Do Obama and Russia Share Advisors?
On Friday, after Russian tanks rolled into the Republic of Georgia, the White House, Barack Obama, and John McCain put out statements. While one might think the White House would have the best statement, given the Secretary of State’s expertise in Russian affairs, the media and bloggers all recognized McCain’s as the most forcefully in support of the Republic of Georgia, an American ally.
Barack Obama’s campaign statement was perhaps the most pathetic statement ever issued by a Presidential candidate or President about an international military incident. Even Jimmy Carter was more forceful when Russia invaded Afghanistan.
As we noted at RedState, Obama was undeterred by his call for talks and understanding from both sides. He was likewise perfectly willing to heap blame on the Republic of Georgia and request they not escalate the matter while Russians were (and are) gunning down Georgia’s citizens.
Once it became apparent Obama would lose the media cycle over his weak statement compared to McCain’s, Obama’s campaign sought not to restate his position, but to discredit McCain’s. According to Ben Smith at the Politico, the Obama campaign began pointing the finger at Randy Scheunemann, John McCain’s chief foreign policy advisor, and claiming some sort of undue influence on McCain because Scheunemann lobbies for the Republic of Georgia, a country with whom we have strong military relations.
At the same time Obama began pointing out Scheunemann’s ties to Georgia as a way to discredit McCain’s forceful statement, the Russian government began doing exactly the same thing. As Jonathan Martin, also at the Politico, reported, Russia’s Washington, D.C. based public relations representative called to point out Scheunemann’s ties to Georgia.
Both Russia and Obama, at the same time, did exactly the same tactic — discrediting not President Bush, but John McCain because of Randy Scheunemann.
In response, the Obama campaign moved towards John McCain on the issue.
The Republican Revolt Continues
Nancy Pelosi, having fled the House of Representatives to promote her book, has done her best to shut down the Republican fight for increased drilling and American energy expansion. She turned off the microphones in the House of Representatives. She turned off the lights. She locked up the visitors gallery.
What Nancy Pelosi could not do, however, was shut out Republicans. The House Republicans have taken to the floor of the House despite no lights and microphones. And they have invited in the public to watch. In just one week more tourists have heard the Republicans’ energy proposal than have purchased Nancy Pelosi’s book.
I was a fortunate attendee of the revolt this past Friday and had the opportunity to both interview members of Congress and get them on record naming names of Democrats who claim to support lower gas prices, but will not actually do anything about it.
You can watch the video here.
Why Obama’s Flip-Flops Matter (and McCain’s Not So Much)
As Dan notes, “if you looked at Barack Obama’s record, public statements and campaign platform as of any time before June 3, 2008 (the last day of the Democratic primaries), you could detect a trend: on issue after issue after issue, there was a conservative position, a moderate position, a liberal position…and then there was an Obama position. . . . Once he won the Democratic nomination, though, Obama started moving so quickly to re-brand himself as a ‘centrist’ that you’d be forgiven getting whiplash watching him move. . . . His own supporters have ranged from bewildered to in denial to enraged to laying out lists of things he must not concede. Meanwhile, in some cases the McCain camp is simply refusing to accept that Obama has abandoned his former position, preferring to run against the less ambiguous left-winger.”
Dan points out that Obama has run as a man of principle and a man of conviction. McCain, on the other hand, has, in Dan’s words, been deeply principled in national security and foreign policy issues, while being a pragmatic politician on domestic issues outside of his pro-life position.
In Dan’s words, “basically, McCain over the years has presented himself to the public not as an ideas guy but as a moderate pragmatist, one who goes here and there sometimes without a ton of predictability or philosophical consistency. And there’s a goodly chunk of both the public and the press that likes moderation, pragmatism, willingness to change positions to follow the public mood. For voters who prefer that kind of leader, the fact that McCain is willing to change his spots from time to time on economic and regulatory issues and some social issues is a feature, not a bug; it’s precisely why they like the guy. Energy policy – where McCain jumped ahead of Obama by jettisoning McCain’s own prior opposition to offshore drilling – is a classic example of an issue where the public seems to actually prefer someone who won’t let prior stances get in the way of rethinking the right approach in the future.
“At the end of the day … John McCain can get away with this approach on domestic-policy issues because nobody doubts that the test of McCain’s leadership in foreign affairs or in times of crisis is his very lengthy record in those areas, regardless of the more mundane business of domestic government. Unlike Obama, McCain has earned that credibility, because unlike Obama, McCain has more to back up his words than the words themselves.”
You should really read Dan’s entire post, which you can find here.