Let the Vetting Begin updated
Rove rhetoric began the day, complete with the never to be missed Republican message woven in on race:
You couldn’t help but smile. It reminded Democrats what they occasionally like about her. Then Mr. Obama followed with a needless and dismissive, “You’re likable enough, Hillary.”
Her remarks helped wash away the memory of her angry replies to attacks at the debate’s start. His trash talking was an unattractive carryover from his days playing pickup basketball at Harvard, and capped a mediocre night.
This is a very weak version of the innuendo to come. But some of Rove’s WSJ column is on the money:
Former President Bill Clinton hit a nerve by drawing attention to Mr. Obama’s conflicting statements on Iraq. There’s more — and more powerful — material available. Mr. Obama has failed to rise to leadership on a single major issue in the Senate. In the Illinois legislature, he had a habit of ducking major issues, voting “present” on bills important to many Democratic interest groups, like abortion-rights and gun-control advocates. … ..
But Rove always reverts to race:
He is often lazy, given to misstatements and exaggerations and, when he doesn’t know the answer, too ready to try to bluff his way through.
However, Rove’s analysis is replete with foreshadowing of the nightmare to come. Mind you, I realize there will be an onslaught directed at Clinton as well. It’s just that we’ve heard it all before, which makes for little new impact to come.
In sharp contrast to his tough talk about ethics reform in government, Sen.
Barack Obama, D-Ill., approached a well-known Illinois political fixer under
active federal investigation, Antoin “Tony” Rezko, for “advice”
as he sought to find a way to buy a house shortly after being elected to the
United States Senate. The parcel included an adjacent lot which Obama told
the Chicago Tribune he could not afford because “it was already
a stretch to buy the house.” …
Lord knows, we’ve all made them; bone-headed mistakes, that is. But read the
comment section. To add, also read Jeff Dinelli at The Left Coaster, who writes about speculation that Rezko paid Obama’s way through law school (h/t reader Steve).
But it reminds me of other things, frankly. You know, like saying he didn’t
have a lobbyist in charge in New Hampshire, which is patently false and he
simply cannot explain.
It brings to mind his vaunted Iraq war speech, which at one point was taken
off his website, then put back on. From posts in 2003, The
Black Agenda Report caught it first. Unfortunately, Senator Obama’s site is no longer available, so the evidence has been scrubbed, but it lives on in this blog post and in the memories of people in Illinois:
“… .. That’s what I’m opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based
not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics …. “
Somebody else’s brand of politics appears to have intruded on Obama’s campaign.
For a while the whole speech could be found on Obama’s campaign web site,
a key statement of principle for a serious US Senate candidate in an election
season when the President’s party threatens the world with permanent war and
pre-emptive invasion, and cows US citizens with fear mongering, color coded
alerts, secret detentions and the abrogation of constitutional liberties.
Although Obama may have appeared at meetings of other citizens opposed to
the war or let them use his name, no further public statements from the candidate
on these important issues have appeared.
Then, a few weeks ago, Barack Obama’s heartfelt statement of principled opposition
to lawless militarism and the rule of fear was stricken without explanation
from his campaign web site, and replaced with mild expressions of “anxiety”
Then there is Obama’s speech when John Kerry proposed phased withdrawal with
a timetable, which Obama was against. So was Clinton, but she’s not the one putting herself above everyone else, when the facts don’t support the spin.
For all these reasons, I would like nothing more than to support the Kerry Amendment; to bring our brave troops home on a date certain, and spare the American people more pain, suffering and sorrow.
But having visited Iraq, I’m also acutely aware that a precipitous withdrawal of our troops, driven by Congressional edict rather than the realities on the ground, will not undo the mistakes made by this Administration. It could compound them.
It could compound them by plunging Iraq into an even deeper and, perhaps, irreparable crisis. … ..
But I do not believe that setting a date certain for the total withdrawal of U.S. troops is the best approach to achieving, in a methodical and responsible way, the three basic goals that should drive our Iraq policy: that is, 1) stabilizing Iraq and giving the factions within Iraq the space they need to forge a political settlement; 2) containing and ultimately defeating the insurgency in Iraq; and 3) bringing our troops safely home. … ..
As an aside, it also wasn’t Mr. Obama who challenged Bush on his “enduring relationship” pact with Iraq. That would be Clinton. Never mind that she and Obama have the exact same votes on Iraq, including on funding.
Who can forget what Mr. Obama said to Tim Russert on “Meet the Press” last November:
MR. RUSSERT: You were not in the Senate in October of 2002. You did give a speech opposing the war. But Senator Clinton’s campaign will say since you’ve been a senator there’s been no difference in your record. And other critics will say that you’ve not been a leader against the war, and they point to this: In July of `04, Barack Obama, “I’m not privy to Senate intelligence reports. What would I have done? I don’t know,” in terms of how you would have voted on the war. And then this: “There’s not much of a difference between my position on Iraq and George Bush’s position at this stage.” That was July of `04. And this: “I think” there’s “some room for disagreement in that initial decision to vote for authorization of the war.” It doesn’t seem that you are firmly wedded against the war, and that you left some wiggle room that, if you had been in the Senate, you may have voted for it.
SEN. OBAMA: Now, Tim, that first quote was made with an interview with a guy named Tim Russert on MEET THE PRESS during the convention when we had a nominee for the presidency and a vice president, both of whom had voted for the war. And so it, it probably was the wrong time for me to be making a strong case against our party’s nominees’ decisions when it came to Iraq.
Now even though Russert cropped Obama’s statement, which actually concluded with the following, What I know is that from my vantage point the case was not made,” there is no reason a rising Democratic star can’t stand on principle counter to the nominee, as long as he/she does it diplomatically. Unless, of course, you’re worried about your own ambition and the spot you hold for yourself among the Democratic hierarchy. Considering Obama is always calling Clinton on triangulation, this isn’t a minor point. When you take into consideration he took the speech he is now running on off his site at one point it becomes an even bigger issue.
Back to The
Black Agenda Report:
Dixon, a native Chicagoan who had worked with Obama in a massive Illinois
voter registration drive in 1992, noted on June 5, 2003 that “…a few
weeks ago, Barack Obama’s heartfelt statement of principled opposition to
lawless militarism and the rule of fear was stricken without explanation from
his campaign web site, and replaced with mild expressions of Ã¢â‚¬Ëœanxiety.’”
In place of the speech that Obama’s handlers would five years later wave as
proof of his resolute opposition to the war, Obama stammered and stuttered:
“But I think [people are] all astonished, I think, in many quarters,
about, for example, the recent Bush budget and the prospect that, for example,
veterans benefits might be cut. And so there’s discussion about that, I think,
among both supporters and those who are opposed to the war. What kind of world
are we building?
“And I think that’s – the anxiety is about the international prospects
and how we potentially reconstruct Iraq. And the costs there, then, tie in
very directly with concerns about how we’re handling our problems at home.”
What a difference a shift in public opinion on war makes. Bruce Dixon
put it well: “His passion evaporated, a leading black candidate for the
US Senate mouths bland generalities on war, peace and the US role in the world.”
And in case you think that site is all in for Clinton, this is what they had to
say about Bill Clinton saying that Obama’s campaign in the absence of vetting
is “The biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen.”
When the Great Triangulator and Supreme Snake Oil Salesman tells you a scam
is going on, take it from an expert, and believe.
I’ll finish with a bit of Obama brand authenticity, again from Mr. Rove:
And Mr. Obama, in his own way, is often as calculating as Mrs. Clinton. For example, he was the only candidate, Democratic or Republican, to use a teleprompter to deliver his Iowa and New Hampshire election-night speeches.
Oh, and by the way, if Mr. Obama was so keen on keeping the focus on Afghanistan instead of Iraq, will someone somewhere ask the guy why he didn’t hold one single hearing of his foreign relations subcommittee? Anybody?