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Monday, July 28, 2008

Obama Headlines

Here's an piece from the New York Times Opinion Page.

Did Obama Overstay? - article by Dan Schnur July 28, 2008

Below is a copy of this article because lately, when I link to articles, they magically disappear from the websites.

What I find fascinating is the fact this article is NOT raising Obama to the level of benevolent god. There are tons of headlines favoring Obama and tons that seem to ridicule McCain. Some would say that means Obama and McCain deserve what they get... I mean, they must be doing SOMETHING to get this kind of attention, right?

It's much like listening to a parent go on and on about how wonderful their child is when you know for a fact he's a little brat at school who picks on other kids, cheats in class and throws T.P. into the neighbor's trees. But mom and dad are so proud of him that they can't see what he's "really" doing... had to have been some other kid who tossed that crap into the trees. And obviously the other kids are just jealous of him and that's why they're making up stories about how their loving angel broke the school windows... couldn't have been him... must have been little Johnny down the street.

That's what Obama has become... the liberal's "loving angel" who has had adversity after adversity thrown at him because of this factor or that factor. It's not his fault... and so what if there was a discrepancy in what he told Americans... it was just for the greater good. Besides... it was little Johnny McCain who probably started that rumor... Barrack would never do that bad thing!!

I honestly don't know how good McCain will do as president... but he has more experience than Barrack and his feet seem more secure to the ground. If Obama is president, who knows if we'll ever land on our feet again... but we may be forced to learn five languages in countries we will never visit... you know, just in case!


[At many levels, Barack Obama’s overseas tour could have been categorized as a political victory before it even began. The Iraqi prime minister had just announced support for a time line similar to Mr. Obama’s plan for early American troop withdrawal, the Bush Administration had sent a representative to multination talks with Iran, and a growing military and political consensus had emerged as to the need for a greater military presence in Afghanistan.

In other words, the three most important pillars of Mr. Obama’s international platform had been endorsed from a variety of unexpected sources. That’s a pretty good way to start a trip designed to deal with questions about a candidate’s understanding of foreign policy and national security.

But as every junior political operative knows, it’s all about the photos, which means that the real value of Mr. Obama’s trip was the visual reinforcement of too-good-to-be-true images he accumulated along the way. Many American voters read about his policy and political achievements in print. But a much larger audience saw footage of the Democratic nominee meeting with Hamid Karzai, president of Afghanistan, and Iraq’s prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki; taking a helicopter ride with Gen. David Petraeus; and sinking a three-point shot on a basketball court on a United States military installation in Kuwait.

Before Mr. Obama’s plane left American airspace 10 days ago, polls showed that voters strongly preferred John McCain because of his knowledge on foreign affairs and his preparedness to be commander in chief. By the time Mr. Obama returned home this past weekend, that steady stream of photos with military and political leaders probably raised voters’ comfort level with him on this front.

Iraq and Afghanistan are the two foreign policy matters of greatest and most immediate concern to American voters, so it was of critical importance that Mr. Obama visit those two countries. Despite some verbal gymnastics on questions related to his opposition to the United States troop surge, this part of the trip was a home run. But the weeklong journey was actually three separate trips, each with a different impact on the American electorate. The trip’s second segment, which took Mr. Obama to Jordan and Israel, was essentially a draw. His visit to Israel was an exercise in diplomatic survival at best: no setbacks but no real gains either. And the scenic backdrop of his news conference in Jordan was probably offset by the reporting of his ride to the airport in King Abdullah’s Mercedes 600 Series sports car.

The third part of the expedition — Germany, France and England — was the least helpful to him. Indeed, as the week wore on, the beneficial news coverage that Mr. Obama received on earlier stops began to fade. Just as the United States news media had reacted to Hillary Clinton’s complaints and “Saturday Night Live”’s parodies last spring by toughening up on Mr. Obama during the final weeks of the primary campaign, another mini-backlash developed as this trip reached its final destinations. By this past weekend, news stories used words like “defend” and “rebut” to characterize Mr. Obama’s own statements about the trip. The candidate himself began to acknowledge that many voters might not see the benefits in his being out of the country for such an extended period.

The controversy over the campaign’s decision to cancel a visit with wounded American troops in Germany didn’t help matters, especially given the photograph that emerged of the candidate heading into the hotel gym at the Berlin Ritz-Carlton. But the bigger problem is that it wasn’t as clear what the final stops were designed to accomplish. Voters understood that Mr. Obama went to Afghanistan and Iraq to show them that he was prepared to be their commander in chief. But his visits to London and Paris didn’t seem quite so urgent. Proving his foreign policy knowledge in the world’s hot spots was necessary: playing diplomat in Western Europe looked premature.

For most of the week, Mr. Obama deftly walked a fine line between statesman and show-off, between interloper and leader. On balance, he took great strides toward addressing voter concerns about his national security capabilities. Score the week a win for the Democrats, but like many tourists who traveled overseas this summer, Mr. Obama may have stayed too long. ]

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May we each take the moment necessary out of this day and any day we feel the need to remember those who have gone before us in defense of our freedoms. Without them... we would not be "here"... we would be in chains. ~Bug~