape his answer, so he should embrace it.  This is easily remedied, and now that he's crossed that bridge there's no going back.  I noticed Edwards's point because the abuse of language and metaphor is something that all the candidates tend towards, it's ingrained in the institutional habits of the Democratic establishment.  I hate this tendency and I notice it.  So when Edwards pulls away from it, however meekly, it means he's listening to a different set of advisors, and that's a good thing.

As for Clinton, she should be ashamed of herself.  After the debate, her campaign laid into Barack Obama for not being 'tough enough' in responding to a question about what he would do if two America cities were attacked.  

The Clinton campaign seized on what happened, claiming, without mentioning Obama, that "Hillary was the candidate who demonstrated that she would know how to respond if the country was attacked." An Obama spokesman dismissed the Clinton camp's press release as "a sign of nervousness."...

The moment at issue came in the second half of Thursday's debate at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg. The moderator, NBC News anchor Brian Williams, asked how Obama would change the military posture of the United States if the terrorist network al-Qaeda hit two U.S. cities.

Obama said he first would assure there was an effective emergency response and not a repeat of what happened in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

He then turned his attention to the issue of intelligence. "The second thing is to make sure that we've got good intelligence, A) to find out that we don't have other threats and attacks potentially out there, and, B) to find out, do we have any intelligence on who might have carried it out so that we can take potentially some action to dismantle that network."

He went on to say that what the United States must avoid at such a moment is alienating the world community "based on faulty intelligence, based on bluster and bombast," adding that "we're not going to defeat terrorists on our own."

His answer appeared shaped by the reaction, at home and abroad, to President Bush's invasion of Iraq, and he was suggesting clearly that he would not follow that model in confronting a terrorist attack.

But in rapid succession, former senator John Edwards (N.C.) and Clinton offered rather different responses, sounding a far more aggressive tone in their determination to retaliate and unequivocal in their willingness to use force.

"The first thing I would do is be certain I knew who was responsible, and I would act swiftly and strongly to hold them responsible for that," Edwards said.

Clinton, citing her experience as a senator from New York during the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, said, "I think a president must move as swiftly as is prudent to retaliate."

"If we are attacked, and we can determine who is behind that attack, and if there are nations that supported or gave material aid to those who attacked us, I believe we should quickly respond," she said.

This notion that the winner of the debate is who says 'I will bomb the %#^%@ out of someone' the fastest is not only stupid, it's insane. Obviously the first thing the President should do is (a) see to emergency response to take care of American citizens and (b) look at intelligence to make sure the country is no longer under threat.  It is not only a sign of maturity to make those points, it is a sign of insanity to say that the first thing you will do is retaliate.  That is a more extreme position than that of George W. Bush, who took a month before beginning an assault on Afghanistan.

It is unbelievable that Clinton would attempt to score cheap political points based on the notion that Obama wasn't more belligerent than George W. Bush in how he handled a hypothetical terrorist attack.  That her campaign would do it anonymously is only more cowardly and weak.  And that her campaign did it anonymously and expected to not get criticized reflects a political tin-ear that is beyond problematic.  With this kind of campaign, Hillary Clinton cannot win the Presidency, and frankly, she should not be supported by any Democrat if her argument is that George W. Bush's foreign policy was insufficiently belligerent, aggressive, and thoughtless.

While the shades of difference between the candidates are grayer than I would like, it's clear that quietly, Edwards is finding a voice in opposing the massive right-wing and extreme shift in American politics that goes beyond any of the others.  Whether he will fully embrace it is open to question.  Barack Obama seemed to have fairly good instincts, the same that drew him to oppose the Iraq war and make fundamental critiques of the political system, but his spokesman Robert Gibbs justified Obama's answer with a problematic "He came to it and was pretty forceful about it," which implies a sense that he felt pressure to cave to Clinton's irresponsible and immoral bluster.  Hopefully Obama and Edwards will move to strengthen their progressive instincts, and at least Edwards's direction on the global war on terror shows that all our work over the last five years hasn't gone unnoticed.

Senator Clinton should be ashamed of her campaign's behavior, ashamed of her bluster, and ashamed of herself as a moral being.  It appears she's learned absolutely nothing from the last seven years.

Tags: 2008, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, Chris Dodd, Hillary Clinton, Iraq, joe biden, John Edwards (all tags)

Comments

101 Comments

Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

She gave the same type of strong response on national security that previous presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr., Bill Clinton, Bush Jr. have given. We will soon see if she gets a bounce in the polls from her debate performance and if any other candidates drop because of theirs.

by robliberal 2007-04-28 02:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

Evidence on that?

by Matt Stoller 2007-04-28 02:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

All were elected and were considered acceptable on national security.

by robliberal 2007-04-28 02:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

Please find links and quotes to justify your claims, as opposed to assuming your own rightness about the nature of public opinion.

by Matt Stoller 2007-04-28 02:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

I'll note that I troll-rated you for those evidence-less comments.

by Matt Stoller 2007-04-28 02:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

You troll rated me for not providing links when I said that Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr., Bill Clinton, Bush Jr. were strong on national security?

by robliberal 2007-04-28 02:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

No, I troll rated you for saying that she gave a similar response on national security to various other Presidents without providing evidence, and then refusing to provide the evidence when asked.  If you insist on pushing circular reasoning here you won't win many converts.  We expect evidence.

by Matt Stoller 2007-04-28 02:45PM | 0 recs
Troll Rating....

I am not here to convert anyone. I always encourage everyone to support the candidate of their choice.

I think her campaign shows she is strong on national security.  That is one of the most important factors voters will be looking at.  I don't see it as  "circular reasoning" to say that previous candidates who were successfully elected president were also perceived by voters as being strong on national security. Judging from the responses I have seen in the media and on the blogosphere there are a lot of people who thought that Clinton gave a reasonable and strong response.  

For the record I do not troll rate others on this site or any other sites including my own. I think everyone should have a right to an opinion as long as they are not causing problems and do not cause harm to others.

by robliberal 2007-04-28 02:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Troll Rating....

I uprated you so that we could see this exchange, not because I agree with you.

We as Democrats always seem to say what you're saying - we can't have this debate now because it will kill our nominee. Well, when should we have this debate?

by clarkent 2007-04-28 04:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Troll Rating....

Thank you clarkent.

I personally think the Bush administration framed this as a "war" so they could use it for purposes other than fighting terrorism (i.e. eliminating constitutional rights, Patriot Act, Homeland Security, etc. with all of that being a giant leap toward fascism). At the time all of this started they had tremendous public support from a nation fearful of more attacks. I agreed with what Wesley Clark and a few others said at the time that it should have been handled as a police action not a military one.

The concept of this being a "war" is entrenched with the American public. No matter how false the original premise was or how big a sham it was to start with it is for the time being an important issue to voters. The simplistic "raise your hands" question was a trick question and we all know that. I think Clinton, Obama, Dodd, and Richardson did the right thing by raising their hand and I think the others took a political risk by not doing so. The public wants to be assured that the next president will be against terrorism and will protect national security. A new administration can change the focus and direction of how best to go about doing so but they will never get that opportunity if they get bogged down in a public debate saying they are "against the war on terror" or they do not believe there is a "war on terror".

During the 1968 presidential campaign Gov. George Romney (Mitt Romney's father) said what he was really thinking when he made his famous statement that he had been "brainwashed" about Vietnam and it was "the most tragic foreign policy mistake in the nation's history." Even though he was correct that quickly ended his campaign for president.

 

by robliberal 2007-04-28 05:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

Where did Carter say that the first thing he would do in the event of a terrorist attack would be to retaliate?

That is a real heck of a quote.

The radical right wing has worked assidiously over the half century to push the meaning of "strong on defense" in the direction of more and more extreme actual actions.

That shifting grounds makes is absurd to equate being "strong on defense" in the mid 1970's and the turn of the century.

by BruceMcF 2007-04-29 08:02AM | 0 recs
A Democrat who is weak on security is unelectable.

I couldn't disagree with you more, Chris.  I think Clinton was both smart, thoughtful, and appropriate in her response.  

Further, a Democrat who isn't tough, or isn't perceived to be tough, on security/terrorism will NEVER be elected President.

by JoeCHI 2007-04-28 02:19PM | 0 recs
Re: A Democrat who is weak on security is unelecta

Matt, not Chris.

by Matt Stoller 2007-04-28 02:21PM | 0 recs
Re: A Democrat who is weak on security is unelecta

Mark, not John

by Ramo 2007-04-28 02:23PM | 0 recs
That you, Jerome? n/t

by Pachacutec 2007-04-28 03:06PM | 0 recs
No, they are all Jerome.

... except Jerome ... he's adventure touring in South America.

by BruceMcF 2007-04-29 08:03AM | 0 recs
Re: A Democrat who is weak on security is unelecta

The SC poll this week showed Clinton ranked first among voters on national security with Obama and Edwards ranking far behind. Clinton gave a good response to the question she was asked.

by robliberal 2007-04-28 02:28PM | 0 recs
Re: A Democrat who is weak on security is unelecta

Which of course opens the door to her being compared to Bush. If she can jump to retaliation without reasoning who are what we're retataliating against then her decision making process will be similiar to Bush. Hillary's hawkishness might place well to scared little americans who need someone with a big gun to protect them, but it might not play well with primary voters who actually want a president using actual intelligence in thought, actions and agencies.

by cosbo 2007-04-28 02:42PM | 0 recs
Re: A Democrat who is weak on security is unelecta

If she can jump to retaliation without reasoning who are what we're retataliating against

"Well, again, having been a senator during 9/11, I understand very well the extraordinary horror of that kind of an attack and the impact that it has far beyond those who are directly affected. I think a president must move as swiftly as is prudent to retaliate. If we are attacked and we can determine who was behind that attack, and if there were nations that supported or gave material aid to those who attacked us, I believe we should quickly respond.Now, that doesn't mean we go looking for other fights."

by Baldrick 2007-04-28 02:47PM | 0 recs
Re: A Democrat who is weak on security is unelecta

The two big differences I saw between the answers = Obama mentioned the aftermath of the disaster, and spoke about engaging the international community for a united response.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-04-28 03:03PM | 0 recs
Re: A Democrat who is weak on security is unelecta

Retaliate is the language of WAR. Afghanistan was retaliated upon and now is back to recruiting and war lords. Iraq was the next "retaliation" Retaliation has gotten us NOTHING in return. We're not safer, we're not stronger, we're not better. It's bullshit and anyone who needs to hear the word retaliate in order to feel safe is just about as smart as Bush or maybe Clinton in this case.

The APPEARANCE of being strong on security is a fucking illusion and another deceptive right wing frame that this country has bought into.

How about SMART on Security. Intelligence. Prevention. Did I mention Intelligence.

As for her being a senator on 9/11...that means crap to me. I live in New York. I know people who escaped the buildings that morning. I've freelanced in the WTC. I know what we lossed. My head still spins when I remember looking up at them.

And frankly I don't appreciate her using 9/11 to score points. We have Bush and the entire republican party to do that.

by cosbo 2007-04-28 03:14PM | 0 recs
Re: A Democrat who is weak on security is unelecta

I was just pointing out that your claim that she wanted to retaliate without figuring out who to retaliate against was directly contradicted by the text of her statement.  

I made no other comment, so I'm not sure why you're swearing at me.

You seem very passionate, and I don't disagree with you about the problem with talking about retaliation - it certainly is a silly and childish response to the perception of danger.  But my comment was an effort to encourage you to not let your passion run ahead of the facts.  There's enough wrong with what she did say that there's no need to claim she said something else.

by Baldrick 2007-04-28 04:35PM | 0 recs
Re: A Democrat who is weak on security is unelecta

I wasn't swearing at you. I'm just frustrated at the continued acceptance of the republican frames all the way down to our debates. Even our candidates seem to take the ridiculous security framings seriously. It's not you. It's me.

by cosbo 2007-04-28 08:07PM | 0 recs
Re: A Democrat who is weak on security is unelecta

Let me point out that Brian Williams' question told the candidate that it WAS ALREADY KNOWN THAT AL QUEDA WAS THE CULPRIT.

So she responded to that, which did not seem to penetrate to Obama....Brian Williams had a question whose premise was that the intelligence was already known.  That is one of the reasons why Obama's response seemed inadequate....the question set it up that there was no need to do intelligence.

Second the response she made was indeed just like going after Al Queda in Afghanistan.

by debcoop 2007-04-28 08:01PM | 0 recs
Re: A Democrat who is weak on security is unelecta

Bingo, debcoop!

by ChicagoDude 2007-04-29 06:31AM | 0 recs
Re: A Democrat who is weak on security is unelecta

And that is why the question was so incredibly dishonest. If we knew enough to know that Al-Qaeda was unquestionably behind the attack, at the time that the attack took place, then unless Guliani is President, why didn't we take action to prevent the attacks?

That's not the real world, that's an episode of 24.

by BruceMcF 2007-04-29 08:07AM | 0 recs
Re: A Democrat who is weak on security is unelecta

I agree it was a dishonest question.   a set up coming from a certain viewpoint....but of course if there was a terrorist attack...my presumption would be twofold...Al Queda or homegrown like Timothy McVeigh.

by debcoop 2007-04-29 09:22AM | 0 recs
That was the question asked in Spain.

... whether the train bombing were false jihadists or ETA. I can't think of a single successful terrorist strike in the past decade where it was instantly known who was behind it ... even if some people knowing that kind of thing in the 24 hours before some terrorist strike is set to occur may be the fodder for a fantasy television series.

by BruceMcF 2007-04-29 10:15AM | 0 recs
Re: A Democrat who is weak on security is unelecta

right wing thought process on national security is not high among likley dem primary voters priorities, national security is more likely a threshhold test for dems will Obama and Edwards reasonably respond to an attack including using force. dems will not allow thier primary to look like the GOP a pissing contest on who can sound the strongest.

by nevadadem 2007-04-28 02:49PM | 0 recs
Threshhold test. . .

according to the ass-tute political MSNBC analyst who discussed the debates afterward, Chris Matthews.

Let's all hear it for Chris Matthews, gang.  Put yo' hands up in the air!

by Pachacutec 2007-04-28 03:08PM | 0 recs
a democrat who isn't liked by 52% of voters.

is unelectable, if you want to argue that Obama isn't able to defend the country because he didn't use a specific word or two is a 60 second respose which he clarified a minute later go ahead, Hillary will be toast if Obama and Edwards voters unite around either one of them and coming form this Obama supporter if I think Edwards has a better chance to stop Hillary I would switch in a heartbeat now.

by nevadadem 2007-04-28 02:45PM | 0 recs
Re: a democrat who isn't liked by 52% of voters.

Both the big reasons I support Obama over Edwards...
1.  Like you said, I feel Obama has a better chance to beat Hillary.   (Personal opinion, don't jump on me for it, if you want to talk about it I'd be happy to).

2.  I feel Obama can better lead the Democrats through the 2008 elections. (Again, personal opinion, if you want to discuss why I'd be happy to.)

If anyone actually does want to discuss either of those, I'm going to be gone till around 11 Central, so I'm going to have a very delayed response.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-04-28 03:06PM | 0 recs
Re: a democrat who isn't liked by 52% of voters.

2.  I feel Obama can better lead the Democrats through the 2008 elections. (Again, personal opinion, if you want to discuss why I'd be happy to.)

Sounds like a good diary topic.

by clarkent 2007-04-28 03:52PM | 0 recs
Re: a democrat who isn't liked by 52% of voters.

Now that you mention it, it does.  (I told you I wouldn't reply till around 11 central!)  

Good for discussion just so long as it doesn't go hostile... Want me to write it now or later?

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-04-28 07:30PM | 0 recs
New Clinton Iraq Rhetoric Targets Obama

Extremely well said. Thank you.

I note that, while Hillary Clinton clearly is engaging in a cynical effort to portray Obama as having a too-slow trigger finger and being
soft on defense, she also used the debate to unveil the next stage of a rhetorical strategy designed to unwrite her Iraq record
while chipping away at a key Obama advantage, his early opposition to the war.

This slippery new rhetoric is evidently intended to (1) make voters forget her 2002 vote on Iraq and (2) foster the myth that she
would have been a wiser, more dove-ish President on Iraq than she was a Senator.

Obviously, Clinton's aggressively hawkish debate performance belies that assertion.

My own diary analyzing this -- "Clinton, Iraq & 2002: HRC Fudges Record for Piece of Obama Brand" -- is
at http://mydd.com/story/2007/4/27/181618/4 39

by horizonr 2007-04-28 02:22PM | 0 recs
also...

is it just me or does "retaliate" also sound like a pointless exercise?  how does "retaliating" make us safer?  we're talking about people who blow themselves up so it's not like the fear of "retaliation" is going to give them pause.

shouldn't the response - rather than being revenge oriented - be focused on future safety?  as in "move as quickly as is prudent to prevent further attacks which might require military intervention."

by corn dog 2007-04-28 02:31PM | 0 recs
How can anyone shine when it's a bad question?

I would say Edwards not raising his hand is relevant except the fact that the question is so vague and completely up to how you interpret it.  I can see how there is a global war on terror and I can see how there isn't a global war on terror.  The question was a crappy question to say the least.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-04-28 02:33PM | 0 recs
Re: How can anyone shine when it's a bad question?

Sorry for double posting - I do however agree with your analysis of the other question.  MSNBC's post debate analysis criticized Obama for not using "Strong enough language" Although I thought it was intellectual and well rounded where as Clinton and Edwards seemed focused on the revenge factor.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-04-28 02:38PM | 0 recs
Re: How can anyone shine when it's a bad question?

I don't think holding people responsible for terrorist attacks is necessarily an act of revenge (i.e. Edwards's framing of it).

by adamterando 2007-04-28 02:48PM | 0 recs
Re: How can anyone shine when it's a bad question?

I'm sorry, I didn't get much sleep.  What I meant by "Revenge based answers" was that they focused on the going after who's responsible whereas Obama hit a wide range of subjects.  

I do think attacking Afghanistan was an act of revenge over 9/11.  Personally I think sometimes you can justify revenge and sometimes you can't, nonetheless... It was revenge.  

If that didn't get my point across, then sorry.  I'm tired.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-04-28 03:01PM | 0 recs
Re: How can anyone shine when it's a bad question?

Williams: Senator, thank you.
Senator Edwards, same question: God forbid, two simultaneous attacks tonight, we knew it was Al Qaida, what would you change about U.S. military stance overseas?

Edwards: Well, the first thing I would do is be certain I knew who was responsible, and I would act swiftly and strongly to hold them responsible for that.

The second thing I would do -- and, of course, some of these have been mentioned already -- is find out how did this happen without our intelligence operations finding out that it was in a planning stage; how did they get through what we all recognize is a fairly porous homeland security system that we have in this country that has not been built the way it needed to be built?

You know, did the weapons that created these two simultaneous strikes come through our ports? Were they in one of the containers that have not been checked? How did these weapons get here, and how do we stop it from happening again?

I believe -- and this goes to the question you asked earlier, just a few minutes ago -- global war on terror. I think there are dangerous people and dangerous leaders in the world that America must deal with and deal with strongly.

But we have more tools available to us than bombs.

And America needs to use the tools that are available to them, so that these people who are sitting on the fence, the terrorists are trying to recruit the next generation get pushed to our side, not to the other side. We've had no long-term strategy. We need one and I will provide one as president.

You think Edwards was focused on the revenge factor and didn't touch on a number of topics?

This actually speaks to Matt's point in the original post, when he said "I only wish that Edwards had noted it with more than a raised hand." In the debate, Edwards didn't have time to do more on this topic, but clearly he believes that the fight against terrorism is not well served by a militarist "GWOT." and he's prepared to discuss it.

by clarkent 2007-04-28 03:59PM | 0 recs
Re: How can anyone shine when it's a bad question?

Video of that statement is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1a3lIMd3 eU

by philgoblue 2007-04-28 06:09PM | 0 recs
Re: How can anyone shine when it's a bad question?

I think it was a good question because it offered the candidates to give a middle finger to the prevailing narrative.
Now, if you had asked me before the debate how they would respond, I would bet my car on them all raising their hands. The fact that some didn't raise their hands, especially Edwards, made it a worthwhile question.

And now it is really all up to how Edwards spins this. This could be gold for him in the primaries, though it might turn into pyrite in the general.

by LandStander 2007-04-28 02:50PM | 0 recs
Re: How can anyone shine when it's a bad question?

I think Clinton, Obama, Dodd, and Richardson responded the right way by raising their hands. If one of them is the nominee that stops the GOP from television commercials saying that was an example of how they are soft on national security.

by robliberal 2007-04-28 02:59PM | 0 recs
Re: How can anyone shine when it's a bad question?

If they do that, it just means the next set of candidates have to do the same thing and the notion of a 'war' against something that you just cannot fight with military means persists. And that's worked fantastically for the War on Drugs, hasn't it? I mean nowadays nobody snorts anything, right-wing Colombian paramilitaries aren't murdering union activists and Afghanistan doesn't even produce any heroin anymore. Right?

Unless they release a commercial of them beating a small child to death with a shovel, every Democratic candidate is going to be accused of being weak on defence, and probably also a gay atheist to boot. You can't stop that, you can only make it irrelevant.

And you can only make it irrelevant by changing the popular conception of what it means to be 'tough on defence'. That doesn't mean treating terrorist attacks like a blood-feud, it means responding cleanly and judiciously and more importantly it means stopping terrorist attacks. Which is a function both of readiness (Republicans don't look good on this front) and of making people not want to attack America (Republicans really don't look good on this.)

by Englishlefty 2007-04-28 03:18PM | 0 recs
The question is: here is a radical right wing ...

... frame ... do you submit to it?

Clinton's response was, "I've got the most balls of any candidate up here". IOW, yes, I submit.

Edwards response was, "we should use all the tools at our disposal, not just bombs". IOW, no, I do not submit.

by BruceMcF 2007-04-29 08:10AM | 0 recs
On electability and support

Classic: Matt writes a post supporting a candidate's position; commenter admonishes that anyone endorsing that position is 'unelectable'.

The idea seems to be that we progressives can only support candidates who have passed through the 'establishment's' electability filters.

Fine. But isn't the name of this site My DIRECT Democracy?

by scudbucket 2007-04-28 03:05PM | 0 recs
ah. . .

you've done your due diligence.

by Pachacutec 2007-04-28 03:11PM | 0 recs
Re: On electability and support

It is kind of a pattern, now isn't it?

by Matt Stoller 2007-04-28 03:12PM | 0 recs
Re: On electability and support

Matt wasn't admonished.  Isn't this supposed to be a discussion of ideas?

by ChicagoDude 2007-04-28 03:49PM | 0 recs
OK then ... the thesis was present that Big Media

... talking points should be used by progressives to determine who they are willing to consider electable.

Leaving aside that against a big swathe of the Republican field, Edwards can force the Republicans to work to defend Tennessee, and Clinton has to write off most of the states that Bush actually carried (as opposed to being awarded).

by BruceMcF 2007-04-29 08:13AM | 0 recs
Edwards force the GOP to fight for TN???

Edwards couldn't even win his own state in 2004, let alone TN!  Considering the reality that the only state he's winning now is Iowa (by only 3.5%), the facts currently point to an equally poor showing in 2008.

by ChicagoDude 2007-04-29 08:45AM | 0 recs
It was Edwards/Kerry in 2004? I thought it ..

... was Kerry/Edwards, and the Kerry campaign wrote off the entire south, deploying Edwards primarily to places like smaller counties in Ohio, rather than to any Southern state.

Shows how out of touch I was over in Australia.

by BruceMcF 2007-04-29 10:12AM | 0 recs
Re: It was Edwards/Kerry in 2004? I thought it ..

Add Ohio, then, to the list of states that he lost  :(

by ChicagoDude 2007-04-29 10:22AM | 0 recs
The places where Edwards campaigned ...

... are the places where we made up ground compared to 2000. If Kerry had a stronger trade position going in, he could have won Ohio by an unstealable margin, and Edwards would have been a part of that margin.

by BruceMcF 2007-04-29 11:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails

Every military person will tell you that terror is a tactic and thus is not a concrete enemy against which to launch a war.  That said however, the GWOT has a different meaning with the the American public.  The GOP, through effective PR, has defined GWOT as actively seeking out those who would commit terrorists acts against America and its allies, and attacking and killing them.  The whole idea that terror is stateless and can happen anywhere has been lost in the GOP PR machine.  Being a politician who wants to win the office of POTUS, Hillary rightfully recognizes that if you say you will continue the GWOT, that translates to the American public that you will continue to fight against terrorist groups like Al Queda.  She also recognized that if she said something like,"there cannot be a GWOT because it's a tactic", it will translate in the MSM and GOP PR machine as Hillary says she won't continue the Global fight against terror.  Once the MSM and GOP machine get revved up with their talking points, i.e Kerry is a flip/flopper, good luck explaining what you really mean.  Do you honestly believe that people are going to listen or even be able to hear the explanation about tactics and strategy vs. a tangible enemy to attack once the noise machine that is the MSM and GOP starts? Bottom line is that things like the "War Against Drugs" and the "Global War Against Terrorism" has a different meaning in our society apart from the military implications.  Edwards will now have to convince the American people that he will be strong on defense and explain he will counter terrorism and keep us safe.  He will also have to explain why he is against fighting the GWOT (notice my phrasing).  Hillary has already communicated that to the electorate by simply raising her hand.

by Kingstongirl 2007-04-28 03:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails

I actually agree with you and was happy Obama raised his hand, but you still can communicate that the main way we win a "war on terror" is not military force while ofcourse using force when needed. What disturbs me about Hillary is she wants to subtly feed into dems inferiority complex on "security" and all mainstream dem should simply reject the premise that any mainstream democrat wouldn't be able to defend the nation much better than Bush has. Hillary is not doing that instead she's playing up generally right wing spin about Obama and it's sickening.

by nevadadem 2007-04-28 03:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails

" Edwards will now have to convince the American people that he will be strong on defense and explain he will counter terrorism and keep us safe."

Um...don't Democrats already have to explain this ad nauseum in every election?

by adamterando 2007-04-28 03:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails

So you think:

A) Clinton has demonstrated her strength on defense, and will not be attacked on that issue? Or even that the attacks on her as 'weak on defense' will be weakened (if she's the nominee) even one single iota by her endorsing that term? (Instead, that is, of her being attacked to precisely the same degree on different grounds.)
B) That terms defined by the Republicans though effective PR should not be resisted by Democratic candidates because--as you rightly say--the Republican (not 'GOP') PR machine and the media will attack Ds for this resistance? Ds should adopt R framing because to do otherwise is electorally dangerous?

by BingoL 2007-04-28 03:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails

your right and I give both Obama and Edwards credit for trying to change the debate, Hillary just feed into it inviting nonsense charges against her husbands adminstration by doing so. It can be argue'd that saying that wer'e not in a "war on terror" is too bold a step but It's debatable what's not debatable is that Hillary is hurting the party right now and I don't like it.

by nevadadem 2007-04-28 04:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails

In 2004 Wesley Clark was one of the few who explained that it should be a "police action" not a military one. It is too late now for Democrats to try to reframe that issue. A Democratic administration will be able to change course once they are in office.

by robliberal 2007-04-28 03:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails

Thanks.  That's my whole point.  The concept that it is possible to "War Against Terror" is generally accepted.  To try and reeducate the public about tactics and strategy is not something I think can be effectively done in a campaign.  I don't think Hillary, in raising her hand, has erased the question of Democrats and national security, I just think she doesn't have to explain that she is not against fighting terrorism.  Once you're elected, you can retire the phrases and the policies of the previous administration and redirect the national conversation.

by Kingstongirl 2007-04-28 04:12PM | 0 recs
This, however, you can say in a campaign.

I believe -- and this goes to the question you asked earlier, just a few minutes ago -- global war on terror. I think there are dangerous people and dangerous leaders in the world that America must deal with and deal with strongly.

But we have more tools available to us than bombs.

And America needs to use the tools that are available to them, so that these people who are sitting on the fence, the terrorists are trying to recruit the next generation get pushed to our side, not to the other side. We've had no long-term strategy. We need one and I will provide one as president.

Full quote in a comment elsewhere in this page.

by BruceMcF 2007-04-29 08:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails

Bingo!

by ChicagoDude 2007-04-28 03:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails

Yep! Kerry was totally innoculated from attacks on his national security cred from embracing the term.

Nope. No attacks on him at all after embracing GWOT.

by adamterando 2007-04-28 03:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails

Kerry did not respond at the times he needed to. That is why Swift Boating was successful.

by robliberal 2007-04-28 03:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails

Bingo, Kingstongirl!

by ChicagoDude 2007-04-28 03:52PM | 0 recs
However, Edwards chosen approach, ...

... of reframing the issue into terms of "we should use all the tools at our disposal, not just bombs" leverages off the American public perception of Bush as stubborn and unwilling to consider all the options at hand.

He is offering to use what has changed about the American public as a resource to change the terms of the debate.

And to change the terms of the debate to our substantial advantage, because the Republicans are losing their shine of being effective, people before politics law enforcers even faster than they are losing their shine as being stronger on defense.

by BruceMcF 2007-04-29 08:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

Hey Clinton people,

It's not 2002 anymore. In case you forgot, we won in 2006. And also in case you forgot, attempting to adopt right-wing frames in order to reduce possible future attacks didn't work. It didn't work in 2002. It didn't work in 2004. And it didn't work in 2006 for those that tried (e.g. Harold Ford and Tammy Duckworth).

by adamterando 2007-04-28 03:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

Listen, I am not trying to convince you that Hillary is it.  I actually find those discussions silly. I will vote for whoever wins the nomination. I am just making the point that before you all get on you high info voter horses about how ridiculous the GWOT is and that candidates should make stand against it, that average voters have a different idea of the war on terror.  Whether we like it or not, the idea of warring against terror is a good thing for many voters.  They don't understand it as a tactic, they see it as fighting those who want to harm us. To say you are against the GWOT in many voters minds will be you will be soft on national defense.  Being able to understand the voters mindset is important.    

by Kingstongirl 2007-04-28 04:41PM | 0 recs
In the debate, Biden was right when he said...

"Let's stop a lot of this happy talk here about the use of force doesn't make sense.

"Use of force in Afghanistan is justified and necessary. In Darfur, justified and necessary. In the Balkans, justified and necessary. You guys can have your happy talk. There's real life."

by ChicagoDude 2007-04-28 04:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

Regarding:

I actually find those discussions silly. I will vote for whoever wins the nomination. I am just making the point that before you all get on you high info voter horses about how ridiculous the GWOT is and that candidates should make stand against it, that average voters have a different idea of the war on terror.

First, this is a primary campaign. We are early in the process of selecting the nominee. I have no doubt that whomever that nominee is, that MyDD will close ranks and support that nominee, because I have no doubt that the nominee selected by the Republicans will be an abomination ... the only issue to be decided on the Republican side is what particular issues their nominee is going to be an abomination on.

But most importantly, for "low information voters", this following from Edwards reply is talking in terms that they can understand and that many will respond to favorably ... and apologies for copying it twice, but it was an oversight of the diarist not to include this full answer in the diary itself:

I believe -- and this goes to the question you asked earlier, just a few minutes ago -- global war on terror. I think there are dangerous people and dangerous leaders in the world that America must deal with and deal with strongly.

But we have more tools available to us than bombs.

And America needs to use the tools that are available to them, so that these people who are sitting on the fence, the terrorists are trying to recruit the next generation get pushed to our side, not to the other side. We've had no long-term strategy. We need one and I will provide one as president.

by BruceMcF 2007-04-29 08:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

Look, I'm not happy that the war on terrorism is being led by an idiot like George W. Bush, but I find the progressive pushback against the idea that we are at war to be kind of ridiculous in a "I wish we had unicorns" kind of way. What do people hear when you step away from the "war on terror" idea? Not what you mean to say but what they actually hear? They hear "I don't think there's terrorism, I don't think there's a terroristic threat against the USA and our allies." Sure, some people actually believe that but to be absolutely frank about it it is the fringe of people. And for my money, these people are wrong. We are at war, against a specific branch of terrorism. The big question is how do you fight it, and that's where Dems have not asserted themselves. But saying there is no war on terror is a bad move politically, rhetorically, and common sense-ically.

Oliver Willis

by owillis 2007-04-28 04:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

I'd like some evidence on this.

by Matt Stoller 2007-04-28 04:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

Well I think most polling since 9/11 tracks "terrorism" as one of the top 3-4 issues. I don't think people would be citing the significance of terrorism if they didn't want Washington to do anything about it - ie. kill them.

by owillis 2007-04-28 04:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

Actually, that's not the case.  The polls are split.  In the latest CBS News poll, the top issues are the war in Iraq, the economy, immigration, and health care.

But more than that, we actually don't know whether Americans think the war on terror is the same thing as fighting terrorism or a cover for the war in Iraq.

by Matt Stoller 2007-04-28 05:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

That's fine and all, but I don't think the rational response is to explain to people what terrorism is versus the idea that we ought to be fighting it any way we can.

by owillis 2007-04-28 05:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

Look, Oliver, it's obvious that you think that framing the war on terror is a good thing to do politically speaking, and that you have limited to no evidence for this claim.  I asked you for evidence and you failed to produce it.  I produced evidence suggesting it may not be true and you justified your argument by re-asserting, with no evidence once again, your view of what the American people think about terrorism.

If you look at the poll I cited, it's not just that terrorism is not a top issue, it's that it is well below the top issue, Iraq, in importance.

I would like to have a conversation about the frame of the war on terror and whether it's politically viable.  As an American, I am willing to argue that losing our civil rights, our constitutional fabric, and our moral selves in endless war is not worth the price of feeling safer, and to back that with open argument.  In times of public debate, like a Presidential contest, we ought to hash these issues out with more than a focus on electability and notions of Beltway wisdom, which are often wrong anyway.

I don't think it's ok to just sort of toss away our values because there's a vague sense that it's unsafe politically to say what a lot of know to be true - that the war on terror frame is cover for centralizing power in the hands of dangerous people.  It's craven and immoral.  It's also not clear that it's a politically useful strategy.  I think it isn't, but we can argue that out and I'm interested in that argument.  But we need real evidence here if we're going to argue about viability here.

If you actually think there's a war on terror, then it's a different issue and we can argue on a moral plane as well, but still, to figure out the politics evidence is necessary.  

by Matt Stoller 2007-04-28 06:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

Well I think a lot of the polling ranking Iraq high also relates it to the fight against terror even though last year we saw that many decoupled the idea of them being one and the same. I certainly don't think the issue has faded politically. As recent as September of last year people rated terrorism highly on their list of important issues, I don't think the entire world has gone through that much of a change since September of '06.

I don't care about electability and beltway notions of what is wise (and please don't attribute thoughts to me I didn't express).

But I think it is both politically unwise and morally foolish to believe we are not engaged in some sort of war. Do I think the phrase "global war on terror" is overly broad? Yes. I think we are specifically at war with the Al Qaeda network. I thought the proper response to 9/11 was to formally declare war on them like in The Barbary War. I'm Monday morning quarterbacking but a formal declaration of war would have clearly delineated what role the president and congress play, what rules (Geneva) we have to abide by as well as clearly stating who the enemy is and essentially telling us what the end game is.

Similarly I think the problem is between total aversion to the concept of war for many progressives, and the right-wing knuckle dragger response that war means we give up all our rights and become an aggressive police state.

I think you fight this war by: killing and capturing terrorists either via the military in the case of state-sponsored terrorism (Afghanistan), law enforcement (I wrote about that last week), and foreign aid and international assistance so we don't help create any more people sympathetic to terroristic overtures.

In 2002 and 2004 Democrats were seen as weak on terror while Republicans were seen as strong. Both elections also showed the folly of being Bush lite with regard to terrorism (or completely muddled in the case of Sen. Kerry). Why did we win in 2006? People no longer trust the Republicans to be competent on national security - but the wrong message to glean from that is that people don't think that terror isn't a big issue. They, as Sen. Obama said, don't believe in a "dumb war".

by owillis 2007-04-28 07:44PM | 0 recs
GWOT is War Without End

What's wrong with the concept the War on Terror is twofold.  The actual enemies are stateless and landless and therefore are not subject to "winning: in any traditional sense.  

Second because there is no real way to ascertain if we've ever won...Victory in this case is a negative...the things that don't happen, it means that we have a WAR WITHOUT END...(which by the way is just the term I have heard Hillary use in reference to GWOT) then all the suspensions of the rights, liberties and the normal, everyday processes of democracy will have no foreseeable or ascertainable end.

So I think it's extraordinary and admirable that Edwards didn't raise his hand....and it may help him in the primaries...but it is too soon in the pushback to help him in the general.  

That is the purpose of leadership, but leadership alone is insufficient for such an all pervasive, mind enveloping view to be dislodged.  We have to change it, we have to get the media to change it, it has to bubble up to tickle public consciousness....first unconsciously and then in an aware, positive fashion. ...but I don't expect any real change to occur until a Democrat, any one of them,  is in the White House.  

Why?   Two reasons. One becasue I don't really think that in their bones or their minds do they really agree with this frame and its concomitant depredations upon the American polity.  They all believe that habeas corpus is important, that warrantless wiretapping is illegal, that Abu Ghraib should not have happened, that spying on libraiains is not good., etc.  they will not pursue a  GWOT policy domestically.  

Second, I do think that any Democrat will begin to make us safer in the world, by reaching out to the world and reestablishing more positive relations with the Second world, the Third world and the Muslim world. If Americans feel safer, the GWOT will have less valency.  It will not be so omnipresent...it could recede back into a consciousness to become only the occasional event that interrupts a more secure, peaceful domestic scene.

I do think all the Dems will govern in a non GWOT frame.  And I also think that if we were again attacked devastatingly by al Queda (Williams exact question) that everyone except Kucinich and Gravel would retaliate as prudently as possible.  Bill Clinton sent troops to Kosovo and bombed a factory in Libya, tried to find and target Osama bin Laden.  I think that is what Edwards answer meant...you don't have to launch invasions to have an appropriate response, and I think that is what she meant as well.  She wasn't saying she'd invade anybody.

I understand how it angers you how her campaign spun the response....though I think their spin was directed at Obama and his seeming deer in the headlight response (Williams question told you who the perpetrator was. Obama's answer did not acknowledge that... for whatever reason he wasn't on his toes) as it was about her DECISIVENESS (not her aggressiveness). They played it up for another reason.

Having watched all of the MSNBC coverage of the debate (am I a political junkie or not?)....the media from the left like Shrum (okay he's the most left they have but he is more left now than he was on Kerry's campaign)to Tweety and Scarborough and Buchanan kept saying that very same thing....they kept talking about her clearing the WOMAN AS PRESIDENT, WOMAN AS COMMANDER IN CHIEF HURDLE. i wasn't surprised, nor would a lot of other Dems need to be reassured but this benighted media finally had their eyes open and they couldn't stop talking about thier amazingly surprising insight.

And I will say, that for a woman condidate that is the most enormous hurdle for her to overcome. So I can understand why they pushed it. Overcoming that barrier is extremely important to the campaign of any woman, esp the first woman running for president...actually it is the first and often the most overwhelming hurdle of any female candidate.

( We didn't elect that many %agewise of the female challengers as one might have expected)

 

by debcoop 2007-04-28 09:04PM | 0 recs
Re: GWOT is War Without End

Well said debcoop.

by Kingstongirl 2007-04-29 06:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

And, there isn't a global war, there's a regional war.

And, there isn't just a war, it's like Edwards said, we should use "all our tools."

And, it's not against terrorism -- a technique (like James Baker said) -- it's against Al Qaeda, with a watchful eye on Hezbullah.

by philgoblue 2007-04-28 06:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

New York, Washington, Pennsylvania, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kenya, Bali, London, Madrid... sounds "global" to me.

by owillis 2007-04-28 06:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

Given that there has been global terrorism for hundreds of years, when exactly did the 'global war on terror' start?  And do you believe there is a GWOT?

by Matt Stoller 2007-04-28 06:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

It's not a war in London, Madrid, New York, it's a matter of serious law enforcement -- the FBI, MI5, etc.  Not the US military.

by philgoblue 2007-04-28 06:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

In those individual crimes, yes it was work for law enforcement. But the leadership of the network responsible for those attacks - Bin Laden and Co. - was being harbored by a sovereign state, Afghanistan. I don't think FBI agents would have been able to gain much ground in Afghanistan, eh?

by owillis 2007-04-28 07:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

But the attackers came from Saudi Arabia. The 'war on Afghanistan' only became part of the 'war on terror' because Bin Laden was supposedly located there. The Afghani government agreed to help the US in capturing Osama, on a single condition: that the US provide direct evidence that OBL was behind the attacks.

The upshot, US and Afghani police COULD have apprehended OBL IF the US had been a willing partner. We refused, apparently favoring the 'annhialate nations' (Rumsfeld's words the day after 9/11) option. The products of excercising the military option in Afghanistan? Hundreds of thousands of Afghani civilian casualties and refugees, and OBL remains free.

by scudbucket 2007-04-28 09:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

Look, I hate Bush too but it's clear the Taliban harbored Bin Laden when the entire world knew he was behind the attacks. Also, why the heck would you want to have our law enforcement work with fascist thugs like the Taliban? Had Bush pushed into Tora Bora instead of diverting forces to Iraq, Bin Laden would likely be captured or preferably dead by now.

by owillis 2007-04-29 01:20AM | 0 recs
the other war

You're right of course that there was a high degree of consensus at the time - which has turned to be correct - that bin Laden was behind the attack.  But it should be pointed out that, as we saw with WMD, a consensus of opinion (even administration critics like Gore, Feingold, Wellstone, and Obama believed in 2002 that WMD existed) is not the same thing as firm evidence.  In the case of bin Laden, the actual evidence has grown extremely strong over time - including his own admissions on tape.

Nonetheless, he was a terrorist outlaw even before 9/11, so there's no question we were right to seek his capture, and little doubt this demanded a military operation.

But with regard to the Taliban government, Bush's policy was this:  if you do not hand over bin Laden, we will overthrow your government.  A different policy might have been this: we intend to capture bin Laden, with or without your governnment's assistance.

Our focus in that case would have been capturing a suspected terrorist/mass-murderer.  Our mission would have been leading an international posse within the borders of an unfriendly country.  That's a tough mission in itself, but not as tough as the mission we opted for in Afghanistan: full-blown regime-change followed by years of inevitable fighting with people who were very accustomed to fighting foreign occupation forces.

In retrospect, concentrating on capturing the outlaw bin Laden may well have been a better strategy than concentrating on overthrowing the repugnant government of the country where he was hiding.

by Rob in Vermont 2007-04-29 08:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

Yes, that's why it is a "Regional War against Militant Wahabbism, especially Al Qaeda"

by philgoblue 2007-04-29 07:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

Matt,

Thanks for picking up on the point I was making about Hillary's criticism of Obama in my Maiden Diary here at MyDD, "Hillary's Rovian Smear of Obama."  You did a nice job of amplifying my point.

I do, however, have a different take on the whole GWOT issue. I fully recognize that it is bad semantics and a Republican frame. Tacticly, I disagree with you about how to best take on this lousy frame.  You seem to suggest that it was a great day for Dems that Edwards didn't raise his hand.  I think it was an unnecessary risk and bad framing.  Let me repost a comment I made in another thread to explain my position:

"I understand your point: GWOT is sucky, militaristic language that mischaracterizes the struggle we face and can make the public more willing to follow misguided militaristic leaders.  

Do you understand mine?  There are real terrorists and they do pose a very real security threat to the USA.  If you argue with the Republican frame you open yourself up to accusations that you don't take the threat seriously.  This is a no-no.  Every utterance and every gesture the candidates make now can and will be used next fall in Republican attack ads.

Furthermore, the more you try to explain why the term GWOT is lousy, the more people will focus on the threat of terror.  This is "Framing 101", see George Lakoff's books "Moral Politics" and "The Elephant in the Room".  A better strategy is to simply stop using the term and start using an alternative frame that is more representative of the situation.

This is one of those "traps" that is so easy for progressives to step in.  By arguing correctly, that GWOT is lousy term, we actually screw ourselves.  The general obsession with "politcal correctness" that is so rampant among the progressive blogs is counter-productive.  Lefties want to fight, but too often we end up fighting among ourselves rather than fighting effectively against the right."

Have you read Lakoff's books?  Do you understand the tactical distinction I am trying to make?

by upper left 2007-04-29 06:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

AMEN!

by ChicagoDude 2007-04-29 07:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

I believe I was the first blogger to note the importance of Edwards not raising his hand when asked whether there is a Global War on Terror.

What is up with that hubris?  There were people here posting on in in the threads here a day before you even noticed it... if you read the comments.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-04-28 04:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

People were arguing about whether he did or did not raise his hand, and so I spent the time to actually confirm it with the Edwards campaign because I thought it was significant enough to spend that effort.

By the way, what are your sources telling you now about the majority leader's race and Jack Murtha imminent win?  A slam dunk on that one.  Oh, and your prediction that Edwards made a smart hire with the feminist bloggers - nice call on that.  

I'm glad you spent the time trying to be upfront with the MyDD readers on how you got it all super-correct.

by Matt Stoller 2007-04-28 04:51PM | 0 recs
Framing The Debate

The GOP was highly successful in framing the war on terror in the way they wanted and for the purposes they wanted. We did not need a Department of Homeland Security, we did not need a Patriot Act, we did need grannies to be body searched at airports.

The way to change the things that have been done is through Congress. The next president can make proposals to change the laws but they have to enforce and uphold the laws we have. While I personally was opposed to just about every statute Bush has gotten through Congress on terror I also realize they are not good issues for Democrats in a general eletion campaign at least along the lines of saying there is no war on terror etc.  

by robliberal 2007-04-28 07:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

Obama's sensible answer to what he would do after a terrorist attack was the first thing he has said that attracted me to his campaign.

by janinsanfran 2007-04-28 09:26PM | 0 recs
Natural terrorists

Obama's comment was a statement about the lack of emergency response for a natural disaster (Katrina), not a twofold terrorist attack. In other words he did not answer the question. What he said IS important but it is something that should be thought of long before any attack.

I do agree with Edwards that we should not always resort to war to solve problems. But I also think that Hillary answered the question properly. Honestly, I think that no matter what she said, she would have been criticized here.

by Rob Joseph 2007-04-29 05:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Natural terrorists

Were is the actual trascript of Obama's answer. Please not that he started by talking about emergency response but he went on to say much more:

Williams: Senator Obama, if, God forbid a thousand times, while we were gathered here tonight, we learned that two American cities have been hit simultaneously by terrorists and we further learned, beyond the shadow of a doubt it had been the work of Al Qaida, how would you change the U.S. military stance overseas as a result?

Obama: Well, the first thing we'd have to do is make sure that we've got an effective emergency response, something that this administration failed to do when we had a hurricane in New Orleans.

And I think that we have to review how we operate in the event of not only a natural disaster, but also a terrorist attack.

The second thing is to make sure that we've got good intelligence, a., to find out that we don't have other threats and attacks potentially out there, and b., to find out, do we have any intelligence on who might have carried it out so that we can take potentially some action to dismantle that network.

But what we can't do is then alienate the world community based on faulty intelligence, based on bluster and bombast. Instead, the next thing we would have to do, in addition to talking to the American people, is making sure that we are talking to the international community.

Because as already been stated, we're not going to defeat terrorists on our own. We've got to strengthen our intelligence relationships with them, and they've got to feel a stake in our security by recognizing that we have mutual security interests at stake.

by upper left 2007-04-29 10:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards

That's why I don't come on this site much anyway. You guys are a bunch of whining weak liberals. You should be glad Hillary has the "BALLS", something you lack, to say she would use "PRUDENT RETAILITATION".  Who wouldn't want the President to be PRUDENT? The DUMB JERK in office now, is definitely NOT PRUDENT nor has he ever been. Your logic is so stupid, it's pathetic.  All of our candidates are good. STOP bashing Clinton Matt.

by lonnette33 2007-04-29 06:55AM | 0 recs
Edwards 2.x SOLD the GWOT frame and the war
as detailed in my:
by NuevoLiberal 2007-04-29 10:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Global War on Terror: Clinton Fails, Edwards S

There are two issues here: the answers to the debate questions with the "framing" question of GWOT that follows, and the alleged smear. On the first one, as others have noted, Clinton has a gender hurdle she must overcome to appear "strong on terror" and her response did that effectively. While I do not love her reply, I do not believe it hurt her among undecideds - both primary and general voters. I also think a mountain is being made of Obama's mole-hill response. I think both answers were sufficient in different ways.

On the other issue, I think it's quite a stretch to call Clinton's press release a smear. That release named no other candidate and only pumped herself (as any campaign should).

The Post, however, sensing an opening, comes fishing for a cat-fight and contacts both campaigns. I personally don't think it was appropriate for an official Obama spokesman to call Clinton nervous (and not credible: Clinton is anything but nervous-she's in it to win, right?). Also, her anonymous aide could range from a high-level staffer to a low-level intern. There is no justification in accusing this as being "planted." Is there any proof to back up this charge? It could be a young aide excited to talk to the media. Evidence, please.

At first I thought it was a two-fer for the MSM: question Obama's "toughness" and present Clinton ruthless. Now, I'm wondering if it's not a three-fer with the additional result of dividing Democrats, along both Clinton-Obama lines and how to respond to security issues.

by domma 2007-04-29 11:28AM | 0 recs

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