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Obama vs Cheney: A (Polling) Mismatch from the Start

By Chris Cillizza
The dueling speeches by President Obama and former vice president Dick Cheney are being cast as a showdown over national security but the tit for tat is a mismatch from the start.


Here are the last four personal favorability ratings for Obama: 56 percent, 68 percent 60 percent and 58 percent.

Here are the last four personal favorability ratings for Cheney: 37 percent, 18 percent, 19 percent and 30 percent.

What these numbers show clearly is that the American public is far more favorably inclined to listen to what the president has to say than they are to hear Cheney out.

Message matters in politics but only if the messenger is credible. In the context of a campaign, a negative attack only works when the person making the attack is trusted and believable.

Continue reading at The Fix»

By Web Politics Editor  |  May 21, 2009; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  National Security  
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Next: Cheney Defends Use of Harsh Interrogation Methods in Speech to AEI


This is an unprecedented situation that serves as a glass ceiling macrocosm of where black people should be placed hierarchically speaking in the eyes of our right wing forums and white men secret societies that have our nations military might as their last vestige of imperial privilege. Colin Powell arose amongst the honorable ranks to gracefully practice good sportsmanship by remembering his assent to power was Bush-aided and thus rightfully pass on his opportunity at commander and chief so that Bush 2 happens.Bush then counters with the coveted consolation of Secretary of State. What Gen. Powell now knows about merit is a black man is only as relevant as covert white influence allows. Public stature and a respected opinion gets press, but not an invitation to the "serves our purpose" exclusive, Cheney hosted "The Man's Banqt." of 2002.The one where that old money that was earned when blacks picked cotton to King coronation for "$free.99" gets priority over all other American interest. Know your place Gen Powell. Rememberwhen Jay Schraaeder started over Doug Williams for the Washington Redskins the same year Williams won the super bowl?
Now Obama's the Tiger of the PGA tour or "play God again" white man's tour destined to manifest west or wherever a gps. will take it. "Don't let us down Obama. We understand there are social graces the job requires such as ethnic superiority-inspired management of foreign policy,complete disregard for rule of law at home and abroad, and of course attentive, remorse-free manipulation of western news".Mr President we will just have to see you through this part of the job by those with proper clearance regarding race,dna,lineage,hypocritical thinking abilities, and industrial sphere of family wealth and interest.

Posted by: Reginald1 | May 25, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Cheney comes across more believable because he is speaking from the heart; Obama only speaks from the words put on his telepromter. Will someone please buy Obama a clue!!!

Posted by: Djookers | May 23, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

This is a speech that the President did not want to give but was forced to give because events were spinning out of his control. He has little to gain by getting into an argument with Cheney who despite his unpopularity is a pretty tough customer in debates.

One of the crucial but overlooked moments in the 2004 campaign was Cheney's debate with John Edwards who at that time was a more formidable figure. Cheney forced Edwards to continually go back and answer previous question while new ones were being posed. In short, Cheney made him look like a mens suit salesman.

I can't help to think how Bill Clinton would handled this if he were president. He would have reversed himself on Gitmo and earned faint praise from Republicans and the wrath of the extreme elements of the Democratic Party. This would have made him look more centrist and would strengthen him for the next election.

But Barack Obama seems to never be able to admit mistakes and does not take criticism well. These qualities will not help him in the future.

Posted by: danielhancock | May 22, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

It's sad that after lying to us for the past 8 years, Cheney is still trying to justify the atrocities he was part of. If this had happened in any other country in the world, the USA would be jumping in to "save" the world.
Meanwhile, we have an "elected" president which we the people trust and believe, and he is trying to bring fear. What is he afraid of? We are much safer now with Obama. We can see the support worldwide. Is Cheney more worried about his party than with our country?
Cheney, you had your opportunity to shine and it was under your watch that we got attacked. Can you just walk away and let Obama do his job without people like you just waiting for an opportunity to criticize him?
We the people of the world want peace and I hope we all just forget about fear tactics and really look forward to a brighter future for us and our kids?

Posted by: believerNC | May 21, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, ladywolfe55, but that is an ignorant comment. I guess you believe the Michael Moore drivel that Bush/Cheney/Haliburton planned the 9-11 attacks too.
I think that Obama's 'progressive' policies that he and the Pelosi/Reid congress are going to force down our throats over the next year + are going to ruin America as we know it. I hope you enjoy your visit to 'Motor Vehicles' for your doctors appointment under 'obamacare' - I know that I dread this, but am certain that if he, Pelosi, and Reid get their way, that's what we'll get.

Posted by: melong23233 | May 21, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Well well, the war of words begin on national security. But may I ask this time around: who has the latest on intelligence and the ears of generals at his finger tips?

My answer says: the President: I cannot think of any reason,why he would not do his best the keep the nation safe. But, I welcome the opportunity that both men have an opportunity to speak from his perspective.

Posted by: Victoria5 | May 21, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I never give much credence to polls. After all, if they were legitimate, why don't they ever tell us a) how were the questions asked, and b) what were the demographics of those polled? Without knowing those two things, the poll numbers are worthless.

Posted by: rdgflex | May 21, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

If the president of the United States is going to speak on the issue of national defense, I am going to listen. If a former vice president, former secretary of defense, former white house chief of staff and congressman is going to speak on the issue of national defense, I am going to listen to what he has to say. Measuring them by your poll on their relative "popularity" rather than on the words they use and the ideas they express is the height of stupidity. If you are a journalist, then why don't you bring something to the table other than the values of the high school cheerleaders' tryout?

Posted by: doug_humes | May 21, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't put it past Cheney and his cabal to initiate an attack on the US just to save his own hide. This man is EVIL personified. We should turn off the TV if the MSM won't stop giving him airtime. Just say NO!

Posted by: ladywolf55 | May 21, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

"The dueling speeches by President Obama and former vice president Dick Cheney are being cast as a showdown over national security but the tit for tat is a mismatch from the start."

Which begs the question: Why is the Post and the rest of the corporate media giving Cheney so much airtime?

Posted by: geezjan | May 21, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

For the record, Cheney announced his speech on "Keeping America Safe" BEFORE Obama did, not the other way around. So, the White House is the one running scared on this issue. I think Cheney's speech was better on substance, regardless of the popularity contest. If we get attacked again, maybe then people will finally realize who was right.

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

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