A coalition of military groups is planning a nationally televised town-hall-style meeting with the presidential candidates near Fort Hood, Tex., the largest active-duty military installation in the country. But so far, only Senator John McCain of Arizona, the presumptive Republican nominee, has agreed to attend.
CBS has agreed to broadcast the meeting live from 9 to 11 p.m. Eastern time on Monday, Aug. 11. The candidates would face questions directly from an audience of 6,000 people, made up of veterans, service members and military families from the base.
Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, the presumptive Democratic nominee, has not agreed to participate.
In fact, not only has he not agreed to participate, but apparently there just isn't an open date anywhere to which he could commit.
Carissa Picard, managing director of the Fort Hood Presidential Town Hall Consortium, said she had suggested Aug. 11 and asked the campaign to suggest other dates if that was not convenient, but after several conversations she had not been able to work anything out.
“I’m having extreme difficulty getting the Obama campaign to commit to this event, and we do not understand why,” said Ms. Picard, whose husband is deployed in Iraq. “We made it very clear to them that if they would commit to the event, we would work with them on dates.”
Instead, the campaign has said:
“Senator Obama strongly supports America’s veterans and military families and has worked hard on their behalf in the Senate,” said Phillip Carter, director of Mr. Obama’s veterans effort and an Iraq war veteran. “While we unfortunately had a previously scheduled commitment on the date proposed, Senator Obama looks forward to continuing the dialogue he’s been having throughout the country with veterans on how we can better serve our men and women in uniform as they serve us.”
Word salad, no action. Not exactly impressive to military types.
Can't wait to see what that "previously scheduled event" was that took precedent over an opportunity to do exactly what Obama claimed he needed to do - gain the respect of the men and women in uniform.
Obama knows he wont have the military vote. Who he is playing to is the left that pretends to support the military. And while most will see it as shameless pandering becoming so typical for the most junior Senator, his supporters in Code Pink and the like will only see an exquisitely dressed prince (or messiah) passing regally towards inevitable coronation as emperor.
I don’t know the numbers, so it’s just a gut feeling... The "military" vote defeated John Kerry in ’04... Active duty, Retired, and Veteran. Someone help me here... how many folks are on active duty now? And if he doesn’t show up to talk with these heroes he’ll anger a bunch of interested Veterans like me, and that number has to be in the millions. Can he afford to disregard those numbers, hoping to pander to the far left? I doubt it.