Commander In Chief Test

Remember this controversial comment?

I think itís imperative that each of us be able to demonstrate we can cross the commander-in-chief threshold. I believe that Iíve done that. Certainly, Sen. McCain has done that and youíll have to ask Sen. Obama with respect to his candidacy,Ē [Hillary Clinton] said.

Yesterday, General Wesley Clark said John McCain had not passed that test. But Barack Obama disagrees and "rejects" Clark's assessment. Apparently, Obama agrees that McCain has passed the Commander in Chief test. I doubt McCain will extend the same courtesy. More . . .

Rereading Josh Marshall's post made me realize that his real objection here is, as he reiterates it:

What his campaign should not be doing is lending its imprimatur to the proposition that because McCain saw combat in Vietnam and suffered as a POW that he has the judgment to be an effective president.

Josh's point makes sense to me. I now agree. Obama's reaction was a mistake.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    Admit it (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by Steve M on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:05:21 PM EST
    You stole the idea for this post from this comment!

    I responded to that comment (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:10:00 PM EST
    explaining I did not steal it.

    Besides, my little Hillary's awful comment twist is what makes the post anyway. . .


    Hee hee (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by Steve M on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:15:30 PM EST
    My comment was actually a riff off the one I responded to, so I guess the moral is that there is nothing new under the sun.

    How well I remember the outrage over Hillary's horrible, horrible comment, perhaps the worst thing any political candidate has ever said in history.  Imagine, there were actually silly people out there who tried to justify Hillary's comment by arguing that look, you may be able to question McCain's judgment, but you're never going to persuade people that he's not even qualified for the job.


    And then she went on to win OH, TX, and PA (5.00 / 4) (#22)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:17:22 PM EST
    I dont really think (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:52:09 PM EST
    "judgement" is a place they want to go either.

    Did I do that? (none / 0) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:16:51 PM EST
    Gawd, I hope not.

    I was in the justify class (none / 0) (#97)
    by rilkefan on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:52:45 PM EST
    Do I have to stop admiring Clark's statement to be consistent?

    Hmm (5.00 / 0) (#102)
    by rilkefan on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:57:02 PM EST
    I guess Clinton's statement was much broader - Clark was attacking the "being shot down = FP experience" claim.  So ok, McCain has a long history in govt., he's generally qualified to be president by the standard test, but Clark can correctly argue that McCain doesn't have special experience more than any other Senator with his committee etc. record would.

    I do think it's important to separate out the character part from the experience part - no one is going to believe that surviving being tortured etc. is not a test of character.


    I think the problem is that (5.00 / 0) (#132)
    by Grace on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:15:02 PM EST
    Clark said something very specific ("riding in a fighter plane and being shot down" is not enough to be C in C) and people are mentally making it a bigger statement ("captured and held as a POW for 5 1/2 years, etc. etc. etc.").

    The problem is, when you really analyze McCain's experience, it goes beyond "riding in a fighter plane and being shot down" and people do justify that the extended experience does qualify him to be C in C.  


    It Was A Bigger Statement (none / 0) (#141)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:22:35 PM EST
    And I do not see how that experience makes him qualified to be CIC? Can you enumerate? Do you think that the CIC should be against the Geneva Conventions and pro torture? Indefinite confinement without trial for POWs?

    But forget all that. How specifically does any of his war experience make him qualified to be CIC?

    As BTD points out if it is just the fact that he served and got medals Dukester Cunningham would be 10x better CIC, and we know that is false.


    He attended National War College (none / 0) (#182)
    by Grace on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:45:27 PM EST
    National War College

    According to Lieutenant General Leonard T. Gerow, President of the Board which recommended its formation, "The College is concerned with grand strategy and the utilization of the national resources necessary to implement that strategy... Its graduates will exercise a great influence on the formulation of national and foreign policy in both peace and war...."

    Colin Powell was a graduate.  

    Did Obama attend anything similar?  


    Admirals And Generals (none / 0) (#199)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 06:07:57 PM EST
    The National War College is an elite academy for future admirals or generals. McCain was there for nine months. Colin Powel became a general. What happened to McCain ?

    Upon his return to America he rehabilitated his injuries, studied the Vietnam War for a year at the National War College (cashing in on his father's connections to gain a privilege for which his rank of lieutenant commander did not qualify him), commanded an air squadron for two years (again attaining a position for which he wasn't technically qualified), and then rode out the 1970s as the Navy's liaison officer to the U.S.



    Let's hope that (none / 0) (#206)
    by tek on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 06:17:35 PM EST
    don't get into all the stuff Obama got because of his connections and--dare we say it?--race.  Stuff that perhaps he didn't deserve and didn't use to best advantage.

    Then there's Michelle who DID get to go to Princeton, but DID NOT get to be homecoming queen.  


    Not according to their website (none / 0) (#212)
    by Grace on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 06:40:22 PM EST
    National War College

    Reflecting this emphasis, 75 percent of the student body is composed of equal representation from the land, air, and sea (including Marine and Coast Guard) Services. The remaining 25 percent are drawn from the Department of State and other federal departments and agencies. In addition, international fellows from a number of countries join the student body.


    The mission of the National War College is to prepare future leaders of the Armed Forces, State Department, and other civilian agencies for high-level policy, command, and staff responsibilities. To do this, NWC conducts a senior-level course of study in national security policy and strategy for selected U.S. and foreign military officers and federal officials.

    It's not even "just for Americans" so the Admirals and Generals thing doesn't hold water.

    (One other footnote:  This reflects the way the National War College is run now.  Who knows what it was like back in the 1970s?  I believe all colleges have changed their programs in the last 30 years.)


    I'll Say (none / 0) (#12)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:14:51 PM EST
    That one way to deflect attention from your reversal. But a nice tie in, and certainly supports your point viscerally. I still think that Obama did the right thing because anything else is walking into a big GOP trap, imo.

    But I am willing to be convinced otherwise.


    Josh Marshall convinced me (none / 0) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:16:17 PM EST
    who'da thunk it?

    I did not expect a defense of course but Josh makes the netter point, Obama accepted McCain as CiC material.


    Yes (none / 0) (#34)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:21:42 PM EST
    But the truth of the matter is that the threshold for CIC is not so high that any of the candidates failed to meet it, imo. Clearly military experience is not necessary qualification.

    Ha! (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by pie on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:11:33 PM EST
    I just read that below and then refreshed the main page.

    I found out about the campaign's reaction to Clark's remarks a little while ago.  I couldn't believe it.

    Tell me again how brilliant they all are.



    Yep. The larger question (5.00 / 0) (#21)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:16:58 PM EST
    re campaign tactics.  And biographies.  But not Bob Schieffer's biography.

    Hold up (none / 0) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:19:37 PM EST
    Bob Schieffer's biography was VERY relevant BEFORE.

    It was? When? Why? Not to me. (none / 0) (#50)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:28:21 PM EST
    So it was to you?  I still don't get why.  But, bygones -- it has been a convoluted day on this topic since.

    It is certainly a one-trick pony day, (5.00 / 0) (#77)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:39:03 PM EST
    news/blogwise.  Poor Obama; his patriotism speech is barey a blip.

    That's the problem. His camp is off-message (5.00 / 0) (#81)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:43:05 PM EST
    -- that is, if it's okay now to talk about campaign tactics.  

    I've had this idea rolling around. (5.00 / 0) (#120)
    by samanthasmom on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:10:37 PM EST
    Every time Obama tries to use one of Hillary's prominent supporters, things just don't work out as well as they could have. Wes Clark criticizes McCain for Obama, and Obama ends up conceding that McCain's POW status is qualification for being POTUS, and in the process buries his Patriotism Speech. Ed Rendell throws a fundraiser for Obama, but the message "We don't need the people; we just need their checkbooks" leaks out. Similarly, Rendell starts a counter group to the PUMAs, which gets the PUMAs more positive publicity. Maybe Obama should be thinking twice about using some of her people?

    Which is why Obama campaign (5.00 / 0) (#130)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:14:49 PM EST
    hasn't yet kissed Bill Clinton's a*s.  

    They Apparently Did Today (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by JimWash08 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:17:45 PM EST
    Obama and Bill Clinton has a "terrific" phone conversation today. I cannot imagine how much poor Pres. Clinton had to bite his tongue during those minutes. I sure couldn't.

    I wouldn't bite my tongue at all....obama (5.00 / 0) (#147)
    by PssttCmere08 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:26:25 PM EST
    has got to be one of the biggest opportunists ever...let's see how long it is before Bill is under-the-bus bound...

    I'm sure Bill was glad..... (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:31:27 PM EST
    ...it wasn't a picture phone.

    OH sure. Blame it on the Irish. (none / 0) (#148)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:26:27 PM EST
    Urgh (none / 0) (#192)
    by JimWash08 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:58:11 PM EST
    Now CNN is pedaling a story from Europe (possible a trash tabloid) that the phone conversation today was hastily scheduled because Bill -- who just returned home from a speaking tour in Europe -- said something bad.

    Apparently he said, in response to a question, that Obama would have to kiss his a** to get him to support him.

    Err, OK. I call bulls*** on it. Will the smears never stop?


    That is old news. See Huff Post! (none / 0) (#194)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 06:02:12 PM EST
    Joe Klein, of all people, is quoted.

    Maybe we just need to get Geena (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by PssttCmere08 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:25:16 PM EST
    Davis back.... :)

    Because (none / 0) (#70)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:37:24 PM EST
    His journalism was absolutely atrocious.

    Not Really (none / 0) (#124)
    by talex on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:12:41 PM EST
    He was one of the first anchors of any kind to come out against Iraq in his ending commentary one Sunday.

    Plus IMO he is far more fair and objective than Wallace, Russert, or Georgie S.

    He;s actually pretty good and is the n=most even handed of the bunch on a consistent basis.


    Yes (none / 0) (#191)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:56:52 PM EST

    That's what Schieffer said, in the interview with Clark.


    Bob Schieffer's brother, (none / 0) (#61)
    by RalphB on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:32:24 PM EST
    an "investor" in Fort Worth, TX, was the prime mover behind bringing W into the TX Rangers partnership which helped launch his run for governor.  He was also one of the earliest pushers of W for president.  FWIW.

    Yep, Schieffer has seemed.... (none / 0) (#158)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:32:30 PM EST
    ...very pro-Bush to me. Maybe not so much anymore, but who is these days.

    Yep, Schieffer has seemed.... (none / 0) (#159)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:32:49 PM EST
    ...very pro-Bush to me. Maybe not so much anymore, but who is these days.

    Ha (none / 0) (#5)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:10:30 PM EST
    like minds.....

    considering that (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Turkana on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:11:44 PM EST
    mccain wants to keep us in iraq, and maybe go into iran, and that obama (as did hillary) wants to pull out combat troops but keep a permanent occupation, i'm not exactly sure what this cic test entails...

    Perception as fed by people like Bob Schieffer (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:12:49 PM EST
    correct (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:15:34 PM EST
    and I would say Schieffer is one of the more "fair minded" ones.

    Yes, "really?" is a question (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:18:49 PM EST
    that interviewers ask, open-ended.  Schieffer's question is not the problem.  Nor is Clark's answer.

    Oh, but I thought it was chiseled in (none / 0) (#78)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:40:57 PM EST
    stone this a.m.  "Really"? means "h*ell yes."

    Just like "No...as far as I know" (5.00 / 0) (#105)
    by tree on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:58:19 PM EST
    now means "Yes".

    Sorry, don't see how that (none / 0) (#98)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:53:41 PM EST
    translates as what Schieffer meant.  More the opposite.  I must just be missing much between the lines.  It's Monday.

    Schieffer fair-minded??? (none / 0) (#110)
    by oldpro on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:01:39 PM EST
    I gather you didn't hear his ridiculous comments re Hillary Clinton the last few weeks...particularly when she didn't get off the stage fast enough to suit Bob and his media pals.

    Extremely unprofessional...which makes him mainstream these days.

    Sigh....glad I lived through (and can remember) the glory days of CBS News, fighting rivals of NBC News before everything went to Hell...


    Obama's Iraq Problem (5.00 / 5) (#29)
    by Josey on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:19:47 PM EST
    After Obama ensnared Obamabots with his "out of Iraq" position, he's taken Hillary's more pragmatic approach that was excoriated by Obamabots.

    Hillary was the better candidate because of her positions designed for the general - while Obama is continally flipping and flopping.

    The New Yorker, George Packer, June 30


    agree about the obamabots (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by Turkana on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:22:51 PM EST
    but i didn't think hillary was pragmatic, either:



    Actually, Clinton saiid (none / 0) (#44)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:25:01 PM EST
    she would have a plan for withdrawal from Iraq on her desk in the Oval Office within 60 days.  And that withdrawal must begin immmediately after that.

    What Obama said most recently, the day after "clinching" the nomination, was it's "indefinite." So that's actually what Bush says, isn't it?


    yes, but Hillary was less specific (5.00 / 0) (#60)
    by Josey on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:32:21 PM EST
    about the means of withdrawal, acknowledging events on the ground could change, etc.  Obama specifically said he'd withdraw 1 or 2 brigades a month (something like that.)

    Has he said that recently? (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:37:07 PM EST
    As I've tried to be attentive to it, and the most recent from Obama that I saw was, again, quite the retreat on his part in the CNN interview the day after he claimed the nomination.

    And before that, his foreign policy adviser said withdrawal would not start for 16 months, and before that. . . .  Well, if you have a time frame for the comment you cite, thanks.


    Obama's comment was made late 2007 (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by Josey on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:01:50 PM EST
    and into 2008. iirc

    Obama takes swipe at MoveOn!  to build his foreign policy cred?
    CNN - June 30

    3 million MoveOn members now under Obama's bus! LOL

    It's getting crowded under here!


    Well It Is A Monster Bus! (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by talex on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:19:35 PM EST
    You know like a monster truck with plenty of ground clearance and room for all under it.

    That was so last year (5.00 / 1) (#196)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 06:04:33 PM EST
    or at least so several months ago.  See Obama circa this month.  

    But there's plenty of time for him to flop his flip again.


    That's for Josey (5.00 / 1) (#198)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 06:05:32 PM EST
    on Obama now indefinite re Iraq withdrawal.

    While I find this entire (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:15:14 PM EST
    controversy much ado about nothing I do agree that Obama fumbled this one a bit.

    It seems clear to me that he is being VERY cautious regarding military matters.  I can understand the caution but you can't let it control the campaign.

    I am curious as to why they did this.  Unlike some here, I rarely assign emotional reactions to campaigns.  They are actively choosing to slap Clark, albeit softly, in deference to McCain.  Is it because they don't want to discuss this issue or is it because they don't want Clark embroiled in a big war with McCain right now?

    I suspect (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:16:49 PM EST
    that a war of words about military qualifications is the last place in the world they want to go.

    what I mean is (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:22:28 PM EST
    Clark could make that argument.  Obama can not.

    Probably not (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:23:56 PM EST
    FTR, I am not ruling out that this was a completely orchestrated event.  One of the few people in the entire Democratic Party who could take a shot at McCain's military cred.  Obama takes a soft slap at Clark, without calling him specifically.  

    But Obama really has nowhere to go when it comes to the military experience thing.  It's a losing argument for him no matter what.  


    That was my speculation earlier (none / 0) (#45)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:25:09 PM EST
    Questions about McCain's readiness are now "out there."

    I completely agree (none / 0) (#68)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:37:07 PM EST
    on both points.
    you will probably see similar things all year.
    atrios had a chart or something that said something like

    1.)some random 537 makes some charge or another against Obama
    2.)McCain nobly distances himself
    3.)all news organizations spend 24 hours talking about the charge and McCains noble distancing
    4.)rinse, repeat.

    it will most likely work the same way for Obama.


    except for the fact (5.00 / 1) (#180)
    by ccpup on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:44:38 PM EST
    that the Media will no longer be in the tank for Obama and his McCain "stories" won't get nearly the 24 hour non-stop, discuss it 'till you're blue in the face at the expense of real news coverage that the Obama "stories" will get.

    The Media set the Dems up with their ObamaMania so they'd run the weaker candidate -- thinking the honeymoon would last -- and now it's time to switch gears and help out the one they wanted all along:  McCain.


    Well (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by Steve M on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:18:37 PM EST
    Let's go back to Gen. Clark's original comments, when he made the attention-grabbing claim that McCain is "untested and untried" on national security.  Do you think he was freelancing when he said that?

    It seems to me like someone kinda blew it in terms of looking two moves ahead.  I mean, either this is the turf they want to engage McCain on or it isn't.


    I am a great admirer of Clark (5.00 / 5) (#35)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:22:13 PM EST
    in part because he measures his words and reactions, as a man of his abilities and especially his experience would do.

    Thus, I agree with you.  And thus, this is worrisome for Obama.  His camp is muddling the message again -- especially when all this is on the day that he is giving the big patriotism speech.  


    I Did Not Take That (5.00 / 0) (#54)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:30:00 PM EST
    As Clark saying that he was unqualified, but that his military experience did not make him anymore qualified than Obama who did not serve. Both are qualified and both are untested, a given for anyone who has not been CIC.

    Were McCain an Eisenhower, Clark would not have been able to make his statement.


    If McCain were Eisenhower (5.00 / 0) (#114)
    by miriam on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:03:11 PM EST
    Clark wouldn't have needed to make that statement.  

    Hah (5.00 / 0) (#121)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:11:35 PM EST
    Good one.

    No (none / 0) (#48)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:27:22 PM EST
    I do think this was planned for the most part.  The question is whether they got the expected reaction or not.

    Obama distancing himself from the comments, in itself, is not surprising.  Let the foot soldiers do the dirty work for you. But the fact that it was a very tepid response, neither disavowing Clark or supporting him, seems odd to me.


    That is provocative nuancing (none / 0) (#55)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:30:03 PM EST
    in trying to unsnarl this.  Thanks.

    Not a chance this was planned (none / 0) (#74)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:37:57 PM EST
    It's completely obliterated Obama's big "patriotism" speech from the media coverage.  I don't think they're so dumb that they wouldn't anticipate that possibility.

    Clark almost certainly has the go-ahead from the Obama people to be skeptical that McCain's military experience has anything to do with the presidency, but I expect they'll reel him back in on that.

    I LOVE Wes Clark, but imho he has a dangerously tin ear for political nuance.


    Of course it was planned (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by miriam on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:58:31 PM EST
    The surprise to me is why no one made any comment when Clark said exactly the same thing several weeks ago.  Was everyone asleep? And maybe most people haven't read the facts of McCain's pre-prisoner-of-war career.  He graduated near the bottom of his class.  He crashed four planes due to his own incompetence before the crash in Viet Nam.  His father's position saved him from being scrubbed.  He has a lot to answer for and Clark's statement was mild--and the ^%$# media knows it!  

    The tactic here is to warn that a former POW cannot be criticized.  I assume his treatment of his first wife is also out-of-bounds.  When did the First Amendment become obsolete where presidential candidates are concerned?      


    No One? (none / 0) (#127)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:13:49 PM EST
    I posted it a couple of times. Not much traction, though, so I guess you are right.

    I don't get... (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by Marco21 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:15:47 PM EST
    walking away from Wes either and I now kinda wish Obama, instead of giving the patriotism speech, adopted Clark's reaspone from 2004 regarding those who might question Wes' patriotism.

    "I'll kick the sh*t out of them."

    Less distancing, more fight.

    Yep (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:20:20 PM EST
    What happend to the tough talk about bringing a gun to the knife fight?

    not a gun this time (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:50:40 PM EST
    a spork

    Ha! love it (none / 0) (#103)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:57:25 PM EST
    I'm counting on you to let (none / 0) (#109)
    by samanthasmom on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:59:55 PM EST
    me know when it's time to start popping the popcorn. (Our eating utensils have one less prong than usual so my husband calls them "threeks".)

    Kool Aid (none / 0) (#40)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:23:14 PM EST
    Apparently it was a toy gun.... (none / 0) (#100)
    by PssttCmere08 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:54:52 PM EST
    With all due respect: (5.00 / 6) (#26)
    by JimWash08 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:19:02 PM EST
    I doubt McCain will extend the same courtesy.

    Why should McCain say something he doesn't necessarily stand by or believe? That would make him insincere and a liar, and that would put him on equal footing with his opponent.

    He is not Hillary Clinton, and so he isn't and doesn't have to be in such a position. The way I see it, Obama has done nothing to cross that C.I.C. "threshold."

    But if running a heated Primary campaign with someone who had qualifies him, then it's all good. Until then, Obama hasn't done squat. Sorry.

    the wrong candidate is running (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by ccpup on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:30:20 PM EST
    for the Democrats.  Maybe Obama's missteps will be so massive and unable to ignore by August that the SDS will do the sane thing and officially nominate the woman who can actually win against McCain without all these necessary legs-up and helping hands.

    I don't think anyone doubts Hillary's strength to lead.  Obama?  Not so much.  And that's a problem come November.  Heck, it's a problem NOW!


    I don't think there is a threshold (none / 0) (#73)
    by Panhandle on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:37:47 PM EST
    In my opinion, The only qualification to be President is the intelligence to view the problems facing our country, gather the facts, and reach well reasoned, common sense solutions.

    I think Obama passes that threshold.

    Perfect? Not even close. The best? Probably not. (those people don't run for office) Way better than Grandpa McBush? Hell yes.


    If it really was that simple: (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by JimWash08 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:51:40 PM EST
    The only qualification to be President is the intelligence to view the problems facing our country, gather the facts, and reach well reasoned, common sense solutions.

    I could think of several of my college professors, especially a Poli-Sci prof. who should be able to waltz into the White House tomorrow. And she is a woman. A woman I admire and respect to heavens, who could go toe to toe (yes, really) with Hillary.

    Obama is intelligent, indeed, no doubt whatsoever about that.

    Couple things though; he has SHOWN it and done a darn good job of it with his platitude-laden speeches, both on and off the stump.

    Most of the meat and potatoes of his campaign I've heard from the economists and experts he trots out to the afternoon and Sunday news shows.

    His "well reasoned, common sense solutions" are almost carbon-copies of Sen. Clinton's -- most of which were issued publicly before his, so if my Poli-Sci professor has a few good interns with great synthesizing-skills, I bet she could put out dossiers of solutions too to carry her right into the Oval Office.


    Except she'd (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by oldpro on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:11:47 PM EST
    have to get a sex-change operation.  Running as a female in the current climate isn't going to get her there....

    Dear General Clark. Welcome under the bus! (5.00 / 6) (#33)
    by Shainzona on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:21:12 PM EST
    Another one hits the road.

    And the wheels on that bus go round and round, round and round, round and round.

    James Carville just defended Clark on CNN (5.00 / 9) (#41)
    by ajain on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:23:16 PM EST
    He said he disagreed with the Obama camp and that Wes Clark was right and was simply responding to a question that was set up for the answer he gave.

    Maybe there is wisdom in that.

    Carville is right (5.00 / 0) (#139)
    by jb64 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:21:15 PM EST
    The point here is that what Clark said is right, its all over the news and it will have the effect of making people consider what the threshold is. Yes, the media will take its usual short sighted view, "Oh the horror" and yes, its disappointing that Obama chose to distance himself from those remarks, but given the quagmire that is Iraq, and the fear of an escalation with Iran, if you're going to neutralize McCain's "advantage" this is a good place to start.

    Good for him (none / 0) (#106)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:58:30 PM EST
    I was just wondering when Hillary will get the question and what she will say.  Maybe that is a clue.

    Hillary has already said McCain (none / 0) (#208)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 06:18:46 PM EST
    has crossed the commander in chief threshold....

    Joe Biden said it too, of Obama (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by catfish on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:29:43 PM EST
    The clips of Biden, and Edwards, and Hillary are captured in one RNC ad: Democrats vs Obama.

    But without BDS, or EDS (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:34:17 PM EST
    both Biden and Edwards, as well as others, got to say all manner of things about Obama -- recall Biden re Obama being "articulate"?  And now he's supposed to be on Obama's VP shortlist.

    This video is excellent evidence of CDS.  Bookmarked, with so many others, for a course next year.  Thanks.


    Uh oh... (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by oldpro on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:37:01 PM EST
    I stumbled on it a month ago (none / 0) (#83)
    by catfish on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:44:29 PM EST
    maybe they're saving it for October? They've got a few good - er... polished attack ads funded by RNC.

    Right (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by Steve M on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:34:33 PM EST
    People like Lieberman, or our 2004 Democratic nominee, are the only people who would say such a horrible thing about a fellow Democrat.

    Of course it ought to be completely off limits to argue that a rival candidate lacks the gravitas to go up against the Republican nominee on national security issues.  Lord knows the only electability arguments that aren't despicable are the ones that got made against Hillary Clinton.

    the comment this responded to (none / 0) (#76)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:38:18 PM EST
    was deleted for profanity.

    Hmm (5.00 / 0) (#80)
    by Steve M on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:42:43 PM EST
    I've been living in New York too long when I don't even notice the profanity I'm responding to :)

    So, based on this: (5.00 / 0) (#66)
    by Grace on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:36:27 PM EST
    Obama's reaction was a mistake.

    Obama has bad judgment?  ;-)

    Isn't Obama repeating Kerry's mistakes? (5.00 / 0) (#86)
    by MarkL on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:46:21 PM EST
    It's no surprise really---he's been quite deferential to McCain, compared to how he's spoken about Hillary.

    I pegged him as a John Kerry months ago (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by catfish on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:49:53 PM EST
    of course, he's got a little more pizazz than Kerry (at times,) sometimes he's got less.

    Retreat (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by TheRealFrank on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:46:31 PM EST
    Democrats will never learn. They believe the "conventional wisdom" that they are weak on national security. Pushed by Republicans on yet another meaningless, gotcha-style soundbite taken out of context, they will always retreat.

    In the primaries, Obama ran a smart campaign. Ever since he's become the nominee, he has done everything to run a traditional, conventional wisdom-driven, careful, defensive campaign. This is not a winning strategy. Ask John Kerry.

    Obama's GE campaign so far has been very disappointing.

    The reason for this is (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by Montague on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:52:37 PM EST
    IMO that it was indeed a very good campaign for a Democratic primary.  They did a pretty spectacular job under the circumstances.  Sadly, what Dems will let slide is entirely different from what Rethugs will let slide.  That is, the Rethugs will let NOTHING slide.  

    Obama was never an appropriate candidate for a general election for federal office.  Nor was Kerry, for that matter.  Sadly, we let a candidate who could have managed that election slip through our fingers.  Our loss in November.


    Commander in Personal Ambition Test (5.00 / 0) (#104)
    by fctchekr on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:57:47 PM EST
    John Kerry had a broader resume than GWB: combat experience became a moot point once his honesty about the war provided the opposition with a glaring opportunity to Swiftboat.

    Obama is reasserting Hillary's claim. And there isn't a rational person who could disagree that to McCain's four decades of public service, Obama's four years pale in comparison. (This is not counting his years as a community organizer and State Senate years.

    But his record in the Senate reveals he spent much of his time climbing the ladder, discontent with the system, contemptuous of it. In a way it reminds me of Minnesota's Mark Dayton who complained "about basic facts of the job, such as his limited power in a chamber where authority derives from seniority."


    The difference is Dayton was an altogether too altruistic humanistic person with much less personal ambition. When he didn't roll with the party line, which was often, he got the cold shoulder. (Wellstone often had a similar problem.)

    In comparision if gives us a clue as to who BO isn't.

    Obama had to denounce it (5.00 / 0) (#108)
    by dianem on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:59:54 PM EST
    If McCain's extensive leadership experience isn't enough to qualify him to be President, then being Editor of the Harvard Law Review certainly isn't going to cut it. I think that Obama could have worded it differently, though. He could have said something along the lines of "We agree with General Clark about McCain's long and heroic service to the nation, and that McCain's judgement has been questionable in terms of his support of (fill in the blanks). We do not agree that there is an arbitrary threshold of experience for being President, however. We feel that being President requires a variety of skills and experiences, including those shown by Barack Obama as he leads this nation forward."

    mmm I've been thinking about this while I work (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by Faust on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:02:54 PM EST
    and I have def decided this was a bad move. I'm not sure how bad a political move it is, certainly I think it was a completetely unecessary move.

    But tactics aside it simply grates on my intellectual concience. Clark is simply too right on this issue. Wrist slapping him just makes Obama look stupid (to me).

    Yep. Nowhere Obama ought to want to go (none / 0) (#204)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 06:14:39 PM EST
    Just caught up my son on this, who was watching evening news.  He voted for Obama.  He is antiwar, he is no fan of McCain.  Neither is son's dad, who also voted for Obama.  But son's dad is a Viet vet.  

    So son knows enough to say, "whaaaat was that from Obama about Clark?"  Then he called his dad.  The conversation sounds colorful.  

    I think Obama may have just lost two more votes.  It is all more complicated than that, as we know watching this today.  But the way that the vet and his son saw it on the news tonight, not good for Obama.  Oh, and there doesn't seem to be anything on the news on the patriotism speech.  It went pffft when Obama went off-message.  McCain wins the day.


    Example no. 5,437 (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by HenryFTP on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:03:07 PM EST
    of how Democrats have forgotten how to play politics.

    The Republicans never have to disavow any of their spokespeople, unless they're caught igniting a cross on somebody's lawn.

    The irony is that General Clark has been saying exactly the same thing about John McCain for a few weeks now. It's only received national media attention in the current cycle. The further irony is that the statement is true -- and just for a direct comparison, Jimmy Carter's junior naval officer service (and more distinguished career at Annapolis) didn't get him cut any slack with the GOP.

    So Obama has opted for unilateral disarmament on this issue, while as noted the Republicans will be enjoying their open season on Obama's slender résumé. While Obama may be currying favor with the Village Elders, the voters will be wondering whether he is willing to stand up and fight for anything.

    Let's review the historical record:

    Fighting Democratic Presidential candidates since the War:

    Truman 1948, Kennedy 1960, Johnson 1964, Humphrey 1968, Clinton 1992 and 1996.

    Gentlemanly Democratic Presidential candidates since the War:

    Stevenson 1952 and 1956, McGovern 1972, Carter 1976 and 1980, Mondale 1984, Dukakis 1988, Gore 2000 and Kerry 2004.

    Gore would have been a fighting Dem had he not been Shrummed and Braziled into a straitjacket. Hubert was arguably too nice a guy, but he almost caught Nixon in 1968 after being 15 points down with three weeks to go when he remembered that he was a latter day Happy Warrior.

    Carter is pleased those unpleasant Clintons have been kicked to the curb.

    Well, the Stevensonian wing of the Party sure is delighted with our nominee, but all I can say is thank goodness we're running against a guy Eisenhower would have washed out of the service.

    Cafferty's 5PM Question (5.00 / 0) (#115)
    by JimWash08 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:04:06 PM EST
    Are John McCain's military credentials overrated?
    I despise the Old Fart to the bone for his Hillary sniping, and I always will, but I'm actually glad he read these replies on air.
    I think Gen. Wesley Clark's statements are simply stupid from a political standpoint. Why would you want to bring up McCain's military service as an issue in the first place? The discussion hurts Obama much more than McCain. (1) Obama has no military service. McCain served in the Navy in a war zone. (2) Obama has no executive experience. McCain was an officer. (3) McCain is a U.S. Naval Academy graduate. Annapolis is probably one of the greatest leadership schools in the world.
    and this
    John McCain's service alone does not make him qualified to be commander-in-chief. However, when combined with his years in the Senate, including as former Chairman and current Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, he has very reputable credentials.

    No one can argue with that. There are tons of ways to reach that so-called CIC threshold, and though I don't support him, McCain has definitely passed the test.

    No. You don't (5.00 / 2) (#144)
    by oldpro on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:23:58 PM EST
    have to support him to post here.

    This site supports Obama but not mindlessly, uncritically.  

    And many of us who come here do not support the D Party process or the presumptive nominee it has produced...though some of us are lifelong Dem activists.

    We are, however, still political junkies...so we come for dialogue and insight and sensible, fair argument without hidden agendas.

    Good manners get no one banned.  Check the rules and stick around.

    POW Status not the reason (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by Prabhata on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:32:52 PM EST
    My view, since Hillary is not the nominee, I will be voting for McCain because he is a better candidate than Obama. It has nothing to do with being POW, but his life long work in the US Senate.

    So... if you're voting for McCain (5.00 / 0) (#187)
    by MyLeftMind on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:51:39 PM EST
    why are you commenting here?

    There are some sites that are supporting Republicans.  Wouldn't you be more comfortable where people aren't talking about Obama?

    BTW, why are so many people here hostile to Obama?  Are there any threads/stories that accept that he's going to be the nominee and try to find ways to ensure he wins?

    I'd like to take part in that kind of conversation.  Is this site able to host a topic that draws supporters who want to work to see Obama win?


    Hillary's (5.00 / 1) (#203)
    by tek on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 06:11:48 PM EST
    statement was only controversial because the media is stupid.  As a woman, she's got a whole different thing going on with the issue than Obama.

    I'm glad you changed your mind (none / 0) (#2)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:07:06 PM EST

    BTW, Obama's seeming unwillingness to campaign (5.00 / 5) (#3)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:09:51 PM EST
    contributes to my fear that he isn't doing the work he needs to do to pass the CiC threshold. TV can only do so much.

    He's doing what he did (5.00 / 9) (#9)
    by pie on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:13:13 PM EST
    during the primary.  Making pretty little speeches.

    That will NOT work any more.  I can only imagine what Hillary would be doing now if she were the presumptive nominee.

    The wrong person is running.


    Honestly, I agree (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:15:07 PM EST
    He's acting like Ned Lamont. I have a sinking feeling about that.

    Ned Lamont. (5.00 / 0) (#32)
    by pie on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:20:22 PM EST
    I really thought he had it wrapped up and then he went on vacation.

    And I just read on another thread that he dissed MoveOn for the Betrayus ad.



    Yup, (5.00 / 4) (#38)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:22:36 PM EST
    Being out energized by people like Joe Lieberman or John McCain is a little disturbing.

    Oh jeez... (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by Burned on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:51:18 PM EST
    That is REALLY disturbing.

    I predict (none / 0) (#190)
    by ccpup on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:56:21 PM EST
    Obama will nod off briefly while listening to someone speak at some point during this campaign and they'll run that footage -- against that of a fired up McCain -- non-stop, 24/7.

    The fact that he's much younger than McCain and yet seems to be so tired all the time from this "tough" campaign is a 527 just begging to happen.  Or a SNL skit.


    If what Clark was doing was (none / 0) (#10)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:13:27 PM EST
    laying down the commander in chief threshold, then he may be the only person alive quailified to be commander in chief.

    I sincerely regret that Hillary ever groped for and reached that phrase.

    I think it was from the heart (5.00 / 7) (#72)
    by dianem on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:37:41 PM EST
    It's odd that Clinton has been criticized so heavily for this by the same people who claimed that everything she said was sneaky triangulation. This was a straightforward statement that effectively put her on a solid footing against McCain and pointed out her opponent's most obvious failing, and it was obviously something she believed. If people find it objectionable, it is only because it is undeniably true, so there is no way to counter it.  Even Obama has felt it necessary to rebut a supporter's words when he claimed the contrary.

    If we don't want to find ourselves defending our candidate's for a lack of leadership experience, then perhaps we should select candidates who have leadership experience.


    It seems obvious to me the McCain (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:44:01 PM EST
    campaign would have noticed the deficiencies in Obama's resume w/o any assistance from Hillary Clinton.

    when your opposition is complaining (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by RalphB on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:45:17 PM EST
    it just means you've done something to move the needle in your direction.  The CIC test was one of those things.  It was true and unequivocal.

    Da Media (5.00 / 0) (#79)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:41:32 PM EST
    has a really, really nasty habit of disappearing the reporter/anchor question on things like this so all we ever hear about is the answer.

    Wes Clark didn't volunteer that gettng shot down wasn't a qualification for president, he was asked whether it was or not.

    IIRC, the same thing with Hillary and the CIC issue.   She was asked, she didn't volunteer it.  I don't think she groped for the phrase, I think it was in the question.

    My memory could be fault on that, but that's the way I remember it.


    Memory Da Fault (none / 0) (#87)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:46:30 PM EST
    Check the link BTD provided. It was orchestrated by Hillary.

    I could be wrong (none / 0) (#129)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:14:31 PM EST
    and thinking of something else.  My bad. I'll have to review the tape.

    If that was a planned phrase then, it was even worse. Way too vague. I wish she had put it another way.


    I can't say whether the phrase was (none / 0) (#155)
    by tree on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:30:51 PM EST
    planned or not, but she did use it in response to a question. Even though the question isn't included in this youtube video, its obvious that she's responding to a question and not just giving a prepared speech.

    That comment by Hillary (none / 0) (#23)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:18:04 PM EST
    was one of the very few things I criticized Hillary for.  Served no purpose but could haunt the party down the road.

    perhaps (5.00 / 0) (#27)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:19:12 PM EST
    its what she really believes.  many do.

    Honestly, I think she was probably (5.00 / 5) (#30)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:20:20 PM EST
    characterizing what her internal polling said. I think the problem she identified is still one.

    There's a reason why Mark Penn went with "ready to lead on day one" so early.


    I think it was just a bad way to say (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:26:43 PM EST
    that Obama had less education and experience in military affairs than either she or McCain. Once she introduced the concept of a 'threshold', it turns into a more specific question of what is 'enough' in that area.

    I thought Clark hit all the right points, without ever disparaging McCain's service or the knowledge he does have.  He just pointed out that he does not have certain types of experience. I wish Obama would have just let Clark's comments stand.


    Clark passes the threshold. (5.00 / 0) (#85)
    by Montague on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:46:11 PM EST
    Hillary passes the threshold.  Obama doesn't.  Whether McCain does or doesn't is unimportant to me.  Point is, I'm glad Obama dissed Clark's comments.  I hope that means there will be no Obama/Clark ticket, because that would send my respect for Clark into the toilet.  It's already hovering because of his comments on that show.

    Actually no (none / 0) (#116)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:06:43 PM EST
    Wesley Clark does NOT pass the threshold.  He tried to become President in 2004 and failed.

    Let us remember that President of the United States is primarily a POLITICAL job.  


    Well that seems silly, flyer.... (5.00 / 1) (#168)
    by oldpro on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:37:55 PM EST
    isn't the threshold one of believability as the CIC role as president?

    You don't dispute that Clark qualifies, do you?  I thought THAT was what we were discussing...not electoral/political success...

    Help me out here...do I need more coffee?

    Or a nap?


    You are right (5.00 / 2) (#188)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:53:31 PM EST
    It is not about the ability to get elected president,  It is about the ability to command the military.

    What oldpro said. (5.00 / 2) (#184)
    by Montague on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:48:49 PM EST
    CIC threshold is about ability and readiness to serve as CIC.  Bush won - his second term anyway - yet even with 4 years under his belt by then (so to speak) he STILL didn't pass the CIC threshold.

    Oh there's no doubt (none / 0) (#51)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:29:02 PM EST
    that her comment was deliberately made based on what they felt would score points.  I just don't think they thought out the consequences very well.

    I think they knew exactly what they were. (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by pie on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:32:20 PM EST
    The voters certainly seemed to agree in March, April, May, and June.

    It might or might not (none / 0) (#58)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:31:35 PM EST
    have been intended to score points. But what I'm saying is that they probably polled a question like that "Do you believe candidate X meets the 'commander in chief' threshold?" or something to that effect. And my guess is that, by the time she said what she said, only Obama failed to pass that test.

    Whether she should have said it is a different question, in my opinion.


    Probably right (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:08:22 PM EST
    It is just an 'inartful' phrase for her to use, to use the current term for such things.

    Later she mentioned meeting with the generals and standing toe to toe and I thought that was a much better image. There is a difference between knowing something and being able to talk about it after learning about it for years versus a quick study of it for a campaign. That is the only way in which McCain's experience helps him, which is kind of what Clark said.

    I have never agreed that the Republicans would somehow not notice that Obama had less military knowledge than McCain if Hillary had not brought it up.  That criticism of her I reject, renounce, and denounce.

    Anyway, what will Hillary say when asked about this Clark thing?
    Also I hope this episode is not going to sideline Clark form the campaign or the possible Obama administration.


    My bet is that (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by dk on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:13:34 PM EST
    Hillary would say she respects John McCain greatly, and then go on to cite specific examples of where she disagrees with his positions and policies....you know, an intelligent response.

    Yes, those days of intelligent responses (5.00 / 2) (#133)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:15:27 PM EST
    I do miss them.

    Well, I hope we can (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by dk on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:23:00 PM EST
    wait 4 years, because we are not going to get them from the next president, no matter which one of them wins.

    I totally believed it (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by pie on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:24:34 PM EST
    and knew it was going to be a problem for the man who served a very short time as a U.S. senator.  Pretending it's not is dangerous and will lead to an unhappy result in November.  I think you guys were outraged precisely because you didn't know how to deal with it.

    It's since become more apparent, and Obama has done nothing to address it.  


    Hillary was bashed for that remark (5.00 / 7) (#46)
    by Josey on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:25:14 PM EST
    because the fix was in for Obama.
    Don't you remember Congressional Dems immediately coming to Obama's defense? But they were silent when the Obama camp continually falsely accused the Clintons of racism and Obama "brushed Hillary off" the bottom of his shoe. The latter was considered "just politics."
    imo - Obama is not qualified to be CinC.

    She was her own attack dog (5.00 / 7) (#64)
    by catfish on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:34:45 PM EST
    Where as Obama had others do his attacking while appearing "above the fray."

    As a mere voter, I prefer Hillary's way, because it's a "buck stops here" mentality.


    She got really good at it too (5.00 / 4) (#75)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:38:15 PM EST
    I think "shame on you Barack Obama. . .meet me in Ohio" is going to be studied and emulated for years to come.

    That was a favorite (5.00 / 3) (#89)
    by catfish on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:48:20 PM EST
    of mine (some hated it) but my number one, was her "skies will open, light will come down" I played that clip about 10 times, it was so awesome. At the end of it, that crowd of Ohio folk (lots of men in this one) are whistling, cheering, just eating it up.

    i know what she meant, but it ever there (none / 0) (#53)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:29:48 PM EST
    has been an inartful phrase in this campaign, it has been 'commander-in-chief threshold'. Makes it sound like a yes or no answer.

    headline from first read (none / 0) (#11)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:14:01 PM EST

    woah wait a second (none / 0) (#49)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:28:20 PM EST
    did Clark really say mccain hadn't crossed the aforementioned threshold?

    My understanding is that all he said is that getting shot down and being a POW ....  All by itself... In and of itself is not sufficient criteria.

    What did I miss?  Was his statement more broad than I understood it?

    Your understanding is correct (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Steve M on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:37:34 PM EST
    and then, this is the key point, Obama said that he REJECTED Clark's statement.  Thus meaning that getting shot down and being a POW, all by itself, IS sufficient criteria.

    I did miss that (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:53:46 PM EST
    but frankly I care more about Clark being mis-represented by the media than obama's hedges at this point.

    Ironically, theres no need for obama to hedge if Clark's statement is taken at face value.


    The problem is (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by Steve M on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:56:21 PM EST
    most people will not get down into the weeds to study the question of exactly what Clark said.

    Instead, whether they come to believe that Clark said something inappropriate is mostly a function of narrative.  That's why Obama's statement is so unfortunate.  Clark didn't make an inappropriate attack on McCain's military record, but now that Obama has denounced Clark, many people will shrug and assume that he must have gone someplace off limits.


    I can't believe obama did that (none / 0) (#134)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:16:34 PM EST
    But if that's what he did, gosh.

    So.  Is Clark now under the bus, too!  There really had better be a shrimp tray and an open bar under there.

    Sheese, kind of a mess.


    {starts fixing up the shrimp trays} (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by nycstray on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:29:38 PM EST
    just bought a few pounds of fresh Carolina prawns ;) Who's doin' up the cocktails?

    Cocktail hour at (5.00 / 2) (#186)
    by oldpro on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:50:05 PM EST
    riverdaughter's Confluence is the best-organized, best-stocked and most hospitable.

    Let's just mosey over there where many of the 'busunders' gather about this time of day...altho it's a little early for us on the leftcoast...but "What the Hell, Archie, toujours gai!"

    Oh...and, bring the shrimp.  Hope they're jumbo in honor of you know who.


    As Jimmy Buffett would say, (5.00 / 2) (#195)
    by samanthasmom on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 06:03:15 PM EST
    "it's five o'clock somewhere."

    Steve M (none / 0) (#161)
    by kmblue on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:33:44 PM EST
    gets points for accuracy.  Sincerely meant, by way!

    Did not say that exactly (none / 0) (#57)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:31:04 PM EST
    but said McCain had never been, in effect,  the decider.

    good good (none / 0) (#65)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:36:13 PM EST
    I thought I missed something.

    You need to scroll back to last night (none / 0) (#153)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:30:04 PM EST
    here and watch the video.  The issue was whether "riding" in a plane that was shot down qualified one to be Commander in Chief.

    It's not that I think Obama's (none / 0) (#93)
    by clio on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 04:51:32 PM EST
    an innovative political leader.
    I don't.

    But it is dispiriting to watch him reducing his landslide victory to a close race and throwing away his advantages in this campaign with both hands.

    OT: Obama's new ad on TV on WJLA (none / 0) (#119)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:09:06 PM EST
    in the DC market. Probably part of the Virginia buy.

    Their idiot political reporter teases (5.00 / 0) (#123)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:11:52 PM EST
    "Is Barack Obama questioning John McCain's status as a war hero?"

    I'm in DC too. (none / 0) (#126)
    by JimWash08 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:13:45 PM EST
    But I hardly watch network TV; unless its a network show I follow. Watching CrapNN right now.

    I won't actively be seeking this new ad -- or old ad, because to me, they're all the same -- but I'll be looking forward to it.

    It'll be a nice treat to see some political ads on local network TV. The Potomac Primary was largely a snoozefest IMO because BO and HRC barely paid for airtime in the District.


    In truth, I only turned on the news (none / 0) (#128)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:14:30 PM EST
    to see if I'd see the ad. Lo and Behold. . .

    I'm sure the local reporter (none / 0) (#136)
    by dk on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:17:52 PM EST
    is an idiot, but, really, does Obama really think he will get any traction on all the foreign policy and patriotism stuff?  I don't.

    If I were Obama, I'd be glad that Bill Clinton is finally taking my calls, because he needs to be reminded that "it's the economy, stupid."  In my opinion, turning the media narrative into how awful the economy is faring is probably the only way that Obama will win this thing.


    He can win with two issues (none / 0) (#137)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:19:08 PM EST
    1. I was right on Iraq, McCain was wrong;


    2. McCain wants to give your money away to the big oil companies.


    I disagree with you on #1. (5.00 / 0) (#140)
    by dk on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:21:42 PM EST
    That won him the primary, but it will not win him the general.

    I think Obama can only win on "The economy sucks, gas is over $4, you're about to lose your jobs, and you may soon have no health insurance."


    Well . . . . (none / 0) (#167)
    by nycstray on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:35:59 PM EST
    "The economy sucks" - what's he going to do about it?

    "gas is over $4" - what's he going to do about it?

    "you're about to lose your jobs" - what's he going to do about it?

    "you may soon have no health insurance." - His health insurance solution doesn't solve this . .  .


    Go to the website. (none / 0) (#169)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:38:00 PM EST
    I can't (none / 0) (#175)
    by nycstray on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:39:54 PM EST
    I still have a few hours of work to get done and I don't want to fall asleep  ;)

    'sides, there's no there, there.


    I agree with you (none / 0) (#178)
    by dk on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:42:54 PM EST

    I think what I meant was that Obama not only has to campaign on these themes, but will have to do so in a way that gets people and the media so scared that they won't think to challenge Obama to actually have any solutions.

    In a way, it's the same kind of fear mongering that the Republicans do with foreign policy.  Scare the electorate into voting for you.  Unfortunatley, with Obama that's the best that the Democrats will be able to do this year.


    Care to rephrase #2? (5.00 / 2) (#164)
    by RalphB on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:34:29 PM EST
    since Obama voted for Cheney's Big Oil Co giveaway bill and McCain voted against it.

    heh, I usually catch that one (none / 0) (#172)
    by nycstray on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:38:16 PM EST
    went right over my head today :)

    As usual, the bills Congress produces have (none / 0) (#189)
    by MyLeftMind on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:56:06 PM EST
    a mixed bag.  Big Oil giveaways came with some alternative fuel funding.

    Straddles and tricksters, these politicians.


    Amazing (none / 0) (#205)
    by Steve M on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 06:16:45 PM EST
    that virtually every Republican voted for the energy bill, then, while all the foremost pro-environment Dems voted against it.

    No one here is going to buy the line that because somewhere buried in the energy bill there was a good line item, there were therefore good reasons to vote for it.  You insult the intelligence of everyone here when you try to push crap arguments like that.


    wrong (none / 0) (#197)
    by ccpup on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 06:04:35 PM EST
    the Iraq question will be neutralized with his votes in the Senate to continue funding the war and his stunning inaction as Chairman of that Foreign Relations Committee.  May have zero to do with Iraq, but questioning why he's held no hearings (and responding that he's been "busy running for President" is not an answer he should give) will put him on defense and highlight McCain's own efforts on Committee, past and present.

    The oil company question may have traction in some areas, but, unless he has an answer for the high gas prices or the companies which may have given to his campaign which might have ties to oil companies (don't know if that's the case, but the GOP could dig it up if it is), it's not a strong enough issue to win an Election.

    The Dems shouldn't be running anamateurs for the most important job in the Country.



    Advisers (none / 0) (#131)
    by nellre on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:14:57 PM EST
    Obama is not prepared but he can appoint/consult advisers who will help him make the right decisions. Like Hillary and Bill Clinton.
    McCain won't make the right decisions. If you can't vote for Obama, vote for the Green party or something.

    Is that snark? Exactly the same guarantee (5.00 / 0) (#145)
    by MarkL on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:24:42 PM EST
    was made about Bush---"he'll have good advisers".
    Considering that Obama has promised to tap the Bush I pool for his advisers and cabinet, the comparison is even more apt.

    Better be snark (none / 0) (#150)
    by RalphB on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:29:13 PM EST
    else it's well...

    Advisors like Bill and Hillary (5.00 / 0) (#149)
    by oldpro on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:27:12 PM EST
    to help Obama?

    You must be kidding.  His advisors will be Daschle, Kerry, Kennedy and Durbin...not the Clintons.


    What oldpro said. Ya gotta be kidding. (none / 0) (#209)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 06:23:09 PM EST
    Obama ought to kiss the ground that the Clintons walk on, if not the portion of the anatomy reported, for anything he gets from them, after the race-baiting.  And as if it makes any sense to the average American who saw that and then sees "racists" for Obama?  That's what he did to himself on this.  Obama broke it, Obama bought it, to quote Colin Powell.  Maybe he's available to shore up Obama's CIC credentials.

    As for the Clintons, they will be busy.  She's a Senator, y'know -- the sort that actually shows up for votes and committee meetings, the sort that never gets bored by the work like Obama does.  And Bill has his own work to do.  He took the call, he did that for Obama today, Bill is done with him.

    Maybe you saw that SNL skit about Obama calling Hillary Clinton for help, and you didn't see it as snark?


    Seriously (none / 0) (#210)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 06:34:58 PM EST
    I'm not trying to be mean here but that's the exact same rationale the GOP gave for George W. Bush in 2000. I doesn't matter if you have good adivsors if you don't have the judgement and experience to know when they are giving you bad advice.

    So, was it a politically good idea for Obama to (none / 0) (#143)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:23:09 PM EST
    distance himself from Clark due to Clark's statement to Schieffer?  

    Not IMHO (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:30:28 PM EST
    No. (5.00 / 1) (#193)
    by oldpro on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 06:02:06 PM EST
    There are things he could have said but what he did say wasn't one of them.

    Now he doesn't have Clark and his military bonafides to rely on.

    My first impulse would be for the candidate to say something like:

    "Hey!  General Clark was asked a question!  He answered it.  I agree with his answer.  And I will take Wes Clark's advice and input on foreign policy and military matters any day of the week because his experience and background indicate superior judgment.  The same cannot be said for everyone who has ever worn a uniform."

    Well...maybe leave that last sentence out...but still.

    Could we please see a little fight in the presumptive nominee?  Just a little?


    On a side note (none / 0) (#152)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:29:58 PM EST
    Interesting that Josh's commenters think Obama orchestrated the whole Clark statement - Clark slammed by media - Obama rejects Clark's statement dance to get it 'out there' and still get credit for rejecting it. Reminds me of how they thought Hillary orchestrated all of her surrogates' most fake-outrageous statements. Is this how campaigns really put out their messages?  If so I am hopelessly naive.

    Revisiting Hillary Clinton's (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:34:05 PM EST
    statement the primary contest was still going strong in June when RFK was killed:  Obama spokesperson says, how horrible.  Later, Obama walks it back.

    But this is where (5.00 / 2) (#170)
    by dk on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:38:02 PM EST
    Obama is meeting his media darling match.  He doesn't have Hillary to kick around anymore.  When Obama had his attack dogs go after Hillary, the press was more than happy to jump on the bandwagon.  Then, when Obama backtracked, they would hail him for being above the fray.

    Now, when Obama's attack dogs go after McCain, the media response will be "Really?" and when Obama backtracks, he will look weak.

    The party is over.


    I'd guess that the naivete is not yours, (none / 0) (#166)
    by tree on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:35:41 PM EST
    but rather on the other end of the comments.

    It's a need on the part of the more naive... (5.00 / 2) (#174)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:39:27 PM EST
    ...supporters to believe that their heroes can make no mistakes, therefore everything must be planned, done, and said for a very good reason.

    Also fits with the need for Hillary to be (5.00 / 2) (#181)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:45:20 PM EST
    orchestrating evil, so that theory makes sense.

    Straw Man Alert! (none / 0) (#157)
    by Veracitor on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:32:18 PM EST
    Clark did not say McCain was not qualified.  He said that being a POW and commanding a small non-combat outfit did not necessarily qualify him.

    Clark sd. sitting in a plane that was (none / 0) (#165)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:34:58 PM EST
    short down did not qualify one to be Commander in Chief.  Don't embellish.

    It Is Hardly Embellishing (none / 0) (#171)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:38:07 PM EST
    Clark did not say that McCain was not qualified to be CIC. I think you may have missed his whole point.

    Please, please, don't make me re-read (none / 0) (#176)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:40:15 PM EST
    all those posts.  Cruel and unusual punishment.  What did Clark say?  Not a qualification for Pres.?

    He Said This (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by squeaky on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:43:45 PM EST
    [CBS News' Bob] SCHIEFFER: . . . [Barack Obama has not] ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down.

    Gen. [Wes] CLARK [former NATO Supreme Allied Commander and decorated Vietnam War veteran]: Well, I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president.

    SCHIEFFER: Really?

    He said a lot more than that (none / 0) (#183)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:46:49 PM EST
    Thought that is the part you will hear most about.

    That's how I read it too (none / 0) (#177)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:40:46 PM EST
    i never heard him say McCain was not qualified to be commander in chief. He just said how various experiences do not in themselves make him qualified.

    I guess you could say (none / 0) (#207)
    by Paladin on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 06:18:16 PM EST
    that Clark is getting Ferraro-ed.  Almost sounds like railroaded, doesn't it?

    I still think Obama did the right thing ... (none / 0) (#173)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:38:16 PM EST
    Clark's point was valid.  But it's the kind of point a surrogate and not a candidate should make.

    In March, Hillary had to be her own surrogate, because the media wasn't giving much free media to her surrogates.  The only way to get coverage was to be her own surrogate.

    One thing the Obama campaign is deft at is their use of surrogates.

    The important thing is Clark's point is out there having its effect.  And Obama doesn't need to defend a subjective analysis of a subjective characterization.

    Obama chose not to fall down this rabbit hole, but the issue is still out there being discussed and debated.

    Obama himself will be asked about it again (5.00 / 2) (#185)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:49:00 PM EST
    He will be down the rabbit hole whether he likes it or not.  If he were smarter he could still have Clark there with him.

    oh ... (none / 0) (#201)
    by ccpup on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 06:10:31 PM EST
    I am not looking forward to the string of "uh"s and "um"s that will litter that response.

    If he sticks to the script, it might work out okay.  But once he wanders off and thinks on his feet?  Uh ... um ... uh ... ummmmmmmmm ...

    The Press and the GOP will eat him alive.


    Yup. (none / 0) (#202)
    by oldpro on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 06:11:06 PM EST
    Now it's problematic.

    So...now who will vouch for Obama in foreign policy and military matters?

    Oh, right....Kerry.  He's emailing me about it right now.

    Maybe they can drag Biden out again.


    I would hope no one who comments with (none / 0) (#200)
    by MyLeftMind on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 06:08:23 PM EST
    respect and consideration would get banned, but I also think it's strange that so many smart people populate this list, yet many of them spend their time Obama bashing instead of finding solutions.  

    Obama seems to have a real problem (none / 0) (#211)
    by pluege on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 06:37:02 PM EST
    discerning his friends from his enemies. Not a good personality defect to have.