Friday, March 7, 2008

Power out

It's unfortunate that some ill advised comments from Barack Obama's lead foreign policy advisor, Samantha Power, has forced her to quit the campaign; at least openly. We haven't seen the last of her, though -- if the end of the cycle results in an Obama Administration I see Power as the National Security Advisor.

The fact remains, however, that even with Power aside for now Obama still has more credibility and honour when it comes to foreign policy than Hillary Clinton's delusions of "foreign policy experience" which are grossly exaggerated compared to the reality.

Mr. Clinton -- that's MISTER -- had almost zero foreign policy experience when he beat out the elder George Bush in 1992. What nerve does Mrs. Clinton have claiming she had twenty years more in that department than her husband when HE was elected? There must be some double counting going on here. What treaty did she negotiate, or what foreign Congressional junket did she travel on, back in 1973? Serving on the Watergate committee alongside actor Fred Thompson (both of whom were Congress' legal counsels to the impeachment investigation) and the work they did in taking down a tyrant (Nixon, who in many ways was still better than Bush Lite) does NOT count.

Sooner or later, and I hope it will be sooner, Obama will start fighting back; and fighting back hard. I for one am getting sick and tired about Clinton talking about her credentials when it comes to national security when she's offering at best short term measures to deal with economic security which is inherently tied to national security. If people aren't safe in their homes and in their jobs, and if the executive does not have a realistic plan to fight crime substantially, how can they expect their President to protect the country from abroad enemies? You need taxes to pay for foreign aid and tours of duty after all -- you can't keep borrowing money from China which is a bigger enemy to America than Russia has been or will ever be.

Clinton thinks she has the RIGHT to be President because she's entitled to it. She still has to close the deal in a few more battlegrounds and it is by no means over. In my opinion, she is very lacking in something Americans want from a President; humility.

Obama is a humble man and therefore a better choice. But he needs to close the deal, and now. This necessarily means going on the attack which is something he's been reticent to do until now but one fights fire with fire. He has to expect pushback from Clinton, of course, but it's time.

First piece of advice to Obama: Target the Catholic vote in Pennsylvania and appeal to their concerns, which has more roots in the "Social Gospel" than one might presume at first glance. Peeling a few points away from Clinton in that category will pay dividends in the final result in that state's primary next month.

UPDATE (8:06 PM EST, 0106 GMT Saturday): HT to Josh Marshall, tomorrow's Chicago Tribune has a story that parses Clinton's "foreign policy" credentials. Not a pretty picture, but I'm not sure how much it will blunt the Power kerfuffle.

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