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Freedom's Watch Hits Obama for Delay on MoveOn Statement

By Jonathan Weisman
INDEPENDENCE, MO. -- On Sept. 20, 2007, as the Senate was hashing out its latest legislative response to the war in Iraq, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) tried to defuse a GOP-stoked controversy around a MoveOn.org newspaper advertisement tagging Iraq's commanding general, David Petraeus, as "General Betray Us."

At 11:58 that morning, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama cast his yes vote for Boxer's sense of the Senate condemning "attacks on the honor, integrity, and patriotism of any individual who is serving or has served honorably in the United States Armed Forces, by any person or organization."

Thirty-eight minutes later, when the main event reached the center ring, Obama had disappeared.

That was when senators had to vote specifically on Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn's resolution specifically condemning MoveOn, an organization no Democratic presidential contender wanted to alienate and one which went on to endorse Obama this year. But on that 2007 day, Obama was one of three senators who failed to cast a noontime vote. But by 3 p.m., he was back in the Senate, voting for an amendment calling for the redeployment of forces from Iraq.

Obama may have been reluctant to weigh in on the Betray Us ad in 2007, but today, more than nine months later, he finally registered his views: He didn't like it.

"All too often our politics still seems trapped in these old, threadbare arguments -- a fact most evident during our recent debates about the war in Iraq, when those who opposed administration policy were tagged by some as unpatriotic, and a general providing his best counsel on how to move forward in Iraq was accused of betrayal," he said during a speech on the meaning of patriotism here.

Republicans did not let the delay go unnoticed. Freedom's Watch, an independent group allied with the GOP, noted that between Obama's non-vote and today's condemnation, the Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup, Jamie Lynn Spears got pregnant, Jamie Lynn Spears had her baby, Elliot Spitzer resigned and MoveOn endorsed Obama. (Sorry, Freedom's Watch. Big Brown did not lose the Preakness, as your list states. He lost the Belmont.)

No matter.

"Barack Obama has waited far too long to take a stand against the tactics of MoveOn," said Ed Patru, a Freedom's Watch spokesman. "It was convenient for him to stay silent as he tried to appeal to his liberal base during the Democratic Primary. Only now that he is trying to demonstrate his patriotism to mainstream America is he finally taking a stand against those who questioned the loyalty of an American hero."

By Web Politics Editor  |  June 30, 2008; 6:37 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama  
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Comments

At 11:58 that morning, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama cast his yes vote for Boxer's sense of the Senate condemning "attacks on the honor, integrity, and patriotism of any individual who is serving or has served honorably in the United States Armed Forces, by any person or organization."

Thirty-eight minutes later, when [the main event] reached the center ring, Obama had disappeared. That was when senators had to vote specifically on Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn's [resolution specifically condemning MoveOn] how is this resolution more important that the issues that affect American Citizens daily. Do we really care that an organization (a group of citizens) disagrees with the current administration and the republican party). Their views certainly have not impeded the swift boaters from making their statements and remarks which as just as sophmoric.

Posted by: Tuathe | July 4, 2008 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Senator Obama had a large number of votes in he Illinois Senate registering that he was present, but not recording his intentions on the issue at hand. This article would seem to indicate a continuation of that practice. As president he would be required to be more than 'present.'

Posted by: annetta | July 3, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

It is too boring, I cannot read a single one of these blogs again! OMG people don't stay on point at all, a bunch of trolls yelling their "points" from the pit of their insanity! WaPO, monitor your boards, please. And can't NEWSpapers investigate or report anything substantive, anything at all? Or are they getting paid to print ads for every idiot special interest group, even when they're not posted as ADS?

This is what we're reduced to, "reports" about special interest group ads and ads criticizing those ads? What caca! Time for a good movie.

Posted by: why bother | July 2, 2008 3:39 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone noticed that the left defends absurd positions taken by its fellows with the irrelevancy that the statement is protected by the constitution as free speech or the right of dissent. We have certain rights under our constitution including the rights to be stupid and wrong but no one in their right mind defends the stupid and wrong when discussing issues unless issues no longer matter, in spite of what Claudiatuscon professes.

Posted by: John W. C. | July 1, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Barack H. Obama is a junior senator with no experience, no honor and zero character. Against MAC, Barack is a wannabee amateur. Try to envision Obama as the CIC of our military! Impossible, right? I say just say NO to Wright, Ayers, Pfleger, Ms.-shill and fairycan't! Our nation needs and deserves genuine leadership in the POTUS, not a wolf in lambs cloth.

Posted by: D. Grant Chee---- | July 1, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

We have the freedom of dissent and Moveon has every right to dissent. Just because the Repubs don't like it doesn't mean that we need to spend our precious time in the House voting on a 'reject and denounce' statement. I think their time could be better spent. The Repubs are not the only folks who love our country.

Posted by: claudiatucsonaz | July 1, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

You really don't get it, do you?

Obama didn't like it, and said he didn't like it at the time. But that doesn't mean he thought Congress should spend its time writing, voting and passing resolutions about each and every thing various political groups do and say.

Now I ask you: Is that what YOU think Congress should focus its efforts on? Ignore the economy, health care, the war - and follow MoveOn (and others) instead?

Obama has his priorities straight - do you?

Posted by: Tom J | July 1, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

The WORLD is Watching

Many of you need to read what your generals are really up to. Many of them are on the payrolls of Defense Contractors. Gen. Petraus is saying/was saying only what the Bush Adminsration allowed him to say. Gen Petraus never revealed his own thoughts. For that, Moveon.org was right. Petraus was/is Betrayus.

Few of the military leaders in Iraq are speaking their own mind they are just carrying the water of Bush. Those who spoke out against Bush were either demoted or had to retire. Bush said he would listen to the leaders on the ground Caveat: only if they said what he wanted to hear.

The WORLD is watching

Posted by: Seedyrum | July 1, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

How will Obama condemn MoveOn when it has channeled millions of campaign contribution dollars from its founder and Obama's benefactor George Soros? The real rason behind his refusal to accept public finance money.

The 100+ days senator from Illinois is running a perception campaign aided and abetted by the liberal media. Just take note of the always carefully orchestrated glossy pics and the front page in every major newspaper, dedicated to his every word read from a teleprompter.

But don't take this gadget away from him because every time it happens, he ends up showing his true color, which of course is immediately ignored or downplayed by the same culprits, and anybody raising the question will be accused of personally attacking the untouchable presumptive candidate.

Let's face it! In the end, all the wishful thinking polls, the glowing and poetic editorials and articles on Obama at home and abroad, will have no effect on the minds of American voters, and much to their dismay and disgusts, a repeat of Kerry's defeat in '04, will take place in '08.

Posted by: latina_in_texas | July 1, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Re: Today's tip for McCain Campaign

Do not release any statements about any events, remarks, or comments relating to Senator Obama.

When you have to issue a statement, do not mention Obama: Just mention your position. If something is missing, the media will pursue the story.

Let the media and political pundits do their job. Just give the voters facts; let them decide.

True stories never lie and always win.

Posted by: peace4world | July 1, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

So Rev. Wright is not a hater? That Harvard professor that called Hillary 'a monster' is not a hater? That preacher in Chicago that ridiculed Hillary is not a hater? Apparently, Obama's campaign is full of haters. It's amazing that they still have their day jobs.

Posted by: Unity? Dream On. | July 1, 2008 5:12 AM | Report abuse

Some one criticized Obama. Dog whistle to his base the press, give it full coverage.

This is the worst media coverage I have ever seen. Gotta keep the Bar B Q tickets.

Posted by: Julian | July 1, 2008 2:24 AM | Report abuse

OH the haters are out. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. And Anonymous -- I'd stay beneath the radar, too, if I had your slimy opinions to peddle. Like it or not, the Repugs have somebody who's not gonna stand still while they try to savage him. Good. And for those people who haven't gotten over the primary -- the rest of us have. In case you haven't noticed, we're onto the General Election. You know, you can tell because even the vitrol we saw in the Spring holds no candle to the slimy slurs being peddled now! Oh, but NOT by Sen. McCain -- he's way too savvy to get caught behind any of these attacks -- he's just got his surrogates out for blood. A concerted attack the MSM is finally calling it -- fine. Hit us with your best shot -- you've still gotta sell the country on a third bush term with a 71 year old anger-management patient. Gonna be an interesting year.

Posted by: straight talk my a** | July 1, 2008 2:20 AM | Report abuse

This is a good article that explains a problem that will haunt Obama and make him into a hypocrite.

http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2008/07/07/080707taco_talk_packer

Posted by: Paul | July 1, 2008 1:27 AM | Report abuse

Someone should join MoveOn.org and destroy the organization from within. Their funding could come from terrorists or enemy states. MoveOn.org is an enemy to progress in American politics.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 30, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it ironic that the Democratic Party, being the party of slavery and the party that has former KKK members, is now headed by a black man?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 30, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Very simple Obama was silent when he needed moveon.org in the primaries.

It is all political expediency with Obama.

But with the media on his side he is unstoppable.

Have you seen how many magazine covers he has been on?

Posted by: David | June 30, 2008 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Give this black man a chance and he will run you over. He's done it to many Democrats in Congress. He'll do it to the American people.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 30, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

A Freedom's Watch spokesman?

You mean Ari Fleischer's 527 Swiftboat 2.0 group?

You're just pandering to people who don't pay attention. For shame.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | June 30, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Obama claims that he will bring in change to Washington. What kind of change is this pie hole bringing when he has monsters working as advisers in his campaign? I thought he is beyond the usual politics of Washington.

Posted by: Say No To Obama | June 30, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Obama claims that he will bring in change to Washington. What kind of change is this pie hole bringing when he has monsters working as advisers in his campaign? I thought he is beyond the usual politics of Washington.

Posted by: Say No To Obama | June 30, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Obama claims that he will bring in change to Washington. What kind of change is this pie hole bringing when he has monsters working as advisers in his campaign? I thought he is beyond the usual politics of Washington.

Posted by: Say No To Obama | June 30, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I have after Vietnam found that if the Government is waving the right hand to dis-track you,you can know for sure that they want to keep you looking at it until they have done their dirtiest deed to the determent of us all.As such I only worry about what they are going to do to finish off this once great Nation.
I am not alone in that thinking ask any Vet.that have survived the living H-ll to come home,but there is no more home as we the living dead have changed and their expect you to be that cool guy they hung with except you can't be that guy ever again.
I have jumped afar ways from what I wanted to!!To get back to the idea of the news report.I think if you think and not react until you have enough information on the truth of what it is that you are giving time to before you react is the way to go not from what some one else has to say.If you really do this for all things in your life you'll not be hood winked to often.

Posted by: thebear1 | June 30, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Wow get a life. Why would you even publish this. What stupid article about a stupid smear group who nobody cares about.

Posted by: Julian | June 30, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

"More proof that the Republican Party is running on fumes"

Actually, it's more proof that Obambi is running on (hot) air. 9 months to blow off MoveOn? Get real.

Obama was just waiting to see if he needed those lunatics at MoveOn, in case the $ wasn't rolling in to his campaign...but now, 9 months later, that he's got the big bucks so he can throw them under the bus too.

And you're all too dumb to see this? No wonder he's got your vote.

Posted by: samalack | June 30, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

More proof that the Republican Party is running on fumes.

Posted by: DG | June 30, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

"Obama may have been reluctant to weigh in on the Betray Us ad in 2007, but today, more than nine months later, he finally registered his views: He didn't like it."

9 months? 9 months to decide if you agree with this group of loonies who have no shame when it comes to pushing their lefty agenda? 9 months to decide if Petreus is a traitor & a liar?

Dayum Barack is one slow thinker. Vergin' on stupid, I'd say.

Posted by: kentree | June 30, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

How is Gen. Petraeus a "American hero?" He's a successful career military officer who did an OK but not great job with his time overseeing Iraq. That doesn't make someone a "hero." That's something you earn by succeeding or failing at something in an outstanding and inspiring manner. Lincoln is an American hero, the marines at Iwo Jima are American heroes, Daniel Boone is an American hero. Petraeus is an overly partisan military functionary who has done nothing to capture the public's imagination, but has done plenty to damage the political neutrality of US military command.

Posted by: CraigB | June 30, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

visit

womenforfairpolitics.com

Posted by: JJ | June 30, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

This is SO very typical Barack Obama behavior. He's for it, he's against it, he can't decide, so he ducks and votes "present" time and again. He did this over 130 times in the Illinois legislature. Obama is NOT a leader.

Obama has no record. Obama has no accomplishment.

The Democrats are very foolish if they actually nominate this PRESUMPTIVE nominee Barack Hussein Obama (get used to the name, it's how it appears on the ballot) at the actual DNCconvention in late August in Denver. Let's hope and pray for a total political implosion of Barack Obama BEFORE then! A day is an eternity in politics, anything can and most likely will happen. Let's hope the DEms must come crawling back to Hillary Rodham Clinton,(yes, it's her name) the MOST incredible candidate they have EVER had. Hillary has won MORE votes than ANY candidate of ANY party in history! Hillary rocks. If the Dems fail to nominate her, vote for McCain now and Hillary in 2012! UNITY? No. Not this year. The Dems have blown it, big time. Paybacks are hell, but necessary.

SEnd a message to the DNC that we will NOT vote for Obama and condone the rampant sexism, classism, racism, and voter disenfranchisement that Obama has continually interjected into this 2008 campaign debacle. In fact, the DNC has been complicit in disenfranchising voters. It is unacceptable.

The DEmcoratic party understands two things, money and votes. WE have the power to with hold BOTH. Do so.

Posted by: JK | June 30, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

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