Democratic Debate

February 1, 2008


“I think I will be the most Democrat who is most effective against a John McCain–or any other Republican, because […] I will offer a clear contrast as somebody who never supported this war, thought it was a bad idea. I don’t want to just end the war, but I want to end the mind-set that got us into war in the first place. That’s the kind of leadership I intend to provide as president of the United states.” – Sen. Barack Obama


“So what I hear you saying –and correct me if I’m wrong–is that you were naive in trusting president Bush?” – CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer to Sen. Hillary Clinton


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  1. I agree with you Scott, Sen. Barack Obama was the winner and Wolf Blitzer is a looser.

  2. Wake up guys, the economy is the biggest campaign issue – the war is 4th or 5th. Even health care is ahead of the war. Stop living in the past and get over it. Bush/Cheney aren’t running. Next I’m waiting to hear how the Republicans will steal the election from Obama or Clinton just like they did from Al Gore in 2004.

    By the way, the flip side of your comment should be – will Obama have enough experience and sense to know when to go on the offense when the time truly calls for it or will he wait until another 9/11 occurs before he acts?

  3. One thing is sure–if another 9/11 occurs he’ll know who to retaliate against, which is more than we can say about Bush.

  4. Obama is not a hawk. But that alone doesn’t mean he won’t go out and kick some ass when it is appropriate.

  5. Are you all speaking from from his extensive experience?

  6. That’s not the problem you have with him, let’s be honest here. What experience did Bush have?

  7. Uh, wasn’t George a Governor before being elected president?

  8. Being governor of Texas isn’t so much. It’s a notoriously weak position, with very limited powers designated by the state constitution. Plus Bush had absolutely no experience in politics prior to that job.

    You could make the case that he was better qualified than Obama, but neither of them has what yo would call an impressive political resume as far as presidential candidacy goes.

  9. I would love to hear an honest definition by Obama of what he meant by ‘…change the mind-set that got us in to the war in the first place.’ The problem to me is that it sounds very catchy and cool, it really does, but does it mean a policy so isolationist that even the terrorists will ignore us, Obama will be able to befriend the Arab nation, Obama will talk to or give concessions to Islamofascists, what?

    The ‘mind-set’ I think he would have to change would be that the majority of people in the US believe Islamofascists are our enemy, or will treat us as enemies whether we will it or not. I don’t see how he could change that. A ‘uniter’ can change opinions in his own country, perhaps, but I am far from believing he could change the enemies’ point of view right now.

  10. Perhaps what he means is he won’t stovepipe out-of-context raw intelligence to the white house for the express purpose of pursuing a war that you know isn’t necessary. Or perhaps he means he won’t vote to authorize force but hope it won’t be used because he’s triangulating that even if you do use it he’ll be able to dodge responsibility and he’s afraid that voting against it would make him appear weak and hurt him politically.

  11. Yes, his experience is an issue; he has never held a “buck stops here” position like governor or head of a major corporation. Being a junior Senator is not the same. Likewise, you really can’t predict what he is going to do, especially under pressure, since he hasn’t held a federal level position long enough for anyone to see major trends and direction setting decisions. His web site is filled slogans like “stand for change”, but with very little hard content other than refuting Hillary’s comments and claims. In your blog, I see “perhaps”, “maybe” and probably” in describing what Obama would do, but no one really knows since he has little or no record from which to make a prediction.

    He reminds me of the young, charismatic character in the Robert Redford movie “The Candidate” who won the election with slogans, charm, promises and momentum. From a review:

    “In the process, Redford falls prey to the media machine and becomes more of a blurry media creation and loses the old image of refreshingly solid commitment he had at the start. By the time the long race ends he is immersed in a total blur. The film’s closing line is a gem. After winning the race Redford, seated in his hotel room with his campaign staff, asks, “What do we do now?”

    You could also make the comparison with Hillary, except for young and charismatic.

    If I were to vote Democratic I would still pick Obama over Hillary, but I would still want to hear some substance behind his platitudes and “catchy” campaign one-liners. (By the way, that ‘if” is highly unlikely.)

    If Obama becomes a real threat to the nomination, don’t be surprised if the Clinton’s pull out Obama’s connection to Tony Rezko in Chicago. Even though Obama returned all the money raised by Rezko, the Clintons will still paint a shady deal and lack of judgment.

  12. OK, Bill S, let us say that the economy is the biggest issue (I would argue otherwise, but I will go with it for the sake of argument).

    Hmmmm, which party would I vote for? The party who placed a president that lead the country through the biggest economic boom in history….or Bush, who has taken that boom and turned it into the recession we are headed towards (along with a war no one wanted in the first place, that was sold via misleading and erroneous ‘facts’ and has bled the country dry)?

    Hmmmm….Gonna go with the Dems on this one, Bill. Clinton did lead us through the largest economic boom ever recorded in the history of mankind, cannot fault them there, can we?

  13. Actually GH, many conservatives would have you believe that Clinton was merely reaping the benefits of Reagan’s tax cuts. Or something. And that W is merely reaping the tax increases of Clinton. It’s freaking brilliant. They’ve got every base covered: if things go well for a Republican administration, credit it; if things go poorly, blame the last Dem administration. If things go well for a Democratic administration, credit the last Republican administration; if they go poorly, blame it directly.

    The Clinton boom? Reagan!

    9/11? Clinton!


  14. Actually, from 1993 to 2000, the US GDP per capita went from $25,578 to $34,755. From 2001 to the end of 2007, it went to $46,007. Just the raw numbers would indicate that the last 7 years have been more prosperous…..not even taking into acount the huge hit that the economy took after 9-11.

    And contrary to popular myth, according to the US Census data and IRS AGI numbers, that income growth was spread out in roughly equal percentage among all US workers.

    So, though the economy grew during the Clinton years, it grew just as much (actually, a little more, but who’s counting) during the Bush presidency. I’d even go out on a limb and say that the tax cuts we all got were a big factor in pulling us out of the post 9-11 nose dive we went into, at least in my humble opinion.

  15. Actually, I would tend to give credit to Reagan for the Clinton boom and Clinton the credit for the Bush boom. The tax credits may have helped, but I just don’t think they contributed as much as Bush promoters say… It just isn’t that easy to influence a national economy of our size with a few tax credits and I do think it takes time for a structure of policies to influence it. Bush’s fault on the current recession? Probably, but it certainly is not Clinton’s. I think the largest influence was the devaluing of the dollar and the Bush admin certainly gets ‘credit’ for that.

  16. Family Guy, I’d like to see a source or two for all that.

    Tuerqas, truth be told, I don’t really credit any president for the ups and downs of the economy. I frankly don’t think they have enough control over it to be held responsible for what happens. With that said, I find it entirely appropriate to defend Democratic policies by pointing to the fact that if they really were that bad for the economy we would not have seen the boom during the 90s that we in fact did see.

  17. Based on economic professors, a lower dollar is not necessarily a “weak” dollar or bad for the US economy. Major US companies are now doing significantly more export trading since the price of their products is more competitive in the world market. Likewise, imports are dropping due to the higher prices of foreign goods. US manufacturing and labor are now filling the need of the more expensive imports. The net effect is a decreasing trade deficit and increased US employment. It is bad for vacationing abroad and those imported delicacies we enjoy.

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