Obama "Puzzled" By Flip Flop Charges
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Saturday his plan to end the Iraq war was unchanged and he was puzzled by the sharp reaction to his statement this week that he might "refine" his timetable for withdrawing U.S. combat troops. . . . "I was a little puzzled by the frenzy that I set off with what I thought was a pretty innocuous statement," he said on a flight from Montana to St. Louis. "I am absolutely committed to ending the war. I will call my joint chiefs of staff in and give them a new assignment and that is to end the war." . . .Obama said he did not make a mistake Wednesday with his choice of words in describing his Iraq position -- even though he called a second news conference a few hours after his initial comments to clarify his stance. He laid the blame with reporters.
"I'm surprised at how finely calibrated every single word was measured. I wasn't saying anything I hadn't said before, that I didn't say a year ago or when I was a United States senator," said Obama, who is still a senator from Illinois.
Let me see if I can explain it to Senator Obama on the flip.
You see Senator Obama, after you completely flip flopped on telco immunity and did a heck of a contortion on campaign finance and flipped on the validity of the DC gun ban and softened your view in support of a women's right to choose by agreeing that "mental distress" is not a sufficient reason for a late term abortion, people are prone to think you are going to "refine" (aka flip flop) all of your views. Consider also that the Village WANTS you to flip on Iraq and voila! - your statements on Iraq get turned upside down.
Ah, the dangers of a "move to the middle." People start to believe you're going to move to the middle on all the key issues. They start to say things like this:
SCARBOROUGH: Next up, is Obama‘s liberal base cracking up? Almost 10,000 of Barack Obama‘s most ardent supporters are protesting his support for FISA. They are doing it on a social networking site that lives in Obama‘s own campaign website. It seems as though the Internet, the campaign‘s not so secret but ultra-powerful grass roots organizing tool, may be on the verge of back-firing on team Obama.
John Harwood, our second question of the day, is it possible that the left could fall out of love with Obama if he fades on FISA, if he fades on interrogating, and if he seems siding with Cheney-Bush and the NSA on wiretapping?...
HARWOOD: No, it is not a problem for Barack Obama. This is one of those things that sounds like a problem, but if you really look at it, getting attacked from the left on national security issues is good news for Barack Obama, because it tells mainstream voters that he‘s not out on the far extreme and helps him counteract the attacks he‘s getting from John McCain and the Republicans.
SCARBOROUGH: But, you know, Richard Wolffe, changes are very good that Barack Obama—he‘s backed down on FISA. He‘s going to back down on Iraq. Everybody knows we‘re not getting out in 14 months. That‘s absolutely ridiculous. Chances are good he‘s going to back down on interrogation to a degree. On these national security issues, where he went far left, at least by today‘s standards, far left to win the Democratic primary, he is going to bolt back to the center in a Nixonian sort of way. Will the left stay with him come hell or high water?
WOLFFE: Joe, look, one of the raps against Obama is that he‘s never bucked any part of the liberal base and he‘s doing it right now. I‘m sorry, I hate to break this to you; I‘m with John on this one. I think when it comes to Iraq, actually, he‘s going to stick with withdrawal. It‘s not going to be the same kind of ambitious, fast paced withdrawal, but there is a real contrast there with McCain. In the end, elections are about choices. The people on the left are going to look at McCain and they‘re still going to vote with Obama.
SCARBOROUGH: You really believe, Richard Wolffe, that we‘re going to get out of Iraq in 14 months?
WOLFFE: No, I said it would be slower. He‘s still going to start withdrawals. That‘s going to be an important message for his base. He‘s not going to even do it all by the mid terms, but he‘s going to start it. That‘s what‘s important to these people.
SCARBOROUGH: You watch. We will have troop in Iraq, a significant number of troops in Iraq—we‘re still in Bosnia ten years after Bill Clinton said we‘d be out after one year. It‘s just not going to be that easy.
THAT conversation came BEFORE Obama said he would "refine" his Iraq policy. It should not come as a surprise to Obama and his people that a capitulation on Iraq by Obama was also expected and interpreted from his comments.
By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only
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