Obama Hits Back

Throughout the primary, Barack Obama developed some effective rapid response skills, usually hitting back on criticisms immediately, using whatever event he was holding at the time as a platform from which to launch a defense and/or counter-attack. Running against Hillary Clinton, Obama got a lot of practice at it and it's become a freakin well-oiled machine that's being put to good use now that McCain and his GOP goons have begun to unleash the tired 2004 playbook on him. The latest attack on Obama from the oh so civilized McCain camp, is that Obama is "naive" about terrorist threats.

In a conference call with reporters, McCain adviser Randy Scheunemann said Tuesday: "Senator Obama is a perfect manifestation of a September 10th mind-set. ... He does not understand the nature of the enemies we face." Former CIA director James Woolsey said Obama has "an extremely dangerous and extremely naive approach toward terrorism ... and toward dealing with prisoners captured overseas who have been engaged in terrorist attacks against the United States."

I suppose this blatantly dishonest character assassinating propaganda is the sort of thing that would get the Morning Joe stamp of approval.

Barack's response was swift and strong:

"These are the same guys who helped to engineer the distraction of the war in Iraq at a time when we could have pinned down the people who actually committed 9/11," the presumed nominee told reporters aboard his campaign plane. "This is the same kind of fear-mongering that got us into Iraq ... and it's exactly that failed foreign policy I want to reverse."

Nice. But Barack wasn't done. Today, he continued his fierce indictment of the Bush-McCain foreign policy in remarks made to reporters after meeting with his new Senior Working Group on national security. Over the past year, Senator Obama has often said that he welcomes a debate on national security with Republicans because "that's a debate I'll win." He wasn't kidding.

"Now in their attempt to distort my position, Senator McCain’s campaign has said I want to pursue a law enforcement approach to terrorism. This is demonstrably false, since I have laid out a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy that includes military force, intelligence operations, financial sanctions and diplomatic action. But the fact that I want to abide by the United States Constitution, they say, shows that I have a “pre-9/11 mindset.”

Well I refuse to be lectured on national security by people who are responsible for the most disastrous set of foreign policy decisions in the recent history of the United States. The other side likes to use 9/11 as a political bludgeon. Well, let’s talk about 9/11.

The people who were responsible for murdering 3,000 Americans on 9/11 have not been brought to justice. They are Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda and their sponsors – the Taliban. They were in Afghanistan. And yet George Bush and John McCain decided in 2002 that we should take our eye off of Afghanistan so that we could invade and occupy a country that had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11. The case for war in Iraq was so thin that George Bush and John McCain had to hype the threat of Saddam Hussein, and make false promises that we’d be greeted as liberators. They misled the American people, and took us into a misguided war.

Here are the results of their policy. Osama bin Laden and his top leadership – the people who murdered 3000 Americans – have a safe-haven in northwest Pakistan, where they operate with such freedom of action that they can still put out hate-filled audiotapes to the outside world. That’s the result of the Bush-McCain approach to the war on terrorism."

Gotta love it. With statements like this Obama is sending several important messages: 1. he won't be swiftboated; 2. if you attack him, he'll go on offense right back against you; and 3. he's not like those other Democrats who shirked from a debate about 9/11 and national security. As Greg Sargent says:

Only two years ago, some Dems were still saying, "please, please, PLEASE, let's NOT talk about 9/11." Now Obama is inviting an argument about it -- and more important, he's saying it's an argument he will win.

Tags: Barack Obama (all tags)



This is exactly what we need.

It's time for Democrats to stop letting Republicans beat us over the head with 9/11. It's become a blanket excuse for everything; we can put a stop to that once and for all this November.

by Firewall 2008-06-18 07:08PM | 0 recs
Re: This is exactly what we need.

"It's time for Democrats to stop letting Republicans beat us over the head with 9/11."

Obama has gone one better. He's beating THEM over the head with it.

by Freespeechzone 2008-06-18 08:17PM | 0 recs
Re: This is exactly what we need.

9/11 was a horrible LEADERSHIP FAILURE!! We should beat THEM over their heads with it.

Good response.

by redwagon 2008-06-19 10:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back

Right on! Great post, Todd.

I have my doubts about Obama's ability to win the foreign policy debate for voters, but this gives me confidence.

If we beat McCain on foreign affairs, Iraq, and terrorism, what else does McCain have?

by wolff109 2008-06-18 07:15PM | 0 recs
I have my doubts about Obama's ability...

I find that comment curious since he beat Hillary in the  foreign policy debate and is downright whipping McSame's ass with it.

Of course, it helps that he doesn't have his fingerprints all over the Bush/McCain disaster of a foreign policy as too many Democrats do.

by Freespeechzone 2008-06-18 08:21PM | 0 recs
it is hard to overcome perception

mccain is a military guy, republican party guy, etc.

by ab03 2008-06-18 09:29PM | 0 recs
Perceive this instead.....

McSame's a doddering old fool leading a party that has led America into its worst foreign policy disaster ever.

by Freespeechzone 2008-06-18 09:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back

Just to point this out...

The Obama policy about meeting with leaders that many thought would cost him the primaries (said in a debate way before Iowa) and that McCain has hit on with web ads is actually popular in the US.  An ABC poll found that 77% agreed with this approach.

by yitbos96bb 2008-06-19 04:43AM | 0 recs
hopefully this trickles down to local races

I remember back in the '90s when candidates wished they could have a "War Room" like Clinton/Gore 1992. With the internet, they can. And not just federal and statewide, but legislative and even local.

by Bob Brigham 2008-06-18 07:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back

Brilliant response, and thank you for highlighting it, Todd.

I'd love to believe that everyone here would share these feelings: we have a fine nominee with an excellent chance in November.

by JoeW 2008-06-18 07:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back


by fogiv 2008-06-18 07:22PM | 0 recs
Outstanding. My comfort level with Obama

is beginning to soar! And it is becomming ever more clear to me that, even though I absolutely adore Hillary Clinton, her vote for the AUMF - no matter the reasons - would have been a disadvantage for her in this exact debate. I am a believer. He has the exact argument to dismantle them and the skill to do it.

by Rumarhazzit 2008-06-18 07:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Outstanding. My comfort level with Obama

amen.  I've been worried about how he'd handle the GOP, and I'm glad to see he's being aggressive.  It's about time we had some Democrat(s) fight back.

by slynch 2008-06-18 08:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Outstanding. My comfort level with Obama

Glad to see your support of Obama getting more enthusiastic.  That's Awesome!

by yitbos96bb 2008-06-19 04:38AM | 0 recs
I've been waiting for this for 5 years...

The Republicans like to say that they are stronger on fighting terrorism and going after Al-Qaeda, because they don't mind destroying our consitution.  But the simple fact is that their ridiculous foreign policy has made us less safe and not resulted in the capturing of Bin Laden.

This weekend, I heard that Bush is once again reintroducing a plan to "capture Bin Laden."  After seven years and 3000 deaths, he's going to spend the last months of his administration restarting our effort to capture Bin Laden.  The "bloody flag" that they wave is even more disgusting given that fact.  At least when the Republicans waved "the bloody flag" after the Civil War, they had actually accomplished something (winning the Civil War), these douchebags can't even tie their shoes right.

by nklein 2008-06-18 07:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back

But.. but... but.. Jerome says there is nothing exciting about Obama!  This can't be true...

by LordMike 2008-06-18 07:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back

Right on!  Like you said, even two years ago people didn't want Democrats to talk 9/11 and terrorism because they thought it was a good issue for Republicans.  But it's not.  The Republicans fucked up, big time - and it's about time somebody started letting them have it with both barrels.

You know, people complained about the "3 am" type commercials during the primary.  I never thought they were out of bounds or "fear-mongering".  I think it's a legitimate issue.  More than that, I think that not only should Obama not complain when they come from the Republicans (because you know they're coming), he should run his own versions himself - because this IS a winning issue for him.

Who would you want answering the phone at 3am?  They guy who blundered into war without even reading the national intelligence report on the country we were invading?

by Daliant 2008-06-18 07:34PM | 0 recs
It's great to have a fighting Dem!

by slinkerwink 2008-06-18 07:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back

I believe the day Obama goes to Iraq , is when Mccain would gain the upper hand in the debate .

If I was going to vote on Iraq/National security/Foreign policy alone , he would likely not get my vote.

However I wouldn't be casting my vote based on that alone.

I believe the day Obama goes to Iraq , the debate over the war would change likely in favor of John Mccain .

There is a reason why the republicans and Mccain have been pushing him to go over there . There has been  changes over there that is not reflected in the rhetoric and policy Obama is pushing . The only way he can get away with it throughout the election is if he doesn't go over there . if he does go over there he would likely have to articulate a new position.

No doubt he has an effective counter argument now  and he is doing well with it , but it would be hard for that argument to work in my view when the narrative changes to fit the reality of what is going on in Iraq right now.


by lori 2008-06-18 07:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back

With respect, what dramatic changes, precisely, have occurred that would force either candidate to articulate an entirely new position?

And why do you feel that one must have recently visited Iraq to understand what the situation is there and the fact that it is unacceptable?  You seem to have an opinion on the subject - when was the last time you were there?

by Daliant 2008-06-18 08:06PM | 0 recs
Well, Clearly ...

... one can only really appreciate what exceptional improvements have been made in Baghdad by going there and seeing for oneself.

Wearing a flack jacket and kevlar helmet and escorted by hundreds of Marines, dozens of humvees, and a handful of Blackhawk helicopters.

You know.  To get a feel for how much things have improved for Joe Iraqi.

by Collideascope 2008-06-18 08:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back

" And why do you feel that one must have recently visited Iraq to understand what the situation is there and the fact that it is unacceptable? "

- A lot of his rhetoric ( and Clinton's ) by the way is the standard party line that is either oblivious to the situation there or refuses to acknowledge.

The point is not more about having to go there to understand the situation , it is more of the attention his trip is going to draw on the presidential trail which would likely change the narrative .

There is this collective silence in the country on Iraq particularly in the media , a lot of dems that have gone there have had to change their minds , however Obama can still get away with his rhetoric and position because there is no wholesale focus on Iraq .

However his trip over there and the interest it would garner , would likely change the dynamics and the terms of the debate to a ground more favorable to Mccain . There is a reason they have been pushing for him to go there and he seems reluctant .

Undoubtedly we are not out of the woods there , but the situation is not like it was in 03/04 . In that sense Obama's rhetoric seems outdated.

by lori 2008-06-18 08:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back

He IS going. We will see. It will be tricky. I'm not sure that he won't do really well if he can win over the Iraqi leadership and some military leaders, though. He'd need to take somebody with him with a great deal of experience in the military.

But there's a few things that he will focus on (and the above quotes show that he can shift the debate to avoid a punch). First, the surge only worked because of the Anwar Awakening. Meeting with members of that council and congratulating them might be a great idea.

Second, Iraq was still a mistake in terms of US political strategy. Saddam was a dictator, but one of the only ones in the region that had the capability to oppose Iran. He was the buffer zone. A crazy-ass buffer zone, but still. There is a vacuum of power there now.

Third, all the shit he said above. Iraq has distracted us from real issues. We could have focused on getting rid of the terrorists and gotten out and we would have sent a very powerful message. After we did that, we could have rebuilt Afghanistan, but we needed to finish the job first. Ironically, Bush left the same sort of mess on a much larger scale that he felt he needed to clean up from when his dad first went to war with Iraq.

by vcalzone 2008-06-18 08:37PM | 0 recs
No . . .

first of all, who are these dems that have gone their and changed their minds?

And why should more short-term, geographically limited success "change the narrative" on Iraq? You clearly seem to suggest that Obama going to Iraq will make a continued presence there more politically popular. Why?

by Davidsfr 2008-06-18 08:39PM | 0 recs
so we've turned the corner?

is that what you're saying?  the surge is working?  the insurgency is in its last throes?

by JJE 2008-06-18 08:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back

I still don't think I understand you.  You seem to still be saying that it takes going to Iraq to realize some specific truth that a person wouldn't recognize otherwise (otherwise, why would someone change their position?)  So what exactly is this truth, and if Obama goes to Iraq, how do you think his position will change?  And why?  What is your own position on Iraq?

by Daliant 2008-06-18 09:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back

What i am saying is that his rhetoric on Iraq does not match the reality of the situation on the ground and if he goes to Iraq in his much heralded trip , it would draw attention exactly to a situation in ways that hasn't been seen in a long time in the US media since the surge.

It would be hard for him to square his rhetoric with the reality on the ground , thats why I believe the advantage he has is that there is no real discussion of the situation on the ground going on in the campaign trail , and his trip there would finally focus the debate on the facts on the ground and which policy is the right one going forward.

If the situation focuses on the reality on the ground and what to do going forward in terms of policy and not the past ( who led us into war , who was for it or against it ) I believe Mccain's position is a much more coherent one than the one Obama , Clinton and some democrats are generally talking about .

By the way I don't believe Mccain's position is the best , but I think it conforms more with the situation on the ground there , in the sense that we are going to have a much longer engagement in Iraq because the situation on the ground as changed , Mccain's position of staying in a Korea like fashion is not the optimum solution , and it would be great if we can get to a place in which we can leave the emotions on Iraq by the side and discuss what is a rational policy that would protect our national security and the gains we have made there.

I look forward to the day when the discussion can move away from the rhetoric or political barbs and we can have a rational decision on what the realistic policy should be in light of the situation .

The answer to me is not a quick pullout or a korea like model , but a longer term transitional drawdown ( longer than Obama/Clinton/Democrats and shorter than Mccain / Bush / korea Model ).

If obama's trip takes the focus back on the reality of Iraq and not the partisan rhetoric that would be great.

by lori 2008-06-18 09:57PM | 0 recs
I disagree

I somewhat agree with you re: acknowledging changing conditions on the ground. But I completely disagree regarding Obama's "outdated" policy. It's only outdated if you accept the Bush-McCain version of Iraq as post-1953 Korea. A more reasonable reading is, ironically enough, the Nixon 1968 reading: peace with honor. We can actually declare some semblance of victory there and start pivoting away from Iraq toward Afghanistan again.

The primary argument for staying in Iraq is that the Iraqis cannot handle security for themselves. That if we leave, it will all fall apart.

Well, if we believe the optimistic reports coming out of Iraq, the Iraqis are handling things just fine right now. So, if we leave, the Iraqis will continue to handle things fine.

The issue is, and has always been, the end game. Do we stay in Iraq permanently as Bush, McCain and the neo-cons have argued? Or do we reduce our presence there considerably, hand over true sovereignty to the Iraqis, and focus our military attention on Afghanistan where a resurgent Taliban threatens to retake Kandahar?

To me, this is a clear choice.

And as for the optics of this, if Obama visits Iraq AND Afghanistan, he will make the case even clearer.

In fact, I'd suggest he go to Afghanistan first, see how precarious the situation is. Issue a statement that we need much more military help for Karzai. Then go to Iraq, say that Iraqis and US commanders are impressed with security improvements in Iraq, and conclude where he started: that Iraq was a distraction and a mistake - but one in which we are achieving some semblance of equilibrium - and we need to rectify the STRATEGIC error by shifting our military resources to the real fight in Afghanistan.

by elrod 2008-06-19 03:46AM | 0 recs
yeah, its McCain thats incoherent on this

I totally agree with your point, lori, regarding the importance of clear-headed, rational decision-making on this.  But to me, it's the McCain/Bush position that is backward-looking and emotionalist.

Seeking to prolong our engagement in Iraq in order, as you say, to "protect our national security and the gains we have made there," presumes -- despite absence of coherent supporting evidence -- that there indeed has existed and continues to exist some cognizable national insecurity against which "Iraq success" will protect us, such that gains in Iraq would have some underlying significance worth preserving.

The truth is much more painful and much less emotionally gratifying: even the tactical successes of the war likely served no strategic purpose.

by YuedoTiko 2008-06-19 07:08AM | 0 recs
I respond below

by YuedoTiko 2008-06-19 07:59AM | 0 recs
Actually, I should say above (at 11:08 AM)

by YuedoTiko 2008-06-19 08:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back
First of all, the repubs are trying to link the war in iraq to the war on terror.  You can argue that Iraq is better than before, but that does not translate to the "War on Terror".  What Barack is doing is smarter, by not focusing on the fact that Iraq on the ground may be improving but that does not excuse the fact that Osama BinLaden is still at large, that Al queda is as strong as ever in Afghanistan/Pakistan, that yes no incident has occurred since 9-11, but terror attacks are as high as ever elsewhere in the world.
So even if Iraq continues to improve, unless Bush and co actually catches Bin Ladin before nov, or god forbid an attack does happen.  Barack has at least laid down some groundwork on the issue.
by lamh3176 2008-06-18 08:15PM | 0 recs
McCain loses by default

For supporting the Iraq war effort all these days.  It wouldn't even matter if Iraq was completely stabilized today and was functioning autonomously: There's still the undeniable fact that we wasted both American and Iraqi lives, and billions of dollars we could have invested at home, and took our resources away from other terrorists to fight in Iraq.  

by Homebrewer 2008-06-18 08:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back

I would normally agree with you, however, conservative columnist George Will tells McCain to be careful what he wishes for.  He says there is enough discontent amongst troops and locals in Iraq that Obama would be greeted with a heroes welcome by both... not exactly what the RNC would like to see!

by LordMike 2008-06-18 08:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back

He would be treated well regardless by the military and the Iraqi's ( I suspect ).

Thats really not the focus of what I said.

My point is a lot of the debate right now is still done in the vaccum of whether you like Bush or not , for or against the war not on a sober reflection on what is the actual reality of what is going on there.

Now I am not saying we are at the end of the tunnel  but there has been improvements over there that is not reflected in the discussions or lack of in much of the media , infact there has pretty much being a blackout.

However Obama's trip there , would draw attention to Iraq and the actual conditions/reality in ways in which the coverage of the campaign hasn't really brought out.

If the focus of the decision moves to the condition on the ground , the way it would undoubtedly will with Obama's trip , I think that would be an advantage to Mccain . Furthermore I think it would undermine his rhetoric and he might have to refine his message or policy position .

Thats just how I see it.

He has an effective counter argument now .

by lori 2008-06-18 09:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back

I'm not convinced that things are improving there, but even if they are, the argument could be easily spun as, "It's now time to formulate an exit plan, and McCain is too stubborn to realize it."  Obama could set up press conferences with Iraqi leaders discussing public timelines (the general consensus is that Iraqi leaders want us out sooner than later).  That's just one example of how the Obama team could make him look more presidential than McCain on Iraq.

I'm sure they will be prepared, and I do think they will visit, just not on McCain's timetable...  Knowing the Obama team, they will take a possible weakness and make it into a strength.  They've suprised everyone so far, so I wouldn't be surprised if they do it again...

But, like you, I am uneasy about him going to Iraq....  While I'm confident that he will hit a home run, there's always the chance of a "Dukakis in a tank" moment...  so, yeah, it's a legitimate concern.

by LordMike 2008-06-18 09:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back

Every time one of our own is killed, it reinforces the point that the war was a bad decision...and to continue it when McCain can't even define "success" while our men and women our fighting for their lives seems pretty selfish of our government.

by hootie4170 2008-06-18 09:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back
There is NOTHING about Obama's position that is reliant on things sucking in Iraq.
His goal is to get us out. He will leave prudently, he will leave slowly, he will leave intelligently. He has said this over and over and over again, "we need to be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in."
If things improve, then it reinforces the argument that it's time for us to go.
by EvilAsh 2008-06-18 11:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back

Pretty incorrect analysis Lori.   But hey whatever gets you through the night.

by yitbos96bb 2008-06-19 04:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back

I would still love to get a better sense of what you view as "progress" in Iraq.  Violence is down and security is improved.  That's true.  But those gains are, by all accounts, tenuous and don't address the primary purpose of the surge, which was to create space for political reconcilation.  I have yet to see any major progress on that frong.

Also, your vision of Obama's Iraq position seems disingenuos to me.  He wants to start troop drawdowns immediately, but he has consistently said that we have to be as careful getting out as we were reckless going in.  He's not talking about a precipitious withdrawal.  It will be slow, steady, and will take account of what's going on on the ground.  

What's the problem with that kind of strategy, exactly?  Especially if, as you say, the levels of violence are so reduced right now?

by HSTruman 2008-06-19 05:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back


by alyssa chaos 2008-06-18 07:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back


by Bobby Obama 2008-06-18 08:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back

That's gonna leave a mark!

by bosdcla14 2008-06-18 08:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back

Nice start.

Now, let me know whey he starts naming Bush, Cheney and the Idiota Rice as the folks who fiddled while the towers burned.

He'll be half-way to my vote when he calls them out and names them as responsible for doing nothing to stop the attack.

That's the big shitpile in the room and until someone says it....

Out Loud...In the MSM's Face!

..everything else is just prattle.

by Pericles 2008-06-18 08:14PM | 0 recs
how about if he offers

to give you a compliment once a week for a year?  Would that get the rest of your vote?

by JJE 2008-06-18 08:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back

"These are the same guys who helped to engineer the distraction of the war in Iraq at a time when we could have pinned down the people who actually committed 9/11," the presumed nominee told reporters

Indeed.  Woolsey was one of the first to falsely link Saddam to the 9/11 attacks. Though all signs were pointing to bin Laden, in the days after 9/11 Woolsey wrote an article in The New Republic promoting Laurie Mylroie's batty conspiracy theories about Saddam.  Josh Marshall recalls even more of Woolsey's wankery and writes:

I'm more than a little amused that this is the guy who's advising McCain

by Rob in Vermont 2008-06-18 08:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back

This is an argument that Clinton could not have won.  Having been duped into supporting the Authorization for the Use of Force in Iraq, her only chance was to say she was duped (a loser) or try to out war the warmongers.

Sorry Clinton supporters, when she used one of the 2 traditional responses to talk about national security while running for election (either try to change the subject as Kerry did, or to emulate Republican positions like Dukakis did, she chose Dukakis), she overcompensated by voting for the war, and the die was cast.  It is the fundamental issue of the campaign and she called it wrong.  She has no one to blame but herself.

by TJ1 2008-06-18 08:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back

I see you are still obsessed with her .

I hope you find a way to get past it.

by lori 2008-06-18 08:32PM | 0 recs
Take your own medicine.

You need to get past your knee jerk criticism of all things Obama.

It's true that criticizing Hillary is a waste of time because she's history, but criticizing the Democratic nominee Obama is just being a McTroll.

by Freespeechzone 2008-06-18 08:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back

Hillary isn't going to be the nominee.  What does this have to do with her?  Of what possible benefit is your argument when Hillary isn't even in the picture? It seems like a petty attempt to rub salt in a wound. Petty and sad.

by Denny Crane 2008-06-18 11:31PM | 0 recs
Take it how you want it.

G.W Bush was president when 9-11 happened.  If Al Gore was president during 9-11, he would have never been re-elected and would have been painted as someone who did not protect the nation.  Now, tables are turned and the failures of this administration were manifested with the Iraq disaster, and with an election upcoming it is time for Obama to call out all the idiots who are costing our nation 3 billion a week.  Can you freaking believe the guts these WAR MONGERING fools posses in which they are willing to insult our nominee by calling him naive?  Fuck'em.  Americans can no longer be fooled by this trash.  Swiftboating won't work this time when people are paying 5 dollars for gas and 4 bucks for bread.  Stupid fools.

by nzubechukwu 2008-06-18 08:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Take it how you want it.

I disagree Gore wouldn't have been re-elected.  Gore Would have gotten Osama and NOT been distracted with Iraq.  Gore with have strengthened are very weak borders where terrorists could potentially sneak in.  I think Gore would have won in a landslide... unfortunately that might have meant Joementum was the nominee.

by yitbos96bb 2008-06-19 04:41AM | 0 recs
McCain has a December 14th mindset

December 14th of 1791, that is. The following day the Virginia legislature ratified the first ten amendments to the Constitution and put the Bill of Rights over the top. McCain does not understand the danger of an unfettered government.

by laviolet 2008-06-18 09:03PM | 0 recs
Let the debates begin!!

Obama just fired a nasty salutatory shot across the Mclames bow - thats gotta hurt!!

by Forward with Feingold 2008-06-18 09:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back

All polls now show that the American public has made up its mind about Iraq.  The war was a mistake.  The US should wind things down over the next 1-2 years.  If Obama stays on message he'll have no trouble.

by IncognitoErgoSum 2008-06-18 09:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back

Great job by Obama to link Bush and McCain with almost every sentence.  The best thing McCain has going for him right now is the "maverick" persona, which quickly disappears when people see how closely he aligns with Bush on most issues.  He owns Bush's policy positions, and the more people that know that the better.

by thatpurplestuff 2008-06-18 09:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back

Apparently, McCain isn't too happy that Bush is now loudly backing him on the drilling initiative... Arrogant George thinks he's helping, while John is like, "Will you just shut up?"

by LordMike 2008-06-18 09:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back

Full Video on this, well worth the watch!

by Fistjab 2008-06-18 10:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back

What is the title of this video on YouTube? I want to send the link to everyone

by American Lobo 2008-06-20 08:45PM | 0 recs
the fact that violence is down in Iraq

at the moment, in no way justifies the original invasion. even if there are no deaths in Iraq for the rest of the year, we have still wasted hundreds of billions, if not trillions of dollars, lost thousands of US troops, given the rest of the world yet another reason to think the US is an imperialist power, weakened our standing among our allies, etc etc etc.

by highgrade 2008-06-18 10:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back

One thing Rove understood. You have to go after your opponents greatest strength and undermine it's underpinnings. Obama is going at it hammer and tong.

by hankg 2008-06-19 02:51AM | 0 recs
Disappointing speech.

Here's an excerpt you conveniently omitted from your write-up:

As we discussed in the meeting, we face serious challenges to our security. Our nation is fighting two wars. There are terrorists who are determined to kill as many Americans as they can. The world's most dangerous weapons risk falling into the wrong hands. And that is why the single greatest priority of my presidency will be doing anything and everything that I can to keep the American people safe.

So this is his greatest priority.  Not universal health care.  Not job creation.  Not helping people who are losing their homes through foreclosure. Not renewable energy. Does his definition of "greatest single priority" change depending on the audience?

Over the past year, Senator Obama has often said that he welcomes a debate on national security with Republicans because "that's a debate I'll win."

I doubt it:

We need more resources in Afghanistan. I have been arguing for this since 2002, when I said that we should finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban instead of going into Iraq. I have called for at least two additional combat brigades to support our efforts there. I have also called for at least $1 billion in non-military assistance each year.

Would that $1 bn be going toward a Contractor Full Employment Act?

More war, different country.  I thought he was all about change.  How does this qualify as change?  And "since 2002"?  When he was in the IL Senate and had no responsibility or impact? If he's so damned concerned about Afghanistan, why didn't he call a single oversight hearing of his subcommittee, where he can have input and achieve change, but where he has been noted only for his complete absence.  

Why must we wait for leadership from this person only when he becomes president?  I just don't trust him.

by KimPossible 2008-06-19 04:51AM | 0 recs
Security is important

So this is his greatest priority.  Not universal health care.  Not job creation.  Not helping people who are losing their homes through foreclosure. Not renewable energy

I'm actually happy with this priority. Despite the extreme hardship posed by the other issues you mention, we really did lose the fucking World Trade Center to terrorists. It happened. The issue has never been "do we make security a priority", rather the question has been "how". The Iraq war was a sham, gunpoint democracy which used the actual threat as an excuse.

Personally, I wouldn't vote for a candidate that ran on economic issues to the exclusion of the very real national security situation we find ourselves in. so yeah, more war. Just the RIGHT war this time.

by Neef 2008-06-19 07:08AM | 0 recs

Obama has a pretty decent counterpunching style, many of his better moves against Hillary were of that variety.

I think it gives him the opportunity to say "hey I'm being attacked here, so since you brought it up, here's devastating counterpoint to completely tear your argument apart".

Basically, it allows him to go on the attack and look like a nice guy while doing it.

by bobestes 2008-06-19 07:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back

This is the kind of leadership I want to see out of Obama. I want to see someone strong and authoritative who is not going to take any more crap from the Republicans. Good for him and good for us.

by Dari 2008-06-19 10:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Hits Back

I'm proud of Obama for taking the gloves off and unleashing a smackdown on Bush/McSame. Everything he said in that press conference/speech is true.

I don't think Obama should go to Iraq, Afghanistan or the Middle East until after he becomes President. It gives the Neocons and corporate cronies in the Bush Admin. an opportunity to have him assassinated and blame it on "terrorists". They could easily have Blackwater or other contractors look the other way and let someone kill Obama or kill him themselves.
 Even after he becomes President, he'll have to be very careful wherever he goes and the Secret Service are going to have to work extra hard at protecting him.

by American Lobo 2008-06-19 07:38PM | 0 recs


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