UPDATE "It's very hard to tell your banker that he's wrong,"

As Chicago Bids for Games, Obama Ducks Olympics Criticism

April 09, 2008 3:25 PM

ABC News' Sunlen Miller Reports: Barack Obama doesn't seem to want to talk about the Olympics or Senator Clinton's call for a boycott of the opening ceremonies on August 8, 2008.

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/ 2008/04/as-chicago-bids.html


At a town hall in Malvern, Pennsylvania, Obama, D-Ill., was asked about U.S. policy toward Tibet and Darfur, especially in light of the forthcoming Olympics in Beijing this summer.

Obama has not followed Clinton's lead in calling for an opening ceremony boycott to protest China's human rights abuses in Tibet and Darfur.

"It's very hard to tell your banker that he's wrong," Obama said, after talking about the need to restore America's stance in the world, "And if we are running huge deficits and big national debts and we're borrowing money constantly from China, that gives us less leverage. It give us less leverage to talk about human rights, it also is giving us less leverage to talk about the uneven trading relationship that we have with China."

Obama never once mentioned the Olympic Games in his response.

He did say the United States has not been "consistent enough and tough enough" toward "pushing (China) to deal with Tibet properly."

This is the man people want as leader of the Free World!

Can he not make one decent decision on something as no-brainer as demanding that Bush boycott the opening ceremony this summer?

The article continues with a possible explanation for hsi refusal to take a stand.  It might not be good for his home town.  It might be bad for his backers in Chicago.

In a paper statement released on Monday, Obama said there "should be consequences" if the Chinese government does not take immediate steps to respect the human rights of the Tibetan people.

In reference to Sudan, Obama sounded a similar note, asserting, "We have to take a stronger stance. We have to take a stronger stance and it's got to be more consistent over time."

The junior Senator from Illinois has a particularly tricky balancing act when it comes to the subject of the Olympics: Chicago is vying to host the 2016 games and one of Obama's top campaign advisors and close friends, Valerie Jarrett, is the vice chair of Chicago's bid committee.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has forcefully demanded that Bush stay away from the games.


http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/ 2008/04/hillary-clinton.html

On Monday, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, called for President George W. Bush to refrain from personally participating in the opening ceremony of the Beijing Summer Olympics to protest China's record on human rights.

UPDATE: The same reporter who reported on Onama's earlier no decision now has this. Obama Says Bush Should Boycott Olympics If.... ABC News
April 09, 2008 7:02 PM ABC News' Sunlen Miller Reports: In his strongest language to date about the Olympics, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., said that President Bush should boycott the opening ceremonies of if the Chinese do not take steps to stop the genocide in Darfur and respect the human rights of Tibetan people. Regarding the full Olympic games this summer, Obama says a decision to boycott the opening ceremonies would be on the table but should be made close to the start of the games. "As I have communicated in public and to the President, it is past time for China to respect the human rights of the Tibetan people, to allow foreign journalists and diplomats access to the region, and to engage the Dalai Lama in meaningful talks about the future of Tibet," Obama said in a statement. The Democratic presidential frontrunner had seemed to want to avoid talking about the Olympics and Sen. Hillary Clinton's call for a boycott of the Olympics opening ceremonies on August 8, 2008. The junior Senator from Illinois has a particularly tricky balancing act when it comes to the subject of the Olympics: Chicago is vying to host the 2016 games and one of Obama's top campaign advisors and close friends, Valerie Jarrett, is the vice chair of Chicago's bid committee. Here is Obama's full statement: "If the Chinese do not take steps to help stop the genocide in Darfur and to respect the dignity, security, and human rights of the Tibetan people, then the President should boycott the opening ceremonies. As I have communicated in public and to the President, it is past time for China to respect the human rights of the Tibetan people, to allow foreign journalists and diplomats access to the region, and to engage the Dalai Lama in meaningful talks about the future of Tibet. I am also deeply concerned about China's failure to support efforts to halt the genocide in Darfur. Regarding the Beijing Olympics this summer, a boycott of the opening ceremonies should be firmly on the table, but this decision should be made closer to the Games."
Methinks Obama get some poll numbers that said we weren't happy in blogland. Once again I ask. This is the guy people want to be the leader of the free world?

Tags: boycott, china, Hillary Clinton, obama, Olympics, president (all tags)

Comments

111 Comments

Tips for Tibetans

These good people need our help more than ever.

by NewHampster 2008-04-09 02:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Tips for Tibetans

so I take it if we came to your house right now, you would not be caught dead with a single Made in China good right?

and aren't you voting for McCain if Hillary loses? so shouldn't you actually be calling for McCain to be the next one to call for a boycott? I mean who cares about Obama he won't win the the nomination OR the GE right?

so shouldn't McCain and Hillary be your focus?

I am so confused now

by TruthMatters 2008-04-09 02:24PM | 0 recs
This is not about my Chinese made products

and you know it.  This is about supporting good people trying to break free.

The only reason for Obama not to support them is that Chicago wants the future Olympics.

by NewHampster 2008-04-09 02:28PM | 0 recs
Re: This is not about my Chinese made products

so you are for a full boycott of chinese goods and trades and that we should basically cut all ties with them until they get on the right on this issue right?

AND why only boycott the opening ceremonies? why is no one calling for us to do a full Boycott? I mean sorry Tibetans we can only support you as far asthe opening ceremonies after that U.S Gold Medals and our Relations are more important?

but I mean obviously soon you HRC supporters will call on Hillary to call for a full Boycott right? I mean only the opening games I bet the Tibetans are real glad for the show of support on this one!

I mean like you said

"This is about supporting good people trying to break free."

so you are for calling HRC to ask for a full boycott right? I mean whats more important the games or the people?

by TruthMatters 2008-04-09 02:32PM | 0 recs
BS I'm for what we can actually do

A full boycott would mean going naked and shoeless.

Be real and stop trying to support him just because you think he walks on water.

by NewHampster 2008-04-09 02:35PM | 0 recs
Re: BS I'm for what we can actually do

I am being real, you are sitting here talking about

This is about supporting good people trying to break free.

but when it comes to a full boycott thats just a bit much, but the opening ceremonies? boy I bet the people of Tibet sleep better knowing we won't go to the opening games.

but ok you tell me AFTER the opening ceremonies then what?

was that it? we boycott the games and Tibet is free? like you said we would never boycott or do anything to hurt our trade relations with China, We know that they know that, so tell me what happens when the ceremonies are over?

by TruthMatters 2008-04-09 02:39PM | 0 recs
Re: BS I'm for what we can actually do

AMEN!

This is SOOOOOOO telling.

"Refusing to denounce this regime of intolerance is absolutely despicable!"
"You're right! We've got to stop buying from companies that give them money, stop buying Chinese-made goods, start enforcing stronger trade agreements that stop rewarding--"
"WHOA now. Let's not get crazy. I said let's denounce them, not try to stop them."

by vcalzone 2008-04-09 07:13PM | 0 recs
Re: BS I'm for what we can actually do

As wrong as it might be to not clearly call for a boycott of the Olympic ceremonies, it is just something we cannot do. Are you not aware that we have hundreds of billions of dollars in debt to China? They have the power to cause financial ruin to our country. Putting pressure on China result in them putting pressure on us. Our economy's already fragile and, should China throw another wrench into the nuts and bolts of our economy, MORE LIVES WILL BE RUINED.

Being careful like this shows LEADERSHIP and JUDGEMENT and clearly shows that he has the foreign policy credentials to be President.

He does not rush into a decision based solely on his ideals, instead, he takes a step back to THINK about the effects of his actions. Why is this important? Let's look at the Cuban Missile Crisis. Should John F. Kennedy or Khruschev have made a reckless aggressive decision, nuclear war would be imminent. However, BOTH parties were calm and realized that their actions have repercussions and decided not to rush in any aggressive maneuvers. Many would agree that nuclear war and the destruction of most if not all of the world was avoided.

His foreign policy credentials? He is aware of the fact that we even have a debt to China and he acknowledges it before he makes a decision. That's more than I can say for certain candidates who really don't think about WHO they're talking about before they speak (cough cough, McCain, cough cough).

by Mokumi 2008-04-09 06:00PM | 0 recs
Re: This is not about my Chinese made products

Boycotting the Games entirely will backfire on us, just as it did in 1980.  It's not fair to the athletes, and the Olympic games themselves are not about the host nation.  The opening ceremonies are...

by jarhead5536 2008-04-09 02:41PM | 0 recs
Re: This is not about my Chinese made products

ok but like I said boycotting the ceremonies does what?

are we going to follow with some harsh stances against China? maybe some political pressure? or once the ceremonies are over are we going to sell more debt and pretend the boycott never happened?

by TruthMatters 2008-04-09 02:43PM | 0 recs
Re: This is not about my Chinese made products

Agree...  

Enough with the symbolism.  Does anyone really believe that not attending the ceremony is suddenly going to cause China to free Tibet or end the genocide in Darfur?

We don't have leverage against China...  we just don't.  

They have "Most Favored Nation" status with us with respect to trade... signed by President Clinton, by the way... and they own markers on much of our debt.  Add to that the products they send us for our consumption, and here we are...

If someone comes up with an actual solution that would force China's hand in either of these issues (although, for good measure you could throw in Taiwan), please let me know...  

symbolic gestures won't do anything.

by JenKinFLA 2008-04-09 02:55PM | 0 recs
What a 'No, we can't' attitude

What is up with this?

This and universal "non-starter" healthcare?

by catfish1 2008-04-09 03:38PM | 0 recs
Re: What a 'No, we can't' attitude

you're right... it is a "no we can't" attitude... because we can't.. not right now.

But, symbolic measures aren't going to do it either.

by JenKinFLA 2008-04-09 04:33PM | 0 recs
Re: What a 'No, we can't' attitude

What is "UP" is that what you are talking about does nothing but harm. Do you think they CARE?? What you are proposing is like trying to punish a murderer by refusing to go to his birthday party.

by vcalzone 2008-04-09 07:18PM | 0 recs
Desmond Tutu said last night it DOES help

Tutu:

Tutu told the crowd that South Africa stands as an example of a people who, with the help of worldwide demonstrations, boycotts and vigils, overcame their oppression.

by catfish1 2008-04-09 07:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Desmond Tutu said last night it DOES help

Yeah, they weren't the center of industry for an entire country at the time, and the protests didn't last for all of a day.

by vcalzone 2008-04-09 07:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Desmond Tutu said last night it DOES help

Interesting that you bring them up, though, since Jeremiah Wright was one of the leading voices in bringing apartheid to the public eye in the US.

by vcalzone 2008-04-09 07:33PM | 0 recs
Boycott opening ceremony, not games

try for some honesty in your debating points, please.

by catfish1 2008-04-09 03:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Boycott opening ceremony, not games

If you had taken the time to follow the thread, you would know that the poster wasn't being dishonest.  They acknowledged that it was only the opening ceremonies, while making the argument as to why it would be bad to ditch the entire Olympic games.

We need to see more reading of the actual comments and less instant troll-ratings from you.

by thatpurplestuff 2008-04-09 04:00PM | 0 recs
Downthread yes, upthread no

upthread it appears a troll-rating was warrented for act of commenting before reading diary.

by catfish1 2008-04-09 04:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Downthread yes, upthread no

Again, I suggest that you read through this thread again.  If by the end of it you still think your troll ratings are valid, then I'm not sure you understand the purpose of the ratings system to begin with.  It's not here to punish posts that you disagree with, it is meant to label posts that are here for the purpose of disrupting discussion.

by thatpurplestuff 2008-04-09 04:09PM | 0 recs
I agree

the tr-d comments were not constructive.

by catfish1 2008-04-09 04:10PM | 0 recs
Re: This is not about my Chinese made products

As I found out last fall when trying to buy Christmas presents for my niece, a full boycott of everything coming from China is, for all intents and purposes, impossible.  Through a variety of Adminstrations over the years, we have made it so.  This is precisely why we need to begin to disentangle our economy from theirs.  We have zero leverage with them to make them do anything at this point.

As I said below, the only thing boycotting the games themselves does is ruin the careers of the athletes not allowed to compete.  Boycotting the opening ceremonies, which by design display the majesty and grandeur of the host nation, is a huge symbolic slap in the face...

by jarhead5536 2008-04-09 02:52PM | 0 recs
Re: This is not about my Chinese made products

and i think we should do the opposite, I think China needs to be MORE entangled with more democries, that will force them to invest in us and we to invest in them and it makes them open up to the world.

the more open they are to the rest of the world the more we can influence them for the better.  China likes the money and if they are entrenched enough they will be like us, there will be no one they could risk upsetting the western world, they would financially ruined to do so. we need to engage, not make stupid acts of bravado that won't do anything.

ok we boycott the ceremonies then what?

by TruthMatters 2008-04-09 02:56PM | 0 recs
Re: This is not about my Chinese made products

We and the Chinese have been propping up each other's economies for how long now?  And we have been able to have exactly what influence on their abysmal human rights record?  A different approach seems to be in order.  The opening of these markets seems to have had a net negative effect here, and is something of a mixed bag over there.  The Communist government is just as repressive as ever, there is just more money in consumers' pockets, and a false sense that there is no downside to their expansion.  I had a friend tell me that China in 2008 seems eerily similar to America, 1928.  Look out below...

by jarhead5536 2008-04-09 03:13PM | 0 recs
Re: This is not about my Chinese made products

what about America in 1928? this country was founded in 1776, are you saying that it may actually take TIME for change to happen? and really compare America in 1928 to America in 1828

so really China is making progress then? and really they only need more time?

by TruthMatters 2008-04-09 03:34PM | 0 recs
Do you know what happened in 1929

It's called the Great Depression

by NewHampster 2008-04-09 04:02PM | 0 recs
Re: This is not about my Chinese made products

You're being ridiculous.  Why should anyone attempt a conversation with you when you behave like this?

by Denny Crane 2008-04-09 03:28PM | 0 recs
I like your name

Denny was awesome last night.  I felt so sorry for him

by NewHampster 2008-04-09 04:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Tips for Tibetans

Little snippy tonight aren't we...didn't get your meds on time, hey, they will kick in soon enough and then you won't be confused...Geeze Louise!........what's more important, human rights or gd Olympic game...give me a break..

by Patriot2008 2008-04-09 04:47PM | 0 recs
actually it's about

whether you can say no to your banker.  One thinks of Tony Rezco, and those who are bankrolling his campaign. She can say no to her bankers, and ours. That's the main point, can you stand up for what's right if you have a 'debt.'  Think about it, this isn't what we want in a strong leader, we owe them money but we don't owe them lives in  Dafur for that money. China is an emerging economy and china needs to come into the 21st century in lots of places. Whether or not he wants to boycott the opening ceremonies, he needs to learn how to say no to his bankers.  And quickly too.

by anna shane 2008-04-09 05:18PM | 0 recs
He can't say no

that would not "bring us together".

by NewHampster 2008-04-09 05:32PM | 0 recs
I have Obama fatigue syndrome

Again a typical Obama way.  Don't take a stand of tough issue.  Vote present.  Avoid answer direct question.  

Besides, his answer again was not original.   Bill Clinton pressed that USA need to be free of debt from China. He said "what was the last time you can act tough with your banker".  Obama just paraphrased Bill's talking point.  

Is he going to do this for the next 4 years if he become president?  

by JoeySky18 2008-04-09 02:24PM | 0 recs
Re: I have Obama fatigue syndrome

Bill Clinton doesn't think the opening games should be boycotted, so its funny you bring him up.

but i mean Bill Clinton isn't anyone important to you right, so him not thinking we should boycott that will probably get a pass from everyone here

thought so.

by TruthMatters 2008-04-09 02:28PM | 0 recs
Re: I have Obama fatigue syndrome

Can you stick with talking about Obama's action?   Or you are just incapable to do that.

Let's talk about your hero: O-BA-MA.

by JoeySky18 2008-04-09 02:38PM | 0 recs
Re: I have Obama fatigue syndrome

so wait, I RESPOND to someone else who brought up Bill Clinton, so you respond to ME and tell me to stick to Obama?

ok I am sorry there is no way that could be hypocritical in the slightest huh

by TruthMatters 2008-04-09 02:40PM | 0 recs
so your point is

that he's copying Bill, mentioning debts to bankers and attending the opening ceremonies cause Bill is? okay by me, Bill and HIlary aren't always on the same page, for sure.  If my banker wanted to date me I'd say no. If my banker wanted to kill my family I'd say no. If my banker wanted me to give him something I had and he needed, I'd make him pay.  Bankers are bankers they're not owners of me.  

by anna shane 2008-04-09 05:26PM | 0 recs
Re: I have Obama fatigue syndrome

no, instead let's talk about selective outrage.

by JenKinFLA 2008-04-09 02:56PM | 0 recs
Re: I have Obama fatigue syndrome

OK. Let us know which things we can and cannot be outraged about, and we'll act appropriately.

by Denny Crane 2008-04-09 03:30PM | 0 recs
Re: I have Obama fatigue syndrome

I think Obama really is getting to the issue here.  What exactly would a boycott of the opening ceremonies accomplish?  The IOC is a den of snakes, that much I agree with.  But let's take that as a given.  Then what's the correct response?  And is this really all about Tibet?  Last I heard China had around 1.2 billion people in it and something like a quarter of these people live in constant poverty.

That's like an entire United States of people living in constant poverty.  Boycotting the opening ceremonies of the Olympic games is going to change this?

Personally, I could give a rat's bottom whether Bush attends the opening ceremonies or not.  Hell, make them listen to one of his speeches.  They'll feel like someone took a shit in their head.  That'll show 'em.

by the mollusk 2008-04-09 02:47PM | 0 recs
Re: I have Obama fatigue syndrome

Just remember Pelosi called for this what like 2 weeks, about, Hillary refused to answer about this back on the 25th,

Did we EVER see a dairy calling on Obama to boycott then? no, ofcourse not.

Did we EVER even see a dairy calling on Hillary to boycott? no, ofcourse not.

but now, NOW its all of a sudden a pressing issue that requires what its 3rd diary today?

where were these diaries last week?

was Tibet not important to these people enough last week? or was it only AFTER Hillary calls for the boycott did they remember how much they cared for Tibet?

by TruthMatters 2008-04-09 02:50PM | 0 recs
Joey...that's a big YES! to your last question.

by Shazone 2008-04-09 03:07PM | 0 recs
Re: "It's very hard to tell your

That is a tough spot he's in there. The Olympics in Chicago would be wonderful. China's record with respect to Tibet and Darfur is horrific. The games are supposed to be outside of politics. Not attending the opening ceremony makes a strong statement without affecting the sport of it. Obama has a point about the debt financing: China's been basically giving us money for the last few years by buying Treasuries that pay 3% while the dollar loses it's value by more than that every year. I don't know what will happen if they cut us off. Then again, they don't either, so that's probably why they don't. There's also the issue of the hypocrisy given the fact that America has invaded and occupied all kinds of countries and territories, more so than China's every thought about doing. I dunno...

by dmc2 2008-04-09 02:24PM | 0 recs
When we invade countries we don't

Take over for ever (usually) and we don't stop people practicing their religion. We are I think a little more enlightened than the Chinese.

by NewHampster 2008-04-09 02:30PM | 0 recs
Re: When we invade countries we don't

Umm . . . in case you're forgetting, our entire country was taken over forever, much of it by force. The original colonies, the Southwest from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Alaska. Pretty much everything that's now the U.S. and its territories other than the Louisiana Purchase was taken by force.

by dmc2 2008-04-10 01:04PM | 0 recs
I think that we're more enlightened now

We also had slavery for a couple hundred years.

What I'm saying is that we are not those people who conquered this land. In fact my people only came here a little over 100 years ago.

by NewHampster 2008-04-10 01:30PM | 0 recs
Re: I think that we're more enlightened now

Fair enough, but even still, I don't see that China has done anything as bad as our invading Iraq even in the last 10 years. And we're not exactly above reproach in terms of supporting repressive regimes around the world either.

by dmc2 2008-04-10 01:47PM | 0 recs
Us not being perfect has nothing to do with

speaking up and taking a stance against China.  As my mom always told me.  Two wrongs do not make a right.

Perhaps more important, China has a better than 50% chance of being the super power in the near future.

If the world does not try to clean up the Chinese on human rights now, there will be no changing them later.

by NewHampster 2008-04-10 04:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Us not being perfect has nothing to do with

I think you make a good point, and I definitely give Hillary points for calling on Bush to sit out the opening ceremonies. I just wish we paid more attention to cultivating our own moral authority to be able to speak out on issues like this.

by dmc2 2008-04-11 10:21AM | 0 recs
Re: "It's very hard to tell your

Yep, making decisions is tough.  Isn't that how Obama marketed himself, tho?

by christinep 2008-04-09 02:52PM | 0 recs
Re: "It's very hard to tell

He's 100% right. It's politically difficult to give an honest answer but this man has done it. I'm impressed.

by Becky G 2008-04-09 02:26PM | 0 recs
I am so sorry I forgot

He can do no wrong

by NewHampster 2008-04-09 02:31PM | 0 recs
Re: I am so sorry I forgot

It's taken many months, but you are starting to get it.  Hopefully one day you'll also stop shopping at Walmart who is in bed with the Chinese government.

by mefck 2008-04-09 02:34PM | 0 recs
Would that I believed in the ONE

Then I'd be able to sleep nights in the knowledge that heaven is coming next year and eternal peace shall be ours.

Sadly, I still have my doubts.

by NewHampster 2008-04-09 02:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Would that I believed in the ONE

What does that even mean....?  

Can we get beyond the "Obama is the messiah" dismissal and focus instead on the issue you yourself raise in this diary...?

Do you honestly believe that boycotting the Opening Ceremony will accomplish anything...?  Or is it just another basically meaningless gesture that makes us feel like we have done something?

by JenKinFLA 2008-04-09 03:00PM | 0 recs
Yes

Yes I do believe that anything we do is a slap in their face.  

by NewHampster 2008-04-09 04:04PM | 0 recs
Re: I am so sorry I forgot

Hampster, glad you think he can do no wrong. Diaries like these only reaffirm how desperate clinton supporters are becoming. At this point we all just need to decide if we are going to support the Democratic nominee???

by lion king 2008-04-09 03:22PM | 0 recs
I will of course support the nominee

It will be Hillary then what will you do?

by NewHampster 2008-04-09 04:05PM | 0 recs
Re: I will of course support the nominee

I will also support the dem nom

by lion king 2008-04-09 06:31PM | 0 recs
Re: I will of course support the nominee

Same here. Because I am a Democrat.

by vcalzone 2008-04-09 07:24PM | 0 recs
By the way

Did you vote no or take the Obama way out and choose pie?

by NewHampster 2008-04-09 02:32PM | 0 recs
Re: By the way

The other 2 choices didn't reflect anything I felt so yes, I chose pie. It was a false choice. Which actually is appropriate to this thread.

Sure Obama can do wrong, I'm sure he'll do things I don't approve of as president, but I really like his honesty. It's one important example of why I like him.

Another example, he wouldn't tell the  voters in certain automotive areas that their jobs would come back but talked about new green jobs. I'm sure some of those voters didn't want to hear that and most politicians would have said what they wanted to hear. Obama didn't. I know he's a politician and so will do some political things and I accept that, but as a politician he's a very honest one.

by Becky G 2008-04-09 02:42PM | 0 recs
Honesty

It is so easy to be honest when you support both sides and never make a decision.

Oh he's honest alright.  I trust him about as much as a rattle snake.

by NewHampster 2008-04-09 04:07PM | 0 recs
Oh. L. O. L.

by Shazone 2008-04-09 03:10PM | 0 recs
Honesty vs. Politics

Hillary used the Olympics and Tibet as a political move to deflect criticism of her failing campaign and its poor management. This was universally recognized. Pelosi had long ago called for this and Hillary is acting like some sort of Beacon. She too avoided the question on March 25...

Obama's answer is also political...but it is honest. You may not like the answer - or agree with it - but he is offering a pragmatic approach. Skipping the opening ceremony was not Hillary's platform until she needed it to be...and you know it.

You have actually highlighted an extremely significant difference between the campaigns right now. Thanks.

by Newcomer 2008-04-09 02:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Honesty vs. Politics

For the record I agree with Obama I think boycotting the opening ceremonies and thats it is stupid.

we are too dependent on China for trade and cash, you know who owns a HUGE chunk of our Debt? boycotting the ceremonies does nothing.

ironically I agree with Bill Clinton when he made China a Most Favored Nation, we need to engage China economically, once they are dependent on world trade, then we can put pressure on them, get them to open their markets and things will change, but no its not going to happen overnight.

but just boycotting the opening ceremonies I don't agree with it, and I don't think its the right strategy.

by TruthMatters 2008-04-09 02:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Honesty vs. Politics

Hey, I came back to this thread because I wanted to say just what you said - that Hillary had used this as a way to get political points, assuming the public wouldn't think too hard about the issue. And i agree, it very much highlights the differences in the two campaigns.

by Becky G 2008-04-09 02:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Honesty vs. Politics

Great minds....

by Newcomer 2008-04-09 02:49PM | 0 recs
Riiight. She's never spoken out on Chinese

human rights before. You may want to review her speech to the U.N. Conference of Women.

by catfish1 2008-04-09 03:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Riiight. She's never spoken out on Chinese

I know and its sad then that she would attack someone for just giving speeches, or saying someone is just words.

she herself should understand that real power that speeches and words can have.

by TruthMatters 2008-04-09 03:49PM | 0 recs
When the speech says something
other than "hope" "change" "elect me" and
"tip your waitresses".
by catfish1 2008-04-09 03:55PM | 0 recs
Just Deval Patricks words

that's all.

by NewHampster 2008-04-09 04:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Honesty vs. Politics

aka - "Politics hates a vacuum"

There was a position to be taken and Hillary took it.

by the mollusk 2008-04-09 02:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Honesty vs. Politics

Obama did not answer.  Sometimes, we have to take a position about human rights.  I do not think he did.

by christinep 2008-04-09 02:53PM | 0 recs
He answered honestly

"I am of two minds about this," the Democratic presidential hopeful said in an interview aired Wednesday on CBS' "The Early Show." "On the one hand, I think that what has happened in Tibet, China's support for the Sudanese government in Darfur, is a real problem." Still, Obama said, "I am hesitant to make the Olympics a site of political protest because I think it's partly about bringing the world together."

by jwolf 2008-04-09 03:11PM | 0 recs
Oh. L..O..L..

by Shazone 2008-04-09 03:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh. L..O..L..

Shazone did you L.O.L. when the clintons stood by and did nothing to sop the slauther of 800,000 people in Rwanda? What did Hillary do to stop that atrocity? Her real record on human rights is something I wouldn't bring up if I was you.

by lion king 2008-04-09 03:30PM | 0 recs
Re: "It's very hard to tell

The Dalai Lama is not in support of a boycott.  I think he's got a good idea of how to deal with China.

What's the point of this?  China doesn't embarass easily, especially since it's not particulary embarassing not having Bush go anywhere.  The man is a walking embarassment to us.  

I'd rather the candidates step up to some meaningful policies regarding human rights in china, not some show.  

I'm interested in how the athletes will display their dismay.  I wonder if there is some Tibetan activist who can organize a public silent protest at the opening ceremony events.  Some sort of display of solidarity with Tibet and the people of Darfur.

by Hope08 2008-04-09 02:48PM | 0 recs
Uh hum.

So bad Obama - bad! bad! - understands that the combination of Clinton trade policy and Bush fiscal policy has decreased our leverage vis-a-vis China, the country that acts as our workshop and our banker.

This is actually a serious subject about policies and their consequences, intended or otherwise. But when some angry primary partisans descend on it, there's little hope it can be seriously discussed.

by MBNYC 2008-04-09 03:23PM | 0 recs
I personally wish

That Obama would urge a boycott, but at the end of the day what will this produce? It will be forgotten after 2 days.

The time to take a real stand against Chinese aggression is during trade negotiations (such as when they received Most Favored Nation status) and in the UN etc. This is a symbolic gesture that will not change the situation on the ground one bit.

by highgrade 2008-04-09 03:29PM | 0 recs
Sarkozy, Brown, even Bush

have spoken out on this. But Obama - where are his priorities?

by catfish1 2008-04-09 03:40PM | 0 recs
Good job!

Good job, NH. Please don't feed the hapless trolls. They didn't get it, they'll never get it. So sad. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

by Nobama 2008-04-09 03:34PM | 0 recs
George W. Bush spoke out for Dalai Lama today

George W. Bush has been more vocal than Obama. Oy!

by catfish1 2008-04-09 03:34PM | 0 recs
Obama Statement on Boycott

"If the Chinese do not take steps to help stop the genocide in Darfur and to respect the dignity, security, and human rights of the Tibetan people, then the President should boycott the opening ceremonies. As I have communicated in public and to the President, it is past time for China to respect the human rights of the Tibetan people, to allow foreign journalists and diplomats access to the region, and to engage the Dalai Lama in meaningful talks about the future of Tibet. I am also deeply concerned about China's failure to support efforts to halt the genocide in Darfur. Regarding the Beijing Olympics this summer, a boycott of the opening ceremonies should be firmly on the table, but this decision should be made closer to the Games." Senator Barack Obama

by Obama Independent 2008-04-09 03:45PM | 0 recs
We Need A Leader

Not someone who remains silent in the face of the genocide China's supporting in Darfur, and the opporession of the people of Tibet.

Hillary's taken a moral stand on this issue.  So have many of our other party leaders.

There's no excuse for Obama to remain silent on this.  None whatsoever.

by alegre 2008-04-09 04:23PM | 0 recs
Re: We Need A Leader

He hasn't been silent on this issue.  In fact, the statement he made about the Olympics is cited in the comment above yours.

by thatpurplestuff 2008-04-09 04:26PM | 0 recs
Now now...

Don't let a little thing like a fact get in the way of a good Obama smear.

by Obama Independent 2008-04-09 04:48PM | 0 recs
He takes no stands on anything

isn't that why he's "transformative"?

by NewHampster 2008-04-09 04:27PM | 0 recs
Re: We Need A Leader

Obama silent on Darfur? Huh? Here's a statement. Here's his scorecard. Here's Obama talking about his plan to end the genocide.

Are you seriously suggesting that Obama has been silent on the years-long crisis in Darfur?

Or are you suggesting that not issuing a statement about boycotting the Opening Ceremonies before Clinton did is "silence" on the crisis? Don't you think it's a little overwrought to assert that the dog-and-pony-show of symbolically boycotting the Opening Ceremonies is the same as "ending the genocide"?

Hey, if boycotting the Opening Ceremonies will end the genocide, why the heck shouldn't we boycott the whole Olympics? How utterly ridiculous to assert that boycotting one event is this enormously crucial act, when we'll still be there the next two weeks competing in the Chinese games.

by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner 2008-04-09 05:12PM | 0 recs
I've Updated the diary above

now he thinks that maybe if, Bush should maybe boycott the ceremony but probably only if...

by NewHampster 2008-04-09 04:26PM | 0 recs
if...

if..."the Chinese do not take steps to stop the genocide in Darfur and respect the human rights of Tibetan people."

What, exactly, is wrong with that if?

by ashriver 2008-04-09 05:41PM | 0 recs
Re: It's very hard to tell your banker

Boycotting the opening ceremonies, IMHO, would make a statement to the Chinese. They do not want to be embarassed on the world stage.
Will it stop what is going on in Tibet? Well, we won't know until and unless enough world leaders show the guts to stand up to them.

And for the record- I did not buy a single Chinese made product this past Christmas. It was not easy, but I did it. No way was I sending poison toys to my grandchildren or putting more American dollars into the communist regime. (I am fortunate that I live in an area where their is an abundance of locally made items. My husband made blocks for the boys a few years ago, from wood from our own property. Took it to a local lumber guy and traded some of the wood for the milling.)

by ProudMilitaryMom 2008-04-09 04:58PM | 0 recs
Re: It's very hard to tell your banker

I feel you on that.  Honestly, if people actually took the time to look at how much of the stuff in our stores is made in China, it would make their heads spin.  I'm amazed that you were able to not buy a single item made in China during Christmas.  Good job!

by thatpurplestuff 2008-04-09 05:04PM | 0 recs
Re: It's very hard to tell your banker
Thanks- It was not as hard as I thought- but worth it! Guess it is easier for me, I live in a semi-rural area. Lots of local stuff available. The boys (grandsons) loved the wooden trucks and so forth and I am sure they will last a lot longer than that plastic junk anyway!
We have lots of church craft shows here where locals market their wares. Sweaters made here in the area- start to finish- from wool grown right here as well! Belts from locally made leather, blankets, purses, etc.
Wish everybody had the same access! Take their money flow away and put it back in the hands of Americans and see if we can't influence the Chinese that way!
I will keep on buying as much locally as I can!
by ProudMilitaryMom 2008-04-10 04:47AM | 0 recs
bill clinton made the same argument in 06

actually bill clinton said roughly the same thing (that it's hard to thumb your nose at your banker) a whole lot while stumping for congressional candidates in 2006.  he actually went a good bit farther and argued our debts to china constituted a national security threat.  i'd find a link, but i'm lazy.  you can look it up for yourself and enjoy the crow.

by beyondo98 2008-04-09 05:06PM | 0 recs
Bill Clinton isn't running for President

Hillary Clinton is.

by NewHampster 2008-04-09 05:11PM | 0 recs
Re:

I wouldn't mind a boycott of the opening ceremonies - what harm could it do?  But, I have to admit that I never even thought about it until this became a talking point with the Clinton campaign a few days ago, and it's way down the list of priorities.  I mean, there are at least two big problems here: 1) we have zero credibility with the rest of the world, and 2) it's not going to change anything.  So, yeah, I have no problem with a boycott, but I also don't think that this is going to be a transformative event in the history of Chinese-Tibetan relations.    

by rfahey22 2008-04-09 05:30PM | 0 recs
I think I solved Tibet and Darfur

Obama goes to China and sits down with the Dalai Lama and the Chinese leaders.  They all sit there in awe as he instructs them to get along and play nice.

As a token of their appreciation for the long sought solution, the Chinese stop buying oil and supporting the Sudanese.

Peace is with us within 1 hour of his landing in Beijing.

by NewHampster 2008-04-09 05:38PM | 0 recs
Re: I think I solved Tibet and Darfur

they had an epiphany???? great! ythat's all it takes. they're post-racial out there, too, looks like.

by campskunk 2008-04-09 07:03PM | 0 recs
Re: "It's very hard to tell your banker

Obama completely stole that banker line from Bill Clinton:

There was also a fun homily about how we can't get tough, trade-wise, with the Chinese and Japanese as long as we're borrowing so heavily from them. "You can't get tough with your banker," Clinton said. "Think about it. ... Suppose January second, you get up, you have breakfast, you drink a cup of coffee, and then you drink an extra cup of coffee to get your blood going. Then you take a leisurely drive down to your local bank. ... Stroll in, walk into the bank president's office, and slap the livin' daylights out of him right there. Think you could get a loan that afternoon?"

Similarly, here's a link to a Bill Clinton speech from 2006 with him using the same line. Also, video of another instance.

This is only notable because Bill Clinton has become known for using that line -- it always gets a hoot-n-holler out of audiences.

Perhaps, Clinton should take it as a sign of flattery....

by blueflorida 2008-04-09 05:55PM | 0 recs
Re: "It's very hard to tell your banker

LOL. Obama will be forever haunted by Bill Clinton's virtuoso political skills. So much for Obama's hope and change.

by superetendar 2008-04-09 06:25PM | 0 recs
Re: "It's very hard to tell your banker

Perhaps he should take it as a sign that Obama isn't as crazy as he thinks, considering who the one is that actually agrees with him.

by vcalzone 2008-04-09 07:27PM | 0 recs
Wow.

I don't really like that he made the expected "We have to make sure we take the proper steps, if needed we should consider boycotting" speech.  I liked his original response much better.  Let the other countries piss off China.  Getting into a deep discussion about human rights with a country who currently owns your ass is not the brightest of ideas.  It's an unfortunate situation we're in, but we can all thank Chimpy in Chief for that.

by venavena 2008-04-09 06:55PM | 0 recs
Grrrrrrr...

Jesus, I guess a nuanced response is a negative, eh? Seems to me that that first response was spot on. Yeah, Bush has been funneling money into their machinery of oppression for years (hell, we almost all have in some way), but boycotting the opening ceremonies, yeah, that'll show em.

Screw you and anyone else who gets angry at someone for seeing the uselessness of such a shallow admonishment. And screw Obama for giving into that kind of mindless crap.

by vcalzone 2008-04-09 07:10PM | 0 recs
Wow - A Non-Statement Statement

Sorry but the Chinese have fueled the genocide in Darfur for years - what makes Obama think they're going to start doing anything to stop it now?

This just shows that he hasn't been paying attention.

It's this sort of half-measure that's got a lot of people turned off to his health care reform plan that'll leave 15 million of us out in the cold.

by alegre 2008-04-09 07:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Wow - A Non-Statement Statement

As opposed to asking Bush to boycott the opening ceremonies.  That'll stop the genocide in Darfur.  No half-measure that.

by the mollusk 2008-04-09 08:19PM | 0 recs
Re: "It's very hard to tell your banker

This is the man people want as leader of the Free World!.

Um... yeah, it is....  he's pointing out that the reckless borrow-and-spend-in-Iraq policies of the Bush administration have weakened this country's ability to deal with China. It's a slightly more substantive point than boycotting a ceremony.

by BlueinColorado 2008-04-09 07:46PM | 0 recs
Re: UPDATE "It's very hard

Methinks Obama get some poll numbers that said we weren't happy in blogland. Once again I ask. This is the guy people want to be the leader of the free world?

Yes. I'm sure the four dozen obsessives of MyDD caused a mighty tidal wave in the polls.

You people are never cuter than when you talk as if your name is Legion.

by BlueinColorado 2008-04-09 07:49PM | 0 recs
The ABC spin is a joke

Insofar as NewHampster is just uncritically passing on what was written in the blog, its not really his/her fault, but the original ABC headline is just spin.  For anyone who actually cares about context:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDsWcxJlO 3A

yeah, he's totally giving China a free ride...

by ashriver 2008-04-09 08:14PM | 0 recs
It's very hard

Where reality and fiction clash:

The Onion:

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/393 67

College Student Does Nothing For Tibet Over Summer

BURLINGTON, VT--University of Vermont junior Becca Davis failed to do anything for the people of Tibet during her summer vacation, disgruntled fellow activists reported Tuesday.

So many wasted opportunities.

by the mollusk 2008-04-09 08:17PM | 0 recs
thanks Clammy

that was good.  LOL

by NewHampster 2008-04-10 10:14AM | 0 recs

Diaries

Advertise Blogads