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You wondered when all the glad-handing would end
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, July 24, 2007

You knew it had too, you just wondered when. The setup? On last night YouTube "reality show", a questioner asked if, during their first year of the presidency, the candidates would visit the leaders of rogue nations. Obama said yes. Clinton said no. Today Clinton said more:

"I thought that was irresponsible and frankly naive," Clinton is reported to have said (Quad City Times) in an interview.

Frankly I agree with Hillary (as much as it pains me to say it), but that's not the point here. Obama shot back with? Well it's about all he has I guess:
Striking back, Obama called the newspaper Tuesday, saying what was "irresponsible and naive" was voting to authorize the Iraq war.

Obama continued:
"What she's somehow maintaining is my statement could be construed as not having asked what the meeting was about. I didn't say these guys were going to come over for a cup of coffee some afternoon," he said, calling this a "fabricated controversy."
Yeah, well I don't think that's what she meant. I think what she was pointing out is that in the area of foreign policy, Obama is a bigger lightweight than is Edwards. That was conveyed by the word "naive".

She then rubbed it in by calling Obama irresponsible because in the world of foreign diplomacy, such affairs are conducted at lower levels first building up to a meeting between principles later. Given how long that process normally takes, the first year is probably not in the cards.
"I will not promise to meet with the leaders of these countries during my first year," she said. "I will promise a very vigorous diplomatic effort, because I think it is not that you promise a meeting at that high a level before you know what the intentions are."

"I don't want to be used for propaganda purposes," she said, in a veiled jab at Obama. "I don't want to make a situation even worse."
Seems to me it's a bit of a veiled jab at Nancy Pelosi as well. The Obama campaign said:
"Obama's tough but smart approach to America's diplomacy is exactly the kind of change and new thinking that excites voters about an Obama presidency," the campaign said in a memo distributed to reporters today.
Well that's cool. Being excited doesn't change the fact that you can also be naive and irresponsible.

Anyway, I like it ... a small crinkle in the smooth, placid and boring facade the Dems have put out there for public consumption. More fights!
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Ah those Democrats. Always fighting tough and smart.

Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
Rouge nations?

Written By: the wolf
URL: http://
Heh ... naturally a word my spell checker wouldn’t catch. Thanks ... edited.
Written By: McQ
Rouge... rogue... (nearly the same one is a red outlaw the other is a plain outlaw *grin*)

I’m still trying to figure out why our President should go TO these rogue leaders... I think if anyone wants to chat, they should come TO us. (Oh that’s right - goes totally against the grain of the liberals who think we should crawl to everyone who doesn’t like us and beg them to be nice... sheesh)

As for Obama and his promises - I know politicians love promising all kinds of things, but this would be difficult to do in 4 years of Presidency, much less the first year alone. So he’s either disingenuous or stupid.

Regardless of what I think of politicians in general, I don’t think too many are stupid... crafty, sly, dishonest, among other things - but it’s hard to become Senator if you are truly stupid.
Written By: Teresa
"Obama’s tough but smart approach to America’s diplomacy is exactly the kind of change and new thinking that excites voters about an Obama presidency,"
Here I will be the cynic in the room saying I don’t care if voters are excited. In fact, recent history would make me think ’excitement’ (read here ’rock the vote’) only gets people to the polls who have no clue.

uh ohhhh.... did I just type that? It’s coming. I can feel it...
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
"Obama’s tough but smart approach to America’s diplomacy is exactly the kind of change and new thinking that excites voters about an Obama presidency," the campaign said in a memo distributed to reporters today. "The reason it’s ’new’ is because it’s too silly and obviously wrong to have been tried before, and voters are excited because they’re as naive about foreign policy as our candidate."
Written By: Jinnmabe
URL: http://
You don’t quite get it right McQ. Hillary was trying to score a cheap rhetorical point last night and in the process came off sounding like George Bush, afraid of meeting with leaders of other countries because that might be perceived as weakness. If she’s afraid of being perceived as a puppet next to tinpot dictators like Kim and Asad then she has little faith in her own abilities. Bill didn’t have that problem when he went to China and spoke about democracy on Chinese tv.

Here’s what Obama actually said during the debate: Now, Ronald Reagan and Democratic presidents like JFK constantly spoke to Soviet Union at a time when Ronald Reagan called them an evil empire. And the reason is because they understood that we may not trust them and they may pose an extraordinary danger to this country, but we had the obligation to find areas where we can potentially move forward. And I think that it is a disgrace that we have not spoken to them.

We’ve been talking about Iraq — one of the first things that I would do in terms of moving a diplomatic effort in the region forward is to send a signal that we need to talk to Iran and Syria because they’re going to have responsibilities if Iraq collapses.

David Axelrod his campaign manager further explained in the spinroom after the debate: "He said that he would be willing to talk," Axelrod said. "And what he meant was, as a government, he’d be willing and eager to initiate those kinds of talks, just as during the Cold War there were low-level discussions and mid-level discussions between us and the Soviet Union and so on. So he was not promising summits with all of those leaders."

That doesn’t sound naive to me. What this sounds like is Hillary grasping at straws to slow down Obama’s momentum.

Written By: markg8
URL: http://

There are reasons we should not unilaterally agree to enter talks with countries willy nilly, oftentimes because we can get concessions simply by doing so, and (This is the case with Iran, Syria, and North Korea) we can avoid being used for propaganda purposes.

BTW, George Bush is not afraid of dealing with other countries, but in the case of North Korea, the plan was to use 6 party talks to increase the pressure on that regime, and to avoid having any failure ascribed to the USA alone. Do you understand that?

Regarding Iran, we have a longstanding problem with that regime - nevertheless we let them know we backed the EU-3, and that we would enter talks once they agreed to stop the processing.

My final point is one that I make whenever the usual people (dems, canadians, europeans) tell me that the USA is the a**hole for not talking with other countries "unilaterally."

Why can’t those countries step up and make some concession to let talks "go forward?" Example: Iran could apologize for taking our embassy people hostage. That would not cost them a thing and yet would really help to "heal the wounds" with America, no?

Final bitch: Clinton went to China and sold out Taiwan by agreeing to China proposal on Three Nos. (That was big news here in Taiwan) His little speech on TV didn’t do much - see any elections anytime soon. You should have used Richard Nixon as a better example.
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
God that was garbled. And no alcohol involved!
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Hillary was trying to score a cheap rhetorical point last night and in the process came off sounding like George Bush...
Actually she showed an understanding of how diplomacy works that Obama doesn’t seem to grasp. He’s clueless and while his enthusiasm and vitality are refreshing, he would be a disaster as a president. He’d finally rescue Jimmy Carter from the cellar if he were ever to be elected.
Written By: McQ

You are correct that Mr. Axelrod’s post-debate spinroom comments make what Obama said seem resonable. The reason for this is twofold: 1) what Axelrod said is not what Obama said; and 2) what Axelrod said is almost exactly what Sen. Clinton said in her response. The question was would you promise to meet separately without preconditions with Castro, Chavez, Il, Ahmadinijad, and the kook from Syria within your first year? Obama, thinking this curve ball was a fastball, took a big swing and whiffed. The explanation by the clean-up crew does not save Obama here. Rather, it only serves to underscore his naivete and inexperience.
Written By: DC Joe
URL: http://
Sorry—my prior post was in response to markg8.

Shows my inexperience!
Written By: DC Joe
URL: http://

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