Obama Schools McCain
by skohayes, Fri May 23, 2008 at 03:12:51 PM EDT
Digby has a great analysis of the latest war of words between Barack Obama and John McCain. It seems Obama made a statement about John McCain failing to appear in the Senate to vote on the GI bill:
I respect Sen. John McCain's service to our country. He is one of those heroes of which I speak. But I can't understand why he would line up behind the president in his opposition to this GI bill. I can't believe why he believes it is too generous to our veterans. I could not disagree with him and the president more on this issue. There are many issues that lend themselves to partisan posturing, but giving our veterans the chance to go to college should not be one of them.
Now this is a brilliant move by Obama, he's hitting McCain on veteran's issues, one of McCain's talking points.
I heard John McCain's response and he sounded like he was spitting mad (Obama scores!):
It is typical, but no less offensive that Senator Obama uses the Senate floor to take cheap shots at an opponent and easy advantage of an issue he has less than zero understanding of. Let me say first in response to Senator Obama, running for President is different than serving as President. The office comes with responsibilities so serious that the occupant can't always take the politically easy route without hurting the country he is sworn to defend. Unlike Senator Obama, my admiration, respect and deep gratitude for America's veterans is something more than a convenient campaign pledge...
And I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did...
Perhaps, if Senator Obama would take the time and trouble to understand this issue he would learn to debate an honest disagreement respectfully. But, as he always does, he prefers impugning the motives of his opponent, and exploiting a thoughtful difference of opinion to advance his own ambitions. If that is how he would behave as President, the country would regret his election.
(As Digby said: "YOU CAN"T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!")
But Obama and his campaign have learned how to make lemonade out of lemons, even those tossed by John McCain:
I am proud to stand with Senator Webb and a bipartisan coalition to give our veterans the support and opportunity they deserve. It's disappointing that Senator McCain and his campaign used this issue to launch yet another lengthy personal, political attack instead of debating an honest policy difference. He should know that this is not about John McCain or Barack Obama -- it's about giving our veterans a real chance to afford four years of college without harming retention. Senator Webb's bipartisan bill will do this, and the bill that John McCain supports would not. These endless diatribes and schoolyard taunts from the McCain campaign do nothing to advance the debate about what matters to the American people
I admit that one of my reservations about Obama was his ability to handle the Republicans' attacks on him (especially after Gore and Kerry). I also admit that he's damn good at it.
Digby looks at McCain's angry response as calculated by the campaign to play up the "maverick" role, I'm not sure I agree, but her analysis is always enlightening: