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Clinton:
Obama's Answer "Irresponsible"

Who won the national security prize in Monday night's Democratic debate?

Two issues in particular divided the candidates, and sent the Obama and Clinton campaigns scrambling to spin reporters the next morning.

The first: whether the candidates would meet with leaders of rogue states within a year of becoming president.
Sen. Barack Obama said during the debate that he would. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said she would not. "I don't want to be used for propaganda purposes. I don't want to make a situation even worse,' Clinton said.

The Clinton campaign rejoiced over the exchange, putting former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on the phone with reporters Tuesday to praise Clinton's approach.

"She knows that being president is about protecting the country and advancing national security interests," Albright said. The key to the question, she said, was that it asked whether the candidates would meet with rogue leaders without preconditions for the outcome.

Was Obama's answer wrong?

"I can't comment on Senator Obama," Albright said. But it was clear Clinton advocates hoped Obama's answer would be interpreted as a sign that he isn't up to the job, revealing his lack of understanding of how to manage enemies.

Clinton herself, however, was more direct in an interview with the Quad-City (Iowa) Times today, calling Obama's response to the question "irresponsible and frankly naive."

The Obama campaign, meanwhile, locked onto a second judgment issue: Clinton's vote for the war in Iraq, and her failure to ask about an exit strategy before it began.

Obama praised Clinton during the debate for recently demanding the Pentagon explain whether it has plans for an eventual withdrawal from Iraq. In a post-debate memo put out Tuesday, his campaign officials said Obama had "displayed the judgment he will exhibit as Commander in Chief."

"Senator Hillary Clinton, however, did nothing to dispel questions that have arisen as a result of her support for the war in Iraq, even as the National Intelligence Estimate has found that our focus on Iraq has hindered our ability to track down and destroy al Qaeda," the memo said. "When pressed, she gave no explanation for not demanding an exit strategy before we invaded a country riven by deep ethnic rivalries that portended civil war and a long, uncertain occupation. Obama warned of such an outcome in 2002, and said the war would undermine us in the battle against Al Qaeda, as has now proven true."

--Anne E. Kornblut

By Post Editor  |  July 24, 2007; 2:42 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Candidates , Hillary Rodham Clinton  
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Comments

After Hillary Clinton appealed for justice for Palestine, the Jews have been watching her like Hawks(!) and only after the most abject and humiliating groveling by her and President Clinton was she allowed to win her Senate seat.

Since then the Jews have been testing her and while I doubt they will allow her to win the Presidency, perhaps maybe. The smart-assed NeoCon who asked the question seems to know the Senator on a first-name basis and was invited out by CNN for a rare follow-up, since it was really Clinton he was hoping to trap.

Because of Bush and his party's active assistance in the genocidal policies in Lebanon, Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq plus the provocations against Pakistan, Iran and others, I don't believe there will be a Democrat President in the foreseeable future unless a candidate can outjew the Republicans, which is not likely.

Bill Clinton may have been our first Black President, George Bush is our first Jew President.

The deranged don't talk to your real, imagined or hopefully future enemies philosophy is a definite No-no of the Israeli Jews and is the cornerstone of Israeli and their proxy Bush's diplomacy.

Monte Haun mchaun@hotmail.com

Posted by: mchaun | July 25, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, I would like to thank the paid Clinton staffers for their scripted comments in this forum. The rest of us can recognize that Obama's being "willing to meet" with leaders, as the original question posited -- not "promise" or "guarantee" to meet -- is an uncontroversial stance. I was pleasantly surprised by how well Hillary conducted herself at the debate, too bad she's fabricating this post-debate nonsense.

Posted by: miked98 | July 25, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Of course Obama's answer is irresponsible. He got caught telling the audience what they wanted to hear without any real thought on the matter. Yes Obama is right we should talk to our enemies, but there is a big difference between that and promising off the bat a high level meeting your 1st year.

Posted by: bparrish | July 25, 2007 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Joshmsu,

The rather clear point you are missing is that she is criticizing George Bush for not recognizing the urgency in speaking to these nations in 2007, but she's proposing that 18 months from now the urgency will have subsided and we can take a wait and see attitude. Why is it imperative in 2006-2007 for George Bush to talk to Iran and Syria but in 2008 it won't be, especially if we pull out of Irag as she says we will? Oh, but wait, she seems to have changed her position on a time withdrawal too? She voted with Senator Obama just last month to cut off funding saying troops should come home immediately but at the debate she agreed with Biden that it will take well over a year or more. Then why would she keep those kids there w/o funding for more than a year?

Posted by: NMP1 | July 25, 2007 6:00 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand your point TennGurl. She said the exact same thing. Where's the flip-flop? Maybe you should re-read what you posted.

Posted by: Joshmsu | July 25, 2007 12:50 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand your point TennGurl. She said the exact same thing. Where's the flip-flop? Maybe you should re-read what you posted.

Posted by: Joshmsu | July 25, 2007 12:50 AM | Report abuse

Hillary and the art of Trianglation

October 31, 2006, Council of Foreign Affairs:

"Direct negotiations (with Iran and Syria) are not a sign of weakness; they are a sign of leadership...The Bush Administration refuses to talk to anyone on the evil side, as some have call that idealistic, but I call it dangerously unrealistic."

Posted by: NMP1 | July 24, 2007 03:45 PM

Listen to the audio :

http://www.cfr.org/publication/11866/conversation_with_hillary_rodham_clinton_audio.html?breadcrumb=%2Fbios%2F8211%2Fhillary_rodham_clinton

June 27, 2007, the Center for a New American Security:

"The Bush administration has given Iran six years of the silent treatment...In this vacuum, Tehran continues its progress toward developing nuclear weapons and increasing its influence in the region...After initial talks with Iran and Syria on Iraq, the administration says it isn't sure that we need any more discussions with either of them. I think we should keep talking."

-Hillary Clinton

Both are comments by Hillary Clinton. She was once for talking to nations and now she is against it.I hope CNN will point out these comments Sen. Clinton made. She sounds like Mitt the Flip. This is trianglation at its best. Honestly the CNN debate rocked. The post debate coverage was awful.Just keeping them honest.
Ha ha...

Posted by: TennGurl | July 24, 2007 11:15 PM | Report abuse

*yawn*, i am so tired of fake outrage from both parties. clinton is putting words in obama's mouth, i figured democrats were smarter than this... too bad, looks like we're stuck with another McGovern (Hillary)

Posted by: dgphilli | July 24, 2007 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Of course the Obama camp harps on the "war authorization" issue -- it's all they've got. If Obama had actually been in the Senate in 2002 and had actually voted against the measure, perhaps they'd have a real point. As it stands, it's mostly empty posturing from a candidate and a campaign *way* out of their league in terms of international relations and matters of foreign policy. A vote against the authorization would have taken a good deal of political courage, and Obama has yet to show much spine.

The respective answers in last night's debate re: meeting with rogue nations illustrate cleary the differences in expericne between Obama and Hilary. Namely, Obama just ain't ready for prime time.

Posted by: dm_frank | July 24, 2007 8:28 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't happy with Ms. Clinton's attempt at a "political" non-answer to the question about meeting with hostile nations. But her pathetic slander of Obama today sealed the deal, I wouldn't vote for her if she were the last Democrat on the ballot.

Posted by: DEFJAX | July 24, 2007 7:16 PM | Report abuse

If Jerusalem had been on the list, might the debate have been different. I understand that preliminaries have been going on in preparation. I don;t believe that only our President should be present for the best diplomacy.

Posted by: pjcarpenter | July 24, 2007 6:15 PM | Report abuse

October 31, 2006, Council of Foreign Affairs:

"Direct negotiations (with Iran and Syria) are not a sign of weakness; they are a sign of leadership...The Bush Administration refuses to talk to anyone on teh evil side, as some have call that idealistic, but I call it dangerously unrealistic."


June 27, 2007, the Center for a New American Security:

``The Bush administration has given Iran six years of the silent treatment...In this vacuum, Tehran continues its progress toward developing nuclear weapons and increasing its influence in the region...After initial talks with Iran and Syria on Iraq, the administration says it isn't sure that we need any more discussions with either of them. I think we should keep talking.''

--Hillary Clinton

"Instead of lecturing Iran's leadership, the United States should talk with them without preconditions. And instead of using inflammatory names, such as ``Axis of Evil,'' the U.S. and its allies should seek and find common ground, particularly with moderates unhappy with the current leadership."

--Bill Richardson

Posted by: NMP1 | July 24, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

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