I’ve got to give Sen. Obama credit for firing Samantha Power for what she said about Hillary in her interview with the Scotsman last week. Her verbal attacks were inexcusable and he did the right thing.
Hillary was campaigning in Mississippi Friday and the Chicago Tribune quoted Hillary as saying this regarding Power’s resignation ...
Well I think sen. Obama did the right thing, but I think it’s important to look at what she and his other advisors say behind closed doors, particularly when they’re talking to foreign governments and foreign press. It raises disturbing questions about what the real planning and policy positions inside the Obama campaign happen to be.
She’s raised a good question here. We’ve seen a string of questionable events over the past week:
The disclosure that Austan Goolsbee was telling Canadian officials one thing about NAFTA behind closed doors, while Obama was telling voters another;
The interview with the Scotsman, where Samantha Power said some absolutely horrid and childish things about a United States Senator; and
The interview with the BBC, in which Samantha Power said that Obama’s plan for withdrawing our troops from Iraq should be looked upon as a best case scenario and not something he should be held to once in office.
Well... we have to wonder what else was said behind closed doors or (to use Samantha Power’s words) "off the record".
The Chicago Tribune had a bit more of the transcript – Hillary went on to say this...
"I want to say a few words to start about something that one of Sen. Obama’s top foreign policy aides told the BBC recently about Iraq. Sen. Obama has made his speech opposing Iraq in 2002 and the war in Iraq is the core of his campaign, which makes these comments especially troubling. While Sen. Obama campaigns on his plan to end the war, his top advisors tell people abroad that he will not rely on his own plan, should he become president.
"This is the latest example of promising the American people one thing on the campaign trail and telling people in other countries another. We saw this with NAFTA as well. He’s attacked me continuously for having no hard exit date and now we learned that he doesn’t have one. In fact, he doesn’t have a plan at all, according to his top foreign-policy advisor. If he keeps telling people one thing while his campaign tells people abroad something else, I’m not sure what the American people should believe."
Hillary quotes a bit from Power’s BBC interview and continues with the following...
"Well I’ve made a commitment and I’ve made a commitment based on the best military and intelligence advice that I have, which is one of the reasons why there are 35 generals and admirals...are supporting me to be the next president."
Now I know Greg Sargent was saying the following - I think he may be on to something here...
"Particularly when they're talking to foreign governments and press." So Hillary, in seeking to tie Power's Iraq comments to NAFTA, is claiming, in effect, that the Obama camp tells Americans one thing and foreigners another, right?
Problem is, I think Sargent’s only gotten half the story here. Recent events raise some questions as to whether Sen. Obama’s been straight with us right here at home, or if he can be relied upon to follow up on all the promises he’s making now.
Take his plan for Iraq for example - Hillary’s press office sent out a press release on Friday that speaks to this a bit...
Obama's Iraq Plan: Just Words
Once again, it looks like Senator Obama is telling voters one thing while his campaign says those words should not to be mistaken for serious action.
After months of speeches from Senator Obama promising a hard end date to the Iraq war, his top foreign policy adviser that counseled his campaign during that period is on the record saying that Senator Obama will "not rely on some plan that he's crafted as a presidential candidate or a U.S. Senator."
Voters already have serious questions about whether Senator Obama is ready to be Commander-in-Chief. Now there are questions about whether he's serious about the Iraq plan he's discussed for the last year on the campaign trail.
Senator Obama has made hard end dates about Iraq a centerpiece of his campaign and has repeatedly attacked Senator Clinton for not being clear about her intentions with regard to troop withdrawal.
It turns out those attacks and speeches were just words. And if you can't trust Senator Obama's words, what's left?
This latest incident is part of a larger pattern where Senator Obama doesn't deliver on the promises he makes on the campaign trail -- whether it's his 2004 Senate race or his 2008 White House campaign.
In 2003, Senator Obama said he was for a single payer health system, but now opposes plans that cover every American. He promised to repeal the Patriot Act, but then voted to extend it. He promised to normalize relations with Cuba, but flip-flopped when he started running for president.
In 2008, Senator Obama rails against NAFTA in Ohio while his top economic advisor assures the Canadians his rhetoric is just "political positioning." He promises to opt in to public financing if the GOP nominee does, but then breaks that pledge in real time. He promises to withdraw from Iraq within 16 months, and now his top foreign policy adviser says that he's not relying on the plan.
With a short record to run on, Senator Obama's entire campaign is based on the speeches he makes on the campaign trail. So when he and his advisers dismiss the plans he touts on the stump, it undermines his entire candidacy.
Americans have heard plenty of speeches. It's time they got serious solutions and that's what Hillary is going to deliver when she is President.
Sen. Obama has told us that his words matter (ok so in one or two instances they weren’t quite his words). Given that he doesn’t have much of a legislative record to run on I guess we have to go by what he says.
Problem is, he and his campaign have been sending out some seriously mixed up signals in the past week or two. Without a strong record of accomplishments in the Senate, what exactly does that leave us with?
(I've got a few loads of laundry to fold but will try to get back to comment shortly - have fun)