Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Stupid News Story Of The Day

Presidential Candidate X says "I'm the most qualified on issue A". Presidential candidates Y and Z deny that.

Er, no kidding.

Obama, describing what he would want in a running mate:
"I would like somebody who knows about a bunch of stuff that I'm not as expert on," he replied. "I think a lot of people assume that might be some kind of military thing to make me look more commander-in-chief-like. Ironically, this is an area - foreign policy is the area where I am probably most confident that I know more and understand the world better than Senator Clinton or Senator McCain."
Clinton's response:
She laughed, actually, before responding on Fox News. "Well I’m somewhat shocked by that since I don’t see any evidence of it," she said. "This is kind of hard to square with his failure to ever have a single policy hearing on the only responsibility he was given, chairing the European and NATO subcommittee the foreign relations committee.

"I don’t know," she continued. "I’m speechless. Making an assertion like that belies the facts and the record."
Okay, Candidate Clinton, what are the facts and what is the record? Laughter doesn't cut it - please give us the specifics. No puffery this time around, please.

McCain's proxies answer:
Blair Latoff, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, said in an earlier statement, “Perhaps in an effort to one-up his own ridiculous assertions about John McCain’s record, Barack Obama laughably claimed to have more foreign policy experience than Senator McCain. Even by Obama’s standards, this is a horrifyingly false claim without a shred of supporting evidence. Perhaps the junior Senator from Illinois should focus on explaining to voters what exactly his foreign policy experience is before comparing it to John McCain’s wealth of experience on the issue.”
It's fascinating to me that the Republican response to Obama is to lie about what he said, particularly as they're accusing him of misrepresenting McCain on the "100 years in Iraq" quote. Obama didn't say a word about McCain's much touted experience. He indicated that he believes he knows more about foreign policy issues than John "Iran is training al-Qaeda" McCain. He suggests that he has a better understanding of the world than John "100% behind the invasion of Iraq" McCain. You know, because experience is not a synonym for either knowledge or understanding.

Although Obama didn't raise the issue, it may also be noted that experience does not automatically translate into good judgment.

In any event, this is good campaigning by Obama. He is confronting his opponents squarely on the issue where they claim to have superior qualifications. He's couched it as an opinion, so there are no facts or foibles of memory that can be disputed. So far, his opponents' responses have been, dare I say, pathetic. Didn't they see this coming? (See my joke campaign song recommendation for Obama.)


  1. See Hillary Clinton's backers go apoplectic. They're bashing Obama for not coming out against the Iraq war soon enough, or strongly enough, after joining the Senate. This from people who excuse Clinton's vote to authorize the war, and her continued insistence that she did not intend to actually... do that. Even though somebody with a grade school grasp of foreign policy would have known that Bush would take the vote as all the authorization he needed to invade.

  2. There are a couple of interesting reactions to this story.

    At The American Conservative, Obama gets another "no kidding" to the idea that "experience" is not necessarily the most important measure of qualification.

    At lies.com, we get a flashback to Obama questioning Condoleeza Rice during her 2005 confirmation hearings.