Obama’s folks catch Hillary with her foot in it

Well, now, this is interesting. Kevin Griffis, Barack Obama’s communications director for South Carolina, brings my attention to a January statement of Hillary Clinton’s regarding talking to the heads of rogue governments. It looks pretty doggone inconsistent with what she was saying last week about Obama’s intention to do so.

Anyway, here’s what Kevin said:

HEADLINE: how’s this for irony?
Thought I’d send this to you on
background. Just go to the 5:15 mark. I feel like we’re going full
circle. Let me know what you think. The transcript follows.

Here’s the clip:

And here’s the transcript:

OLBERMANN: Would you reach out immediately to the Syrians and the Iranians, even with the tensions between this country and Iran?

SEN. CLINTON: Absolutely. I don’t see it as a sign of weakness. I see it as a sign of strength. You know, our president will not talk to people he considers bad. Well, there are a lot of bad actors in the world, and you don’t make peace with your friends. You’ve got to deal with your enemies, your opponents, people whose interests diverge from yours.

Right now we’re flying blind when it comes to Iran. We don’t have good intelligence about Iran, about what their real motivations are, who’s calling the shots; the same with Syria. And I would immediately open a diplomatic track. And I don’t think we would lose. In fact, I think we would gain insight.

I mean, if we have to take a firm stand against Iran to prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons, let’s get more information before we do that. Let’s figure out, you know, what levers of power in their society we might be able to pull and push.

Kevin asks what I think. I think that without a whole lot of extenuating explanation that I have not heard from either candidate, both sound awfully naive. There are lots of ways to "deal with your enemies, your opponents," and handing them a propaganda coup is not generally considered the wisest way.

I also think that — unless there was some stuff that explain away this comment that I haven’t seen — Hillary is sounding a lot less tough-minded, and Brooks and Krauthammer might want those bouquets back.

16 thoughts on “Obama’s folks catch Hillary with her foot in it

  1. Chris

    She made a similar statement in a previous debate, but none of these statements have been inconsistent. If you think they are, that shows that you don’t understand what the feud between Clinton and Obama is really about: the fact that he committed to personally meeting with those leaders in his first year without pre-condition. Clinton consistently says that she would use diplomacy, but that’s a broad category that includes sending diplomats to do preliminary work with those countries–something that would have to happen before a meeting between their leaders and our President would be in our interest. Obama took an extreme position on dealings with other countries that goes far beyond hers.

  2. weldon VII

    Fine. Now neither Hillary Rodham nor Barack Hussein appear to have the goods to be commmander-in-chief, putting us right back at the beginning of the election cycle.
    Show me a candidate, any candidate, any viable candidate.
    Hillary says one thing one day and contradicts herself the next, just like her husband. That put David Geffen’s money on Obama, who apparently thinks the presidency is just Dreamworks, anyway.
    Like a lot of people around here.

  3. JimT

    But in all fairness, this question says “would you reach out to” whereas the debate question said “would you be willing to meet….” It’s a distinction most people will understand — unless, of course, they don’t want to.

  4. Susanna

    I don’t think this is inconsistent with what she said during the debate. Here she says she’d “immediately open a diplomatic track” with Syria and Iran. That’s not the same as agreeing to meet with their leaders her first year in office. Castro and Chavez aren’t even a part of this conversation.

  5. Syd

    And so what are we to think about this piece of information and the fact that campaigns are evidently so easily using you to hit their opponents? I would think you would prefer leave the politics to them or does having a blog absolve you of your journalistic ethics? Seems like you’re letting us all know with this that you will go for the cheap laugh rather than add to the discussion with real info gathered and/or developed honestly. Not sure how this helps anyone but you.

  6. stewieeeee

    You Moron!!!!!
    hillary said she would not commit to MEETING with those leaders.
    got it, yet??
    reach out? talk? send envoys??? yes.
    meet with? no.

  7. bud

    But what about the central point of this debate: Would it be a good thing for our next president to meet with some of these rogue leaders? I say yes. So what if it boosts their ego. Wouldn’t the world be safer with a maniac having his ego boosted by a photo-op shaking hands with the president rather than detonating nuclear bombs?

  8. bud

    Here’s the “surge” we should be talking about. From the Friday’s BBC News:

    Oil price near record close in US
    High oil prices push up the cost of energy and petrol
    Oil prices have climbed to within a cent of a record close in New York, raising concerns about the effect of higher energy costs on inflation.
    The surge is particularly worrying as the threat of interest rate increases are shaking global stock markets and fanning fears about a credit crunch.
    In New York, crude closed at $77.02 a barrel, just below the $77.03 record set on 14 July 2006.
    Today oil prices are currently above $78/barrel. If it closes at that level it would represent a record high, and well within striking distance of the inflation adjusted record which is about $90/barrel set in 1980. What’s scary about this “surge” is that there really isn’t that much in the way of supply disruptions to explain it. No hurricanes, leaky piplines causing shut downs from the Alaska, OPEC mischief or anything else of significance. It seems more a matter of soaring demand combined with geological limitations on supply. Next summer gasoline prices will probably push past the $4/gallon. Time to fix that bicycle tire.

  9. Karen McLeod

    It’s important that we know our enemies. Any general could and would tell you that, I think. And you get to know your enemies by listening to what they’re saying, not by listening to sound bytes designed to appeal to their constituencies. And I still want to know who’s impressed by pictures of guys shaking hands, and why?

  10. Ready to Hurl

    This is a fake issue ginned up by the Clinton camp and latched onto by the rightwing.
    Obama didn’t say that he’d meet with any of the bad guys unconditionally. But, even if he did it wouldn’t be a major propaganda victory for the other side. Appearing at a regional conference, for instance, with Chavez wouldn’t be some kind of titanic PR blunder like– oh, invading an Islamic country on false pretenses and terming it “crusade.”

  11. Karen McLeod

    Thank you RTH! Right now I figure that if Obama, or Clinton, or even Romney can avoid invading France, they’ll be less of a political embarrassment than W. Naive is about the nicest thing you can say about him, politically speaking.

  12. bud

    I know this is going to be shocking to some of you, especially Brad, but here’s an issue that I’m going to side with the president on. Congress is about to pass a bipartisan bill that provides a huge windfall to the army corp of engineers. The president is threatening a veto. Good for him! (Did I really say that?) See Brad, it really is possible to despise someone and still agree with him on the merits of an issue.

  13. Karen McLeod

    Why the windfall to the Army Core of Engineers? To repair/replace the levees in New Orleans and all along the Mississippi? They are the ones who originally erected them, you know. And they are the ones who have been complaining about needing funds for upkeep since Abraham was in didies. Or maybe something else? Or maybe it really is a windfall. I can’t say yea nor nay until I know what and where this is coming from or going to.

  14. bud

    Karen, you have a fair point. Perhaps the bill in it’s entirety is worthwill and should be passed. But I have serious concerns about rebuilding levees in those parts of New Orleans that are very likely to flood again in the near future. The whole city is sinking and will eventually be claimed by the Mississippi. Perhaps that money could be better spent re-locating citizens to more viable cities.

  15. Karen McLeod

    I certainly understand where you’re coming from, bud. Intellectually, I agree with you. Emotionally, if they’re going to move New Orleans, they need to move every stick of it to somewhere safe that’s near, down to and including Marie LaVeaux’s grave. That city’s culture is/was (may be gone now) in many ways unique. Whatever we do, we must make sure that people are not left that vulnerable again. By the way, if I remember correctly, there are levees all along riverside cities for the last half or so of the Mississippi. When that river floods, it really floods!

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