Obama's brief appearance on O'Reilly
by Blazers Edge, Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 04:59:37 PM EDT
by Blazers Edge, Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 04:59:37 PM EDT
Well, Obama had a good day that's about to drop out, so that alone may affect the daily tracking polls.
that Obama was up by ten on Monday as some bloggers have claimed using various spreadsheets? That's possible, we'll have to wait and see the results tomorrow.
So, McCain got a Palin bounce from the VP announcement which stepped on any Obama bounce from his speech. Then Obama got a Palin bounce from all the stuff that came out about her. I suppose tomorrow's polling will prove whether Palin gave McCain the bounce to counter the bounce she gave Obama.
I think Palin caused a small depression in McCain's support (which I think Rasmussen mentioned), but that it will go up by some amount. I don't think McCain will pull into a lead, but we'll see.
of next week I'll be happy.
Their convention was WAY more effective than ours.
I think we lose if that's the case; which party gets the bigger bounce typically wins and has won the past four election cycles.
I don't think you are going to be right; McCain was down eight going into the convention and you think he'll get an eleven-point swing? If so, then Palin truly is a game-changer as advertised. Should have listened to CG.
"Their convention was WAY more effective than ours."
Sure you typed that right? If so, wow.
There are two ways that comment makes sense to me.
One is if your definition of "Their" and "ours" is different. Since I'm not intending to accuse you of being a troll, I'm not going with that one. I'm well aware you're not.
Two is if you just mean effective in terms of "effecting a change in things". By that standard... maybe.
I mean, let's compare:
Unified the party
Energized the base of our party
Defined our candidates in a positive way and theirs in a negative way
Talked specifics about issues
Reached out to moderates and independents
Got great positive media coverage
Greatly divided and confused the party
Energized the base of both parties
Defined their candidates (one in a half-positive/half-negative way -- positive to their base, negative to everyone else -- and the other as either boring and blah or dangerous and reckless); failed to define ours
Said nothing specific about issues
Went out of its way to alienate moderates and independents
Got highly mixed media coverage
So if "effective" means managed to do maximum change, theirs wins.
Note that none of what I said means they lose. The enthusiasm gap is somewhat less. They'll raise more money. Palin may find some way to make herself palatable to people outside the base (though I think the way her introduction was botched she may never have significant positive favorables outside their base; that Us Magazine cover is a complete killer for the low-info-voter community). They may be able to play the anti-media card yet again (not real sure, this time; very different election). They might be able to find some way to distance McCain and Bush... though it seems extremely unlikely.
I'm predicting a meaningless (because it means McCain's numbers got better in red states and didn't get as much worse in purple and blue states) shift of 2-3 points towards McCain (leaving Obama up 3-4 or so). I'm not seeing the state polls in battleground states showing much movement at all towards McCain. Florida has been put in play, McCain's pretty much ceded any state with a large non-white population, and while Palin may pick up some exurban votes in a number of states, she's just shuffling the numbers, towards exurbans and away from moderates.
Here's some bonus predictions based on nothing: Palin will not move the daily tracking poll numbers (I highly value daily tracking polls unlike the Obama campaign and everyone else on this blog). Obama will be up 5 in Rasmussen on Saturday and up 6 in gallup.
Palin won't move the tracking polls, IMO. But McCain's speech today probably will give him a good bump.
I think McCain's speech today will get him a nice -1 to -2 point bump. It was slow and boring, particularly in comparison to Palin's (and Obama's), and it felt about three times as long as it was. Good biography, but do there exist even low-info voters who don't know that McCain was a POW, and at one point was captured by the Vietnamese, besides being a captive, and might at some point have been held by the enemy?
Palin's will move the trackers. Some. McCain's will start moving them back.
More detailed poll and focus group info has emerged besides the two focus groups. It looks like Palin moved some indies who would probably have gone for McCain anyway. The dead heat tonight will tighten the overall numbers but I don't know if the rolling averages will totally flatten out.
He was finding a way to twist out of the iraq question.
He still can't acknowledge he failed in his judgement of the surge.
If he answers that way in upcoming debates and Mccain gives a straight answer , he would seem indecisive and would fall into the picture being painted by the republicans at the convention...
credit for the original opposition to the war. McCain won't acknowledge that he failed in his judgment of the decision to go into Iraq. If O'Reilly agrees with Obama on that point, then isn't McCain just as wrong as Obama in terms of judgment with respect to Iraq?
an error in judgment either, that's my point. Wouildn't they both look equally as flawed in terms of judgment and if that happens, that will only benefit Obama because McCain has to destrooy Obama on foreign policy.
I can see the moderator asking these two questions:
Q: Senator McCain, why are you unwilling to acknowledge that knowing what you know now, that you were wrong when you supported the initial invasion of Iraq as the country had no ties to Al Qaeda and no weapons of mass destruction and was based primarily on false pretenses.
Q: Senator Obama, why are you unwilling to acknowledge that knowing what you know now, that you were wrong to oppose the surge given that it has reduced violence and has given the Iraq government enough space to where we can now talk about withdrawing from Iraq?
If the best part of the appearance was something O'Reilly said that is bad.
Especially considering Clinton did a full interview with him & held her own very effectively. If she'll do it, HRC should go back on the Oreilly factor to show support for the DNC & discuss why Palin is wrong for America - she is better at handling these types of interviews.
Even if it is true that violence has declined since the implementation of the surge strategy, it does not automatically follow that the surge is the cause of the decline. This is the Post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.
I do grant the "surge is working" narrative is rising for a range of reasons. I submit, however, that the mainstream media repeating the pronouncements of the Pentagon, the Bush administrations, the neo-cons, and the McCain campaign does not constitute credible evidence of success. At least it is not alone sufficient evidence.
Given that the media along with many others are blinded by the medals on Pretaeus' chest it may be impossible to have a rational discussion about the impact of the surge. It is also extremely difficult to isolate causes and effects in such a complex and fluid case. Yet many have no trouble asserting that the surge is the cause for the decline in the violence. Politically it is a trap as well as quite possibly not true. The problem is that we have so many in this country and this party who reflexively believe the US military can do anything and that any criticism of strategy is betraying the troops. Please afford me the chance to explain why I hold what, for many, is a contrarian view of the surge.
First, let me suggest plausible alternate causes for the decline in violence.
Sunni community leaders had enough of Al Qaeda blowing up their people and withdrew from active support for the insurgency, with many ripple effects, from fewer actors, to fewer safe havens, to better intelligence. This is not a function of the surge.
For much of the period during which there was a decline Moqtadr Al-Sadr called off his army until Maliki stabbed him in the back (from his perspective). This is particularly true for last summer. This is not a function of the surge.
After several years of effective partitioning along ethnic lines (not something I advocate, but something which has occurred to a very substantial degree; there are few integrated communities) it stands to reason there would be fewer opportunities for daily conflict. This is not a function of the surge.
Over the course of the war, violence in general has declined over the summer months. It gets to 120+ degrees in the summer. This is not a function of the surge. The degree of decline is greater this summer, or at least appears so.
The troop surge is not the only American tactical change. They also began negotiating and in some cases buying off parties they previously did not. Perhaps these changes account more for a reduction in violence than the troop level surge per se.
American troops had to be withdrawn given unsustainable deployment schedules and equipment degradation. The draw down was going to happen with or without the surge. The surge is not the cause of the draw down.
There is no reason to trust American violence estimates. They may be accurate. They may not be accurate. But after years of administration lies and cooking the books I refuse to take at face value their assertions. Can you imagine a world where the violence is essentially unchanged or where the administration concludes internally it is not substantially a function of the deployment yet asserts in public that their policy is a ringing success and here are some numbers we have to back that up? Can anyone say that is not possible, perhaps even plausible? There is a substantial political stake at many levels for many parties in peddling the notion the surge worked.
There is little evidence of substantial political reconciliation and even less that it is sustainable over the long term. Even if a reduction in violence has occurred because of the surge, the objective of the surge has not been achieved in any meaningful fashion, despite the loss of blood and treasure. Moreover, there is no evidence of a change in the internal dynamics sufficient to state with confidence the violence will remain low.
We will never really know the outcomes of alternatives not pursued, such as Hamilton-Baker, in favor of the surge, but some negative consequences are clearly somewhat attributable to the surge.
Finally, the surge may have reduced a type of violence, even overall levels of violence, but it has changed dramatically the sources of the remaining violence in ways that do not portend long term stability. The underlying conditions for stability have been worsened even if there is a short-term reduction in the damage attending to violence levels:
Iraq is unquestionably the world's leader in suicide bombings, with over 1,000 estimated suicide bombings having taken place since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, according to both U.S. military and independent sources. Yet prior to 2007, a great number of these bombers were foreign born, smuggled in through safe houses across Iraq's porous borders from destinations throughout the Middle East.
Yet the dramatic rise in Iraqi female suicide bombers indicates the increasingly indigenous and undeniably home-grown nature of these attacks, portending a new phase in the insurgency. U.S. military officials and various terrorism "experts" continuously stress that the rise in women bombers simply illustrates the desperation of insurgents in the face of a successful U.S. counterinsurgency strategy. Yet the story of desperation is hard to square with the fact that overall levels of suicide bombings in Iraq in 2008, whether by men or women, is also on the increase: there has been an average of 18 suicide attacks a month in Iraq in 2008 compared to 10 a month in 2007, according to a U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad in April, 2008.
Thus, one can argue that the rise in Iraqi female suicide bombers demonstrates that the military "surge" has done little to tamp down the most fundamental demand-driven aspect of suicide bombing, namely a threatening foreign occupation with no end in sight.
As Robert Pape has argued, since the root cause of suicide bombing is foreign military occupation, offensive military action against insurgent organizations that employ suicide bombing and even improved counterinsurgency measures will mean very little unless the U.S. addresses the fundamental issue of foreign military occupation itself. The pioneer of modern suicide bombings, Hezbollah, only ceased suicide bombings when Israel withdrew its forces from Lebanon in 2000 and Palestinian militant organizations have largely ended their use of suicide bombings since Israel withdrew its occupation forces and settlements from the Gaza Strip in 2005, despite the fact that Gaza is still under an intensive Israeli siege.
The rise in Iraqi female suicide bombers ultimately illustrates the hollow nature of the widely touted U.S. counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq; at best, it is simply a set of short-term pacification tactics that has simply enclosed Iraq within miles of blast walls and razor wire, but it remains a failure politically. In this respect, despite important reductions in violence one must conclude that the military surge of 2007 has been a failure at the most important level. According to the newly minted U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual, to lose politically is to lose. The U.S. is no closer to success in Iraq than it was before the surge - and even the security progress that exists is extremely fragile and reversible, because it has not been matched by any significant political progress.
Dr. Steve Niva, Behind the Surge in Iraqi Women Suicide Bombers, 11 August, 2008 http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/5455
So if the surge cannot be isolated as a primary cause of the reduction in violence and is a possible cause of highly destabilizing changes in the nature of the remaining violence, should we Democrats and progressives join in the celebration of the surge's "success"? I think not.
Now what of the external costs of the surge? I turn to Prof. Wallerstein (Yale/SUNY-Binghamton):
That still leaves the question: Has the surge really worked? I suppose if one looks exclusively at short-run casualty figures in Iraq, one could argue it did. It would work even better if the United States could send in another 200,000 troops. But the United States does not have another 200,000 troops to send in. And its collaborating countries have been withdrawing their troops, not sending more in. Of course, if you bribe a whole lot of Sunni sheiks, they will be on the U.S. side for the time being. And if you institutionalize ethnic expulsions, as in Baghdad, there is less room for some of the kinds of inter-Iraqi violence that had been previously occurring. And if Moktada al-Sadr thinks it is wiser to bide his time, there will be a temporary reduction in the kind of violence that had been occurring before.
But look at what has happened elsewhere in the Middle East because of the surge. In November of 2006, the United States and NATO had been congratulating themselves on the success of their efforts in Afghanistan. But since then, two things have happened. The number of U.S. casualties has soared, passing now those in Iraq. So has violence against Afghans. Suddenly the Taliban are back in a big way. And now, for the first time since 2001, the pundits are talking about the possibility of the U.S. losing the war in Afghanistan as well as Iraq.
And look at Pakistan. Since November 2006, the country has had relatively democratic elections, which brought to power a legislature hostile to President Musharraf, still the person on whom the Bush regime is relying to pursue a policy favorable to U.S. interests. Musharraf, as a consequence, has been struggling to keep his head above water. One of the ways in which he has done this is to make a tacit deal with the Islamist forces in the northwest frontier region that favor and harbor both al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Recently, these forces almost occupied the largest urban center in the region. They are in any case very strong, and are actively helping the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Then look at Iran. Iran is huffing and puffing. So is Israel about Iran. So is Dick Cheney. The fact is, however, that Iran is stronger than ever. And they have been strengthening in every way their links with the two groups in Iraq upon which U.S. hopes are based - the al-Maliki government and the Kurds. Iran actually shares many interests with the United States in Afghanistan. But the United States is unable to take advantage of this geopolitical alliance because it insists on seeing Iran as the evil demon in the Middle East.
Now look again at Iraq. The United States had hoped that, with the surge so "successful," they could get Iraq to sign this year a status-of-forces agreement, which would lock in the stationing of U.S. troops and U.S. bases in Iraq for decades to come. Instead, al-Maliki has made it clear that not only won't Iraq sign more than a brief interim agreement but that it won't do even that unless the United States commits to a timetable for withdrawal, something anathema to both Bush and McCain.
I could go on - about Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, the Gulf states. The fact is that the United States is decidedly weaker everywhere in the Middle East in the eighteen months since the surge began. Has it not been in part, maybe in large part, precisely because of the surge? The Middle East today is like a large geopolitical balloon. If you squeeze it at one point, the air will simply displace itself to another point. And the balloon is getting more fragile all the time. It is on the verge of bursting.
Immanuel Wallerstein, "Has the 'Surge' in Iraq Worked?", Commentary No. 237, July 15, 2008
I do not think it is fair to suggest the surge has worked, quite apart from the political downside of ratifying McCain's one-note chorus.
I readily concede that were Sen. Obama to make these points, presuming he believes them, the political fallout would likely be negative. But that is not a comment about the success of the surge but of the state of American political culture, self-deception, and ignorance, at least as I view the matters.
hey her connections to that the Jews for Jesus is no small thing in the jewish community.
I hear its going viral within the community this is no small thing.
I expect Obama to be up in FL polls soon, yes, it sounds crazy but thats how bad her J4J is, especially since I believe they will try and hide it, so they won't ever have her talk about it, thus she will never ease the fears.
but that's just my opinion.
there are also alot of retired educators in florida. wonder how book burning and creationism goes over with them.
a real live smear is going viral! awesome. was the sick obama muslim smear going viral good?
honestly - what has become of people???
on this one; it's not equivalent to the Muslim smear. What is equivalent to the Muslim smear is that stuff about her being the grandmother to one of her kids as that was absolutely not true.
That Palin has ties to Jews for Jesus and other extremists is no different from Jeremiah Wright. Since I consider Wright to be a legitimate issue, I consider the same to be true for Palin. Both are legitimate grounds on which the judgment and beliefs of Obama and Palin are to be evaluated.
Obama said that he doesn't share Wright's beliefs; it's up to the voters to decide whether they believe him. It's incumbent on Palin to answer questions about whether she shares the views of these extremists to whom she has a connection so we can all make a judgment as to whether she shares their views.
from what i understand the j4j story is no where close to what is being circulated. and more than that - the blogosphere with a complicit media is really out of control - have you seen this? releasing palin's social security and phone number????
sickening. more and more i think that the netroots (with the media) will help lose this election for democrats.
I haven't seen anything to push back against the J4J story; if you have, then I'll probably change my opinion on this one. I haven't heard any response from Palin on this charge.
It's not just J4J, there are ties to the secessionist party of Alaska as well. I am trying to emphasize "ties." It's up to her to show that these "ties" do not mean she supports the party's viewpoint in the same way it is up to Obama to show that he does not condone Ayers actions from years ago even though he has "ties" to Ayers.
I saw the article that you linked. Her SS number was not leaked according to Ben Smith. Whoever is doing that is pretty scumbag but Obama and Palin shouldn't be using a couple of scumbags to try and prevent legitimate questions as to the people with whom they have associated.
have we got any reporting on her since last week? seriously. the j4j has not been picked up yet - as much as maddow is pushing it - but it will. found this...
Two weeks ago, the executive director of a group called Jews for Jesus spoke at Palin's church. Her pastor says she was in church that day. The guest speaker made some controversial comments and insinuated that the conflict in the Middle East is attributable to God's "judgment of unbelief." So, just to be clear: This was a guest speaker...
again - the above is from a right-wing source - but its not like the left is behaving with credibility right now either.
I respect your opinion and I'll withhold any further discussion about J4J until we get more information about it.
However, there are unquestionably links between her and other extremists such as the secessionists in Alaska and Buchanan (her claim is that she didn't support Buchanan but out of courtesy, appeared with him at a rally and wore a button, remember that Obama got heat for attending the Million Man March which I considered to be fair heat and it's up to the American people to decide whether they explain buy his explanation). Just as it is up to Obama to convince Americans that his "ties" to Ayers is tenuous, it's up to Palin to convince the American people that her ties to similar folks are tenuous.
You do agree that the trooper controversy is completely fair? That the Bridge to Nowhere attack is fair?n That her qualifications are fair game?
i think that what we have seen in the past week is revolting. from maddow through to steinhem today. these little faux stories you mentioned have been debunked (as far as i know) - however hard people here and on kos try to promote otherwise.
that said - i agree that her record, qualifications (as long as they are honestly compared to obama's), calling her pick pandering or tokenism is not. and troopergate, etc are fair game.
the problem is - the press are losing their credibility by the minute and its only working to harden some support for her and remind feminist democrats what didnt happen for other democratic women. this is a trap of the highest order. sigh.
The AIB,she does have ties, strong ties. Her husband was a member until 2002, when she first ran for Lt Gov.
Is it possible that she went with her husband to a state convention for AIB with her husband? Yes. ANd they haven't denied that she was ever there, just that she wasn't a card carrying member (she has always been registered repug.
and I hate being in agreement with IowaMike on this issue of the ASP. If all she did was accompany her husband to an event and that all those videos of her giving a presentation to the convention was a courtesy and that the ASP rep claiming that she courted them is a liar, then she should say all that and explain the ties before a reporter under questioning. Let the American people decide whether her story is true and whether she shares the party's beliefs or not.
We don't know a lot about either her or Obama; that's why they get more scrutiny, they haven't been around as long as Biden or McCain. It's time for her to start talking to media outlets other than People Magazine and get on one of these Sunday shows and answer some questions.
Well, here is where we can disagree.
Obama has gotten a lot of scrutiny. He has ran a national nomination battle with a lot of stuff coming out abut him (both fair and unfair). SHe is brand spanking new.
Sorry, but I don't see the press losing credibility by the moment. If anything, I think the press is rapidly gaining credibility (maybe not with you, and certainly not with the rabid Palinophiles either, but with everyone else).
The problem is that I think the Republicans finally went too far. It's worked for them to say, well X is off limits and you're being badnastyevil for even asking about it.
But this time they've tried that tactic towards asking any question about a Vice Presidential candidate (and not just any, but one that's more "one heartbeat away" than pretty much any other in recent history). I don't think anyone's buying this theory that we shouldn't vet a candidate for the second-highest elective office in the land. Every time the Republicans try it, they're just bolstering the press' credibility.
And it doesn't matter if some of the stories turn out to be overblown. Sorry; you may think it does, but it doesn't. This is a vetting process; we turn up everything and evaluate later. Some people believed NAFTAgate was a real story when it came out, despite the evidence. Certainly the press reported it as if there was actually something there. The fact that it turns out to have been utter nonsense didn't diminish the press' credibility in any serious fashion.
Besides which, the reporting has been a lot better than you're giving it credit for. For instance, on the J4J story that we're talking about, I've not seen any reports that she supports them or believes everything they say or anything of the sort. I've seen reporting of there being a J4J presentation at her church and reporting of widespread claims that she was present. Neither of those seems to have factual problems.
Comparing it to Wright: if she were in the church on that day, and does not denounce J4J, she puts herself way behind Obama, who was NOT in the church for any of Wright's inflammatory sermons and yet HAS denounced them. If she were not in the church, then she'd be about even with Obama, if she denounced them. Failing to denounce them is pretty much like Obama failing to denounce Farrakhan.
first i am accused of sexism down below - now this. whatever - i am tired of arguing with people that are shooting themselves in the foot.
if by everyone else finding the press has credibility - you mean people that have already decided that they are going to vote for obama - yes i think you're right. while admittedly the past months made me sensitive to sexism - i assure you that many (including biden) share my view that there have been sexist attacks on palin.
also - i find what the press is attempting to do atrocious. as kaus says:
Tomorrow's Marching Orders Today: If there were some sort of tacit liberal MSM conspiracy--a hypothetical!--Plan 1 was to knock Palin off the ticket out of the box with various unvetted home state scandals. Plan 2, the plan currently in place, is to force Palin to submit to "real interviews" where she will supposedly reveal her embarrassing unpreparedness for the office.
May I suggest to my fellow conspirators that we move directly on to Plan 3: Forget Palin. Stop writing about her. If we make the election about Palin, we will lose. She'll probably win her debate and will almost certainly handle the interviews well enough (to the satisfaction of the voters, at least, if not the experts). The election's not about Palin. It's about McCain. We can beat McCain.
now - i dont necessary share kaus' view about how to proceed about palin, but i am certainly offended that he referred to the press as WE can beat mccain. while there are certainly things that voters have a right to know - this is certainly not is what is going on here.
if you see nothing offensive in this - i assure you that undecideds do not agree with you. sorry - when the media insert themselves into the story to try become part of the election - not a winning strategy.
and ill add... if you see nothing wrong in the press OPENLY advocating (or trying to destroy a candidate) - then i suspect that the politics that have been prevalent for the past few decades are ones in which are deserved.
I think we're arguing two completely different points here. If so, I'm sorry for any part of the confusion that's been on my part.
There are three issues here, to my way of thinking.
First, you're talking about sexist and insulting attacks on Palin. Of course there have been plenty; I don't think it's credible to say anything else. There have been. I don't think it's right any more than you do.
But that has almost nothing to do with the second issue, press credibility, for most people, it's an entirely unrelated issue. Credibility is about whether the press is doing a reasonable attempt to determine the facts, and whether the facts and allegations they report represent a reasonable attempt at presenting the truth. Both credible reporting and sexism can exist at the same time and even in the same story. For instance, an article could easily say something like "Palin committed ethics violations [true] because she's a vindictive b*ch [sexist and demeaning]". The presence of the sexism doesn't render the actual facts less credible. This is where the press has been gaining in credibility, as it presents information as it's discovered, despite a very pointed attempt by the McCain campaign and other Republicans to keep them from doing their job.
The third issue, which you may have seen all along but I didn't see in the earlier comments, is advocacy for a candidate. Frankly, I'm surprise that you're presenting this here. After a summer where Obama could do no right, while every gaffe, mistake, error, and outright lie McCain spoke was paved over by the press? After the primaries, in which Obama was the press' favorite for a month, then Hillary was for the next month, then Obama again, then Hillary? You really think this is about the press advocating for a candidate?
In general the press is advocating for a horse race. They're much less concerned with who wins. If they'd wanted to destroy McCain's campaign, they've had a myriad of opportunities over the past couple months. If they'd wanted to destroy Obama's, they could have. If they'd wanted to destroy Hillary or Obama in the primaries, they could have. At most they acted as a check on the frontrunner to preserve the horse race.
In this case, though, we have a candidate who's suddenly running for the second highest office in the land who was barely known to anyone outside the state of Alaska a week ago. She has considerable positives, and the McCain campaign did a pretty solid job of presenting them. She also has some enormous negatives for mainstream America. The McCain campaign is trying hard to prevent those negatives getting out there. Exposing them is NOT advocating for a candidate. Would you have considered Woodward and Bernstein to be advocating against Nixon, for not dropping Watergate?
Once Palin was announced as the Republican nominee for VP, the reporting on her past that is happening should have been considered absolutely essential. Not the sexism -- I'm not happy about that either. But the reporting on who she's associated with, her actual past as opposed to the spin, her ethics investigation, etc -- those are exactly the things the media should be presenting about ALL candidates.
They've done it to Barack and Hillary over a contentious primary. They've done a half-hearted job on McCain, but at least there's been some coverage. I expect them to do their jobs and do the same for Palin.
First of all, we don't know who released that information. Pinning it on the Democrats is a smear in and of itself. It could have been the Republicans themselves trying to hype the "piling on" and get some more sympathy.
Second, whoever released her SSN only released 5 of 9 digits. That information isn't enough to do anything with.
Third, her phone number was listed in the phone book. As a mayor, let alone a g.overnor or VP candidate, I couldn't imagine having a publically-available phone book
We get it, CG. She's a woman so nobody can ever attack anything about her that isn't a policy position. You assume the j4j story has been debunked but you have nothing at all to back it up.
Your paternalistic attitude is almost as offensive as the "Sarah is hot" crowd.
Obama actually says the words "The surge has succeeded" to O'Reilly. Not only that, he adds "beyond anyone's wildest imagination". There's really not too many ways to nuance that. He tried, though, by saying the Iraqi's haven't stepped up, politically. But there's that pesky Anbar change of command thing that doesn't square with that.
I'm sure he'll take a lot of grief for that admission, but independents need to hear that from him.
In some ways, politicians are pretty much alike. They just can't admit any kind of mistake for fear that it will be used against them. Look at Bush...he couldn't even come up with one mistake he's made as President. Same for Hillary Clinton. She tried to nuance her vote for the Iraq war. And now Obama still tries to nuance the surge while saying it succeeded.
By the way, O'Reilly may be critical of Obama for some things, but he's pretty much always given him cred for being right about his opposition to the war, saying it wasn't the right battlefield. There's too many public utterances of that to ignore.
Personally, I think it was good for Obama to say those words, albeit a bit grudgingly. It pretty much took some of the wind out of Lindsay Graham's speech to the RNC where he continued to say that Obama wouldn't admit the surge has succeeded. Obviously he hadn't heard about the O'Reilly segment, or it came too close to his speech to make any changes.
Obama can still lay claim to being right about not going into Iraq at the start. He should stick with that, and lose this albatross of the surge deal. Thankfully, he took the first step tonight.
He'll take some shots from the left for "giving in", and some from the right for finally admitting this, but really, who cares? It's one less thing that can be used against him in November. Time to move on.
Iraq will fall further down the list of priorities of the American public; the two guys who wanted to tout their superior judgment on Iraq will not be able to use the issue to push them over the top. Healthcare will be ahead of Iraq as an issue.
He's said the surge has worked before. What he has never said is that he was wrong to oppose the surge. And on that score he is right. There were too many strategic problems with the surge that have made things worse, even though the short-term effect is positive.
What Obama didn't mention is that Maliki is now squeezing out the Sons of Iraq, who may very likely rise up again. The drawdown in violence was a result of the Awaening and Sadr's truce. The surge helped, but it was not decisive. Even Petreaus had admitted as much.
The surge worked? So the war is over? Mission Accomplished?
It is simplistic to say that the surge is the one only responsible for the improvements in Iraq.
Even Woodrow (or an author) said that the 4 things that helped improve the situation are:
1) Petreus strategy of engaging the Sunnis who already have decided to stop supporting Al Queda and paying them $300/month
Even if you added 100,000 troops the situation wouldnt have improved if above have not occurred. This just shows diplomacy works.
If the lesson John McCain took from the improvement is that war is the answer then that is a dangerous thing since his answer to every conflict will be war.
This way he will use the surge against McCain.
McCain is simplistic---This simplistic belief that war is the answer is dangerous.