The Time For Obama To Lead

Now that Senator Barack Obama has regained his footing in the Presidential race, it is time for him to go for the win - by demonstrating leadership on the issues NOW! Obama has shrewdly allowed John Edwards to take the path of self immolating personal attacks on Clinton (now he won't say he will support Hillary if she is the nominee, he is self destructing), while reaping the political benefits of those attacks. But Obama has a chance to do more now. He has a chance to define the terms of this contest. He can lead now on the issues. Particularly ending the war in Iraq by not funding it.

Matt Yglesias writes an excellent post that implicitly describes Obama's opportunity:

[S]omeone like Webb or Obama or Dean or Clark who can plausibly claim prescient judgment about what's become an extremely unpopular war is just in a much fundamentally stronger position to go up against a candidate (at either the presidential or congressional level) who's be a die-hard war supporter but not someone who was personally involved in the well-known Rumsfeld-era cavalcade of ineptitude.

Certainly, but it will take more than pointing to the 2002 AUMF vote. It will take leadership NOW. Strong leadership from the Senate. Strong leadership that insists the Congress not fund the war without timetables for withdrawal.

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    The Senate is DESIGNED for individual (none / 0) (#2)
    by andgarden on Tue Nov 13, 2007 at 12:31:47 PM EST
    legislators to be able to stop bad things from happening. Obstruction is the name of the game.

    Armando's games (none / 0) (#3)
    by Aaron on Tue Nov 13, 2007 at 01:01:58 PM EST
    No thanks, I'm not playing.

    See you at the inauguration.  I wonder where Hillary will be, off sulking somewhere no doubt. :)

    Obama 08, genuine leadership

    I've been hard on Obama. (none / 0) (#4)
    by kindness on Tue Nov 13, 2007 at 01:18:42 PM EST
    Why?  Because I really had hoped he be the go to candidate.  I was really put off by his sitting back and not taking part in important votes and issues and then turning around and pointing the finger at those who did.

    I'm hoping I was momentarily frustrated by him and that he can break out and be the one.  He has the charisma.  He has the intelligence.  I just need him to show me that he can lead, and by that I don't mean by giving a speech asking for us all to come together on divisive issues and actually take a meaningful stand.

    I'm hoping I've been wrong.  I'll vote for Hillary if I have to in the General Election.  I'd prefer I got the choice of someone else.  Obama is that you?

    I'd love to see this too (none / 0) (#5)
    by taylormattd on Tue Nov 13, 2007 at 04:18:35 PM EST
    and I've started to get the same feeling - that he has a current opportunity to exploit. We'll see whether he does so.

    I'm wondering what specific things he could do regarding the war. As of now, we have both Reid and Pelosi saying Bush will have no funding bills the rest of the year unless they have withdrawal deadlines.

    So what does he do? Reiterate that he will push the Senate never to pass a funding bill that lacks a withdrawal deadline? Perhaps somehow lead the organization of a 'timetable only' caucus?

    And to be clear, I'm asking not because I am trying to argue there is nothing for him to do. Rather, I seriously would like to know what the next step should be for Obama (or anyone else in Congress for that matter) in ending the war.

    All the things you say (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Nov 13, 2007 at 04:33:26 PM EST
    EMPHASIS is critical.

    This will be so easy. Just urge Obama to (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 13, 2007 at 06:33:44 PM EST
    lead NOW and link to the Dodd stuff.  

    heh (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Nov 13, 2007 at 06:37:15 PM EST
    Edwards is not self-destructing (none / 0) (#9)
    by womanwarrior on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 03:07:44 AM EST
    Why are you joining the Times in dumping on Edwards?  Did they ask that question of Hillary, if she would support Obama or Edwards?  He shouldn't answer, the votes have not been cast, even thought the MSM has annointed Hillary. Edwards is the only one trying to speak the truth.  I hope a lot of people in Iowa listen to him instead of the MSM.  

    Here's a comment about Edwards that I liked:  

    "I'm actually impressed with his passion, and he's the only person speaking the truth consistently rather than feeding us weak non-positions (Hillary) or making ambiguous promises of political peacemaking that may not even be possible to keep (Obama).

    Would you like to know why the media hates Edwards? Ask yourself who owns the media. Why, it's the same corporations Edwards is calling out, staking a claim for you and me to have a real say in our governance again for the first time in decades.

    And Edwards has spoken the magic word that has historically been a self-imposed death sentence in American politics/society. Martin Luther King got shot when he started talking about poverty. Bobby Kennedy? Poverty.

    The powers that be will not allow someone who bursts the capitalist bubble to get too close to the throne.

    If Edwards wins in Iowa, he better hire some decent security and avoid air travel."

    Awake from your defunding fantasy Armando (none / 0) (#10)
    by Aaron on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 11:46:34 AM EST
    It was always a fantasy, that had 0% chance of actually happening, it's only a waste of effort and political capital as Joe Klein says. So why are you advising my candidate to pursue a doomed course.  If you can get Hillary do this, maybe she'll lose another 10 points in the polls.  I hope her advisers listen to you, but I doubt they will.

    Are We Winning in Iraq?  Joe Klein .

    Too much time, and political capital, has been wasted fighting Bush legislatively on the war. I'm sure the President and the Republican Party are salivating over the prospect that Democrats will waste more time and capital over it this month...especially at a moment, however fleeting, when the situation on the ground seems to have improved in Iraq. Democrats need to think this over very, very carefully before they proceed.