Obama Blasts Carter For Meeting With Hamas

By Big Tent Democrat

Speaking for me only

Barack Obama said:

Sen. Barack Obama on Wednesday criticized former President Jimmy Carter for meeting with leaders of the Islamic terrorist group Hamas as he tried to reassure Jewish voters that his candidacy isn't a threat to them or U.S. support for Israel. . . Obama told the Jewish group he had a "fundamental disagreement" with Carter, who was rebuffed by Israeli leaders during a peace mission to the Middle East this week. "We must not negotiate with a terrorist group intent on Israel's destruction[.] "We should only sit down with Hamas if they renounce terrorism, recognize Israel's right to exist, and abide by past agreements."

(Emphasis supplied.) There is certainly a contradiction with some of Obama's earlier stated positions on "meeting with dictators" et al. My own view is that Carter should not have met with Hamas, but that is based on the idea that the foreign policy of the United States should be carried out by the current government (like them or not) and former Presidents should not be out there freelancing.

And in case anyone is watching, I have not a word of rebuke for Obama's statement as he is a pol and pols pander. It is what they do.

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    {scratches head} (5.00 / 9) (#4)
    by nycstray on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:32:18 PM EST
       "We should only sit down with Hamas if they renounce terrorism, recognize Israel's right to exist, and abide by past agreements."

    umm, isn't this a pre-condition?

    Ding ding ding ding ding (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by cmugirl on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:35:40 PM EST
    you get a prize!  This is EXACTLY what a precondition is.

    Does he even pay attention to what he says?


    Hamas is not a state (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Jgarza on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:42:25 PM EST
    so it isn't the same as a foreign country like Iran.  I think intelligent people can distinguish between Humas and the recognized government of a state.

    Hmm (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:45:38 PM EST
    Hamas is not some nothing. At least not in Gaza and the West bank. they won the elections.

    This might help you (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:47:03 PM EST
    i know what (none / 0) (#38)
    by Jgarza on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:51:40 PM EST
    Hamas is, it still isn't a state.

    So why meet with Abbas? (5.00 / 4) (#41)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:52:32 PM EST
    Do we only meet with UN states is the idea? I do not think that was Obama's point.

    We can meet with non state actors (5.00 / 0) (#69)
    by Jgarza on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:02:35 PM EST
    I think the idea that we need to meet with STATES that aren't friendly is correct.  Iran is not Al Quada and you wouldn't meet with them.  Diplomacy is a necessity with all states, not all actors in the world.

    I think you're thinking the whole of the (5.00 / 6) (#51)
    by kredwyn on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:55:26 PM EST
    Palestinian territories is not "officially" a state. However, the people did have elections...and kinda sorta elected themselves a Hamas led government.

    Hamas is not a state. But then again...neither is the Bush administration.


    Uh (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by david mizner on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:32:07 PM EST
    That's exactly what the purpose of meeting with Palestinians is, to find a two-state solution.

    The PLO doesn't head a state either.


    Yes but the west bank (none / 0) (#34)
    by Jgarza on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:48:08 PM EST
    and Gaza are not recognized states.  The other difference is that meeting with Iran/North Korea/etc. has to do with US interests, Hamas concerns it self almost exclusively to Israel, so you would not meet with them without Israels blessing.

    They are recognized political authorities no? (5.00 / 5) (#40)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:51:47 PM EST
    Or why would we meet with Abbas? It is not as easy as your formulation.

    Obama is pandering here. Not that there is anything wrong with that.


    We meet with Abbas (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by AF on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:01:05 PM EST
    Because we think it is in Israel and the US interest, NOT out of a general principle of meeting with leaders of foreign states.

    Obama panders on Israel as do most liberals, but he's not contradicting his previous statements about meeting with foreign leaders by condemning Carter's meeting with Hamas.  There's an important difference between pandering and contradiction -- it's the difference between a good pol and a bad pol.


    Ohh ofcourse he is pandering (none / 0) (#83)
    by Jgarza on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:10:09 PM EST
    but that is part of running for president, you have to pander to the Israel vote regardless of the party.  It just isn't inconsistent with meeting with Iran.

    Perhaps (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by rooge04 on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:14:22 PM EST
    if you bend yourself just so and then reach to the back and bend yourself back the other way it will come out to make sense in Obama words. But I don't think so.

    WORM, squirmy worm (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by ineedalife on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:47:35 PM EST
    Are you one of the little red ones, or a big fat nightcrawler?

    I know. Ban me. But I just couldn't resist.


    They were legally elected (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:12:56 PM EST

    They are elected in the sense (none / 0) (#102)
    by Jgarza on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:19:15 PM EST
    that a Govenrment of California or Texas is elected, they have limited international authority.

    The Palestinians held elections (5.00 / 3) (#106)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:21:56 PM EST
    Americans and Israel did not like the results.  They sanctioned and kept all resources, starved the people.  This is democracy?  

    People chose them as their leaders and the US and Israel sabotaged them with sanctions.  Now the agent of change, goes along.  


    I'm not disagreeing with you (none / 0) (#110)
    by Jgarza on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:24:07 PM EST
    i'm saying it isn't inconsistent.  I dont agree with mainstream us Israel policy, but the reality is that negotiation with a state and negotiating with Hamas are two entirely different things.

    how do you get peace then? (5.00 / 3) (#181)
    by TheRefugee on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 05:00:38 PM EST
    The IRA wasn't a state but they were demanding similar things to Hamas, a voice in the govt, a seat at the table, an ability to protect the citizens they were representing.  The UK recognized that they would have to deal with the IRA, it may have taken awhile because all it took was one UK soldier beating a Catholic or one IRA member taking a pot shot at a UK soldier and aggression ramped back up.

    For Carter to talk to Hamas or Israel does not mean he is talking on behalf of the US.  He has long been a proponent of ME peace and it should not shock Obama or BTD that he is going to continue to try and be a relevant intermediary between the Palestinians and Israel.

    For any one to think that Hamas is irrelevant?  Israel isn't going to voluntarily bow to Palestinian demands and Palestinians aren't going to leave their lands voluntarily.  So it has to be a two-sided conversation.  Obama is thinking along the lines of the UK, 'There can be no discussion until the IRA hands over their weapons.'  Well that is impossible, once one side holds an undue advantage the other side has no reason to believe they are going to be treated fairly. All this proves is that Obama's years in Indonesia actually didn't teach him as much about the people of all countries as he thinks it did.  


    they were dully elected (none / 0) (#115)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:25:47 PM EST

    of a nonstate (none / 0) (#118)
    by Jgarza on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:27:27 PM EST
    i dont think its fair that that is how the West Bank and Gaza Strip are characterized but it is.

    Arab perspective (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:52:05 PM EST
    From a great Pro-Palestine blog, an analysis of Carter talking to Hamas, somethings we don't hear in the MSM or blogs

    Israeli and other Carter critics surely know this. Their concern, however, must be twofold. One is that such contacts are slowly breaking the isolation of Hamas when what is desired by Israel is Hamas' delegitimization and destruction. The other is the genuine fear that Meshal's message to Carter may be able to shake the myth that Hamas wants simply to destroy Israel, or continue on a course of war and violence for the sake of it.

    Meshal may repeat the same language he used in an op-ed in The Guardian on 31 January 2006, just after Hamas was declared the winner in the Palestinian general elections. There, he extended a message of peace to Israel, based on full rights and reciprocity, starting with a long-term truce. But this was still distant from the Israeli-tailored terms applied by the so-called international community for accepting to deal with Hamas.

    Please quit with the non-state nonsense (none / 0) (#188)
    by Florida Resident on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 05:13:05 PM EST
    The US meets with Abbas and he is at the same level as Hamas in representing the Palestinians.  He is just doing what all Democrats and Republicans do in the Middle East, say one thing for the Israeli Jewish consumption and then talk about democracy and representation as if they really believed in them.  No they don't if they did they would have accepted the Palestinian's decision of who represents them and not put sanctions in place with the Israeli so that they could show how Hamas could not deliver.

    Dull elections almost would be a break (none / 0) (#201)
    by Cream City on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 06:31:06 PM EST
    here right now. :-)

    So are you saying that (none / 0) (#199)
    by tree on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 05:54:53 PM EST
    the President should not meet with the elected government of California or Texas? 'cuz that's where your argument leads.

    Of course, if we apply that logic (5.00 / 4) (#130)
    by tree on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:47:14 PM EST
    it should be applied to the IRA in Northern Ireland,  and to the ANC in apartheid South Africa. But, rightly in my view, it wasn't. The major difference  between Hamas today and the IRA and the ANC in the past is that Hamas is the only one that could claim  to be democratically elected prior to becoming a part of a recognized state government.

      Obama's bending over backwards to toe the AIPAC line. Unfortunately, the vast majority of higher elected officials toe that line, but it certainly  proves that Obama isn't going to be any better than anyone else on these types of foreign policy issues. He may in fact be worse simply because he has to pander harder on the subject. If he's elected he won't change because there's always the next election to worry about. And if there's anything that really stands out in Obama's resume its that he's always looking ahead to the next election.  


    correction (none / 0) (#25)
    by Jgarza on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:44:51 PM EST

    It Is The Same (none / 0) (#138)
    by squeaky on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:53:56 PM EST
    They are the elected representatives of the Palestinian people. IOW hamas stands for Palestine, and that is who you have to negotiate in order to sit down with Palestine.

    Besides, who does he think he is Golda Meir?

    He's running around talking about how this is an insult to jews, how he values the position that Palestine does not exist......


    What is your logic? (none / 0) (#166)
    by BigB on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 03:58:29 PM EST
    So, in your view it is ok to meet with terrorists without pre-conditions as long as they are terrorist states. If they are not a "state" recognized by U.N. then they are off limits. Thus, by your logic, it would have been ok to meet with Taliban when they ruled Afghanistan but not after they were overthrown. Right?

    The logic behind this is..., what?


    I think the logic was to imply (none / 0) (#194)
    by nycstray on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 05:44:13 PM EST
    I was less than intelligent  ;)

    ah, thank you . . . (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by nycstray on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:43:53 PM EST
    I'm starting to get confused here. I was wondering if I really was a low-info voter, lol!~!  ;)

    I can see the Oct ads now. Split screens anyone?


    Really now you dont know (none / 0) (#27)
    by Jgarza on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:45:22 PM EST
    the difference between Iran and Hamas?

    I am not sure you know what Hamas is (none / 0) (#29)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:46:07 PM EST
    Political party (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:14:51 PM EST
    they won the election which annoyed Israel and the US.  They are a real political party.  By the way they were originally started by Israel when they wanted to put the PLO out of business.  Sort of like the US supporting Bin Laden in Afghanistan.  

    That's pretty clear -- what a thread (none / 0) (#202)
    by Cream City on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 06:32:58 PM EST
    this is, which just took several minutes off my life trying to figure out what the heck was going on here with jgarza.

    You are bitterly clinging (none / 0) (#9)
    by madamab on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:36:14 PM EST
    to logic in your assessment of Obama's remarks.

    Just chant "hope" and "change" until this distressing tendency goes away.



    Logic. It bites me in the behind yet again ;) (none / 0) (#26)
    by nycstray on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:45:13 PM EST
    There went the Carter endorsement. Wonder if (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Angel on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:32:51 PM EST
    Carter will reply to Obama.  Hope he has a striging rebuke for him.  If anyone can meet with other foreign leaders or groups, friends or foe, it is Jimmy Carter.  He's different and has more respect in this area than any other living president.  

    I'm of two minds about this (none / 0) (#42)
    by angie on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:53:03 PM EST
    (oh, no! I'm turning Obamense).  On the one hand, I agree with BTD that this is the province of the administration (love of 'em or hate 'em).  On the other hand, Carter just isn't anybody. He has a lot of cred with this kind of thing.  

    Carter isn't representing the U.S. (none / 0) (#112)
    by shoephone on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:24:53 PM EST
    He is representing himself and his trip is in direct conflict with official U.S. policy and the authority of the U.S. govt. to meet with and negotiate peace talks.

    Carter is interfering.

    Yes, Obama is pandering. So what. Whoever wins the White House is not going to approve of Jimmy Carter running around and engaging in his own sets of talks with foreign leaders.


    Like this administration (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by Fabian on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:43:14 PM EST
    has done diddly for P/I.  Condi and her "birth pangs".  This admin has done more to destabilize the Mideast since I don't know when. (Talking Iraq etc here.  It's all related.)

    Couldn't agree more (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by shoephone on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 03:01:42 PM EST
    I can't think of any administration in my lifetime that has done more damage to the security of the Middle East than the Bush Administration.

    If a President Obama or President Clinton asks Carter to act as envoy to the Middle East then we have a possible game-changer. But, for the moment, since he has not been tapped by the Bush Administration to act on our government's behalf, he is still interfering. In recent years, Carter seems to have become an attention hog, intent on burnishing his legacy. I still remember how he slammed Bush at Coretta Scott King's funeral. Despite my loathing for Bush, Carter's grandstanding was inappropriate and embarrassing.    


    You have a valid point. (none / 0) (#148)
    by Fabian on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 03:06:19 PM EST
    I'd be more unhappy with Carter if there was actually something happening that he was endangering.

    Carter may be on (none / 0) (#175)
    by bjorn on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 04:47:12 PM EST
    to something.  I think dealing with some of the terrorists organizations, like Hamas, that have gained political credibility by winning an election is delicate but needed.  Carter has a handle on the culture in the middle east and he knows that, not unlike the Chinese, losing face can have disasterous consequences.  Sometimes progress is made through back channels, especially if Carter can do anything to help them come to a compromise without losing face for doing it.  

    Obama's denunciation is pure politics and in my mind in direct contradiction to his previous comments about how he would handle foreign diplomactic issues. I may be wrong, but there may be also be public outrage from our govt, but "under the table" approval of Carter's efforts (don't know if that would apply to Obama or not).  I am basing my opinion on the fact that Carter actually understands the arab culture better than any other President or former President.  He also does not care what people think of him.


    as long as he isn't playing chess tournaments (none / 0) (#197)
    by boredmpa on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 05:52:56 PM EST
    Carter can do whatever the hell he wants and can't really be called out on issues of democracy or the middle east because he has substantial respect and stored political capital. His 'interference' isn't anything new and isn't news.

    This is especially true when it comes from someone that uses lawyers to disqualify opponents and opposes full representation.  And even more so when it's crystal clear that Obama is pandering based on past doubts about his support for Israel.

    Personally, I think this pander reaches close to gaffedom -- it's too transparent that he's trying to clear up two issues (israel, meetings) by whacking carter.  And furthermore, it's not like Carter's positions and involvement are new -- he DID publish a book called peace not apartheid. if i recall.


    Nah (none / 0) (#141)
    by squeaky on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:57:03 PM EST
    Carter knows exactly what Obama is doing. He will still support him. Too bad Obama's double talk is soooo obviously pandering. But, nonetheless,  I am sure it will have the desired effect.

    Unless of course... (none / 0) (#160)
    by gmo on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 03:37:36 PM EST
    ...this was Carter's test of Obama's mettle regarding meeting with anyone without precondition.   He's basically given Obama his endorsement; I think this will qualify whether that endorsement is actually worth anything.

    His Position Has Been (none / 0) (#161)
    by squeaky on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 03:40:59 PM EST
    Meeting without preconditions with enemies, but he has excluded Hamas from that equation with consistency.

    Since when? (none / 0) (#185)
    by Manuel on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 05:04:11 PM EST
    As a state legislator and even senatorial candidate, Obama sported a more even handed P/I approach.  BTW This past history will be made an issue by the Republicans in the GE.

    Hamas (none / 0) (#187)
    by squeaky on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 05:11:35 PM EST
    Was not in power then. No one can become president of the US without stacking the deck toward Israel, imo. His shift is clear, but I am not sure what he had said about Hamas in the past.

    I disagree with Obama's and Clinton's position on this, big time. Carter is on the right track, imo.


    Carter and Clinton (none / 0) (#190)
    by Manuel on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 05:17:38 PM EST
    both became president and made progress on peace talks in the Middle East.  It is unfortunate that Obama runs away from that track record.

    No (none / 0) (#196)
    by squeaky on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 05:45:59 PM EST
    What is unfortunate is the popular right wing lock regarding the Mid East in America, read Likud/AIPAC. Any politician running for office who voice anything but the right wing lockstep position regarding Hamas would suffer a humiliating loss, and that goes triple for POTUS contenders.

    The only significant pols that can talk reasonably about Palestinian/Israeli affairs are those who are retired.


    Two minds too (none / 0) (#172)
    by Rainsong on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 04:31:22 PM EST

    I would agree with BTD. Carter doesn't have the right to represent US in talks with Hamas. (not without official permission of the current admin anyway)

    But on the other hand, Hamas is not a recognised state, its a political party, so it could be argued he wasn't representing the US at all anyway, and as it wasn't anything official or formal in an international diplomacy context, its no Big Deal. As a citizen he can meet with whoever he likes if his passport is valid.

    Its Obama's spin that bothers me, far more. Its not like we have a large number of Dem Presidencies in our history, and Obama seems to want to denigrate and distance himself from them, (except the dead ones), and by implication, the Party.  Why bring it up at all? He could have made his point without mentioning any names. Or better still, he could have slagged off on any gazillion of Bush's actions to make his point.

    Can someone remind which Party Obama is running to represent again? I keep forgetting.


    my favorite part (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by americanincanada on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:34:55 PM EST
    of his speech to the jewish leaders today is when he said he can fight better on Isreal's behalf than any other president could because of his background.

    I hope Carter responds.

    And no one, repeat, no one (5.00 / 5) (#13)
    by Cream City on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:38:36 PM EST
    has done more for fair and democratic elections than Obama.  No one.  Carter, what has he done?

    Oh no he didn't... (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Maria Garcia on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:40:36 PM EST
    ...well at least he didn't say that no one has fought harder on Israel's behalf than he has. I guess this is an improvement.

    He really is quite full of himself, isn't he? (5.00 / 6) (#21)
    by jawbone on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:43:40 PM EST
    He keeps saying things that are so self-congratulatory and so also removed from reality that it's actually quite stunning!

    He knows more about foreign affairs than any other candidate. He can fight better for Israel than any other US president. Wow.  

    He really is The One, isn't he? I bet he thinks that song is about him....

    Clouds in my coffee....


    Here is just some of what he said. (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by americanincanada on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:54:49 PM EST
    Would he continue to veto anti-Israeli resolutions at the UN?

    He said he would and that he would be "uniquely positioned" to do so due to his background. "That kind of blunt talk is something I can deliver with more credibility than some other presidents might."

    He talked about being influences by Jewish writers, philosophers and friends.

    "There is a kinship and a sense of shared community that predates my political career and will extend beyond this particular election...Know that I will be there for you, just as I believe that you will be there for me."

    He was asked why he favors meeting with Iran but rejects the idea of President Carter meeting with Hamas.

    He answered that "Hama is not a state, Hamas is a terrorist organization...so I think here is a very clear distinction." Said his desire to meet directly with Iran is "practical."

    Read the rest of the story HERE


    I prefer to lurk (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by MMW on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:01:22 PM EST
    This man keeps saying that he is "uniquely positioned" so he has more "credibility". This isn't snark, I need someone who knows to tell me what this "uniquely positioned" means or is and how is he more credible, particularly on this, than say Bush?

    He is uniquely positioned (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by LoisInCo on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:16:36 PM EST
    because he is not that evil shameless tart Hillary, and that is all he needs to win any argument.



    In this sense, if I am reading him right.... (none / 0) (#94)
    by Maria Garcia on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:15:21 PM EST
    ...he seems to be saying that he will have street cred.

    But WTH (5.00 / 2) (#114)
    by americanincanada on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:25:31 PM EST
    does that mean?!

    He makes no sense.

    And don't ys love his, "some of my best friends are jewish" line?


    I suspect (none / 0) (#156)
    by tree on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 03:27:35 PM EST
    its the same kind of lazy "reasoning" that led Kerry to make that stupid comment about how Obama being black would lend him more credibility with Muslim governments. (There was a post about it here a few weeks back, with Kerry's video'd quote.)

     Of course the whole idea is ludicrously shallow and stereotypical. And its already been proven false, because we know how much "credibility" Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice have had with Middle Eastern governments.

     I also suspect that part of that supposed "cred" has to do with him spending 4 years as a child in Indonesia and spending a month in Pakistan 20 odd years ago. Cuz we all know that all Muslim countries are the same, and that Obama has the magical ability to understand any area after spending a few weeks there. (See Pennsylvania for a glorious example of this.)


    I am with you (none / 0) (#177)
    by bjorn on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 04:53:02 PM EST
    what is this really code for?  I am Black?  I am "fill in the blank"?  What does it mean?

    It's code for (none / 0) (#186)
    by Manuel on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 05:11:14 PM EST
    I have muslim relatives.  Of course, this betrays a misunderstanding of the Arab "street".  They won't care about his roots.  They'll care about his policies which, granted, are bound to be an improvement over the current administration (as would Clinton's).

    i don't think it is code for anything (none / 0) (#189)
    by TheRefugee on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 05:16:28 PM EST
    I think he has decided that the best way to fight the inexperience charge is to promote the idea that it isn't about experience, it is about capability.  The fact that one's capability to achieve is defined by their experience seems to have escaped him and his handlers.

    Once again, this type of rhetoric works on those who have already chosen him, it won't win over voters because it is transparent pandering.  The Jews who will be voting for Hillary listen to that and think the same as you, "how does he suddenly have the ability to serve our community better than anyone else, just because he 'says so'?"  Most voters aren't as dim as Obama would like them to be.  From Jews to gays to any other group he has said, "nobody has done more for you than I have"...the proof is in the deeds and Obama is exceedingly short on deeds when he makes these claims.  It is this idea, that he has all the answers, that will doom him in the GE.  The GOP already has their attacks made up concerning Wright, "bitterness", Rezco, and he is continually giving them more fuel by claiming this unique ability to help everyone when his record is thin, both in IL and the US Senate.  He is going to get absolutely picked apart by the GOP, moreso than even Kerry.  But whereas Kerry, Gore, and Clinton had strong records to back their claims..Obama doesn't.


    So Hillary is running (none / 0) (#55)
    by Jgarza on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:56:55 PM EST
    on not being better then carter on peace negotiations?

    uh (5.00 / 5) (#101)
    by Nasarius on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:19:09 PM EST
    You really want to take on the diplomatic cred of Jimmy Carter? He's got vastly more experience, much of it successful, than either of them.

    And I'll bet HRC is humble enough (none / 0) (#126)
    by madamab on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:40:28 PM EST
    to acknowledge that fact.

    Remind me (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by ghost2 on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:34:58 PM EST
    Who was the politician who said he would meet with 'bad' guys in his first year of office, and said (well, a rip off of Hillary's statement) that "you don't negotiate with your friends, you negotiate with your enemies"?

    Perhaps, Hillary should put all of these together and ask him where he stands. He changes position so fast that we are getting dizzy.

    I think (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Steve M on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:57:15 PM EST
    that line was uttered most famously by Yitzhak Rabin.

    I'm sure he has an (none / 0) (#47)
    by oldpro on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:54:17 PM EST
    answer explaining the distinction between his two positions ready for the debate(s) coming up.  A reporter will ask.

    What will be interesting is Hillary's comment as surely she will be asked...does she agree with Obama?  Or with Carter?  Or take a different view than either?


    Not allowed to have her own position? (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by Fabian on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:46:56 PM EST
    What is your position relative to these other standard bearers?

    Gonna have to keep an ear out that kind of framing.


    Is there a single democratic ex-president..... (5.00 / 7) (#11)
    by ineedalife on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:37:19 PM EST
    that Obama admires as much as Reagan and Papa Bush? This isn't snark, it is a serious question for the Obama supporters. He has trashed Clinton, Carter, and Johnson. I am sure that if he didn't have Teddy Kennedy's endorsement he would have problems with JFK as well (invasions of Cuba and Vietnam don't fit the Obama doctrine).

    Gosh, you're correct -- every Dem prez (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by Cream City on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:39:51 PM EST
    gets attacked by Obama, every Repub prez was a great man. What is it with Obama?  Wants to be able to say that no one was a better Dem president than him?

    think Obama (none / 0) (#84)
    by AgreeToDisagree on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:12:22 PM EST
    has attacked Bush and Reagen quite a bit.  pushing a silly argument.  he's picked on clinton b/c her husband ran the country; pretty fair to highlight the things that went wrong (there were some).  He has also praised Bill many times.  move on.

    move on? (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by Salo on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:16:42 PM EST
    The guy is like a flame thrower aimed at former Dem presidents.

    Telling posters to move on isn't playing nice. :) (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by Maria Garcia on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:20:52 PM EST
    He lies (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by madamab on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:21:20 PM EST
    about the Clinton administration. He did it in his bitter-cling remarks.

    Pennsylvanians did NOT lose their jobs during Clinton's two terms.

    He also blames Bill for losing Democratic Congressional seats and governorships in 1994. Guess what, that was the year of the Gingrich revolution. No Democratic President would have withstood it - it was too well-planned.

    These are just two obvious examples.


    Ha ha ha -- A to D (none / 0) (#200)
    by Cream City on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 06:27:07 PM EST
    you have fast become one of the most ridiculous commenters here, called out as a spammer in record time.  

    Btw, watch out Truman and FDR (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Cream City on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:41:25 PM EST
    as the New Deal really didn't do a darn thing to ease the Depression.

    Dont look now (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:26:10 PM EST
    But Jimmy Carter just got thrown under the BitterTalk Express

    Bitter bus magical mystery tour (5.00 / 3) (#120)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:29:19 PM EST
    Boomers, women of a certain age, along with grandma, big states, Carter, Palestinians, small town people, small town church going people, people with rifles, Annie Oakley, Clintons, the welfare state, the war on poverty, feminism, pro -choice voices, ....did we miss any?

    4.99 per lb ham (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:30:45 PM EST
    Yep (4.42 / 7) (#135)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:52:52 PM EST
    Social security (remember that privatization is 'on the table')

    No (none / 0) (#164)
    by Alien Abductee on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 03:51:28 PM EST
    Privatization is explicitly NOT on the table for him.

    More of your constant BS trolling here.


    I'm not a troll (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 04:55:56 PM EST
    And 1's don't work here to silence people the way they work over at Orange State.

    And as for my (none / 0) (#183)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 05:02:48 PM EST
    Pertaining to "BS trolling," Obama said everything is on the table, when it comes to Social Security.  He then backtracks and says, oh yeah, not privatization.

    Yeah, right, Mr. Obama.  Either he isn't  thinking very hard before saying "everything" is on the table, or he's backtracking.

    Maybe he has something more sinister than privatization left on the table?  What is Everything?

    The very idea that he's saying social security is in peril is right wing baloney.

    Just another place where I don't trust him.

    Here's the link where he said 'EVERYTHING'.


    Oops (none / 0) (#184)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 05:03:30 PM EST
    His stated policy position (none / 0) (#192)
    by Alien Abductee on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 05:35:29 PM EST
    is NO privatization.

    From your own link: "Obama: Privatization is not something I would consider."

    From his Senate website: NO privatization of SS

    From his campaign site: NO privatization of SS

    Now you admit you knew that even though you said otherwise above. And you've been similarly dishonest repeating the same lie a number of times before. I'd say that counts as trolling.


    and then says everything is on the table.  That is called at best hedging your bet and at worse doublespeak.

    No (none / 0) (#206)
    by Alien Abductee on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 06:47:50 PM EST
    He said at the time that everything was on the table...except privatization.

    edwards after he dropped out (none / 0) (#173)
    by kimsaw on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 04:42:13 PM EST
    This is my favorite part... (5.00 / 5) (#16)
    by madamab on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:41:07 PM EST
    he did it because John McCain said so.

    Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting John McCain called on Obama to repudiate Carter in a speech to The Associated Press Monday.

    He held out for a couple of days, then he caved.


    He''s a walking talking contradiction politician (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by kimsaw on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:53:36 PM EST
    Okay the candidate who would meet "without preconditions" with bad guys all over the globe  condemns a former President for doing exactly what he says he would do and that such action should be our foreign policy. I guess I understand why he didn't hold his foreign relations committee meeting, no teleprompter involved. And people are going to vote for this guy... its beyond oyyyyyy!

    Condemns (5.00 / 1) (#137)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:53:37 PM EST
    a DEMOCRATIC president.  This is a pattern for Obama.

    sorry (none / 0) (#174)
    by kimsaw on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 04:43:38 PM EST
    am bad he didn't condemn only "criticized" i have to be fair

    Mr. Carter, Mr Carter!!!! (none / 0) (#108)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:22:19 PM EST
    Watch out for that BUS!!!!!

    Pander, pander, pander (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Lahdee on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:41:46 PM EST
    Oh, the joy of pandering. Obama, sorta straight talker for sorta change. Yeah, yeah, I know, he's a politician. Wonder if there are any exploding heads on the Obama blogs.

    Obama - the Not-Hillary candidate! (5.00 / 2) (#131)
    by Fabian on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:49:27 PM EST
    What more can you ask for?

    He used to be for it (5.00 / 6) (#23)
    by magisterludi on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:44:03 PM EST
    before he was against it.

    Why does that ring a bell?

    but he's not a pol! he's not a pol! (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by Turkana on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:44:25 PM EST
    leave barack alooooone!

    damn- i think i'm ready to return to daily kos!

    Barak is not a pol? (5.00 / 5) (#50)
    by stefystef on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:54:53 PM EST
    I can hear the Obama-bots crying this out even as I type.  Then what is he?

    Oh yeah, he's the savior of America, who will fix our soul, bring us hope and make changes to save America for generations to come.

    Geez, PT Barnum was right after all.


    This suggests a lack of diplomacy (5.00 / 5) (#30)
    by cymro on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:46:16 PM EST
    Obama could have easily spoken of his great respect for Carter, his concern for peace, and his history of peace negotiations, while distancing himself from Carter's present actions, and without setting hard preconditions for future actions he himself might take if he were President.

    One of my big problems with Obama (5.00 / 4) (#36)
    by madamab on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:49:23 PM EST
    is that he claims to be so wonderful at reaching out to the other side, but that he shows very little aptitude for doing so.

    The President should be able to disagree without being snide or disrespectful. I have yet to see Obama in diplomatic mode.


    He can only do it if we all leave him alone ... (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by cymro on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:55:49 PM EST
    .. and stop criticizing him. Otherwise he gets all flustered, the words come out wrong. So we have to give him a break, and let him get this election thing out of the way. Then he'll be just fine.

    Cymro, that requires fore thought (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by MMW on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:53:20 PM EST
    When your base just got out of high school, you're asking for way too much.

    Life experiences tell most of us that the hand we bite today, may be connected to the posterior we must kiss tomorrow.

    Obama needs older advisors.


    Maybe if (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by Alien Abductee on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:47:37 PM EST
    J Street takes off there will be less need for such blatant hypocrisy from otherwise progressive politicians.

    I have heard about this initiative (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by madamab on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:51:28 PM EST
    and I think it's incredibly important. It's about time the voices of advocates for peace were heard by our national leaders.

    Spread the word and support for them (none / 0) (#54)
    by Alien Abductee on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:55:59 PM EST
    I think it could be very significant too.

    Thank you (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by madamab on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:00:12 PM EST
    for posting this, although it may be OT.

    I will make it a blog topic of my own soon.


    Perhaps (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:54:12 PM EST
    But kudos to you for not pretending this was not pandering.

    Pretty hard to spin it as anything but (none / 0) (#70)
    by Alien Abductee on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:02:43 PM EST
    I hope one day it won't be such a third rail and can be discussed on some kind of rational policy basis. Groups like J Street can be a start.

    Sign Me Up (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by squeaky on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 03:02:39 PM EST
    Although I am for a one state solution.

    Throwing Carter under the bus (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by stefystef on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:49:21 PM EST
    and Carter practically endorsed him.

    I find it interesting that Obama made that statement during a meeting with Jewish voters.  Again, he's pandering to his audience and flip-flopping on his previous statements.  Obama has accused Hillary of willing to do and say anything to win, but Obama is doing the same thing.

    I can only wish that someone during the debate will bring this up.  He can talk to Castro or Chavez, or Iranian leadership but not Hamas?  All of a sudden, Obama is the champion of the Jews?  

    What a hypocrite!

    So Hillary is defending carter? (none / 0) (#45)
    by Jgarza on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:54:10 PM EST
    Carter kinda sorta helped (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by kredwyn on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:00:08 PM EST
    negotiate a peace between Egypt and Israel in 79, right?

    It's possible that he's got some gravitas in the region that might help get Fatah and Hamas to work together so as to return some level of shaky stability to the region.

    Cause right now? The Bush "hands off" policy that started in 2000 sure doesn't seem to be doing the trick.


    But-but-but-CLINTON! (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by madamab on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:00:49 PM EST
    I think Hillary can express support for Israel (none / 0) (#68)
    by felizarte on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:02:25 PM EST
    without throwing Carter under the bus.  Carter talked to Abbas first and I am sure,, if considered from the point of view that Hamas is still a Palestinian entity, a more reasonable approach would be to say that it is a Palestinian thing.  US support for Israel has always been firm.  Carter, if he has the agreement of Abbas, should be allowed to speak to Hamas.  

    And doing it for one audience (none / 0) (#139)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:55:41 PM EST
    while not really thinking about how it will impact the general population.

    No one has talked out of both sides (none / 0) (#204)
    by Cream City on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 06:41:20 PM EST
    of his mouth than Obama.  No one.  I cannot stand it, and I keep waiting for him to do something I can admire again.  Today, he disses Carter, too -- the man who has defined how to behave as a past president.  I cannot vote for a Dem who does that.

    Ummm... (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by kredwyn on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:51:45 PM EST
    This is he same guy who said that as POTUS, he'd sit down with the leader of Iran to negotiate, right?

    Personally, I am uncertain that was such a groovy idea...in part, because of situations like this one. We have the State Department for a reason.

    Two Different Groups of Supporters (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:54:40 PM EST
    My first reaction to this was "He's learning."

    Of course I would prefer a candidate who isn't still figuring things out.

    But really what I should be doing right now, my first reaction should have been to download a shareware video editor, edit Obama's previous statements about preconditions and then juxtapose them with this statement, and then putting the video on YouTube and then imploring all of my online friends to go view it in order to drive up "hits."

    Taking care not to darken his face of course.  Indeed I would lighten it just to cover all my bases.

    Indeed I feel I am no longer relevant to the election process.  That I no longer realize what it takes to win an election in this country.

    That it has passed me by.

    No I don't really think Obama was against preconditions before he was for them, but that's certainly what I could make it look like if I allowed my dislike of him to devolve into the obsessive compulsive disorders we see daily on the pro-Obama blogs.

    You have a future working for Tim Russert (none / 0) (#71)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:02:44 PM EST
    my first reaction should have been to download a shareware video editor, edit Obama's previous statements about preconditions and then juxtapose them with this statement,

    That and (none / 0) (#75)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:04:47 PM EST

    All kidding aside, I know what you mean (none / 0) (#86)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:13:13 PM EST
    I was ready with reflexive obsessive compulsive anger at Springsteen until I came to my senses. The fact that I already sepnt $110 for a ticket this weekend helped.

    i hope Bruce doesn't turn it into an Obama rally. (none / 0) (#99)
    by Maria Garcia on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:16:57 PM EST
    He has every right to support Obama and I still love him and all, but I'd be pissed if I spent that much money and all I got was an Obama rally. lol.

    LOL. Yeah, I'll be mad too (none / 0) (#132)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:50:10 PM EST
    Especially if he give my ticket money to Obama and calls me a small donor!

    No, I've been to a lot of his shows, and that's not what he does. I'll be surprised if he mentions Obama, though of course his songs are pro-Dem philosophy.


    WTF?!? Carter, but not his own church?!? (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by Exeter on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:55:47 PM EST
    Obama's church of 20 years advocates Hamas propaganda in their bulletin and routiney promote and colloborate with Farrakhan and his hate group, who have repeatedly advocated the destruction of Israel, but Carter meets with a Hamas leader, and the guy finally speaks up? Unbelievable.    

    Oh he talked to them about Wright (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by americanincanada on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:57:05 PM EST
    yes he did.



    He's been aware... (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Exeter on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:14:25 PM EST
    ...of Wright's statements for 20 years and has done nothing.  And he's still a member of a church that promotes and collaborates with Farrakhan and his organization, which is defined as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, ADL, and other watchdog organizations.

    Ahh the pride of talk left (1.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Jgarza on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:59:02 PM EST
    How sad (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by Steve M on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:58:43 PM EST
    to see that it has come to this.  Democrats now must denounce Jimmy Carter to win elections?  It saddens me as a Jew.

    Couldn't agree more (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:05:00 PM EST
    I don't know up from down anymore.

    I guess we will see (none / 0) (#80)
    by madamab on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:08:40 PM EST
    if it brings votes into his column.

    The fact that McCain was the one who asked it of him, suggests that Democrats may not feel what Obama did was necessary.


    Um, is this the strategy? (5.00 / 4) (#72)
    by nycstray on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:03:37 PM EST
    Blame Clinton for something when Obama steps in it?

    How's that gonna work for ya in the GE?

    If Obama is elected, there will be at least (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by MarkL on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:04:38 PM EST
    4 more years of blaming the Clintons... without one word against W.
    Bank on it.

    bank on it? (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by AgreeToDisagree on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:07:16 PM EST
    that comment is silly and irrational.  

    blame? (none / 0) (#79)
    by AgreeToDisagree on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:08:17 PM EST
    didn't blame anyone for anything... was just highlighting the hypocrisy of the people here.  but... so goes it.

    See now that's what I'm talking about (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:04:02 PM EST
    I guess Obama was against preconditions before he was for them.

    If you think Clinton lied about Bosnia, you must agree with at least some of these.

    Which one of those statements as parsed by the NRO do you think shows that Gore is a liar?

    I think none.

    ???? hmmm. (none / 0) (#82)
    by AgreeToDisagree on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:10:02 PM EST

    Gore said (none / 0) (#93)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:15:17 PM EST
    He created the internet.

    The truth his he only advocated for legislation that helped fund a large part of the internet.  The internet was actually created by other people.

    What do you conclude about Gore from that?

    I conclude that he's a pol advocating for what he cares about.

    Now.  What do you conclude?


    I conclude that you're careless. (none / 0) (#121)
    by AgreeToDisagree on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:30:41 PM EST

    Stop peddling crap.  again.


    He said he created the internet (none / 0) (#124)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:35:44 PM EST
    "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

    That's the direct quote.

    That statement doesn't bother me.

    It bothers NRO.  Does it bother you?  Do you think he was being truthful?


    I conclude that you're obnoxious (none / 0) (#182)
    by Boia on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 05:01:16 PM EST
    Stop peddling crap.  again.

    Said the Salesman of the Year.


    thanks (none / 0) (#209)
    by AgreeToDisagree on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 12:02:34 AM EST
    good response.

    Obama will be more anti Palestinian (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:16:25 PM EST
    and militaristic cause he is always proving that he is a good AIPAC follower.  Once again, Palestinians sold down the river.  

    Obama will not be president (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by felizarte on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:25:18 PM EST
    to be anti-anything.

    I'll have to pop into my corner store (none / 0) (#107)
    by nycstray on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:22:15 PM EST
    and see what my local Palestinians think.

    Saying from the middle east (none / 0) (#111)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:24:42 PM EST
    put them all in burlap sack; close the sack; take a stick and start hitting, whoever you hit you will hit the right one.  That's the summary on US politicians and justice for Palestinians.  Impossible.  

    This is called pandering (5.00 / 6) (#119)
    by facta non verba on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:29:06 PM EST
    He's in trouble with the Jewish community so he seizes an opportunity to try to engratiate himself.

    But Obama would meet with the Iranians without preconditions and they bankroll Hamas and Hezbollah. Obama would meet with Hugo Chavez without preconditions and he bankrolls the FARC and goes around supporting some rather dubious organizations across Latin America. Perhaps if he ever calls a subcommittee meeting on Afghanistan Obama can invite the Taliban (just being bitter).

    Here's his problem. He is inexperienced and yet in San Francisco he had the audacity to say that ONE thing he was sure of was that he had more foreign policy experience than anyone. Really?

    Remember when liberals went (5.00 / 2) (#128)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:43:26 PM EST
    nuts because Clinton denounced Sister Souljah?

    It even got a 'moment' named after it - because it was ONE denunciation of a liberal, supposedly to prove his moderate credentials, though I think he, like Obama now, was saying what he really believed.

    Anyway, Clinton had a moment - Obama has built a whole campaign around it.  I still for the life of me can't figure out why he is the darling of the 'left'.

    Because they hate (5.00 / 3) (#136)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:53:12 PM EST
    Clinton.  And even then it's not really hate.  It's greed, and self-promotion as much as it is anything else.  It's also laced with the hate and sexism.

    If Clinton wins, the "left" (and they have earned their quotation marks at this point) and their network of aspiring consultants have to wait 8 more years to take over the party.

    That's the stakes for them.  Obama could say "We need troops in Iraq for a 100 years" and they'd still support him for the reasons I just described.


    I think you're right (5.00 / 3) (#149)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 03:10:54 PM EST
    and I'll add that they were just so desparate for a rock star type candidate that they latched on to the charisma without looking much at the substance.

    Heh. (5.00 / 2) (#153)
    by LoisInCo on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 03:19:42 PM EST
    Obama could say "We need troops in Iraq for a 100 years" and they'd still support him for the reasons I just described.

    "What a visionary idea!" They would proclaim. " Look, Barack if looking 100 years into our future, that's how much he CARES."


    He Is Consistant, Sort Of (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by squeaky on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 03:30:57 PM EST
    From last week:
    "I'm not going to comment on former President Carter. He's a private citizen. It's not my place to discuss who he shouldn't meet with," Obama told reporters while campaigning in Indianapolis. "I know that I've said consistently that I would not meet with Hamas."


    Such doubts could cost Obama support with some U.S. Jewish voters.


    Obama has pledged that if he wins the White House, he would break from the Bush administration's practice of refusing to talk to U.S. foes and has said he would be open to meeting with the leaders of countries such as Iran.

    However, Obama has said he would not meet with Hamas.

    Guess someone got to him. I wonder if he cleared his condemnation, of Carter with Carter before the turnaround.

    I guess (4.00 / 4) (#2)
    by cmugirl on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:29:57 PM EST
    that Carter endorsement didn't come fast enough!

    His timing is interesting. (none / 0) (#1)
    by MarkL on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:29:35 PM EST
    Does he want this to come up in tonight's debate?

    And Georgia picks delegates (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Cream City on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:36:38 PM EST
    this weekend.  They're still proud of Carter, I presume -- and he has only gained in popularity nationwide in recent years, in part for his work internationally.

    And gosh, just a couple of days ago here, Obamans were claiming that Carter essentially endorsed their candidate in saying that others in his clsn were for Obama.  

    Gore better keep a low profile.  Next thing we know, Obama will be attacking another Nobel Prize winner and claiming that polar bears are liars and like it a bit warmer on their fast-receding ice floes.


    No, he'll just talk about Climate Change (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by Fabian on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:55:57 PM EST
    like he talks about whether Life begins at conception.

    He'll say that he doesn't know and he'll have to study the question thoroughly before he takes any drastic action.  panderpanderpander


    Probably trying to cut off questions about his (5.00 / 5) (#12)
    by jawbone on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:38:30 PM EST
    comments on meeting without preconditions and what Carter is doing.

    Actually, Carter can certainly meet with Hamas as the humanitarian and defender of election fairness that he is--I'm hoping he can get somewhere with them. All to the good if he can.

    Hamas looked at how the election was set up, understood how they could win, and did. Nothing a good US pol's campaign manager wouldn't do--utilize whatever will permit his candidate to win.

    Pretty savvy of the Hamas leadership, actually! I wonder what would have happened if they had been held accountable for their leadership instead of being sandbagged, ignored, etc., by the West and Israel.  We probably will never know--it's easier to ignore that the IRA had a political arm and a terrorism/militia arm, and that dealing with the political arm eventually lead to peace in Northern Ireland.  Wouldn't want to learn from history, either the mistakes or the successes.


    IRA ... (5.00 / 3) (#155)
    by oldpro on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 03:24:22 PM EST
    Yup.  First thing I thought of.  Remember the uproar when Clinton decided in '94 to allow Gerry Adams a 3-day visa to come to New York?  And met with him in '95?

    Tyrrell/Am. Spectator called Adams 'the Yasser Arafat of Northern Ireland' and said Clinton had made a huge mistake alienating the Major government in England.

    Someone, I recall, pointed out that Clinton's studies at Oxford in the 60s gave him an up-close and personal view of British/Irish political history...and a reason to take on the issue when, as president, he had the chance.

    And so he did...brilliantly, with George Mitchell.


    He probably called Carter first (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by felizarte on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:41:25 PM EST
    to tell him to take his statements with a wink just like NaftaGate.  He must have a prior commitment from Carter on his vote as a Suuper Delegate.

    Heh. (none / 0) (#3)
    by madamab on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 01:30:29 PM EST
    I knew he'd have to say something.

    I don't think Obama has any standing to criticize Carter on the Middle East. I don't think HRC does either. Carter is the real deal in this area.

    And like you, I wish we had a government that didn't have to outsource diplomacy. But then, outsourcing is what Bush does.

    Yup (none / 0) (#151)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 03:17:41 PM EST
    If Carter can do any good at all, I'm glad he is there.  I don't see how it hurts when the peace process is broken to bits at the moment.

    I hope Clinton does not do the same as Obama tonight. I hope she puts the blame where it belongs, on Bush and Condi.


    BTD may not rebuke him (none / 0) (#60)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:00:06 PM EST
    But I doubt we can say the same for Hillary.  I'm sure she will get the question at the debate tonight.  They will ask her to comment on his statements, instead of asking him to explain them first.

    He has renounced (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by felizarte on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:21:21 PM EST
    the democratic base; does he really think the republicans are going to vote for a democrat pretending to have republican values?  But it is okay for me because I am not voting for him in the GE anyway. I will probably write in Hillary; or who knows? vote for McCain outright but democratic down the line.

    BTD...my only thought here... (none / 0) (#77)
    by kredwyn on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:05:55 PM EST
    is that meetings like this rarely happen without "people" (admin and State) knowing about it.

    Remember Carter's visit to Cuba some years back?

    This is just speculation. But I can see him being asked quietly to "do something" complete with deniability if it didn't work right.

    I know that (none / 0) (#88)
    by madamab on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:13:45 PM EST
    Bill Richardson has done a lot of diplomatic work for the Bushies, and the State Department asked him to do so.

    However, if they were competent, they could do it themselves, or work with Carter openly.


    Hmmm...maybe... (none / 0) (#100)
    by kredwyn on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:17:53 PM EST
    The Lebanon events of two summers ago really screwed them up...also I'd say Iraq and the sabre rattling towards Iran haven't helped with the ethos factor.

    They'd need someone with "oomph" with the necessary people, which Carter's got in droves.


    State told him not to go (none / 0) (#91)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:14:43 PM EST
    or so they say publicly.

    This stuff... (none / 0) (#109)
    by kredwyn on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:23:29 PM EST
    makes my head spin.

    it was the pander (none / 0) (#81)
    by AgreeToDisagree on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:08:52 PM EST
    comment... Clinton is the ultimate panderer.  

    What does your video (none / 0) (#170)
    by Inky on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 04:20:24 PM EST
    even have to do with pandering?

    Agree to Disagree (none / 0) (#176)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 04:51:19 PM EST
    You nave been spamming TL with that video. You are suspended. Come back another day.

    Hamas is no different than Soviet Union (none / 0) (#95)
    by Saul on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:16:13 PM EST
    Remember when the Soviet Union use to say that they would bury us and totally  destroy us.  We talked to the Soviet Union for ever so why not Hamas.  Carter is the only president that has even come close to having true piece in the middle east.  The treaty Carter made with Egypt and Israel still stands and has not been violated to date.  Originally Obama said he would talk to Iran which is synonymous with Hamas  with no pre conditions. Why the 180 degree turn? It's called being a politician as usual. I would have more respect for Obama if he would just stop pushing this I am running as the clean politician and I am not like Hilary.  Sorry but he and Hilary are running the same political  conventional campaign. So please stop with the holier than thou mentality.

    My opinion. (none / 0) (#117)
    by DodgeIND on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:26:45 PM EST
    I think there's a difference between a Dictator and a Terrorist.  I don't see a contradiction there.  A dictator has a formal government behind him that is recognized internationally as a governing body.  A terrorist has none of that.

    There is a formal Government (none / 0) (#125)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:36:45 PM EST
    behind Hamas, yes?

    Wonder if . . . (none / 0) (#133)
    by Doc Rock on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:51:44 PM EST
    . . . Obama knew that Carter is an ex-president and has some prerogatives?

    ONLY an unofficial approach (none / 0) (#142)
    by Molly Pitcher on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:59:11 PM EST
    is possible in this case.  It would truly offend Israel is we sent someone officially part of the government to speak to Hamas.  And unless someone speaks up for the sake of humanity, we have a 'two cats of Kilkenny" situation where everybody loses.  I have followed the fortunes of Israel since the end of the mandate--and the Palestinians made a huge mistake in walking away from their homes thinking they'd return very shortly as victors.  But the truth is that the Palestinians pretty much have an unending supply of Arabs and Muslims who hate Israel.  We can't have a peace if no one speaks to Hamas (and the refugees too): it is like a couple of kindergarteners who both refuse to stop hitting.  "He hit me; I'm going to hit him back!"  Someone needs to step in (as in Ireland) and get some talk started.

    I never before realized that walls are contagious: the Berlin Wall, the Israeli's wall, our Mexican wall.  (The China Wall didn't work, btw.)  Carter is the perfect person to approach Hamas  (Some Israelis were not fond of happened at Camp David, I know.)  But unless we want Armageddon in our kids' lifetimes, someone has to make the first move here.

    Sorry, I know this is a bit OT (5.00 / 2) (#150)
    by tree on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 03:16:28 PM EST
    and may get deleted but I have to strenuously object to your false categorization of Palestinians "walking away from their homes" in 1948. This may still be accepted by some as conventional wisdom in the US, but even in Israel it is admitted that the majority of Palestians were either expelled or fled from their homes under threat of violence, and were forcibly prevented from returning to their homes, even after the war was over.  It is no more the truth to say that Palestinians "walked" way than it is to say that German Jews walked away from Germany. I say this as someone who has relatives who are Israeli citizens (Jewish). One of the reasons that politicians have to pander so badly on this issue is because so many people here are so poorly informed.

    "Walking away" (none / 0) (#211)
    by Molly Pitcher on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 10:14:44 AM EST
    Just going by a refugee's story on a (long ago) TV program.  He stood on a hill overlooking his lost home and said that the people of that village been told to get out--they would shortly come back in triumph.  He may have been a little PO'd.

    This to (none / 0) (#143)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 02:59:45 PM EST
    me looks like Obama is frightened. He's afraid of being pro Hamas therefore his statement.

    Anyway, I do agree with you w/r/t Carter. He's really not doing anyone any favors with this visit.

    If he needs his sister souljah moment (none / 0) (#146)
    by andgarden on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 03:05:03 PM EST
    fine. I don't think this is anything but that.

    If he didn't already have hours (none / 0) (#152)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 03:19:39 PM EST
    of such moments, I might not mind.

    Sohpistry in action (none / 0) (#147)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 03:05:26 PM EST
    That is what this thread is.

    Being willing to meet with our political foes does not in any way REQUIRE you to meet with ALL political foes.  

    I am no fan our M.E. policy particularly when it comes to Palestine and Israel but it would idiotic of Obama to ignore the political realities.  Someone who wishes to become President CANNOT be sympathetic to Hamas or Hezbollah.  

    Jimmy Carter is fully aware of this.  And I doubt he much cares whether Obama or Clinton or McCain criticize him.  He understands the game better than anyone here.  

    So how bout you guys stop pretending that the world is black and white and start dealing in reality?  Meeting with Iran is a GOOD idea.  Does anyone here really object to meeting with Iran?  Or are you going to bring up Right-Wing Blogosphere talking points about how Obama is willing to personally meet with Iran without any sort of requirements whatsoever simply to have a photo-op?

    The objection isn't to the intent (5.00 / 1) (#193)
    by Manuel on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 05:38:31 PM EST
    The objection is to his framing, Obama is leaving himself open to the charge of being inconsistent at best.  He was correct last Friday when he saud that Carter is a private citizen and could meet with whoever he wanted.  His discussion of foreign policy so far indicates a lack of experience (e.g. most qualified based on living abroad) which will hurt him in the GE.

    Framing is in the eye of the beholder. (none / 0) (#198)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 05:54:47 PM EST
    Carter is a private citizen but a public figure and as such he can be criticized for his actions.

    I have no idea what will or won't hurt him in the GE. Seems that the people of this people come up with new reasons why he can't win the GE every 20 minutes or so.


    Again, the issue is consistency (none / 0) (#203)
    by Manuel on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 06:36:54 PM EST
    On Friday, according to Obama, Carter was a private citizen.  Today his actions are unacceptable.  Obama comes across as wishy washy.  This will be a problem (he could ask Kerry).  None of the reasons cited are new every 20 minutes.  The themes are pretty consistent.  You should be calling on the Obama camp to address them.  Of course, as an Obama supporter, you may be unable to see these flaws.

    Trying to appeal to both sides of an issue.
    Openly courting republicans.
    Adopting right wing framing.
    A perception of arrogance.

    His media appeal has helped limit the damage in the primary but it won't help in the GE.


    Sen. Obama has been consistent, SORT OF (none / 0) (#154)
    by daryl herbert on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 03:20:04 PM EST
    No one has done more to promote peace in the Middle East than Barack Obama.  (joke.)

    Sen. Obama has said all along that he would meet with every currently disfavored regime/world leader, except HAMAS.

    His excuse was not that Palestine isn't a "state" (because he said he would meet with Abbas).

    His excuse was that HAMAS was not the head of state.  

    Sen. Obama has been saying all along not to meet with HAMAS, so he is not inconsistent here.

    But here's why I think his whole stance is disingenuous: HAMAS is a political party, in addition to a terror group and a social services provider.  Palestine has elections.  I won't call it a democracy because the elections are not free and fair, but power does change hands as a result.  Sooner or later, HAMAS may take the presidency.  

    If HAMAS does become head of state, would Pres. Obama meet with them, or not?

    Why the dishonesty? (none / 0) (#207)
    by slr51 on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 07:03:25 PM EST
    Obama said he would meet the heads of state of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea without preconditions.  That's it.

    Nothing on that list even begins to suggest Hamas!


    Honesty. (none / 0) (#208)
    by daryl herbert on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 10:42:38 PM EST
    Sen. Obama went out of his way to say that he would not meet with Hamas:

    March 4, 2008 -- SAN ANTONIO - Barack Obama - who has said repeatedly that America must meet with its enemies, including the tyrants who lead Iran, North Korea and Cuba - drew the line yesterday in refusing to talk with Hamas.

    "They're not heads of state. They don't recognize Israel," Obama told reporters.

    "You can't negotiate with somebody who doesn't recognize the right of a country to exist."

    Obama's comments caught some observers by surprise because Hamas was democratically elected and has shared power in the Palestinian government.

    Mar. 4 NY Post


    Way to go! Diss one of your SDs! (none / 0) (#157)
    by goldberry on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 03:27:57 PM EST
    It either makes Carter look dim for supporting Obama or Obama look cynical for dissing Carter.  There's pandering and then there's just looking like Harold Ford.  

    Pandering (none / 0) (#159)
    by stillife on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 03:33:07 PM EST
    to the Jewish vote.  I don't think it'll be sufficient to assuage the fears of Jewish voters about the Wright/Farrakhan connection.

    Personally, I'm only half-Jewish and I'm not a Zionist, but I know lots of people who are and I doubt they'll be impressed.

    His Popular Rating (none / 0) (#163)
    by squeaky on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 03:49:06 PM EST
    With Jews is close to even with Hillary:

    ...[Jewish Democratic voters] show a slight preference for Clinton over Obama, 48% to 43%.



    Jimmy Carter said something Strange Yesterday (none / 0) (#162)
    by daryl herbert on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 03:42:13 PM EST
    In a democracy, I realize that you don't need to talk to the top leader to know how the country feels. When I go to a dictatorship, I only have to talk to one person and that's the dictator, because he speaks for all the people. But in a democracy like Israel, there is a wide range of opinions and that counterbalances the disappointment that I have in not meeting with the people shaping Israeli power now in the government.

    --Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, to an Israeli reporter, Tuesday, April 14, 2008.

    I don't really even know where to begin with this.  This quote may be what prompted Sen. Obama to distance himself from Jimmy Carter.

    Obama's attack ad (none / 0) (#165)
    by nellre on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 03:58:04 PM EST
    Has anybody seen it? The Hillary gets booed ad?
    HRC's ad was no doubt staged, but his ad is deceitful. The clip was manipulated to give an impression that did not exist in the original video.

    The video is accurate (none / 0) (#168)
    by daryl herbert on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 04:12:32 PM EST
    Sen. Clinton did get booed.

    Sen. Obama's supporters in the SEIU went to Sen. Clinton's rally just to boo her in order to create that video clip.

    Then Sen. Obama then took the video clip and used it as evidence that Sen. Clinton's attack on him was floundering.

    It was an extremely classless political move.  I would hate to see retaliation in this vein. Soon every candidate will be sending out squads to "boo" their opponent when their opponent gives a speech in public.  Sen. Obama represents a "new" kind of politics--the dirty kind.


    And his campaign did clearly (none / 0) (#169)
    by Inky on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 04:16:48 PM EST
    juke the volume to make the boos sounds louder than they were on the original video. I don't have the link to the original video, but I'm sure it can be found.

    I want to argue with this "perception" (none / 0) (#178)
    by Fabian on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 04:53:24 PM EST
    but it's easy enough to "interpret" it that way.

    I may go see Al Gore on May 4.  If Obama supporters are disruptive for any reason, I will not be pleased.  (Ditto for Hillary supporters.)


    Is there evidence of this? (none / 0) (#180)
    by bjorn on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 04:58:31 PM EST
    If there is, this is the most disgusting thing that has happened this election cycle.

    Obama had a different take last week in Indiana (none / 0) (#167)
    by gabbyone on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 04:11:14 PM EST
    Friday, April 11

    INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said on Friday it was not his place to criticize former President Jimmy Carter if he were to meet with Hamas, although Obama said he would not meet with the militant Palestinian group.

    I'm not going to comment on former President Carter. He's a private citizen. It's not my place to discuss who he shouldn't meet with," Obama told reporters while campaigning in Indianapolis. "I know that I've said consistently that I would not meet with Hamas."

    Add this to the Two Minds of Barack Obama... (none / 0) (#171)
    by Oje on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 04:28:53 PM EST
    In fact, Hillary Clinton's team might consider conducting advanced oppo-research by determining which issues Obama has not yet taken both sides. She could "triangulate" the two minds of Barack Obama!

    Multiple political personality disorder? (none / 0) (#205)
    by Cream City on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 06:46:22 PM EST
    As Jack Cafferty would say. . . .

    You might want to actualy review what was said. (none / 0) (#191)
    by slr51 on Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 05:21:35 PM EST
    In response to the question, "In 1982, Anwar Sadat traveled to Israel, a trip that resulted in a peace agreement that has lasted ever since. In the spirit of that type of bold leadership, would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?" Obama answered, "I would.

    Please remind me which one of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea is Hamas?

    <btd, it is interesting you prefer former (none / 0) (#210)
    by oculus on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 05:50:00 AM EST
    presidents abstain from meddling in international relations but do not object to presidential primary candidates doing so.