Hillary and Obama Respond to SOTU

Here's Barack Obama response and Hillary Clinton's prequel to President Bush's State of the Union Address. From Hillary's:

I assume that all of you know tonight is a red letter night in American history. It is the last time George Bush will give a State of the Union.If we all do our part, next year it’ll be a Democratic President giving the State of the Union.

Let’s be clear, one thing that President Bush has never understood is that the State of the Union is not about a speech in Washington. It is about the state of the lives of the American people. What is happening in our schools, in our hospitals, in our jobs? It is whether or not we have people who feel that they are moving toward the American dream or whether it looks like it’s getting further and further away no matter how hard they work. It is about whether or not people will be able to stay in their homes or if they will lose their homes to foreclosures, thereby really undermining the American dream. It is about whether we as a nation will restore our leadership and our moral authority, bring our Constitution out of cold storage, begin to act like Americans again, solving our problems, working toward a better future, making it possible for us to be proud of our country.

From Obama's: [More...]

Ttonight we heard President Bush say that the surge in Iraq is working, when we know that's just not true. Yes, our valiant soldiers have helped reduce the violence. Five soldiers gave their lives today in this cause, and we mourn their loss and pray for their families.

But let there be no doubt - the Iraqi government has failed to seize the moment to reach the compromises necessary for an enduring peace. That was what we were told the surge was all about. So the only way we're finally going to pressure the Iraqis to reconcile and take responsibility for their future is to immediately begin the responsible withdrawal of our combat brigades so that we can bring all of our combat troops home.

But another reason we need to begin this withdrawal immediately is because this war has not made us safer. I opposed this war from the start in part because I was concerned that it would take our eye off al Qaeda and distract us from finishing the job in Afghanistan. Sadly, that's what happened. It's time to heed our military commanders by increasing our commitment to Afghanistan, and it's time to protect the American people by taking the fight to al Qaeda.

And, in what I take as a jab at Hillary:

But I also believe the failures of the last seven years stem not just from any single policy, but from a broken politics in Washington. A politics that says it's ok to demonize your political opponents when we should be coming together to solve problems.

Back to the war in Iraq, I don't trust the phrase "immediately begin the responsible withdrawal." There's two restrictions in it: It says we only have to begin withdrawal, not complete it. Bush touted his Administration's beginning of withdrawal in his SOTU tonight. What's the difference between them? The beginning of troop withdrawal is just not enough.

Second, he says it must be a "responsible withdrawal." That's another sign it won't be quick.

I don't see how his Iraq exit plan is any different -- or better -- from the other Democratic candidates. Obama keeps reminding us of his early opposition to the war, yet he voted to fund it and he continues to avoid committing to a timed troop withdrawal.

He sure isn't saying "If I am President we will have all combat troops out of Iraq within X months (or 1 year) of my taking office." Either he hasn't thought his exit plan through or he knows he can't make it happen. Which is why I don't think he's entitled to portray himself as the candidate who will do the most to end the war.

< State of the Union Open Thread | Obama Snubs Hillary at SOTU >
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  • Display: Sort:
    Hillary offers a handshake to Teddy (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by athyrio on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 10:36:03 PM EST
    and Obama turns away...Classy....

    picking it up (none / 0) (#12)
    by manys on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:19:57 PM EST
    That would be an interesting interview question for him.

    Or Not (none / 0) (#14)
    by BDB on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:25:39 PM EST
    Given the Obama media darling status, this will be all Clinton's fault.  Already, here is one write up of the "story"

    RIVAL Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama forgot their manners when they came within 30cm of each other and managed not to say hello at President George W. Bush's State of the Union speech.

    Senator Clinton found time to shake Senator Edward M. Kennedy's hand, the man who had endorsed Senator Obama earlier in the day.

    Senator Obama, who was standing close by, turned away, the Associated Press reported.

    That's right, this article reported that Clinton went across the aisle to greet Ted Kennedy, Obama turned his back, but BOTH Clinton and Obama forgot their manners.  What Clinton was supposed to do to show her good manners is unclear.

    I don't think much of this story, but - wow - talk about the Obama rules.


    Obama's turning away - classy, yea (none / 0) (#18)
    by LCaution on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:27:34 PM EST
    Being one of the few people who, it seems, have actually watched and listened to Obama, I'd say his turning away from Hillary is typical - and doesn't exactly represent his "we should all come together" philosophy.

    Apparently, when he talks about making peace, he doesn't include Hillary.  Hillay, OTOH, has repeatedly praised her opponents, insisted that all Democrats will come together in Nov. and showed just how classy she is by reaching out and shaking Kennedy's hand after what must have been a big disappointment.

    I'd say that Obama's actions speak louder than his words.  If he plans to govern the way he has campaigned, I can't exactly see the Republicans falling down at his feet to help him with his agenda  - whatever that is since, apparently, he believes his only job as President is to make Americans hopeful again.  Shades of Reagan.


    Shades of Reagan (none / 0) (#25)
    by Tano on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:41:33 PM EST
    Landslide reelect,,,successor elected,,,set the political tone for a generation,,,

    I'll take it.


    Actually, (none / 0) (#29)
    by Tano on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:46:11 PM EST
    from the geometry of the situation, it seems quite possible that she, coldly, rudely, stuck out her hand right past him to shake Teddy's, so perhaps he just moved out of her way.

    Seems pretty clear to me that this is just the type of thing that people will interpret in a way to confirm their prior feelings.


    You know (none / 0) (#43)
    by PlayInPeoria on Tue Jan 29, 2008 at 03:46:30 PM EST
    from the geometry of the situation,

    So you were there? And know the angle that the photogropher was when this was taken?

    My degree in Mathematics would not even let me go there!

    I viewed the sequence of the photos. I notice Ted & Sen Obama were talking to each other before the picture was taken. Also, I remember watching the two of them on TV last night. It reminded me of walking into my mother-in-laws house for the first time after the marriage... outsider!!!

    Hillary showed alott of class walking into that room last night knowing all the tongues were wagging. She is truely changing Washington for the better.


    I read (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by NJDem on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 10:46:50 PM EST
    a few responses in DK (yes, I know) that people think this photo can be a big deal--and not in a good way of Obama.  It's not saying much about the American people, but this kind of image makes it seem he flat-out snubbed her while she's being so nice to a man who ironically snubbed her earlier.  

    HC looks good; Obama, not so much.  It looks like he was just rude, and especially not Presidential.  

    The 'other' blogs would be all over this if it was the other way around--could you imagine!  I think we should pass this article/photo on!

    I could swear he did this after one of the debates (none / 0) (#4)
    by Cream City on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 10:57:14 PM EST
    too, when most were milling around afterward.  And watching the body language in the debates is quite revealing.

    the reality is obama has been rude (none / 0) (#5)
    by hellothere on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 10:58:03 PM EST
    repeatedly. that snide comment about her being "likeable". that reminds me of a kid who thinks he is cool or is trying to be cool at someone other kid's expense. so, junior high!

    obama left nevada without so much as a gracious comment about winning today and meeting again. naw
    not obama! that doesn't sound like unity to me.


    To be fair (none / 0) (#7)
    by djork on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:04:02 PM EST
    Obama could have greeted her before the pic was snapped and was stepping aside so Sen. Kennedy could greet her. She does look good though, very classy of her.

    The photographer reported it, and he (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Cream City on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:09:02 PM EST
    was there before snapping the photo, but said that BO turned way without a word to her while she reached out to Kennedy.

    Clinton, again and again in this campaign, has shown class.  And she just gets crap for it.


    Class (none / 0) (#13)
    by manys on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:21:33 PM EST
    "Class" is defined as the behavior of the upper class, the privileged and the aristocracy. It's not necessarily a compliment.

    Class in this case would be decent manners (none / 0) (#15)
    by RalphB on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:25:57 PM EST
    Uh, no; you could look it up (nt) (none / 0) (#17)
    by Cream City on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:27:33 PM EST
    Manners (none / 0) (#31)
    by Stellaaa on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:47:34 PM EST
    Manners are a virtue.  

    classy behavior in the (none / 0) (#33)
    by hellothere on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:52:41 PM EST
    popular useage denotes manners and grace. two things i did not see obama practice tonight or on other occasions.

    maybe she's just more facile than he is (none / 0) (#34)
    by byteb on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:52:48 PM EST
    at this sort of smiling to your face after smacking you around kind of thing.

    if obama can't handle himself with (none / 0) (#38)
    by hellothere on Tue Jan 29, 2008 at 12:00:46 AM EST
    hillary in a public function during a primary campaign then he isn't ready for prime time with the real meanies in the world. petty and small is my estimate of him.

    Remember it was just yesterday folks (5.00 / 0) (#39)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 29, 2008 at 12:02:08 AM EST
    were opining the press might turn on the Media Darling in a heartbeat?

    I didnt watch (none / 0) (#1)
    by Judith on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 10:34:51 PM EST
    did George say anything like what HRC suggested?


    did anyone catch (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:02:40 PM EST
    bush as he was leaving? To the TLkid and me it looked like Bush snubbed him and wouldn't even recognize him when he was right in front of him.

    A reporter saw it differently (none / 0) (#36)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:57:03 PM EST
    I didn't tivo it so I can't go look again but it was pretty apparent to us. But not according to this reporter:

    After his speech, Bush sought out Kennedy, his former partner in education reform, to exchange greetings. He also shook Obama's hand and said hello in typical Bush fashion: "Hey buddy, how's it going," he said, according to Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), who also sat next to Obama for the speech.

    Every Picture Tells a Story (none / 0) (#8)
    by xjt on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:04:13 PM EST
    Huh? Not at all what your link says -- (none / 0) (#41)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 29, 2008 at 12:42:04 AM EST
    which is Clinton greets Kennedy . . . while Obama turns away.

    That picture really makes him look (none / 0) (#9)
    by RalphB on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:05:52 PM EST
    like a very small condescending man.  Of course, I hold that opinion in the first place but it's sure reinforcing.  The text of the AP story seemed to say as much.

    Does Anyone Know (none / 0) (#16)
    by BDB on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:26:26 PM EST
    Why Clinton cancelled her post-SOTU interviews?

    a guess? (none / 0) (#22)
    by Tano on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:37:06 PM EST
    ..because she knew that the reporters would not be able to resist asking her about Kennedy. And what it all means.

    Do you mean the "snub"? (none / 0) (#26)
    by BDB on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:41:39 PM EST
    Because she would've known about the endorsement before agreeing to be interviewed.

    article about it in Baltimore Sun (none / 0) (#19)
    by athyrio on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:30:07 PM EST
    Ouch. He's "childish" (none / 0) (#20)
    by Cream City on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:33:34 PM EST
    and a New York paper I saw is quite angry about his "snub" to their Senator.

    which paper N/T (none / 0) (#21)
    by athyrio on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:34:37 PM EST
    Yikes! (none / 0) (#24)
    by BDB on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:40:33 PM EST
    If this story takes off, that's really bad for Obama.  It kind of blows his unity schtick - he can't even shake Hillary's hand?   And there goes two days of good press down the drain.  What was he thinking?  

    And I don't always agree with Taylor Marsh, but she's right, the AP photo looks worse if you look at both of them in sequence - click first on Obama with Kennedy looking at Clinton and then his back to Clinton.  


    I thought it looked better (none / 0) (#28)
    by byteb on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:44:58 PM EST
    for Obama actually. Obama was closer to Hillary and yet she reached over and shook Teddy's hand first kinda blocking Obama out.

    Reports are that Kennedy reached (none / 0) (#32)
    by Cream City on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:48:31 PM EST
    for her hand.  And Clinton reciprocated -- so Obama turned away.  So as to not have to follow Kennedy's lead and shake hands, too?

    I just read that she crossed the aisle to them and (none / 0) (#35)
    by byteb on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:56:23 PM EST
    Kennedy reached out his hand. Politics is a strange business, isn't it. Make nice to the ones who hours before repudiated you.

    and yes, I agree. I think not to shake her hand (none / 0) (#37)
    by byteb on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:58:21 PM EST
    He needs to learn the duplicitous rules of etiquette that seem to operate in politics.

    Another reporter only saw this... (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Tano on Tue Jan 29, 2008 at 12:31:19 AM EST
    "Clinton managed to miss Obama's attention as she chatted with Kennedy while reporters looked on hungrily from the overhanging balcony. "

    Two thoughts.

    Everyone reads it according to thier preconceptions.

    I can't believe I am wasting my time discussing this kind of nonsense.


    yeah (none / 0) (#23)
    by NJDem on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:39:00 PM EST
    I thought it was weird HRC called off the post-SOTU interviews too.  I'm going to pass on the  links that show BO definitely--some 'unity' candidate.  

    And none of the MSM brought up Rezko, but they found time to bring up BC (who I'm glad will go back to just making the case for HC, at least no now).

    I had (none / 0) (#27)
    by NJDem on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:41:46 PM EST
    the same thought that HRC didn't want to be asked about the Kennedy thing, but then why would she first agree to them?

    It's on (none / 0) (#30)
    by NJDem on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 11:46:50 PM EST
    the Huff--lets see if it has legs...

    Not Good Publicity For Obama (none / 0) (#42)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jan 29, 2008 at 07:34:14 AM EST
    before the Feb. 5th. primaries. At best it will be perceived as ungracious treatment of a woman and at worst as petty and childish.


    42 comments about the "snub"... (none / 0) (#44)
    by blueaura on Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 09:13:36 AM EST
    I can't believe there are 42 comments about the alleged "snub" at the SOTU on a blog post about Iraq-related statements. . . especially given there is already a separate post about the "snub"...

    Are people's priorities that out of whack or is everyone just numb to Iraq by now? Either way it's sad.

    As far as withdrawing from Iraq, I think that setting a definite timetable is irresponsible. We can't set a date because we can't know how long it's going to take. Not doing a "responsible" withdrawal is simply irresponsible. I remember a time when Hillary said much the same thing. We created the mess in Iraq and it's not fair to say "Ok we're done here. Good-bye and good luck!"

    Granted I'm no expert, but it would seem to me that the best approach is to gradually draw down troops and see what happens, adjusting the rate of withdrawal accordingly. Will that mean being there longer than I'd like? Probably--hell we've already been there too long. But haven't we done enough damage to Iraq already?

    oops (none / 0) (#45)
    by blueaura on Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 09:16:59 AM EST
    OK I just realized the blog post about the "snub" came after this one. . . I read them in reverse order  in my RSS feed. But still, not one on-topic comment.