Thursday, August 9, 2007

Obama v. Clinton: the Stakes

Obama wants it both ways: he praises himself for not voting to authorize the Iraq War (lucky for him he wasn’t yet a Senator), but then he wants to be the supreme national security Democrat. To that end, he made a gaffe that Clinton and the other candidates seized upon: he said that, to fight terrorists, he’d conduct military operations in Pakistan – not just a U.S. ally, but an ally with a bomb – with or without the approval of the Pakistani government. This was a very stupid thing to say. But he didn’t back down -- not even after taking days of criticism or after being called on it at the AFL-CIO candidates forum in Chicago. What is he thinking – that standing by stupidity worked for George Bush, so why not for me too? He made another gaffe in Chicago as well, though few Americans noticed (or cared): he referred to the Canadian Prime Minister as a President. Might it be that the problem with Obama isn’t just (!!) his politics? Might it be that he really isn’t sufficiently “seasoned”? That would be bad news for those of us who were counting on him not to win but to blow Hillary out of the water. Remember the stakes. There’s no political space between Hillary and Bill, and if there’s any question about what Clinton administrations are like, let British journalist John Pilger explain.

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