Obama Adviser Supports Telecom Immunity

Sen. Barack Obama likes to say he intends to rely on the people around him in making presidential decisions.

We've seen how that would play out with Samantha Power. Now there's John Brennan, one of his advisers on intelligence and foreign policy.

Think Progress reports:

Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) has consistently spoken out and voted against granting retroactive immunity for telecoms that participated with the administration’s warrantless wiretapping program. This stance was part of the reason he won the support of Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), a leader on civil liberties issues.

One of Obama’s advisers on intelligence and foreign policy advisers, however, is someone who “strongly” supports telecomm immunity.

What Brennan told the National Journal is below the fold:

There is this great debate over whether or not the telecom companies should in fact be given immunity for their agreement to provide support and cooperate with the government after 9/11. I do believe strongly that they should be granted that immunity, because they were told to do so by the appropriate authorities that were operating in a legal context, and so I think that’s important. And I know people are concerned about that, but I do believe that’s the right thing to do. I do believe the Senate version of the FISA bill addresses the issues appropriately.

Can we really trust that what Barack Obama says on the campaign trail will be what he delivers as President?

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    I tried to allude to this earlier (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by phat on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:36:51 PM EST
    But my comment was deemed off-topic.

    I'll try and be more clear.

    It seems apparent, as is the case with most candidates for higher office, that there are promises being made that can't be believed.

    Of course this is not uncommon.

    But is this really "change we can believe in?"


    I've (none / 0) (#76)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 09:47:42 AM EST
    I've mentioned before that people should take a look at the candidates' foreign policy advisors when trying to assess what their future foreign policy will be. If you base Richard Holbrooke's past statements on Iraq, then you could say that anything Hillary has said about Iraq is a lie.

    But while advisors may give you a hint of a candidate's policies, it isn't necessarily the candidate's position. Did all of Obama's national security advisors say the same thing? What did all of Clinton's advisors say?

    In reality, Obama voted against the FISA with the immunity in place. He spoke out against it. Clinton was someplace else campaigning and didn't bother to vote. To find someone on Obama's staff who has a different opinion from Obama, then presume it's Obama's real opinion (instead of looking at his voting record), then presume that Obama is lying is simply another disingenuous attempt to find another reason to not trust Obama and to continue Clinton's lost campaign.

    We get a constant back and forth here where H. Clinton is given experience points for being the First Lady, but then we have the alternate universe that H. Clinton is her own person and didn't really support (fill in the blanks: NAFTA, GATT, media megamergers, etc.). If Clinton supporters are willing to tapdance about her connection with/her separation from Bill Clinton's administration, why would you presume to weld a single advisor's opinion to Obama's, especially when it's opposite of Obama's voting record?

    Let me guess why the same standard doesn't apply to Clinton.


    when did Holbrooke become (none / 0) (#88)
    by Florida Resident on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 11:36:28 AM EST
    a Hillary clinton advisor?

    If these are the people who are (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:44:53 PM EST
    advising Obama, who are drafting policy, who could be presumed to at least be on the list for important roles in an Obama administration, one can only conclude that there is a lot more bamboozling going on than people should have had any reason to expect based on his speeches.

    As was pointed out on the NAFTA thread, if a candidate publicly opposes something, it's hard to understand why he is being advised by someone who favors it, and vice-versa.  This cannot just be explained away by saying - as I expect we will be hearing in the next few days - that it is always good to have diverse points of view to encourage open discussion.

    Yes, it is good to encourage people to speak their minds, to be able to say they agree or disagree without fear for their jobs, but this thing is still in the sales stage - we haven't gotten to the governing stage yet - and it's looking more and more like he is selling himself as one person, while fully intending to be something somewhat different - how different, we have no way to know.

    I think we are rapidly approaching the issue of trust, and if what we have seen in the last couple days is any indication, I think this is not going to be a winning issue for Obama.

    What a candidate of change! (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:50:34 PM EST
    What a progressive!  He will heal us!  This man is our only hope and please pass me some mercs, I need them!  You wouldn't understand.....

    Militarytracy (none / 0) (#77)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 09:52:08 AM EST
    Obama voted against the bill with telecom immunity. Clinton, who was in the D.C. area that day, did not vote.

    Explain to me how someone who votes against something is for it because one advisor has a different opinion, but the candidate who doesn't bother to show up and vote on the issue has the stronger position.


    If you look at some of my other comments (none / 0) (#90)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 03:15:06 PM EST
    you will notice that I'm tired of Obama advisors running the psy-ops of letting it publicly slip that they support a stance 180 degrees out from their candidate's stance.  But see, that helps with that Democrat for a Day thing!  It also helps with garnering those Rockefeller type Super Delegates.  I am not FOOLED though and why can't Obama choose better advisors if it is an advisor problem but not his?  What a pathetic excuse of an out of control campaign he's running.

    I posted this (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by NJDem on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:51:57 PM EST
    earlier in the open thread and no one responded, so I'm glad to see some opinions about it.  

    This guy is an adviser on intelligence, so yes, his opinion matters, especially when there have been several stories in the last week that show a disconnect b/w what BO says and what his advisers say on his behalf (and in the other cases to foreign governments/press no less) .  

    I would have responded (none / 0) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:55:04 PM EST
    but I didn't read the open thread.

    I think I'm ready (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:52:19 PM EST
    To build a more solid case that Obama would have voted "yes" on the Iraq AUMF.

    His voting record on Iraq, otherwise, is the exact same as Clinton's.  We already knew this.

    And now we see, with three examples over the last week (NAFTA, Iraq Withdrawal, and Telecom Immunity) that his campaign rhetoric does not always match how he governs.

    3 examples (none / 0) (#78)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 10:07:23 AM EST
    Your three examples are curious.

    Obama voted against the telecom immunity. Clinton didn't show up for the vote.

    If you read the stories about NAFTA, you will find a whole lot of misreporting and apologies from Canada. You will find the charge against Obama to have been withdrawn and the government of Canada apologizing for it. You will also find a similar, although less reported, charge against Clinton that was also withdrawn. However, NAFTA was carried through Congress during the Clinton Administration and was voted into law by the Republicans and signed by B. Clinton. Only within the last few months has H. Clinton made any public reservations about NAFTA. So, in your mind, Hillary's fifteen years of publicly embracing NAFTA are trumped by a false report about one Obama supporter talking to someone in the Canadian embassy? That surely shows your judgement in the matter.

    As far as the war in Iraq, Obama spoke out against it, calling it a "dumb war." Hillary Clinton voted to give our "dumb" President war powers. If someone wants to go back and look at the candidates' positions for continuing funding since the war began, and find their public rationale for those votes, go to it. We all know that the Republicans and the MSM media brand anyone who "endangers" our troops as a traitor. Stop pretending here that funding for troops in combat is the same as giving George Bush the license to go to war. If you need to confuse yourself by combining the two then realize that you are doing it for your own benefit, not to clarify anything.


    Well (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 12:10:34 AM EST
    At least we don't have to worry about Obama going off message on any topic...since we don't even know what his message is...uh, besides 'hope'.

    Commitment (none / 0) (#73)
    by waldenpond on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 09:01:46 AM EST
    I stated that he might be the first President to never break a promise.  He has no commitment to any position so how will anyone be disappointed. Isn't this supposed to be a good strategy.  If he's in a position to run for re-election there will be nothing to attack him for.

    seriously? (none / 0) (#2)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:38:37 PM EST
    Does Obama have to agree with everything that every advisor believes?

    Does the same apply to Clinton?  Should we assume that Clinton will pass legislation to make it easier to bust unions because Mark Penn is he chief strategist?

    Obama has clearly said he is against immunity - I am not sure why you would expect that to change because an advisor of his happens to take a different stance.

    Since almost every Obama supporter. . . (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:40:34 PM EST
    Should we assume that Clinton will pass legislation to make it easier to bust unions because Mark Penn is he chief strategist?

    seems to assume exactly that, I'd say that we have to assume the same about Obama.  That's only fair, right?


    The thing about the allegation is (none / 0) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:43:19 PM EST
    it is really stupid. Penn may or may not support union busting. But that he is getting paid to do PR to support a union busting operation merely speaks to the fact that Penn is a greedy bastard, and not much of a Dem.

    IF someone from the unions came with a bigger check, he would be working for them.


    And of course (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by badger on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:59:53 PM EST
    as the original poster notes, Penn is a campaign strategist and not a policy advisor. Carville and Begala seem to have had little impact on Bill Clinton's policies, and as far as I know people like Lee Atwater or Michael Deaver also had little policy impact. Campaign strategist are chosen to win elections (or should be - Brazile and Shrum being notable exceptions).

    I think if you suggested Brazile would be setting Gore's policy or Shrum setting Kerry's, you might have been laughed at. Penn's status is no different.

    Policy advisors on the other hand are chosen because they share political philosophies with the candidate and very often carryover into WH or cabinet-level positions that do affect policy.


    What? (none / 0) (#27)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:54:02 PM EST
    Greedy bastards can't be Dems?

    I read this the other day, funny stuff.  Scott Boras thinks he's a Democrat.


    No (none / 0) (#33)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:55:55 PM EST
    Greedy bastards who take money to bust unions are probably not the Dems you want running a Dem campaign.

    Someone's (none / 0) (#35)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:57:31 PM EST
    Gonna get that money.

    Ful disclosure (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 11:04:34 PM EST
    I hate Penn. I think he is an idiot.

    Let me get this straight (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:41:41 PM EST
    What Obama's advisors believe is irrelevant? Why just the other day Matt Yglesias was citing Noam Scheiber on how important it is to look at the advisors each has chosen. Did you disagree with that?

    I agree with you that it is not the end of the world but is it worth asking a question? Absolutely. And you know it is. Don't become a defend at all cost supporter mindfulmission. You have been a valuable commenter here.

    You know the questions J is asking are relevant and fair.


    no... (none / 0) (#9)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:44:02 PM EST
    ... I don't think that was advisors believe is irrelevant, and I did not mean to imply that.

    But Obama has been clear in his opposition to immunity.  I trust what Obama says and does more than what his advisor believes in terms of what he will do when he is President.  


    Because that is what J. is doing here.

    Sure... (none / 0) (#21)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:51:45 PM EST
    ... the question is fair.

    But what would really be fair would be if J. had actually mentioned that Obama has taken clear stances against immunity, and voted against the FISA bill, even though he has an advisor that has a different view on the subject.


    this is the problem: (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Kathy on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:56:38 PM EST
    If Obama cannot persuade his own paid advisors, whom arguably are with him quite a lot and talk to him about myriad issues, that he is right on a subject and they are wrong, how is he going to persuade the Congress?  How is he going to persuade the American people?

    Obama is running entirely on his ability to bring people together, to make them speak with one voice, yet he cannot even manage that in his own campaign.


    I'm even meaner here (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 11:02:01 PM EST
    by not being held accountable for what your advisors are saying that is 180 degrees out from your spoken stance as a candidate, you are trying to have your cake and eat it too.  And your campaign appears to be able to be all things to all people and a miracle.

    If it is true that we wage our wars (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 07:19:16 AM EST
    at the ballot box in a democracy, then where's the soldier at in these advisors?  My husband doesn't run around giving out his personal opinion in the middle of the war, if it endangers the mission he can even be brought up on charges for doing so.  I personally feel that advisors who do this sort thing are running psy/ops and meaning to befuddle their enemy who seems to be the voter these days.

    Experience and age (none / 0) (#64)
    by Stellaaa on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 01:02:50 AM EST
    This is where it matters. You have to know what advice to take and not take.  It's what Hillary says: "when the microphones and cameras are off, you sit in the oval office, you have to make the decision"  I don't even think Obama has solid opinions on this stuff yet and he can be swayed either way.   Bill was right, one fantasy vote is swaying people as judgement.  

    So you'd prefer he surrounded himself (none / 0) (#65)
    by Knocienz on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 01:40:18 AM EST
    Only with people who agree with him? Or they just need to keep their mouth shut about their disagreements?

    Interestingly, he is acting as a foreign policy advisor and NOT as an intelligence or legal advisor. So it sounds like telecom immunity is outside the scope in which he is advising Obama.

    Now, if there is evidence that he is advising him on FISA, then please do share.


    Did I say that? (none / 0) (#67)
    by Stellaaa on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 02:19:26 AM EST
     You can have millions of advisors, but you have to know what to ask them.  This come with age and experience of getting burned, failing and learning.  He has not paid his dues.  Hillary is being slammed by the Post for choosing people she does not agree with, give me a break, did I say that?  

    Watch these 1 hour interviews with Barack and Hillary at the Reno Gazette.  That to me closed it on experience and ability to be president.  
    Go to old videos, there are 105, go to 46-50 range and watch the one hour interviews with Hillary and Barack.  This is the famous Reagan interview, that to me is trivial.  I think of those interviews as job interviews, and I would hire Hillary in a second, and not hire him for this job.  Maybe, community organizer.  


    A little bit of history (none / 0) (#68)
    by Queen Vee on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 02:58:40 AM EST
    When the two party system begun, the winner was the president and the loser was the vice president.  Maybe if we go back to that type of system, some of this bickering will stop and as long as each party will have a say, they will do what is the will of the people instead of all these power struggles.

    Which is why I think this example sucks (none / 0) (#86)
    by Knocienz on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 10:58:08 AM EST
    Obama has clearly made his mind up on this issue. He voted against telecom immunity. So he has shown that he knows NOT to listen to this advisor on this issue.

    Despite the fact that I think her long support for her AUMF vote seriously diminishes her qualifications for the job.I try not to denigrate Hillary. I know I would vote for her over McCain and not feel the least bit sad about doing so. That may very well be your choice come November and setting Obama up as "Maybe, community organizer" now seems pretty dangerous. (I say dangerous, because that seems to be the current Hillary talking point/strategy; that Obama is less qualified than McCain(!))


    Fair enough (none / 0) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:53:36 PM EST
    I think that is common knowledge myself but it would not hurt to mention it.

    My bad... (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:57:55 PM EST
    ... it looks like she did mention it.

    The adviser is unprofessional (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by felizarte on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 11:28:32 PM EST
    If they are working for someone, at least, even if they hold a different opinion, they should not be expressing it publicly if their candidate has already made a policy decision.  Obama should have the benefit of a full discussion--from opposing points of view to help him make a decision, but once a decision has been made by the leader, they should abide by it.  I expect the same for those advising Clinton.  Otherwise, it shows an ineffective leader not to be able to maintain discipline in his group.  Once the voters perceive this, it will be hard to repair.

    Okay, Big D (none / 0) (#80)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 10:21:04 AM EST
    Richard Holbrooke supported the war and has supported it since. Holbrooke is Clinton's most notable foreign policy advisor and would probably be her choice for Secretary of State.

    So from this I gather that Clinton is actually lying about getting out of Iraq. Holbrooke is her top foreign policy advisor. Surely,  That would be the standard that any policy advisor for any candidate holds exactly what that candidate's true views are.

    Would you like to go through Holbrooke's whole history of foreign policy advising, his work with Marcos and Suharto and the military government in South Korea during Carter's years, and pin that on Hillary too?

    There is a difference between paying attention to what positions advisors have and presuming that they are all one big essence called Obama.

    If you want to walk down the path of advisors, Hillary will have a half-century of the most venal, bloody Democratic foreign policy to defend. That isn't fair.

    But certainly, ask the question. And then ask the question about Richard Holbrooke and his record.


    And this is a very good example (none / 0) (#87)
    by Knocienz on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 11:04:02 AM EST
    As Hillary's votes are consistent with this position in Iraq. I think a standard of 'votes first, advisors second, rhetoric last' is a fair one.

    And Obama voted against telecom immunity.

    As an aside it is pretty hard to find people in the intelligence field who are against telecom immunity. They all seem to think that intelligence folks are consummate professionals who would never misuse information or authority. (Except for the FBI, for whom they have scathing contempt)


    Penn (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by oldpro on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:45:26 PM EST
    isn't a policy advisor.  He's a campaign strategist.

    Big difference.

    It is, however, never EVER a good strategy to have a policy advisor disagree publicly with the candidate s/he is advising...confusing/mixed message to the voters about the candidate.  This is basic, it's not rocket science.

    Big mistake.

    And dumb.


    oldpro (5.00 / 4) (#20)
    by Kathy on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:50:57 PM EST
    exactly my objection.  I'm under no illusion that Clinton will get everything done that she wants in the first two weeks.  Neither am I compelled to believe that she'll get it done without making compromises.  What I do know is that at the end of the day she has the knowledge of the inner workings of government, the experience and the understanding of where the skeletons are buried so that she will get the important parts nailed.

    I also know that she'll keep her staff in line.  Policy debates are for behind closed doors.  You present a united front to the country and keep your mouth shut or you go home.  At the end of the day, she is the boss and the boss is in charge of what the final decision is.

    If Obama cannot keep his advisors from openly disagreeing with him, how is he going to get anything done.  "Senator Kennedy, I really believe that you should vote for this law."  Teddy, "Why should I when your top advisor doesn't even agree with you?"

    Amateurs, one and all.


    What I know is that (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:54:10 PM EST
    whether or not she gives you warm fuzzies, she gets stuff done before she worries about whether or not you feel fuzzy.  I've witnessed her not back down when things got tough.  Heck, that has been most of what her campaign has had to be about ;)

    A list, please (none / 0) (#81)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 10:27:35 AM EST
    H. Clinton tried and failed to get a health plan passed during her husband's regime.

    I won't say that she hasn't participated in some meaningful legislation since she's been a Senator, but I don't remember her leading any successful charge to get us out of Iraq. Or stop the FISA immunity. In fact, this has been about the dreariest stretch of progressive Democratic legislation in my life, and my life goes back to Truman.

    She doesn't back down. Sounds tough. She didn't show up to vote against FISA immunity. Sounds like triangulatin'. Voted for Bush's war powers. Sounds like dumb, which is at least better than the other option, which would be triangulatin'. Whatever.


    Totally Agree with you (none / 0) (#53)
    by felizarte on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 11:34:02 PM EST
    Well put. It does look like a lack of teamwork or incompetence on the part of the leader.

    Never, ever? Well, unless . . . (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Cream City on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 11:59:08 PM EST
    you want the public to be confused, so that some hear what they want to hear, and others hear what they want to hear, because the campaign is covering all bases this way.  So that everybody hears "hope" for their side on a policy issue.

    Touche. Sigh.... (none / 0) (#62)
    by oldpro on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 12:11:25 AM EST
    Right. (none / 0) (#15)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:47:50 PM EST
    And Karl Rove never advises Bush on anything, right?

    Look... everything that a politician does is political.  In turn, everything that a politician does is strategic.  

    Very, very few policy decisions are made without getting "strategic" advice from people like Penn, Rove, or Axelrod.


    He GAVE political advice (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:52:21 PM EST
    until he took a POLICY portfolio in the second term.

    Very different.


    Curious... (none / 0) (#32)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:55:54 PM EST
    ... do you really think that Karl Rove did not give policy advice during Bush's fist term?

    Don't get me wrong - I understand the difference, but I also know that policy OFTEN comes from things like polls and focus groups and other "stategy" issues.

    Anyway... I don't want to take this too far off topic by arguing what impact a strategist has on policy, so I will drop it.


    Absolutely (none / 0) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:57:33 PM EST
    I think even when Rove was ostensibly giving policy advice his advice was almost always purely political.

    I do not think Rove EVER gave pure policy advice ever.


    Of course, he did (none / 0) (#39)
    by RalphB on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:59:09 PM EST
    Evrything in the Bush WH was politics and policy was just another extension.  Remember the "Mayberry Machiavellis" quote?

    I think the challenge (none / 0) (#40)
    by Kathy on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:59:26 PM EST
    was to find an instance where Rove--or anyone else for that matter--went on the record speaking explicitly against a stated Bush policy.

    That's the crux of the problem here.  This is not defending a senior thesis; this is making your case for why you deserve to live in the White House.


    Notwithstanding the double standard. . . (none / 0) (#6)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:42:31 PM EST
    you're employing, I actually agree with you -- where Obama has clearly elucidated a policy position we ought to assume that's his position rather than anything said by others close to him (in the absence of evidence to the contrary).

    IT is not irrelvant (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:45:58 PM EST
    It is fair to ask, as we would about Goolsbee, what Obama thinks of the advice his advisor is giving.

    And when Obama says he rejects it, it is ALSO fair to ask why then is Obama employing that advisor.

    The difference with the Penn analogy is Penn is not advising Hillary on union busting, no more than Axelrod is advising Obama on nuclear power, even though Axelrod has worked for Mr. Burns, I mean Axelon (sp?). Penn has worked for them too I think.


    Not irrelevant. . . (none / 0) (#30)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:55:09 PM EST
    but also not proof that Obama is lying about his position on immunity which I think is the implication in this kind of charge.

    I disagree (none / 0) (#38)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:59:05 PM EST
    It raises the question of whether having advisors who disagree with his campaign pronouncements gives pause to the seriousness of his commitment to the issue.

    LEt me be frank - I think NEITHER Obama or Clinton give a rat's patootie about telecom immunity. Heck, I do not think DODD give a rat's patootie about it.


    Perhaps I am more cynical than most (none / 0) (#42)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 11:00:10 PM EST
    about pols.

    or rats' patooties (none / 0) (#66)
    by tree on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 01:43:20 AM EST

    Many charges can fairly be laid against me. (none / 0) (#74)
    by LarryInNYC on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 09:04:44 AM EST
    Not paying attention is not one of them.

    Hmm, I wonder if Mr. Burns is hiring. . . :D (none / 0) (#50)
    by andgarden on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 11:23:39 PM EST
    What is Holbrooke's position (none / 0) (#82)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 10:29:31 AM EST
    on Iraq? On Iran?

    Are you satisfied that Clinton and Holbrooke are in lockstep? Is that the foreign policy you support?


    What double standard? (none / 0) (#12)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:45:47 PM EST
    I am not sure what double standard I am employing.

    I do not believe that Clinton will support union busting, nor do I believe that Obama will support immunity.  

    No double standard.


    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:47:33 PM EST
    You are comparing apples and oranges.

    If J has written a post about Axelrod representing a nuclear power company, I think you could rightly bring up Penn's representation of the same company.

    But since neither is employed to advise on nuclear power policy, I think it would be silly to bring up either.


    Fair enough... (none / 0) (#17)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:49:16 PM EST
    ... I was just making a point, using an easy example, of how some of Clinton's advisors/strategists have positions or have done things that are against what Clinton does/says/campaigns about.

    But Penn is not a good example (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:50:47 PM EST
    Try with someone else if you can find them - an actual policy advisor who has stated publicly something different than she has.

    Holbrooke (none / 0) (#83)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 10:30:56 AM EST
    Unless you are conceding that H. Clinton has publicly lied about Iraq.

    My apologies. . . (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:51:52 PM EST
    I do not believe that Clinton will support union busting,

    I guess I knew that there are some Obama supporters who don't believe this.  In my experience, however, the safer bet is to assume that they do.


    Again (none / 0) (#75)
    by waldenpond on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 09:04:49 AM EST
    I mentioned this guy and Claire McCaskill yesterday.  Since she is being looked at for possible AG and she is for immunity, I would say this action would be more relevant than his words.

    Thanks Phat (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:39:37 PM EST
    and there's no need to reprint your name at the end of your comments, we see it in the comment header. Thanks and welcome.

    That signature thing (none / 0) (#8)
    by phat on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:44:00 PM EST
    Is an old habit that's hard to break.

    I don't even notice I'm doing it.

    (just now almost did it again)


    Should we be calming things down? (none / 0) (#31)
    by Key on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:55:24 PM EST
    I'm wondering if we should be working to get both candidates to calm things down.

    The way I see it, only 1 person can be president.  They can both get really ugly with the campaign and still only 1 of them will win.  Or they can stop.  Still, just 1 will win.

    But if they keep fighting, my fear is that the 1 who will win is McCain.  The serious level of divisiveness forming among supporters of both our candidates is going to make it very difficult for our nominee to win in November.

    And let's face it.  We've all said on MANY occasions that the candidates are basically the same on most issues.  They both say some things but will do others.  That's the way it works.

    So why are we fighting with each other?

    Maybe we should demand that our candidates turn their big guns at McCain.  Together.  Let's have them show us what they have at another debate.  But instead of disagreeing with each other on things, let's have them unite and attack McCain.  Answer every question by contrasting ourselves against McCain.  Then let's choose our candidate based on the one who does the most damage to McCain, not to the other democrat.

    If it comes down to super delegates deciding this thing, isn't it better that they choose based on the one who has demonstrated they can throw the biggest punches at the other side, not who throws the biggest at our own side?

    We're going to loose this thing in November if we don't stop the internal fight and start hitting McCain.

    This thing can go all the way to the convention without any harm to the Democrats, if Hillary and Barak let loose together on McCain, not each other.  It'll show party unity and why Americans should vote democrat in November - for president, congress, governors, judges, school boards.....

    This is the best way to make sure whoever our nominee ends up being, they will be the strongest our party has to offer.

    My own thought is that this is great leverage (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 11:03:10 PM EST
    to force Obama to speak publically about the Dem capitulation on FISA NOW when it matters.

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 11:08:44 PM EST
    And particularly put pressure on Rockefeller who is chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

    Work the endorsement.


    See anything from McJoan on this guy? (none / 0) (#56)
    by Cream City on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 12:01:20 AM EST
    I think (none / 0) (#84)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 10:36:51 AM EST
    that trying to create political attacks against Obama is the only strategy Clinton sees available. She will not win the pledged delegates and her only hope is to mortally wound Obama. As Rush Limbaugh, who called out Republicans in Ohio and Texas to vote for Clinton, said, he wants the campaign to continue so that Clinton can "bloody Obama" for November. The people here are just doing Rush's work.

    I would love to hear the candidates discuss their foreign policy issues, but Hillary has had to be pushed to talk about her Iraq positions. If the "advisor game" is used, then Hillary is at least as much a warmonger as The Codger.

    None of this is actual discussion of the candidates' policies. You can go to their websites and read what they state for that. This is a one-sided "gotcha" event that ignores all the sins that Clinton's advisors have committed.


    Sorry Militarytracy (none / 0) (#48)
    by NJDem on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 11:10:27 PM EST
    I didn't mean to say that in a guilt-trip sort of way.  I was thinking that maybe I was wasting time posting a non-issue.  So, I'm glad that people think this is worth discussion.  

    Ther are a lot of nice people (none / 0) (#49)
    by oldpro on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 11:11:11 PM EST
    channeling Rodney King these days but...this is politics, folks, and nicey nice was never in the cards.

    There are limits, though, and this is a scary year with racism and sexism troubling us all in one way or another.

    The US govt is set up based on people disagreeing (none / 0) (#54)
    by felizarte on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 11:42:15 PM EST
    (checks and balances) so that the govt. does not get to subvert the people's rights.  I always suspect people who calls others to unite.  Unite for what?  Many people can agree to do something bad.  I think that the results of the Mar 4 primaries can be seen as a repudiation of the nebulous message of "change" and people are beginning to focus on the WHAT and HOW aspects.  

    Unite for a common goal...fine. (none / 0) (#58)
    by oldpro on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 12:02:46 AM EST
    But calls for some generalized amorphous vague unity leaves me cold too.  And wary.

    Oh puhleez (none / 0) (#51)
    by chemoelectric on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 11:27:40 PM EST
    How green and naive do you think I am? I'm 46 years old and all my life I have seen how the President's underlings do his or her bidding without complaint. In fact, the standard stupid media objection is that the underling isn't being true to himself or herself.

    I'm so glad I'm not an original Obama supporter, but a BT-convinced Dodd supporter, so what I say is not because I am defensive of Obama. I say what I say because it may personally help the people who read this. The Head Clinton herself has suggested that we don't know what we are getting with Obama, because he's a cipher like Bush. Fact is, neither Obama nor Bush was ever a cipher, and they are worlds apart; Bush was easily known to be a complete slimeball of stunning incompetence at everything, and Obama was easily determined to be at worst a typical 2008 Democrat. Hillary Clinton was lying by omission, and okay, a person can support such a liar--I wouldn't be stopped by that much of a lie--but I wouldn't stoop so low as to commit the same lie myself.

    Your problem comes when the President is one like Bush who is manipulable, but Bush is manipulable because he has extremely severe Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and so can be manipulated by telling him how special and wonderful he is. Try that with Obama and he'll probably yawn; you can't easily butter up a guy who knows with confidence that he really is that smart and capable. He'll appreciate the compliment, but that's all.

    Michael Hanlon (none / 0) (#57)
    by BethanyAnne on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 12:02:26 AM EST
    Would Michael Hanlon qualify as a Hillary advisor that diagrees with her?  Is he still with her? That's not snark - I honestly don't know.

    I would think not (none / 0) (#69)
    by lilburro on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 07:13:11 AM EST
    "In an interview with the Washington Times, he says that Obama and Clinton 'both fail on Iraq":

    'I'm troubled about what they both say about Iraq. He's the one who wants to get out very fast, unconditionally, and to some extent, he's pulled her along," Mr. O'Hanlon said. [...]

    'Still, if you add up all of their differences, they both fail on Iraq. They both would get out very fast. They both are advocating a policy that unless significantly modified would lead to a reversal of our military progress in 2007,' he said. "

    Think Progress


    No (none / 0) (#71)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 07:32:07 AM EST
    Because he does not advise her.

    He did support her but never advised her. I wrote about it here.


    I guess a lot of people need clarification (none / 0) (#72)
    by Florida Resident on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 07:50:08 AM EST
    on what advisor and backers are. that and other things like advisors and Public Relations staff.

    Viva Filiberto???


    Does Holbrooke advise (none / 0) (#85)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 10:39:52 AM EST
    or is he just on her resume?

    Saying (none / 0) (#79)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 10:12:31 AM EST
    that Obama is as bad as Clinton isn't a very persuasive argument if you haven't already gone down that particular rabbit hole.

    When the FISA with telecom immunity bill was voted on, Obama voted against it and Clinton didn't show up.

    Now let's move onto the next topic Clinton supporters need to spin.

    Here is why its a double standard (none / 0) (#89)
    by fuzzyone on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 11:52:33 AM EST
    When asked about the fact that many of Hillary's advisors were pro Iraq war, her campaign did not deny it instead they said this

    "The campaign's advisers reflect a broad spectrum of opinion within the Democratic Party," countered Clinton national security guru Lee Feinstein. "The candidate makes her own decisions about her foreign policy positions."

    Of course Iraq is trivial compared to telecom immunity. (More on their foreign police advisors here)

    In fact I think it is generally good that both of them have advisors with varying views. I would not criticize Hillary for it nor would I criticize Obama.  We have a guy who surrounds himself with Yes Men in the White House now.  Not going so well.

    On the war I don't trust Hillary which is why I support Obama, though I think either would be fine and just hope the dem base will keep Hillary honest on Iraq and Iran if it is her.