The polls show that Obama has peaked in Iowa and has nowhere to go but down. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) has endorsed Hillary Clinton, the 10th U.S. Senator to do so. And Obama’s campaign is showing signs that it’s nervous, edgy, and has “a whiff of desperation.” John Edwards is hitting Obama hard on his Kumbayah jibberish. Via the NYTimes:
Former Senator John Edwards, continuing a line of attack, suggested that Senator Barack Obama is too “nice” for the presidency.
“You can’t nice these people to death,” he said, referring to insurance companies and drug companies. “You’d better send somebody into that arena who’s ready.”
Then Time magazine’s blog The Page dissects the Obama campaign’s latest conference call and report:
Conference call with campaign manager Plouffe, 24-slide powerpoint presentation focus on what Obama’s accomplished in Iowa — but also NH, SC, NV, and Feb. 5 states, citing polls, fundraising, organization, crowd sizes.
Perhaps trying to preempt a poor Iowa showing, Plouffe repeatedly cites “1 on 7″ “avalanche” of spending facing Obama by Clinton, Edwards and outside groups backing them. Read powerpoint presentation of strategy here (pdf).
The Edwards campaign responds: “Their pre-occupation with money instead of the power of a strong message speaks volumes to a flailing campaign.” Read full statement here.
HOT UPDATE: “Mr. Hope’s Smear and Slime Time,” from Taylor Marsh. “Obama is in full scale panic mode and no one is safe. . …”
So for all you people who have been emailing me and commenting about how harsh we are it’s time to wake up and take a good look at your own candidate who is using every single dirty line he can come up with, including scare tactics straight out of GOP central to make people think that Edwards won’t have the money to finish the race. I thought this election was not about money? It’s about ideas. Well, Mr. Hope just threw his main theme overboard. (Read all of Taylor’s analyses!)
Here’s some good ol’ C.S. on Obama’s supposed courageous early stand on Iraq:
“Obama Wasn’t Right About Iraq — AGAIN” from ThinkingDem at MyDD.com: “I am NOT saying that Obama did not oppose the war. He did. I grant him that. What I am saying is that on the 3 fundamental bases as stated in his speech on October of 2002, his judgment was NOT RIGHT.” Briefly:
(1) “He does not dispute the intelligence that everybody else believed. He does not dispute the causus belli for war. Barack Obama was just as wrong as everybody else.” (See ThinkingDem’s reasoning.)
(2) “Barack Obama was NOT RIGHT about the threat posed by Iraq.” (See ThinkingDem’s reasoning.)
(3) About Obama’s contentions about why we shouldn’t go to war:
[Quoting Obama] “I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences.”
[ThinkingDem then says] First of all — it still bugs me to no end that Democrats don’t recognize that by framing victory in the language of defeat BEFORE THE WAR BEGAN, Obama was setting himself up to run for Commander in Chief on the pre-ordained failure of the very troops he wants to command. How you people out there don’t see the truly disgusting, shameful, cynical long term political calculation in that phrase makes me fear for the future of the Party.
But let’s put that aside for a moment. Obama agrees that Iraq is a threat. He was wrong about our ability to contain that threat. But even if you put THAT aside, Obama is saying that America should not neutralize threats to our national security if it’s going to take a while, cost a lot and involve a lot of risk. A President Obama would have responded to Pearl Harbor by saying “Screw it, let the Japanese have their fun”. After all, four years of combat? Billions spent? Lots of Dead Americans? Hell, Obama would have responded to 9/11 by doing…nothing. Afghanistan was no threat to us, and of course, 6 years later, we’re still there, for an undetermined future, at an undetermined cost, at an undetermined risk…
Now. I opposed the war in Iraq right up until the moment we crossed the border. Not being a selfish, mindless idiot, I recognized that once we crossed the border, we weren’t leaving until that country could function on its own, and that was going to take a long, long time.
I believed, as Bob Graham did, that the next target on the agenda needed to be Hezbollah. I still think that man was right and this country would have been better off if he had listened to him.
But it is silly beyond the point of stupidity to give Obama credence for opposing, or being “right” about the Iraq war when his opposition was based on such faulty, nee stupid, logic and reasoning. It’s like a Teacher giving a kid in 4th grade credit for getting the answer to a long division question right without being able to figure out that the little bastard was just guessing.
Barack Obama was wrong about the case for war. He was wrong about the threat posed by Iraq. He is wrong on the criteria for what threats determine a military response. …
ThinkingDem has a more conservative view of the Iraq war than many of us, but he makes some solid C.S. observations.
If you missed it, catch it: Larry Johnson’s “Will Obama Run an Oprah Foreign Policy?”
Here’s more on Obama’s inconsistencies — and flip-flopping — on the Iraq war, from my early December investigation of Obama’s actual views, and lack of action, on the Iraq war:
There’s Obama’s (and Oprah’s) incessant claim— as Oprah told the Des Moines crowd on Saturday, “long before it was the popular thing to do, he stood with clarity and conviction against this war in Iraq.”
In July of `04, Barack Obama, “I’m not privy to Senate intelligence reports. What would I have done? I don’t know,” in terms of how you would have voted on the war. And then this: “There’s not much of a difference between my position on Iraq and George Bush’s position at this stage.” That was July of `04. And this: “I think” there’s “some room for disagreement in that initial decision to vote for authorization of the war.” It doesn’t seem that you are firmly wedded against the war, and that you left some wiggle room that, if you had been in the Senate, you may have voted for it. (“Meet the Press,” 2004, via MyDD, Nov. 11, 2007)
“What would I have done? I don’t know” … “There’s not much of a difference” between him and George W. Bush … “some room for disagreement in that initial decision. …” If that’s not triangulation, I don’t know what is.
What about Obama’s speeches on Iraq in the U.S. Senate? “[H]e did not give a speech devoted to Iraq for 11 months, and waited 16 months to give his first floor speech dedicated to Iraq, which happened to express his opposition to Senator John Kerry’s troop withdrawal plan. …”
What about Obama’s voting record in the U.S. Senate on Iraq? TPM Election Central painstakingly compared every single vote on Iraq by Sens. Clinton and Obama, since Obama entered the Senate. Senators Clinton and Obama voted identically, except once: On the confirmation of “General George Casey to be Chief of Staff for the Army, held just this past February. Hillary voted against confirmation, while Obama voted to confirm.” Why did Sen. Clinton vote against Gen. Casey’s confirmation?
During his nomination hearing to be Army Chief of Staff, I questioned General Casey about recent reports, both by the Department of Defense Inspector General and press accounts, that units and personnel lacked the necessary equipment. General Casey responded that was not aware of the problems cited in these reports and actually quite surprised at the reported shortcomings. In the Inspector General report’s summary, the equipment shortages were attributed to basic management failures among military commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan. General Casey was not aware of this investigation or its recommendations that oversight must immediately improve to ensure proper distribution of equipment; as a result units and personnel are not able to perform assign missions. — From “Statement of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton on the Vote on Confirmation of General George W. Casey to be Army Chief of Staff,” Feb. 8, 2007
Sen. Obama weakly defended his vote for Gen. Casey. …
“It is a bit unseemly that General Casey is being made the scapegoat for a war that never should have been fought and for a failed strategy dictated by the civilian leadership in the White House. The President, Vice President and other civilian officials set forth an unworkable strategy with inadequate resources and did not listen to the advice of generals on the ground. They are the ones ultimately responsible for the current situation in Iraq. I hope General Casey will get more support for his new mission, which is so important to the country. I want to see General Casey use his experience in Iraq to ensure that the civilian leadership in Washington understands the challenges faced and resources needed by today’s Army.”
That’s it. That’s the entire press release. Not a word about Gen. Casey’s failure to know about the crisis in equipment shortages or the “basic management failures” during Gen. Casey’s own time in Iraq or the Inspector General’s shocking report.
What about the senators’ trips to Iraq? In his three years in the U.S. Senate, Obama has visited Iraq once. Sen. Clinton has visited Iraq and Afghanistan three times.
Sen. Obama failed to show up for the MoveOn or Iran votes, and in effect lied when he lamely told Wolf Blitzer that he didn’t know the Iran vote was coming up and didn’t have time to get back from campaigning in New Hampshire. (In fact, all senators were informed the day before that the Iran resolution vote was to come up the next day.)