Hillary's Money Problem

As John Edwards, Barack Obama, journalists, innocent bystanders and others repeatedly point out, Hillary can't seem to give a straight answer, or one that makes sense, on any number of issues.  Her debate career thus far involves lots of dodging, bobbing and weaving, tap-dancing and pirouettes but honest answers to important questions have been notably lacking from her repertoire.  

She may be the front runner in national polls, but she also has the singular distinction of  leading in several pivotal negatives that get less attention.  When people are asked for whom they would NEVER vote, she leads the pack.  (Tim Russert, in one of his more memorable pronouncements, once chortled that Hillary's positives now equaled her negatives!)  And when people identify the candidate they trust the least, her poll numbers surpass all others. Hillary watchers believe that she could yet triangulate herself to an early political death.

Hillary's careful opacity is the direct, ironic, result of yet another area where she has a formidable lead:  fundraising.  Her astounding war chest began to grow the day she declared her run for the presidency.  At the end of the third quarter this year, she had accepted over $90 million in campaign contributions, approximately the same as her two top rivals combined.

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Obama gets an A+: Time Magazine MidEast Chief Bureau

Make No mistake: this election cycle is about America's long term Security.

Obama has the right progressive instincts; his rhethoric is forward looking, and a hard grader is now giving him an A!

If Obama is trying to distinguish himself from other American leaders on the Middle East, he's doing a great job. His published views today on Iran are smart, measured and statesmanlike, in contrast, for example, to Bush's speech on terrorism last night, in which the president once again raised the specter of Muslim hoards crashing across our borders to destroy the American way of life. Take a look:

http://time-blog.com/middle_east/2007/11 /obama_vs_bush.html?xid=rss-mideast

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Security First: What Others Say

There seems to be some interest in my new book Security First; frankly it is doing better than several of my other endeavors. But never mind what I think. Here are excerpts from what others say, and links to their full texts.

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I need help in understanding several of the arguments repeatedly made by people who posted comments here in response to my essay on DD about the nature of terrorism. Before I lay out my questions I should note that those who believe that the CIA or the Israeli Mossad were behind 9/11 need not read on. The same holds for those believe that name-calling is a form of argument. I do not believe that I can come to understand their way of thinking, although a good therapist might help them.

1. The implications of the causes of terrorism. Let's assume, as some people imply, that terrorism and other forms of violence are caused only by abuses the US inflicted on people in the Middle East and elsewhere. That the beheading of innocent civilians, the stoning of gay people, the so-called "honor killings," as well as attacks on US ships, airplanes, and embassies are all the result of US actions. WHAT FOLLOWS? Should we now sit back and remove TSA agents and security screening from airports? Stop checking the background of those who seek to travel to the US? Cease to examine the containers that arrive in US ports? In short, invite the terrorists to hit us until they are even, and then they will let us be?

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Obama Steals Biden's Al Qaeda/Pakistan Plan

The Biden for President Campaign today congratulated Sen. Barack Obama for arriving at a number of Sen. Biden's long-held views on combating Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Much of what Senator Obama has proposed Senator Biden has already initiated or accomplished.

As part of the 9/11 bill that passed Congress last week, Senator Biden and Representative Lantos wrote the law that conditions aid to Pakistan on its cooperation with the United States in combating Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Before writing the law, Biden wrote to President Musharraf and Secretary Rice making clear his intent to do so.

Starting in January, Senator Biden has repeatedly called for surging more forces out of Iraq and into Afghanistan.

At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on January 30th, 2007, Sen. Biden discussed the need for a surge in Afghanistan at Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing.

At this same hearing, Sen. Obama asked two questions - he did not address Afghanistan or Al Qaeda or Taliban. The first was on the topic of Iran; the second was on an issue that he admitted "seems somewhat parochial, but I think, as you'll see, is of concern across the world." Obama discussed the "stunning level of mercury in fish" and asked about a proposal for the U.S. adopt a ban on mercury sales abroad?



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