|“This is a time for leadership, not politics. Senator Obama’s campaign seems to believe that Senator Clinton’s actions led to the tragic events in Pakistan. This is an incredible and insulting charge. It politicizes a tragic event of enormous strategic consequence to the United States and the world, and it has no place in this campaign.” – Gen. Wesley Clark|
CHECK THIS OUT: There’s Steve Clemons, a studious, cerebral expert on international and domestic policy, who I’ve never seen write like this:
Did Biden, Dodd and Edwards Kill Bhutto Too?
What the hell is Obama chief political strategist David Axelrod doing?
Nearly all of the major papers and a good slug of blogs have been stunned by his comment that Hillary Clinton bore some responsibility for Benazir Bhutto’s demise. When Obama has to backpedal for his team, something is up. …
CHECK THIS OUT: “Obama Stammers, ‘No, I, I, I, I, I…’ Sticking Up for Axelrod” from Taylor Marsh: “Obama came apart when Wolf Blitzer asked him a simple question about Axelrod” … “Lynn Sweet of the Sun Times nails the quote and the context, but also nails Obama …” (See all below the fold.)
CHECK THIS OUT: In early December, CBS Evening News asked each candidate, “Which country scares you the most?”
CHECK THIS OUT: The contrast, from Sen. Clinton today on Wolf Blitzer’s CNN Situation Room:
CHECK THIS OUT: “For me, someone who has been studying the region for years, the obvious is that you can’t know the dynamics without traveling to Pakistan and the surrounding countries. Being an armchair analyst is not only difficult but often gets you into trouble, no matter how dedicated a researcher you are. …”
That’s from Taylor Marsh’s new post, “It’s Al Qaeda… Not so Fast,” which also features the key video above, a preview of the long interview that CNN’s Wolf Blitzer conducted with Sen. Clinton today. (Blitzer is also hosting Sen. Chris Dodd.)
Blitzer asked, “Your chief political strategist, David Axelrod, causing some commotion out there today with his comments about Hillary Clinton, and blaming her—at least some are interpreting it this way—blaming her in part for a series of events that resulted in Benazir Bhutto’s assassination today. Let me read to you what he said.”
Obama replied—and I think I nailed the quote here—“No, I, I, I, I, I have to, I heard, I heard, I don’t need it, I don’t need to hear what you read because I was, I overheard it when he said it, and this is one of those situations where Washington is putting a spin on it. It makes no sense whatsoever.”
(Might you wonder what “I overheard it” means? One should not read this literally. Obama was not standing near Axelrod when he was talking to reporters after the speech. A bunch of reporters were interviewingAxelrod near the press risers at the back of the hall.)
Blitzer continued, “Tell us what he meant. Tell us what he meant.”
Obama said, “He was—he was—he was asked very specifically about the argument that the Clinton folks were making that somehow this was going to change the dynamic of politics in Iowa.
(At this point it was the reporter making the argument–asking if the assassination would bring the campaigns more to foreign policy and “that’s been more Hillary Clinton’s sort of strength, is that is that…that’s what the Clinton campaign will say, that this plays right into her strength.”)
Obama: “Now, first of all, that shouldn’t have been the question.”
(Disputing a question is a technique Obama has used in the presidential debates when confronted with being asked something he did not want to specifically have to respond to.)