McCain Misrepresents Obama's Stance on Iraq

John McCain shows that he can twist the facts with the best of them:

"[Obama] really has no experience or knowledge or judgment about the issue of Iraq and he has wanted to surrender for a long time."

Granted, Obama hasn't done anything to distinguish himself on getting us out of Iraq (aside from his speech in 2002 before we went in) and his experience and knowledge are fair game, but to say he advocated surrender? That's just false.

I might add, of the three remaining candidates, McCain is by far the worst on Iraq.

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    If McCain wants to lose (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by shoephone on Tue May 27, 2008 at 12:20:38 AM EST
    he will keep advancing this ridiculous talking point. I may not be enamored of Obama (understatement), but when McCain says that BO wants to "surrender" Iraq he sounds so much like George Bush and Dick Cheney it is a sure-fire turn off to voters -- even Republican voters.

    Maybe he's just trying to show Obama (5.00 / 7) (#7)
    by JavaCityPal on Tue May 27, 2008 at 12:42:13 AM EST
    how irritating it can be to have your stand misrepresented.

    Obama keeps pushing that McCain wants the war to continue for 100 years, which is a pretty clear misrepresentation of what McCain was saying.

    I do think that McCain is feeding Obama's tactics right back at him. They are on opposing sides, but I believe McCain does like and respect Hillary.


    Doubt it (3.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Sleeper on Tue May 27, 2008 at 01:39:45 AM EST
    Obama keeps pushing that McCain wants the war to continue for 100 years, which is a pretty clear misrepresentation of what McCain was saying.

    You're absolutely right.  McCain is for an indefinite period of warfare (he says probably another five years, but he bases that time estimate on absolutely nothing, as far as I can see), and then a century of occupation.  See, that's totally different.  There's no way the Iraqi people could object to that.

    I do think that McCain is feeding Obama's tactics right back at him. They are on opposing sides, but I believe McCain does like and respect Hillary.

    It's in McCain's interest to try and prop up Clinton.  That's obvious.  The GOP wants this contest to drag out as long as possible, and hopefully end in a bloody convention.  And if the Republican nominee is rooting for your candidate, you might want to ask why that is.


    There's a very logical basis for that timeline. (1.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Y Knot on Tue May 27, 2008 at 02:09:40 AM EST
    (he says probably another five years, but he bases that time estimate on absolutely nothing, as far as I can see)

    Victory by January 2013.  That's a date set by John McCain after consulting with the finest military minds in the world, he determined that by January 2013, we'll have elected him a second time, and then he can say "oh whoops. I meant 2017!  We'll just have to keep going onto Victory!"

    No, John McCain doesn't WANT a hundred years of war.  But he's got no real plan that will stop it from happening.  


    But on the other hand... (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Sleeper on Tue May 27, 2008 at 02:51:43 AM EST
    ...some Obama supporters were mean to me on a blog, and that's more important than any other factor.  So I'll vote McCain for revenge.



    What is (none / 0) (#20)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue May 27, 2008 at 04:21:12 AM EST
    Obama's plan?

    Blame mcCain (5.00 / 7) (#29)
    by hookfan on Tue May 27, 2008 at 07:30:24 AM EST
    and then whine about how Hillary's supportewrs won't vote for him.

    supportewrs (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by hookfan on Tue May 27, 2008 at 07:31:51 AM EST
    must be french or some form of neo-germanic =).

    you are the misrepresenter (1.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Tano on Tue May 27, 2008 at 08:09:08 AM EST
    Obama keeps pushing that McCain is ok with us staying in Iraq for 100 years, which is exactly what McCain said.

    Obama has not said that McCain "wants the war to continue for 100 years".


    McCain didn't exactly say we (none / 0) (#40)
    by zfran on Tue May 27, 2008 at 08:14:05 AM EST
    "McCain wants the war to continue for 100 years"
    However, I believe it is true to say that of all 3 candidates, with McCain, McCain and Obama have similar plans on getting out of Iraq.

    correction: I believe it is true (none / 0) (#41)
    by zfran on Tue May 27, 2008 at 08:15:12 AM EST
    to say that of all 3 candidates, McCain and Obama have similar plans for when we'd actually be out of Iraq compared to Hillary.

    howsthat? (none / 0) (#44)
    by Tano on Tue May 27, 2008 at 08:22:13 AM EST
    Maybe you could elaborate on your rather nonintuitive point?

    Obama has made no commitments (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by zfran on Tue May 27, 2008 at 08:26:46 AM EST
    to remove our troops anytime soon. Hillary has said she will start from day 1. McCain has said he believe we'll be out by (I believe)2013. Imo, until the candidate actually gets into the w.h.and views what the reality of what's going on in Iraq, no decision can really be made. We have no idea what Bush has been up to and what we don't really know.

    start by day 1? (none / 0) (#49)
    by Tano on Tue May 27, 2008 at 08:38:34 AM EST
    Arent you getting the memes a bit confused?

    She said she would start in the first six months.
    And what does that mean anyway? If she started removing one soldier a day, that would take 400 years! Seriously, she says NOTHING about how long she would stay there, only that she will start some undefined process within six months of taking office.

    And no committments? How can you say that?
    Here is the Obama position, from the website.

    "Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months. Obama will make it clear that we will not build any permanent bases in Iraq. He will keep some troops in Iraq to protect our embassy and diplomats; if al Qaeda attempts to build a base within Iraq, he will keep troops in Iraq or elsewhere in the region to carry out targeted strikes on al Qaeda."

    Please explain a bit more how this is closer to McCain than Hillary's position.


    Oh I see obama wants to be an "occupier" (none / 0) (#55)
    by hookfan on Tue May 27, 2008 at 09:05:16 AM EST
    just like McCain. Surprise, surprise. McCain did suggest a long presence, but the rest of his statements also says with troops out of harm's way. sounds like the difference between two cents and two pennies.

    Obama has proposed removing 1 brigade a month (none / 0) (#63)
    by democrattotheend on Tue May 27, 2008 at 10:45:02 AM EST
    But I agree with you that no candidate will be able to make a definitive decision until they get into the White House and meet with the Joint Chiefs. But I think there would be a lot more pressure on Clinton or Obama to get us out of Iraq than McCain, because McCain is refusing to promise to get them out.

    You Are Uninformed (none / 0) (#82)
    by squeaky on Tue May 27, 2008 at 12:58:14 PM EST
    Hillary and Obama have an identical plan. Both plans are full of contingencies and neither will withdraw all troops from Iraq. Both plan to leave fighting forces in Iraq for the foreseeable future. We will be super lucky if the troops are reduced by half by the end of the first year of office irrespective of whether Hillary or Obama are POTUS.

    McCain has no plans to redeploy troops, only to win.


    ITA 100 PERCENT (none / 0) (#60)
    by sociallybanned on Tue May 27, 2008 at 09:53:38 AM EST
    I agree!  Plus I would rather trust McCain on Foreign Policy than Barack anyday.  BO , I wouldn't trust in the White House especially when it comes to negotiation with terrorist leaders.  I can see a repeat of Iran-Contra all over.  We assist leaders just to allow them to turn on us and back stabs us.  We have a foreign policy backlash.  It happens over and over.  

    You're right! (none / 0) (#106)
    by Sleeper on Wed May 28, 2008 at 12:08:55 AM EST
    The British government must feel like fools for ever having negotiated with terrorist groups like the Provisional IRA.

    What's that?  A lasting peace agreement and disarmament of major Loyalist and Republican terrorist groups in Northern Ireland?

    Well luckily, our friends in Israel would never talk with that dastardly PLO.

    What?  Talks led to Arafat and the PLO recognizing Israel's right to exist and to peace that was only derailed by right-wing Israeli politicians like Netanyahu and Sharon?

    But surely Israel would never talk to nations that host and support terrorist movements, like Syria, for example.

    What's that you say?


    radical in your tone: must be an O supporter (none / 0) (#107)
    by sociallybanned on Wed Jun 04, 2008 at 12:48:19 AM EST
    Provide links to your anti Israel Rant or should I ask Pro Hammas links?

    I don't think it's ridiculous (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Valhalla on Tue May 27, 2008 at 02:27:13 AM EST
    Well, I do from the point of reality, but not from the point of politics.

    Americans don't like to surrender.  All our historical heroes are those who did not give up in spite of overwhelming odds (or at least being counted out by...Japan, Germany, whomever).  McCain isn't aiming his remarks at the left side of the party, which was mostly against the war at all.  He's aiming them at independents and folks in the middle.  These are not people who are panting to see the U.S. come home with its tail between its legs.  They've moved beyond the fac that Bush lied to get us into the war and now care about how we'll get out of it.


    It is ridiculous (3.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Sleeper on Tue May 27, 2008 at 03:06:15 AM EST
    ...to think that John McCain can get Americans to buy the same used car twice.

    No American would want to see our armed forces come home from Normandy or Iwo Jima with "its tail between its legs."  But that's McCain's problem.  This is not some noble struggle against nations that declared war on us, this is a never-ending occupation of a third party that had nothing to do with 9/11, and Americans have had it.  McCain's strategy is that we have to stick this out, no matter what, and if we hang in there, the insurgency will just give up and wither away, and then, we can continue to stay.  Forever.

    He.  Has.  No.  Plan.

    And unfortunately for Clinton, her vote for the war was always going to be a big problem for her.  Just as it was for Kerry.  I think Iraq is going to be a crucial issue for McCain because he's going to make it so, because he thinks it's a winner for him.  (The economy certainly isn't.)

    But he's wrong.


    You seem to believe that everyone shares ... (5.00 / 7) (#19)
    by cymro on Tue May 27, 2008 at 03:52:35 AM EST
    ... your viewpoint on things. I see this attitude a lot among Obama supporters, and it does not help you figure out how to win over a majority of the electorate to your candidate.

    Instead, it leads to conclusions like "To believe [fill in the blank] is ridiculous," and "we don't need the support of those [fill in the blank] voters."

    That kind of thinking is a recipe for certain defeat in the GE. To win, you have to be more realistic about the spectrum of public opinion, and in assessing how and why your opponent appeals to people.


    Sorry, no. (3.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Sleeper on Tue May 27, 2008 at 05:47:03 AM EST
    I'll happily concede the point if you can produce one poll from the last six months that shows anything but overwhelming disdain for this war.  Heck, make it a year.

    "I see this attitude a lot among Obama supporters."  What, stating that facts are facts?  This war is dreadfully unpopular.  Most Americans want us to leave.  Look at the military itself.  Servicemen and -women donations to politicians are not going to the warmongers.  Ron Paul and the Democrats are getting their money.  The notion that being against the Iraq War is a negative for November is, well, nonsense.


    It's only counterintuitive if you imagine that (5.00 / 4) (#51)
    by Valhalla on Tue May 27, 2008 at 08:42:58 AM EST
    opposition to the war is one gigantic, uniform block of opinion.

    But that's not the case.  The people who were against the war all along (most/many of whom are already BO supporters) were thrilled when public opinion turned against the war because they thought all those 'low-information' voters had finally realized the error of their ways.

    People are against the war because it has been mismanaged, because Bush lied about it, and because it has become very costly.  McCain, rightly or wrongly, is implicated in very little of that.  The bulk of antiwar opinion is not against any war, or even any expensive war.  People have moved on to the issue of how to get out of the damn war.

    The biggest demographic in the US is the boomers, McCain's generation, and the generation that remembers what a mess getting out of Vietnam was.  Of course they trust someone who has actively fought in a war, who knows what real war is, and who has a son in the war right now to figure out how to get out of war, over someone whose most 'war-like' experience is a primary campaign.

    I'll say it again, Americans do not like to surrender.  I doubt there's a single poll anywhere that shows a majority of Americans, much less a majority of swing voters, want us to surrender.  Being against the war is not the same thing.

    Any high road the Democrats had on the war, they lost when they did nothing when they won a majority in Congress.  Democrats as the weaker party on national security is still a strong image.  They cannot help Obama on this, not against McCain.  Obama needs a strategy other than preaching to the converted here, and fast.


    IMO Polls That Ask Numerous Question About (none / 0) (#58)
    by MO Blue on Tue May 27, 2008 at 09:39:32 AM EST
    the occupation indicate that Americans are confused about what action want to resolve the problem. IOW they are against the occupation but are not sure what to do to end it. A lot of people still are operating with the "pottery barn" mindset. From my experience, this group includes people who were against the war from day one. This information is from polls where approximately 2/3rds of people were now against the occupation but only 1/3rd were for withdrawing all the troops. The good news in the poll was that 50% trusted Dems more on Iraq. link

    Send More  Keep Same   Withdraw   Withdraw Unsure  
               Number      Some       All    

         8          21     35        33         3

        10          19     30        39       2

        10       23     36        29       3

        17       16     24         39         3

        16       21     27         33       3

        15       17     28         34

    Sorry about formatting. Can't get it to work better.

    Agree, that is my position on this war (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by MMW on Tue May 27, 2008 at 12:09:32 PM EST
    I was against it from the start, but if you break it, you have to fix it.

    Saying "my bad, too many of us are dying, I'm outta here", ain't the solution.

    The Iraqi people did not break it. The US did and so MUST fix it, or what will be left will surpass the tragedy this has been.


    Ummm... (none / 0) (#77)
    by kdog on Tue May 27, 2008 at 12:35:21 PM EST
    IMO, only the Iraqi people can fix their country.  The continued occupation isn't a fix, it's part of the problem.

    Tell that to Japan and Germany (none / 0) (#101)
    by Valhalla on Tue May 27, 2008 at 06:57:29 PM EST
    where the post-war occupation of the U.S. was a significant part of their economic prosperity today.  Or to all those people in the U.S. who consider our post-war actions almost the heroic equal to our wartime actions.

    That is the memory (or historical lesson, for those who know history) that McCain is playing on.  Contrast that with the utter, wasteful fiasco that getting out of Vietnam was.  Vietnam was a phased withdrawal amidst ongoing fighting and it was a disaster.  It is extremely strong imagery and it will resonate with people who consider themselves strongly patriotic, the people who lived through it, and the Boomers, who damn well know their history and vote.

    I'm not saying it is right, I'm saying it is powerful.  Obama has not set up a narrative to offset it.  Mushy talk about withdrawal timelines and schedules will not suffice.


    That point makes a lot of sense (none / 0) (#102)
    by Sleeper on Tue May 27, 2008 at 11:46:46 PM EST
    Iraq did attack us first, after all.

    Also, I think everyone remembers the Nazi and imperialist insurgencies which fought on well into the 1950s, right?

    Also, our post-war plans actually involved pouring money into the nations we defeated, and not ordering them to sell off every last utility and publically owned property to foreign companies with political ties to the Bush administration.

    Otherwise, yeah.  A lot of sense.  I guess.


    And again Obama's plan? (5.00 / 4) (#32)
    by hookfan on Tue May 27, 2008 at 07:41:24 AM EST
    Seems it's just blame McCain and sell the nation a bridge to nowhere. Sure Iraq is broken, but what do we do about it now? Obama has no positive plan and no experience to know what to do about it. By the way it's not just the Repubs that own Iraq now. The Democratic congress which included Obama continually voted to fund it at every turn. He did not put the money where his mouth was with his oh so pretty speech. So, what's obama's oh so responsible solution?

    We leave Iraq.... (none / 0) (#79)
    by kdog on Tue May 27, 2008 at 12:41:39 PM EST
    and let the Iraqis figure it out.  That's what we do about it now.

    When France helped us with our overthrow of the British, they didn't hang around afterwards to "fix" our "broken" country...they left us to our work building a new nation.  Iraqis deserve the same courtesy.


    Nah, this is win/win for McCain (5.00 / 3) (#35)
    by Kathy on Tue May 27, 2008 at 08:05:34 AM EST
    The characterization of dems as yellow-tailed surrenderers is a long-held tradition in presidential politics.  Remember how they used that same tactic against Kerry, saying that he just wanted to surrender to our enemies?  No one with half a brain here would say that Kerry wanted to surrender, but that's how they painted him and IT WORKED.  Someone mentioned Bush and Cheney using this.  They got two terms out of it.

    Obama doesn't even have the military service to cushion him.  He wants to fly to North Korea and sit down and have tea with our enemies!  He wants to weaken the nation!  He wants to destroy America!

    This is a snapshot of what is to come.  Thank God this isn't over.


    The old Surrender Monkey trick (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by RalphB on Tue May 27, 2008 at 11:05:46 AM EST
    The GOP has been using that line since Nixon and it hasn't been countered effectively yet.  Obama with his "associations" and distinguished record would seem to be the one democrat to do it.  Uh Huh...

    On the other hand (none / 0) (#103)
    by Sleeper on Tue May 27, 2008 at 11:54:43 PM EST
    George Bush the elder presided over the collapse on the Eastern Bloc, then won the Gulf War, then watched the Soviets collapse too.  I'm not sure exactly how much he accomplished during his second term, though.

    It's true that John McCain has an inspirational story and that his long-ago service was heroic.  But since he lost in 2000 he has not exactly covered himself with glory.  The facts on the ground do not support his notion that stubbornness can alter the Iraqi reality.  The Surge did not work (violence creeping back up, more troops there when it ended than when it began, al Sadr still a force, and we're arming the Sunni gangs for their future civil war to boot).  Any Democrat who stays the course (heh) and hammers McCain on his failures relentlessly, and offers a way out, has a huge chance to win the election.

    Kerry was vaguely against Bush's execution of the war but seemed reluctant to end it, and everyone knew it.  Both Clinton and Obama differ on the details but agree that withdrawal needs to begin immediately.  Do it in stages, whatever, but it has to start now.  The American people will vote for the candidate that offers to bring our people home.


    Surrender (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by talex on Tue May 27, 2008 at 12:23:22 AM EST
    is GOP Speak for pulling out of Iraq. They have been using the surrender meme for well over two years now.

    Exactly. (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by OrangeFur on Tue May 27, 2008 at 02:09:52 AM EST
    They've been doing that forever by now.

    It used to make me really angry. Now, not as much. I don't know if that's because I got used to it, or that it doesn't even seem that extreme seeing what's been done to Hillary Clinton this cycle.


    They were using it with Kerry too... (none / 0) (#4)
    by kredwyn on Tue May 27, 2008 at 12:37:46 AM EST
    so I'm thinking nigh on to 4 years for the surrender frame.

    I was at a town meeting (none / 0) (#28)
    by samanthasmom on Tue May 27, 2008 at 06:54:18 AM EST
    for Nikki Tsongsas about the war in Irag.  There was  a Vietnam vet in the audience who rose to speak.  He gave an impassioned speech about how "we owe it to our men and women in the military to give them a victory in Irag". He said it was unthinkable to ask them to give as much as they have  and then leave without an overwhelmingly positive conclusion.  He didn't receive a standing ovation at this meeting, which was attended by mostly people who wanted Nikki to introduce a bill that would set a distinct timetable for withdrawal. But even in that environment, there was scattered applause in a room of about 500 people. I think there are voters out there who would call withdrawing our troops without a decisive win a surrender.  I know I want our troops to come home sooner rather than later, but that guy's speech brought me back to the end of Vietnam War.  It wasn't pretty.

    I wish someone would remind them.... (none / 0) (#80)
    by kdog on Tue May 27, 2008 at 12:46:11 PM EST
    that the mission was accomoplished a long time ago.  It's not surrender when the mission was accompished.

    Unless it never was about overthrowing Saddam, but about setting up a permanent base of operations in the Middle East, in which case we are never leaving until we get tired of dying or go bankrupt.


    Red meat (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by kredwyn on Tue May 27, 2008 at 12:37:06 AM EST
    to try and get some connections going with a still disgruntled base.

    Misrepresentation? aye...

    But the rightwing base sees any withdrawal that doesn't include a "formula for victory" surrender.

    Oh, if only they could tell us (none / 0) (#5)
    by shoephone on Tue May 27, 2008 at 12:40:49 AM EST
    what their "formula for victory" is!

    So mysterious, they are.


    Well that's kinda the problem... (none / 0) (#9)
    by kredwyn on Tue May 27, 2008 at 12:44:28 AM EST
    no one's too sure exactly what that entails.

    But it sure does sound good, doesn't it?


    One of the only ways I might consider (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by blogtopus on Tue May 27, 2008 at 12:42:11 AM EST
    not abstaining from Obama is if the GOP slams him so hard that we definitely see a change of heart in some way from him regarding dirty tricks. He really needs to be on the other end to understand the damage he did.

    Don't hold your breath (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by JavaCityPal on Tue May 27, 2008 at 12:44:12 AM EST
    He has made personal agreements with Hillary to stop his attacks in the past and can't seem to stick with his promise for long.

    Re: Don't hold your breath (3.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Sleeper on Tue May 27, 2008 at 03:08:41 AM EST
    It's kind of hard to begrudge Obama supporters accusations of racism when 20% or more of WV voters told exit pollsters they voted based on race, though.  Isn't it?  It's not really an attack to point that out.

    Except that nobody is accusing ... (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by cymro on Tue May 27, 2008 at 04:49:52 AM EST
    ... black voters of "racism", even though their racial preference has helped Obama to win 90% of that demographic. I have not heard any Obama supporters complaining vociferously about that, nor would I expect them to. But they also don't seem to perceive any irony in their accusations of racism against some Clinton supporters.

    The fact is that population demographics and demographic preferences (by race, gender, educational level, income level, religion, etc., etc.) are an essential aspect of elections, and so it is not reasonable to single out any candidate or voting segment for special criticism.

    So yes, I do indeed "begrudge Obama supporters accusations of racism," and it is very hard to accept their divisive behavior.


    Re: Except that nobody is accusing ... (2.66 / 3) (#24)
    by Sleeper on Tue May 27, 2008 at 05:53:42 AM EST
    black voters of "racism"

    Because very few of them say they won't vote for the nominee, whomever gets it.  African-American voters seem to consistently prefer Obama (now, anyway; not so originally) but also consistently say that they'll vote for Clinton if she gets the nom.  Not so with certain Clinton voters.  ahem.

    That actually seems to be an argument for Clinton's nomination, at least in subtext.  African-American voters aren't going to bolt to the GOP, so it's less of a risk to alienate them, so Clinton should be the nominee.

    And you ignored the admitted, open racism of a certain percentage of voters in the Appalachian contests.


    puhleez... (3.00 / 2) (#34)
    by p lukasiak on Tue May 27, 2008 at 07:49:16 AM EST
    Because very few of them say they won't vote for the nominee, whomever gets it. Black voters are going to have a choice between two white people -- when the choices are of the same race, the question of racism becomes moot. Put it this way.... Jeremiah Wright has one of the largest, if not the largest, African American congregations in Chicago. For decades, he has been promoting a completely racist view of white Americans -- there is a massive audience for that perspective in the black community, whether you want to acknowledge it or not. Its impossible to separate out the "black racist" vote from the "black positive identity" vote, because in a very large percentage of cases, they are one and the same thing.

    Re: puhleez... (3.00 / 2) (#36)
    by Sleeper on Tue May 27, 2008 at 08:06:58 AM EST
    Black voters are going to have a choice between two white people -- when the choices are of the same race, the question of racism becomes moot.

    Exactly.  "Where else are they going to go?"  Thank you for admitting to the sentiment.  I can't speak for African-American voters but I'm sure they appreciate being taken for granted.

    Its impossible to separate out the "black racist" vote from the "black positive identity" vote

    However, it is eminently simple to separate out the "white racist" vote from the "white positive (hard-working) identity."  I see.  Thanks for clearing that up!


    learn to read exit polls.... (5.00 / 5) (#33)
    by p lukasiak on Tue May 27, 2008 at 07:41:35 AM EST
    only 8% of west virginians said that race was the "most important factor" in deciding who they would vote for. moreover, there is an underlying, and patently false, assumption that these voters would have chosen Obama had he not been African American -- but the fact is that Obama showed contempt for the voters of West Virginia, and Clinton showed concern for them, and the overwhelming majority of the "racist" vote would have gone for Clinton based on other factors. The bottom line is that these kinds of questions are meaningless --- look at the responses to the 'gender as a factor' question in Oregon. Men who said that gender was not a factor gave Obama a 33 point advantage (BHO 66%, HRC33%). There is no breakdwon for men who said that gender was a fact, but the 66-33% breakdown is the exact same percentage as the overall male vote, which means that men who said that gender was not a factor voted the exact same way as men who admitted that it was a factor. Women who said that gender was not a factor gave Obama a much smaller 14 point advantage (BHO 57%, HRC 43%). Race and gender are factors for just about everyone, whether they think they are or not. Asking people if they are a factor doesn't tell you anything other than how self-aware/honest the electorate is....

    And what were the follow up questions? (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by cmugirl on Tue May 27, 2008 at 08:59:48 AM EST
    a) "How did race affect your vote?"
    b) "Did race affect your vote in a positive or negative manner?"

    It's not that I voted against the black guy... (none / 0) (#104)
    by Sleeper on Tue May 27, 2008 at 11:58:44 PM EST
    ...I just voted for the white candidate!

    Of course there is some racism, (none / 0) (#43)
    by zfran on Tue May 27, 2008 at 08:20:27 AM EST
    what about those who won't vote for Clinton just because she's a woman? I believe racism, in this instance, is worse, however, we are voting to elect the "best" candidate to be president. Strip them all down and underneath their skin they are all the same. Then choose, based on their statements, ideas, directions, ideologies, behaviors, etc. Not because one's black, one's a woman or one's age. Factors, perhaps, deal makers, no, imo.

    Obama's lack of credentials... (5.00 / 6) (#22)
    by p lukasiak on Tue May 27, 2008 at 05:41:29 AM EST
    ..and credibility on national security issues makes him vulnerable to these kinds of claims.

    His lack of a record makes it impossible to know if he can be trusted to insure that US national security interests are addressed properly --- and this all ties into the real question about Obama's "patriotism" -- how does he define "patriotism" and what does "being an American" mean to Obama.  He can give all the speeches he wants to, but Americans don't listen to speeches, and the questions that have already been raised mean that even if he gives the greatest speech on patriotism EVAH, it will be greeted with skepticism.  

    Yes... (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by madamab on Tue May 27, 2008 at 08:23:35 AM EST
    FP is Obama's weakest area.

    I just don't know what to think of him on Iraq. After his FP advisor, Samantha Power, said that Obama's withdrawal plans were "just a best-case scenario," I had to take all his campaign promises with a grain of salt.

    Now clearly, McCain does not plan to withdraw from Iraq at all. He says 2013, but he knows that if he becomes President, he will be a one-termer only. He would be pulling a Bush and passing the problems on to the next President.

    On the other hand, if Obama's intentions are good but he can't get withdrawal accomplished, what makes him that much better than McCain?


    Dems have had literally years (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by ruffian on Tue May 27, 2008 at 09:42:07 AM EST
    to come up with an effective response to Bush, Cheney, and McCain calling withdrawal from Iraq "surrender".  Why don't they have one yet?

    If that is a misrepresentation >>>> (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by TalkRight on Tue May 27, 2008 at 10:53:32 AM EST
    What would you say to Obama when he said: "Hillary supported Iraq WAR!"

    In this election, mis-representation word has paled.. and when "The Obama Camp" misrepresented and still misrepresents Hillary & Bill of racism, that was not called misrepresentation, then, I  JUST don't get it by WHAT standard of measurement would you call McCain's comment as a misrepresentation. He is saying what HE believes Obama stands for. That is NOT mis-representation. Misrepresentation is WHAT Obama said (and worse he did not even believe in it, and knew it to be false.. but still said it anyways, with respect to Hillary, Bill, and their honorable campaign).

    The press has been helping Obama in his fights (none / 0) (#70)
    by TalkRight on Tue May 27, 2008 at 11:20:47 AM EST
    framing questions for his opponents and trying to "phrase" and justify his answers. Obama had no homework to do.. the press does it for him... here is an example .. one absurd way of defending Obama..

    By Ben Smith of Politico: I tweaked the language a little to reflect the question: Obama was asked if he'd be "willing" to meet, which is about half an inch shy of saying he would meet.

    Keep doing his homework.. what would you call a child, who never had to do his homework.. but keep getting good grades.. a silver spoon in his mouth.. and Elitist..


    Will anyone cover this : OT but important (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by TalkRight on Tue May 27, 2008 at 11:28:41 AM EST
    Eugene still trying to Misrepresent Hillary's comments

    This is the reason why you would never get any sympathy from a Hillary supporter when you vent, "Obama is being misrepresented".. because for Hillary, that was the order of the day.


    All false (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Sunshine on Tue May 27, 2008 at 11:06:54 AM EST
    There is no such thing as victory in Iraq,  what are they expecting, love and peace will flow through the land, give me a break...  We need to get out with as many of our boys and girls intact as possible...   Hillary did not make the deciding vote to go to war in Iraq and she knew that she wasn't making the deciding vote...  Also she was told that it would be a barganing tool,  what if that was what was needed had we had had a honest person at the time making the policy?  I was against the war but still I wondered what if I was wrong and Bush was telling the truth...  Why don't we spend as much time attacking the Refpublicans that voted lock step at the time, there was only one Republican that voted against the war...  No Democrat is responsible for the war, it was a done deal with only Republicans...

    McCain is a worthless, malevolent, a-hole (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Dadler on Tue May 27, 2008 at 11:55:05 AM EST
    This quote only seals it further.  Surrender to WHOM?  That McCain couldn't come close to answering this question if it were posed to him proves him to be not only a fool, but a liar and sociopath to boot.  If there were actually one group to surrender to, I dare say the war would've been over years ago, because we wouldn't have had the myriad of players and militias to deal with.  The man hasn't an ounce of shame.  Or decency.  If the Dems can beat this violent, mentally addled pr*ck in the GE, I repeat, it will be the result of fraud or incompetence or, almost assuredly, both.

    What's the difference to the Iraqi people? (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by kdog on Tue May 27, 2008 at 01:07:11 PM EST
    Whether the intruder is American or Iranian?  

    If we give them their country back and Iran attacks, they can pick off the Iranians a few of at a time as easily as they can Americans.  Let the Iranians, who are also no threat to us btw, get bogged down as a foriegn occupier.  I'm guessing the Iranian people will get as sick of their sons dying for empire as we are of our sons and daugters dying for empire.  They will fail as all foreign occupations do...eventually.

    I do not believe (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by Steve M on Tue May 27, 2008 at 02:32:12 PM EST
    that "misrepresent" is a strong enough word when a Republican accuses Democrats of wanting to surrender in Iraq.

    If McCain had said that Obama is rooting for al-Qaeda to defeat America, would we say that he "misrepresented" Obama's allegiances?  This kind of demagoguery from the GOP demands a rhetorical punch in the mouth by way of response.

    Speaking of misrepresenting (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by RalphB on Tue May 27, 2008 at 03:43:35 PM EST
    Obama has problems with reality.  In his speech to the veterans group, he told them about his uncle who helped liberate Auschwitz.  Problem is no US Army brigades entered Poland in WWII, the Soviet army liberated Auschwitz.

    Oh, and his uncle, Obama's mother was an only child.  Maybe his father's brother liberated Poland with the Soviet army?

    WTF is up with that?


    Funny (3.66 / 3) (#25)
    by Kevin on Tue May 27, 2008 at 05:55:43 AM EST
    hearing the guy who doesn't know the difference between the two Islamic sects, the guy whose been wrong about every stage of the war (including his beloved surge which has not produced any political reconciliation at all and hasn't stopped the killing of American troops) is trying to call the other guy wrong and naive.

    Keep trying to make this your issue John, it's a winner!

    Yeah (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by Kathy on Tue May 27, 2008 at 08:09:11 AM EST
    Bush was creamed by Kerry when he tried the same thing!

    Bush vs Kerry (1.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Kevin on Tue May 27, 2008 at 08:15:52 AM EST
    The public wasn't tired of the war at that time.  Bush didn't have a 28% approval rating.  A majority of Americans want out now, no "phased" withdrawal.  They just want out and don't care what happens in Iraq after.

    Times are different in terms of public opinion on the war.  Thankfully, when pushed, Obama has pushed right back against McCain and Bush, and I think he's done quite well so far.  He isn't trying to out Neocon them (which is probably my only complaint against Hillary policy wise).  He is saying "hey, you guys have been wrong for 8 years, you want to stay the course, and you're calling me naive?"  Frankly, I really think that will work.


    Have you (5.00 / 3) (#48)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 27, 2008 at 08:30:20 AM EST
    seen the ratings for the Dem congress? They are even worse. You can't rely on those approval ratings for Bush to make the case.

    Obama has done a horrible job against McCain so far. He looks weak and inept. He offers nothing but blame. Remember the adage: strong and wrong beats weak and right everytime. Obama is trying, ONCE AGAIN, the weak and right narrative.


    Approval Ratings (1.00 / 2) (#56)
    by Kevin on Tue May 27, 2008 at 09:14:18 AM EST
    are low for CONGRESS, not the democrats in congress.  Although their approval ratings are also low, but not because the war is popular.  There approval is low becuase they haven't ended the war.  And yet, even in the deepest red states, democrats keep winning congressional seats.  

    The evidence is there.  Stop ignoring it.


    The approval ratings for Congress are at (none / 0) (#52)
    by Valhalla on Tue May 27, 2008 at 08:52:00 AM EST
    18% and have been hovering there for weeks if not months.  Antiwar sentiment has not helped them.  Or, gees, if it has, then imagine where their ratings would be without it.

    What's really funny (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by cmugirl on Tue May 27, 2008 at 08:58:07 AM EST
    is a guy who thinks we lack Arabic translators to deal with issues in Iraq because they are in Afghanistan and need to be moved.

    To Counter That McCain Only Has To Show (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by MO Blue on Tue May 27, 2008 at 11:18:38 AM EST
    that Obama had two completely opposite opinions on Iran within a 24 hour time frame. Obama has obliged by providing videos of an Oregon opinion (no threat) and a Montana opinion (serious threat).

    Now that is misrepresenting (none / 0) (#78)
    by Kevin on Tue May 27, 2008 at 12:37:18 PM EST
    what Obama said.  He said that they were a threat both times.  The first time he merely distinguished them from the former Soviet threat, saying they were no where near the threat of USSR while still maintaining they were a threat.  And how anyone can disagree with that is beyond me.

    What an asinine scenario (3.00 / 2) (#62)
    by wurman on Tue May 27, 2008 at 10:11:28 AM EST
    So the surrender monkies win.

    The day after the inaugural balls, the new president phones General Petraeus at 0900 hours, January 21, 2009.

    "Hey, Dave.  President Obama here."

    "Yes sir."

    "It's time to surrender.  Let's get that initial brigade on the planes & headed home."

    "Yes Sir.  I have a couple of difficulties though."

    "Alright, alright, out with it.  What are they?"

    "Well, sir, I've had the honor guard strike the colors in the Green Zone, my aide-de-camp got out my sword and polished it, my orderly pressed my dress blue uniform and we're ready . . . but, Sir, who should I meet with and turn over my sword and the flag and . . . you know . . . actually surrender to . . . Sir???  And, do you have some documents, like, you know, terms or something for myself and whoever to sign???"

    " Uhh, hmmm, ahh, stand by, General Petraeus.  I'll get back to you."

    These comments about the surrender are in most ways more stupid than the war, itself.

    Here is McCain's newest tack... (none / 0) (#10)
    by PssttCmere08 on Tue May 27, 2008 at 01:16:34 AM EST
    more of the same (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by karen for Clinton on Tue May 27, 2008 at 03:50:54 AM EST
    Obama's GE ploy will not change, it is the only game he can do since he has no experience.

    McCain's been to Iraq all these times recently, he understands politics and that particular GI bill better, (tours served) and he was a POW and served very honorably by not leaving his men behind when he could have saved his own ass.

    And what does ob answer?  He doesn't do political posturing on Memorial Day?  Yep, he saves that for every minute of the other 364 days a year...

    Obama will keep his failed strategy against Hillary and use it on McCain and it is sure to go over just as well with republicans as it did for all those Hillary supporters he shunned.

    He is now in a lose-lose situation, as he was all along with Fl and Mi and he made the wrong choice there.  He has zero credibility with respect to Iraq.  Clinton has the backing of the military on the Dem side for her knowledge and solutions.

    Obama's 2002 speech was a big zero.  It wasn't recorded, it was at a small anti-war rally and he was not even a featured speaker, and most of all he did it before he was elected to anything.  That is the extent of what he's actually done.

    McCain has experience, tons of it.  So does Hill.


    You're joking (1.00 / 2) (#50)
    by dmk47 on Tue May 27, 2008 at 08:41:10 AM EST
    McCain...understands politics and that particular GI bill better

    Clinton voted for the Webb GI bill. As did Obama and 75 senators total. It was written, ahem, by Jim Webb, whose military record is better than McCain's (not that that has anything to do with the merits of the bill but it's sauce for the gander), and who comes from an even longer familial line of military service.

    Bush and McCain oppose the Webb bill because all that matters to them is short-run retention, because all that matters to them is sustaining the Iraq war. Apart from being the right thing to do by veterans, the Webb bill is absolutely vital to increasing enlistment long-term and therefore vital to national security strategy. On the merits, it's not even a close call.

    But let's have some more reflexive Obama bashing!

    Did I mention Clinton is on the Obama-Webb side? Must be because she's trying to shun her supporters too.


    But of course (none / 0) (#85)
    by dmk47 on Tue May 27, 2008 at 01:28:27 PM EST
    There is no cogent response, only troll rating.

    You're so sexist. (none / 0) (#105)
    by Sleeper on Wed May 28, 2008 at 12:00:37 AM EST
    Sorry, had to get that out of the way before someone else said it.

    Actually, this is not a bad (1.00 / 1) (#45)
    by zfran on Tue May 27, 2008 at 08:22:55 AM EST
    idea. Imagine, for the good of both countries, the candidates appearing together to show democracy, statesmanship and the like. Perhaps a way for these 2 men to get to know each other. Of course, I would want Hillary to go, but that's probably too dangerous a place for "a woman" (UGH)

    Hillary visited Iraq in 2007. (none / 0) (#61)
    by samanthasmom on Tue May 27, 2008 at 10:07:47 AM EST
    kevin, (none / 0) (#39)
    by cpinva on Tue May 27, 2008 at 08:12:02 AM EST
    you're absolutely correct. unfortunately for us, and the country, the bulk of the electorate has no clue. simply put, it hasn't affected them directly (no draft), so they have little reason to make themselves aware of these facts.

    the media isn't going to, because they've had a lovefest going on with mccain since the 2000 republican primary. had the public been aware, do you really think bush would have been re-elected in 2004?

    so, there you have it: the more experienced, "maverick", war hero clueless guy asserting that the non-experienced, "intellectual" clueless guy hasn't got a clue, and getting away with it. he will continue to get away with it because the media loves him so.

    i looked up the republican definition for surrender. here's what i found:

    surrender: v. leaving iraq before sucking the very last oil well dry, and shipping it off to the US.

    I don't know (none / 0) (#64)
    by Kevin on Tue May 27, 2008 at 10:51:44 AM EST
    that he'll get away with it this time.  In the past, you'd have democrats racing to prove him right.  Sadly, Hillary's biggest flaw is that (I'll obliterate Iran...ugh...)  Obama hasn't been doing that.  He is actually going out to the press and pushing back just as strong.  

    So on one side you have Obama plus war heroes like like Webb.  And on the other is war Hero McCain and...Bush...  Yeah, I like Obama's odds in that one.  Especially when he is arguing for helping veterans, not against them.  And he also has the facts on his side in this one.  McCain just looks bad here.


    troops within 60 days of her taking office.

    Because, you know, she should really just quit right now. No really February would have been better.  Or maybe last fall.

    It's all about McCain vs. Obama.

    HRC Iraq  plan.

    Her plan is delusional (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Dadler on Tue May 27, 2008 at 12:05:31 PM EST
    Just like we all are about Iraq.  We have murdered a nation.  Killed it.  Dead.  We are hated there.  Despised.  There is no role for us in that region except to get out, apologize, pay billions and billions in compensation, and LEAVE THEM ALONE.  There will be no security in Iraq imposed by us or anyone else.  We have created chaos unprecedented and WE CANNOT REPAIR IT IN ANY WAY, no matter how much we wish and hope we can.  Would you want the murderer of your loved ones hanging around trying to "help" in the aftermath?  No, you'd want to kill them.  Both Hillary and Obama are, I repeat, delusional on this issue, as many of us are.  

    Our only "strategic interests" in the region are resources we hope to plunder and waste as we plunder and waste every day.

    There will be no "safe" withdrawl, there will be no honorable exit, none of it.  There is only the shame of a great nation that decided to commit unforgivable crimes against a nation that did NOTHING to it.  


    Nail on the head Dadler.... (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by kdog on Tue May 27, 2008 at 12:56:21 PM EST
    We all have our heads so far up our arses it's almost comical.

    I would not accept troops flying under another nation's flag in my hometown under any circumstances....none.  I would resist and try to kill every stinkin' one of them.  Wouldn't we all?  I have no reason to believe Iraqi people think and feel differently.


    Either The Cultists (none / 0) (#83)
    by squeaky on Tue May 27, 2008 at 01:04:37 PM EST
    Are all happy with war in Iraq , or they are drunk and blind from too much deity worship. Both their plans are clear, we are not leaving Iraq, and the Iraqi people do not have a say about that. It is called an occupation.

    Nice Cliche (none / 0) (#92)
    by squeaky on Tue May 27, 2008 at 02:58:50 PM EST
    Although it is irrelevant. The US has no interests in "fixing" Iraq, unless by fixing you mean rigging, as in a poker game. I heard an Iraqi physician speak recently, she had a better metaphor:

    The US is like a knife in Iraq's back. In order for the wound to heal the knife must be pulled completely out.

    The Iraqi people are not children, they are perfectly able to take care of themselves, without big brave US daddy holding their hand.


    Sistani... (none / 0) (#71)
    by mike in dc on Tue May 27, 2008 at 11:28:09 AM EST
    ...is edging towards a broader fatwa against the American occupation/presence in Iraq, and has already come out strongly against a permanent status of forces agreement.  The official mandate for US forces in Iraq ends on December 2008, and my guess is that the anti-occupation forces both in the Iraqi government and in the "Iraqi street"(translation: Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias) will step up their efforts in the second half of this year to force the issue.

    In other words, Sistani is likely to veto a continuing troop presence in Iraq, and the militias and lawmakers there will likely follow suit.  The McCain "victory by 2013" will ring pretty hollow if they're telling us "get out now" this October.

    Wow (none / 0) (#86)
    by squeaky on Tue May 27, 2008 at 01:57:47 PM EST
    Are you misinformed. But then again you seem to be in line with Obama, McCain, and Hillary. The mid east oil fields are ours, because we say so and no one is going to stop us.

    And since your knowledge of mid east affairs seems lacking, Iran and Iraq are already allies, and that is never going to change.

    A western power.... (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by kdog on Tue May 27, 2008 at 02:59:56 PM EST
    from across the ocean planting their flag in the sand can turn enemies into friends right quick.

    Besides, who do you think armed Saddam to the teeth to fight the Iranians?  Uncle Sam, in his infinite greedy world domination-obsessed stupidity, that's who.


    True Except For This Bit (none / 0) (#94)
    by squeaky on Tue May 27, 2008 at 03:11:33 PM EST
    In the midst of the war, the United States changed its position and unexpectedly helped the Iranians. In 1985, the Reagan Administration agreed to secretly sell weapons to Iran to win support for the freeing of American hostages being held by terrorists in Lebanon. The principal negotiator on the U.S. side was Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, a military aide to the National Security Council, who reported his activities to the National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane and his successor John Poindexter.

    When the exchange was revealed, it proved embarrassing because of Reagan's oft-stated pledge not to negotiate with terrorists and his claim not to have traded arms for hostages. The situation was further complicated by the disclosure that part of the proceeds of the arms sale had been diverted to support the Contra rebels fighting the Sandinista government in Nicaragua; this was in violation of a law prohibiting U.S. aid to the Contras.

    If this was not convoluted enough, the initial sales to Iran were made through Israel.



    Thanks Squeak.... (none / 0) (#96)
    by kdog on Tue May 27, 2008 at 03:46:19 PM EST
    we give away so many weapons, it's hard to keep track:)

    Basically (none / 0) (#97)
    by squeaky on Tue May 27, 2008 at 03:51:25 PM EST
    We were hoping that Iran and Iraq would kill each other off, not much different from the civil war that we are flaming in Iraq today.

    What was that Tarintino movie that ended with everyone shooting each other in the end?


    That Was Then (none / 0) (#89)
    by squeaky on Tue May 27, 2008 at 02:41:03 PM EST
    This is now. Not sure if you know the difference between Sunnis and Shias but Iran is shia (89%) and Saddam was Sunni therefore Sunnis had the power in Iraq. Now the Shias have control. Also Iraq was a secular country back then now it is a theocracy.

    No help on the way. (none / 0) (#98)
    by lentinel on Tue May 27, 2008 at 04:11:37 PM EST
    Jeralyn said, "Granted, Obama hasn't done anything to distinguish himself on getting us out of Iraq... (aside from his speech in 2002 before we went in)..."

    I wish more people who posture as progressives who care about ending the war in Iraq and yet are irrationally enamored and smitten with Obama would at least acknowledge the sorry fact that Jeralyn has enunciated.

    The war has become a back-burner issue in the democratic party.
    So what do they, and we, stand for?

    They stand for war and occupation.... (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by kdog on Tue May 27, 2008 at 05:43:26 PM EST
    same as Repubs, they just pander something else.  Obama supporters aren't the only ones who are smitten with somebody without the ability or conviction to cease foreign occupations and war.

    It's a back-burner issue because it's a lot easier to play gotcha all the way to the election.