Sunday, April 20, 2008

Spirited Politics in PA

New York Times sums last debate up here:
Obama "did not knock her out and the aura around (him) has changed. Furiously courting Democratic primary voters and apparently exhausted Obama has emerged as a more conventional politician ...sprinkled his performance with the sorts of fibs, evasions and hypocrosies ..of conventional politics...It was inevitable that the period of "Yes We Can!" deification would come to an end...It was not inevitable that Obama would now look so vulnerable. David Brooks

On the Economy Hillary emphasized plans for bank and credit reform. Obama's reticence to focus on either reform or support for foreclose threatened homeowners is consistent with his recent "closed door" NY fundraiser, sponsored by Credit Suisse, overseas sub-prime lender among those responsible for current US housing crisis.

US/International Policy  Hillary made reference to a new plan of "umbrella" support strategy for our Mid East allies, and was "in her element" as the preferred candidate of US Generals, providing well-grounded specifics of improved national security. "She certainly seems more self-assured on the Iran question than Obama did... (on) The questions of extending an American security umbrella, you could see he (Obama) was on delicate ground" Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo. Even NBC's Mathew Berger observed: "Obama tried to have it both ways with Israel". 

Clinton remained adamant in her refusal to meet with"Masters of Denial". Justifiably referring back to an earlier debate faux pas in which Obama indicated he would do just that. His unsettling openness to negotiate with terrorists may be the reason for his endorsement this week by suicide bombing leader of HAMAS. See more on this at Foxnews  After all"Obama is comfortable with people who hate our country" as shown on CNN's Lou Dobbs this Sunday, post-debate. For more on this, go to video interview at April 21 post of: 

About the War in Iraq  Hillary remained steadfast in her plan to begin troop withdrawals within 60 days, with a responsible forward schedule supporting protection of Americans and our allies. Obama, in another shift of his constantly wobbling Iraq opinions now stated he will have all US troops out in 6 months. Sounds great but contradicts a recent Obama adviser press leak suggesting it could be 2010 before there is withdrawal activity. 

Energy Independence and US Employment  Hillary remained crystal clear in her determined plan to refuel the US economy via a windfall tax on glut-profit oil companies. Use of these funds to invest in alternative and cleaner energy, when combined with rebuilding our country's outworn infrastructure. will provide new jobs. Again Obama's ambiguity on these topics only afforded qualifiers like "investigate" and "long term" review. No surprise, since the "bundled money" of oil companies has helped finance his media ad blitz.  Almost as an afterthought, he added "oh and we hope to reduce the national debt"- lacking, as usual, in how to accomplish this. 

Untruths and Bloopers  Clinton acknowledged her mis-speaking on Bosnia, accepted responsibility and apologized. Obama triggered a surprised reaction when asked again about Rev. Wright. Irritated, he retorted, "I've already disowned him!" then stammered instead "I mean I've disowned his remarks."

The topic of gun control reeastablished Obama's proclivity to "tell the big lies" when under fire. Asked by a viewer on video about his refusal to wear US flag pin (a stand he is clearly quoted to take), he applied his favored technique of redirecting the question rather than responding. This led the Philadelphia Inquirer to observe "Obama's ramblings...and evasions."  New York times concurred "He claimed falsely that his handwriting wasn't on a questionairre (banning all hand guns)". NBC noted "His answer on Ayres and the flag question were simply weak. He seemed unprepared for them...(he) rants against "old politics" and yet... these questions seemed to stump him."

Christian Science Monitor says "Obama's record show more than a passing familiarity with old school politics. He played hardball to wind his first election, apprenticed himself to a scion of Chicago's Democratic machine (Rezko) and voted present more than 100 times in the Illinois Senate in what critics have described as a dodge of controversial issues."  Review Obama's US Senate record for a similar pattern at Washington Post online. 

Biggest Debate BooBoo Debate query about Obama's domestic terrorist pal, Ayres (a topic avoided by most until now) resulted in an off guard Obama shakey reply remarking he's just "a guy in my neighborhood" and adding "I have no official endorsement by him" and shifting to a comparison of the courtesy he also shows a conservative Republican congressman. Pray tell -  What exactly does a convicted domestic bomber  have in common with a member of US Congress?!  No debate time to discuss how Obama with Ayres, as Woods Board Members, conjoined in contributing $35,000 to an Arab American league, for support of programs like "providing translators for victims of domestic abuse" (while Latinos don't get that much help in emergency rooms) and to support Palestinian immigrant "rights to government aid" here. Are we to emulate the London/Paris Muslim immigrant crises? Supported by the same candidate who claims we should wall off Mexico?!

Reviewers Acclaim Hillary Clinton's PA Debate Presentation  Lauded for her strong "Presence" and commended by the New York Times, even the most hard core Obama support group of MSNBC had to acknowledge "...a near disastrous performance by Obama.."  

What does this all add up to in the votes yet to be cast? Philadelphia's Channel 6 reported, after the debate, an Independent Voters focus group called the debate a win for Hillary (by 50%) with only 23% approval of Obama. .. Even a conservative blog stated "If I were John McCain, right about now, I'd be wishing Obama would be my opponent."

Come back to SPIRITED POLITICS after the PA vote for a Special Feature on the Shifting Odds of the Crucial Cross-Over Vote! 

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