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Posted at 8:15 PM ET, 02/26/2008

Democratic Debate Feb. 26, 2008

By Michael Dobbs

10:30 p.m. Wrapup

Clinton has trouble pronouncing Vladimir Putin's handpicked successor as president of Russia. It is Dmitry Medvedev, not Medvedevo, as Clinton haltingly calls him. Unclear how Obama would have met this challenge: he got to go second.

The minor fluff on Clinton's part captured the flavor of the debate. For all the sparring between the two candidates, there were no big mistakes. Clinton failed to deliver the kind of decisive blow that she was looking for to turn the momentum of the campaign. Let me know if you thought there was a winner, or if you detected any errors that I missed.

10:15 p.m. Money, money, money.

VIDEO | Candidates Field Tough Questions

Russert puts both candidates on the spot with questions about the nuts and bolts of campaign finance. As I noted here, Obama is equivocating on what appeared to be a firm pledge to participate in public financing in the general election if his GOP rival does the same. As Russert points out, John McCain has called his bluff, and Obama is now trying to postpone the moment of truth until he becomes the nominee. His present line is that he will "sit down with John McCain and ...we will see if we can have a system that is fair for both sides." That is not what he told campaign finance reform groups last September when he said bluntly that he would accept public financing if the Republican candidate also participated.

Clinton has difficulty dealing with Russert's challenge to release of her (and Bill Clinton's) tax returns. The issue has become topical now that Clinton has donated $5 million to her own campaign. It is difficult to know where this money came from without the release of the tax returns. She says she "has been as open as she can be," but will not promise to release the returns before next Tuesday's primaries in Ohio and Texas.

9:50 p.m. Bombing Pakistan

And on to (or back to) old arguments about foreign policy. Clinton echoes Republican candidate John McCain in saying that Obama "basically threatened to bomb Pakistan." As I pointed out here, in a post on McCain, this charge is grossly over-simplified. What Obama said is that he would be willing to make targeted strikes against Al-Qaeda leaders in Pakistan, if the Pakistani government refused to act. The Bush administration did something very similar earlier this month when a CIA drone targeted a senior al-Qaeda official in Pakistan's remote northwestern province.

9:40 p.m. Squabbling about NAFTA

And on to the other big argument in economically depressed Ohio: NAFTA. Clinton is put on the defensive when Tim Russert produces an old quote from 2004 in which she said that NAFTA had been "good for New York and America." Actually, her position was a little more nuanced than that. This is what she said in January 2004 about NAFTA, the 1993 free trade agreement with Canada and Mexico that Bill Clinton helped persuade the Senate to ratify.

I think that we have to enforce the trade rules that are inherent in both NAFTA and GATT. This administration has been very slow in filing any kind of trade claims in regard to any of our trading deals....I think on balance NAFTA has been good for New York and America, but I also think that there are a number of areas where we're not dealt with in an upfront way in dealing with our friend to the north, Canada, which seems to be able to come up with a number of rationales for keeping New York agricultural products out of Canada.

That is not all that different from Obama's remarks in September 2004. Here is his full quote:

On the one hand, we benefit enormously from exports and so we have an interest in free trade that allows us to move our products overseas... On the other hand what I also know is that historically, because the United States has been the dominant economy, the view has been that other countries can restrict their imports as much as they want and the United States has to keep its markets as open as possible, and that's what constitutes free trade.

On the substance, both candidates have ended up pretty close to each other on what they would actually do about NAFTA as president. Both say they will take early steps to renegotiate the 1993 trade agreement, and may even opt out of NAFTA if the negotiations fail.

9:18 a.m. Health Care Redux!

VIDEO | Health Care Hits a Boiling Point

And they're off! Back to their old arguments over their health care plans. Hillary Clinton objects to Obama's claim that she will "force" people to buy health care, whether or not they can afford it. As Obama points out, the main difference between the two plans is over Clinton's plan for an individual mandate, obliging everybody in the country to purchase health insurance. Clinton has not explained exactly how she will enforce this mandate. Obama is correct in saying that a similar health plan, introduced in Massachusetts at the beginning of this year, will not include everybody in the state. Over 100,000 Massachusetts residents have already been exempted from the plan, on the grounds that they cannot afford it. It is likely that Clinton's plan will end up covering more people than Obama's plan, but no expert has come up with a precise figure.


Greetings

Join me and diplomatic reporter Glenn Kessler for a live fact check of tonight's Democratic debate on MSNBC from Cleveland, Ohio. It promises to be a lively occasion: the last big chance for Hillary Clinton to slow or stop the momentum that has been building for Barack Obama. It is also the last scheduled debate of the Democratic primary season, so it is an important moment in the campaign.

As before,we will be joined by researcher Alice Crites who will help me investigate errors and exaggerations by the candidates. Please use the Contact the Fact Checker tool and the comments section to alert us to mistakes by either candidate. Since this is a live fact check, we will not be awarding any Pinocchios tonight. We will return to the more contentious issues tomorrow.

Let the fact checking begin!

By Michael Dobbs  | February 26, 2008; 8:15 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama, Candidate Record, Live Fact Check  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Feuding over NAFTA
Next: Readers Fact Check Dem Debate

Comments

WOO HOO!!! Where are all the fireworks?

Posted by: JakeD | February 26, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Just please be precise about the meaning of the word 'fact.'

Factchecker often seems to assume that a reference is the same thing as a fact.

"Doctor Whizbang at the Institute of Higher Learning said X," therefore X must be a true fact!


Posted by: Richard K. Dick | February 26, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

As opposed to a false fact?

Posted by: s | February 26, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

round 1 - obama. clinton couldn't control herself, nor follow the direction of the moderator.

tim russert was way too excited for a moderator.

Posted by: angry liberal | February 26, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Who won the MSNBC Democratic Debate in Cleveland Ohio?

http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=1788

.

Posted by: PollM | February 26, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Wow! There were some fireworks -- what did you think about the "Don't whine" line -- does anyone think Barack Hussein Obama won this debate?

Posted by: JakeD | February 26, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama just noted that as a "constitutional law professor" he regretted not speaking out against Congress's intervention in the Terri Schiavo case. Last time I checked he is not and has never been a constitutional law professor. His title is senior lecturer. A small distinction to some, but significant to academic circles.

Posted by: ZS | February 26, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

I think Hillary Clinton actually said that employers automatically enroll new employees in 401Ks. So not true! Would be nice though...

Posted by: kit | February 26, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Obama didn't deliver a closing statement.

It was a coup de grace.

Adios Hillary.

Posted by: Martinedwinandersen | February 26, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

I think Russert does a fantastic job as a moderator - he does not just roll over and let candidates talk over him and he also does his homework in putting together some really great questions...

Posted by: JenA | February 26, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

His present line is that he will "sit down with John McCain and ...we will see if we can have a system that is fair for both sides." That is not what he told campaign finance reform groups last September when he said bluntly that he would accept public financing if the Republican candidate also participated.

No, here is exactly what he said, which you reproduced but have misrepresented, now twice:

If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.

If he's the nominee, he will pursue an agreement. Has he said differently since? He has not.

Posted by: E V | February 26, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

"If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election."

This was the "pledge". He may well back out of it if he does not trust McCain to reciprocate. However, I don't think it's fair to say he already has.

Posted by: Kev | February 26, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

I really liked Obama's calm approach to answering the questions. I also agree with him about the importance of good judgement. I like Obama's points on foreign policy - Pakistan and Iraq. It was also classy of him to complement Bill Clinton's foreign policy with Yugoslavia.

Posted by: EA | February 26, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Please check the facts regarding Hillary's statements about being asked questions first -- I understand her argument here. If you review the previous debates this year, you will indeed see that Obama's answers are not as cogent and precise when he has to answer first. He stumbles... When he goes after Hillary, he basically says, "I agree" and adds a few additional filler comments. But he is weak in this regard as it relates to the debates. And it poses one to question if he is leveraging off of her ideas.

Posted by: S Dub | February 26, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Fact Checker: Did I miss it, or you did not bother to mention in your report on the debate what was a huge moment: Obama's admission that he failed in more than a year to convene a single oversight hearing of his Sub-Committee on Europe and NATO?

For almost a year now, Defense Sec. Gates and the Joint Chiefs of Staff have been screaming publicly that in the face of the resurgence of the Taliban, NATO nations have refused to increase their troop numbers in Afghanistan. Yet, Obama admits that because of the campaign, he did not convene even one meeting to delve into why NATO nations would not provide more troops tom counter the Taliban resurgence.

And you, Fact Checker, and those doing posts on the debate, have completely ignored this important national security issue. It's amazing!

Posted by: readerK. | February 26, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

The thing is Barack does not have a problem in giving credit when credit is due so if he feels Hillary is right, he says it. But if he disagrees, he say that too and tell her why (i.e. why her decision to mandate healthcare will not work). He also showed a lot of grace because there were many embarassing periods for Hillary and he helped her by blowing it off (i.e. her speech about the angels, and her waving the flyers etc). That was a good thing. He stays focused on the real issues vs. getting caught up in drama.

Oh yea, it has been confirmed that she did support NAFTA.

Posted by: dotheresearch | February 27, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

You might want to mention McCain's complete and total dishonesty (aka: break the law) around his campaign finances during the primary and in lead-up to general. FEC has already called him out on it. So of course has DNC. It is much more major then Obama's equivication.

Posted by: Steve | February 27, 2008 12:20 AM | Report abuse

If I were a Republican, I would be very pleased with the way things are going. They are going to blow this lightweight out of the water, big time. Perhaps then he will actually do the job for which he was so recently hired, senator from Illinois.

Posted by: Chicago1 | February 27, 2008 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Clinton rejected/denounced the Independence Party?

Mayor and First Lady Reach Out, in Very Different Ways, to a Third Party

By ELISABETH BUMILLER
Published: April 30, 2000
The two candidates for United States Senate sought the endorsement of the fractious Independence Party here today, but Hillary Rodham Clinton used her speech to attack the group for what she said was the ''anti-Semitism, extremism, prejudice and intolerance of a few shrill voices on both the right and the left.''

Mrs. Clinton added that she welcomed the endorsement of the party, but said emphatically that she would not accept it if the party supported Patrick J. Buchanan for president. ''I cannot and will not as the price for any endorsement embrace or excuse those who use hateful rhetoric that separates and divides,'' she said. ''So let me be just very clear: I will not run on a line with Pat Buchanan on the top of the ticket.''

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 27, 2008 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Sorry Mrs Clinton.
I hate to say that time is coming...

Posted by: rksek | February 27, 2008 1:12 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand why Fact Checker can't understand that Obama is being prudent in holding off on his pledges. Is one not allowed to grow cautious?.

Posted by: jhbyer | February 27, 2008 2:17 AM | Report abuse

Dear Fact Checker:

Could you please verify if Hillary Clinton indeed lacks the time to release her tax returns?

I would presume that with the millions she and Bill make they have an accountant or an accounting firm in charge of this; I do not for a second imagine that she does her taxes herself-- do you?

So, tell us-- does she or doesn't she have time? I think a phone call to her accountant(s) is all that is required, and I call BS on her claim that "she's a little busy".

The truth? Pants on fire??

Posted by: alarico | February 27, 2008 2:42 AM | Report abuse

dick morris questions: Does Hillary's rigidity stem from a false conviction or from an absence of sufficient imagination and creativity to formulate an alternative course?

yes

Posted by: james d granata | February 27, 2008 5:08 AM | Report abuse

Alarico asks 'Could you please verify if Hillary Clinton indeed lacks the time to release her tax returns?'

And the records in the Clinton library highlighting her vast experience. How little power must she and hubby have if they can't get his own library to release records. I think she really needs to be pushed to produce both these records. this is just one more bit of evidence that she is a fool for who believes this merde?
worry not, however, for they will magically appear, should she win the nomination, in December 08.
I think Tim Russert has the passionate perseverance missing in many moderators. he did attempt to get straight answers from Hillary but it would take a parallel universe to make that happen.

Posted by: james d granata | February 27, 2008 5:28 AM | Report abuse

On the quote Fact Checker uses above, Obama also said "We don't want to set off trade wars. What we want to make sure of is that our farmers are treated fairly,' Obama said. 'The problem in a lot of our trade agreements is that the administration tends to negotiate on behalf of multinational companies instead of workers and communities"

In fact, if you look at the overall of his message that day, it was not a pro NAFTA speech. There are many instances recorded where Clinton has promoted NAFTA. Her position changed recently (2004 or so) as Russert pointed out and Clinton did not rebutt.

I've yet to see anywhere or anytime when Obama has done anything similar on NAFTA.

Posted by: C Watson | February 27, 2008 5:45 AM | Report abuse

Over 92,000 voted on who won the debate on MSNBC:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23354735/
Obama 65%
Clinton 22%
Neither 13%

NAFTA is a big issue in Ohio. I thought Russert pinned her down on her NAFTA flip flop pretty well and that's likely to cost her.

Posted by: C Watson | February 27, 2008 5:59 AM | Report abuse

I must be in the Twilight Zone. Noone wants to tell us the truth about Barack Obama. He chairs the critically important subcommittee on Europe - since January of 2007 - he has held no meetings? 15 months???? And his excuse is he is campaigning??? And noone follows up on that? Noone has a problem with that? What is really going on here?

Posted by: James | February 27, 2008 6:12 AM | Report abuse

An apples-and-oranges moment?

When Hillary attacked Obama over 'denouncing' and 'rejecting', she was a little disingenuous. In New York State, multiple parties can endorse a candidate, and that candidate appears on that party's line on the ballot. The Independent Party, which Hillary correctly cited as anti-Semitic at that time -- could have put her up as their candidate and caused her great harm in the voting.

That is what she rejected. There is no exact equivalent in a national election and Obama was on perfectly fine ground as he originally answered the question. Take points away from Tim Russert for not clarifying the matter.

Posted by: Dan Damon | February 27, 2008 7:18 AM | Report abuse

As an Obama supporter, it does concern me that in 15 months there have been zero meetings on the subcommittee he chairs. I would like to know what he and others have done on the committee. If he is too busy campaigning, then he should remove himself as chair. But for me, it is definitely not a deal breaker for Obama. Each candidate is flawed. IMO, he is clearly the superior candidate to Hillary.

Posted by: nova4ess | February 27, 2008 7:22 AM | Report abuse

If she had only let BHO take the Putin successor question first instead of trying to be the smartest person in the room, as usual, she might have had the "moment" her campaign has been waiting for. What a shame that the media is only now beginning to admit that there have been too few tough questions asked of a one-third of one term freshman senator who has spent most of his two years in the Senate shopping his thin resume for a better job. We don't have to worry about BHO's judgement on day one because on January 20, 2009 he's going to be the freshman senator from IL and free to put a few committee meetings back onto his busy schedule.

Posted by: Joe in Maine | February 27, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Top Obama Flip-Flops

1. Special interests In January, the Obama campaign described union contributions to the campaigns of Clinton and John Edwards as "special interest" money. Obama changed his tune as he has his own union endorsements.
2. Public financing Obama replied "yes" in September 2007 when asked if he would agree to public financing of the presidential election if his GOP opponent did the same. Obama has now attached several conditions to such an agreement, including regulating spending by outside groups. His spokesman says the candidate never committed himself on the matter.
3. The Cuba embargo In January 2004, Obama said it was time "to end the embargo with Cuba" because it had "utterly failed in the effort to overthrow Castro." Speaking to a Cuban American audience in Miami in August 2007, he said he would not "take off the embargo" as president because it is "an important inducement for change."
4. Illegal immigration In a March 2004 questionnaire, Obama was asked if the government should "crack down on businesses that hire illegal immigrants." He replied "Oppose." In a Jan. 31, 2008, televised debate, he said that "we do have to crack down on those employers that are taking advantage of the situation."
5. Decriminalization of marijuana While running for the U.S. Senate in January 2004, Obama told Illinois college students that he supported eliminating criminal penalties for marijuana use. In the Oct. 30, 2007, presidential debate, he joined other Democratic candidates in opposing the decriminalization of marijuana.

Posted by: dyck21005 | February 27, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

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yetfryuigui;gtuig,byutriyytititi;.rderetsdrsdsrdsr56esdfgxcdfajdktd6ultg.fdrtdrsr4sd4aqaq ygfygyilg giyugt78t guighlhjgui

Posted by: george lopez | February 27, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

C Watson:

Internet polls are not statistically accurate -- I doubt that 92,000 different people voted -- those who voted for Barack HUSSEIN Obama weren't using standard debate scoring rules, that's for sure.

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

To Jake D:

Do you think no one notices what a racist you are? Do you think we are swayed when you put Senator Obama's middle name up in all caps? Do you think people's minds are as primitive as yours, that when we see the name Hussein we will automatically assume the guy is a terrorist? Your racism makes me believe even more in his candidacy.

I thought Hillary did extraordinarily well, for Hillary. But her performance and the things she said only highlighted her limitations. One of her most serious limitations, in my view, is that she is naturally combatative and not measured in her thinking. When Obama was asked about support for him from Farakan, and she jumped in with an "I have a similar story" (which I thought was QUITE cheesy) we saw the very fundamental difference between them. He was happy to concede a question of semantics, while she was bloddy-minded and insistent on her point of view. He's not bothered by the fact that others have a view that might not agree with his, and accepts as valid their views. She tends to invalidate any view that does not agree with her own, which is just arrogant.

I like her okay. We need him now.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 27, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Check Brian Williams' opening announcement that Ohio produced 8 presidents, "more than any other state" - Nope, Virginia has had 8, Ohio just 7.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 27, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Alarico:

ABC news checked it this morning. In previous debates, she has been asked the question first 14 times, and he has been asked the question first 11 times. So not "all the time" as she contends.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 27, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

C Watson:

Internet polls are not statistically accurate -- I doubt that 92,000 different people voted -- those who voted for Barack HUSSEIN Obama weren't using standard debate scoring rules, that's for sure.

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 08:41 AM
==================================

Could you send me your copy of those "standard debate scoring rules"; it seems that someone stole my government issued copy.

I am sure that the people that voted on who, in their opinion, had won the debate, probably had theirs stolen as well. I assume that they probably had to resort to that good old "gut feeling", you know, the same feeling that they will use in the voting booth.

Oh, JakeD, I probably missed it, but what was the citation for that quote last night? You ever "find" it?

Posted by: CitizenXX | February 27, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

"2. Public financing Obama replied "yes" in September 2007 when asked if he would agree to public financing of the presidential election if his GOP opponent did the same. Obama has now attached several conditions to such an agreement, including regulating spending by outside groups. His spokesman says the candidate never committed himself on the matter."
Posted by: dyck21005 | February 27, 2008 08:14 AM
Hey Dyck,

You are correct in that Sen. Obama checked the yes box in a reply to a pre-debate questionnaire, as to whether he would accept government funding if he were the Democratic nominee. It was clarified immediately by the Obama campaign, since it was just a yes or no check box, in that he would "aggressively pursue" a deal with the GOP nomination on a fair and strong deal. This is a far cry from proclaiming to the heavens that he declared wholeheartedly that he would, no matter what, accept public funding.

You, along with your other GOP "spindants" (yea I just made that up for you), continue to attempt to make this a "he said, now he is backing out" situation for Sen. Obama, is a typical resort of your parties ilk. However, it is especially not surprising now, considering the awkward and possibly unethical situation, that your boy Sen. McCain now finds himself in.

GOP party do or die guy, McCain, seems to have put himself in a position where he HAS to accept government funding, even though he has filed papers to withdrawal from public financing his campaign. It is also highly unethical to use the guarantee of public funding as collateral for a campaign loan from a bank, even if he would stay in the race only to get the money to repay the loan before dropping out.

Who really is screwing the pooch on this one?

Posted by: CitizenXX | February 27, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

James-I couldn't agree more. The debates have has been soft on obama. Clinton does get asked more questions first. Obama basically agrees with her intelligent response, and then gets an opportunity to undercut her.
Was Russert confused, did he think he was debating Clinton? His tone was so forceful that it was inappropriate. Of course they ask Clinton the obscure name of the Russian. I have questions about Obama's knowlegde on foreign policy. Where is his difficult question? I am tired of the biased news coverage from MSNBC and CNN. They have no integrity.

Posted by: Jaylo | February 27, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

No "mistakes?" How about Hillary continually calling Obama a liar and employing throughout Soviet-style smear tactics? Perhaps, though, the biggest goof was Obama's when, at the end, he said she'd run a "magnificent campaign." "Miraculous" would have been better considering it's a miracle she's won nearly as many delegates as he using the aforementioned tactics. Perhaps that's what too many Democrats like, the "Old Red Flag."

Posted by: Fydor Finkelbaum | February 27, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Check Brian Williams' opening announcement that Ohio produced 8 presidents, "more than any other state" - Nope, Virginia has had 8, Ohio just 7.

Posted by: | February 27, 2008 09:21 AM
================================

Way to keep them honset.

Posted by: CitizenXX | February 27, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Anonymous (not really a great start there):

I am not a "racist" for using middle names, i.e. George WALKER Bush, William JEFFERSON Clinton, Ronald WILSON Reagan. You'll have to do better than that. Also, I do not automatically assume the guy is a terrorist (he could simply have been brainwashed in a madrassa in Indonesia). Back on topic, who do YOU think won the debate?

Citizen XX:

I only have the Oxford-Union Rules in hardcopy, sorry -- I thought that John FORBES Kerry won his debates in 2004 too -- if you'd prefer, Hillary DIANE Clinton won last night using any formal debate scoring system really: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia-Asia_debate#Scoring

As I said, before, I do not have the hard copy of Barack HUSSEIN Obama's book, so no page number yet (but I think enough people have confirmed the quote is actually in the book -- the issue remaining is if there's enough context). Did you see today LA Times/Bloomberg poll showing John SIDNEY McCain beating BOTH Dem hopefuls?

Posted by: JakeD: | February 27, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Two matters from Mr. Obama that did not receive any critical review after the debate, as usual.
Both regard the 2002 Joint Resolution on Iraq.

Clinton made the point that Obama's opposition came in the form of a speech and not as a vote on the record for which he could be held responsible. She said that anyone can make a speech, but it is not a fair comparison to look at what she did in going on the record and his merely making a speech.

Obama's retort was that it was not just any speech, but one made in the course of his campaign for a US Senate seat and so it should be considered a serious position.

Fact: Obama ran for his US Senate speech during the 2004 elections, taking his seat in January 2005. The Joint Resolution was voted on in October 2002. So Obama was running for the US Senate 2 years before the election year??

The second thing was Obama's big rhetorical point about judgment. He has beat Hillary over the head with her vote for the 2002 Iraq Resolution and he went one step further last night saying that Hillary Clinton had "enabled" Bush to wage his war, almost, but not quite, putting the Iraq War on Hillary's door step.

Now this IS a stretch. In other words, if you look at what Obama is saying, Hillary's permission was the sine qua non of the war, that is, without Hillary's consent, Bush would not have had his war. If only Hillary had voted "no" on the resolution we would not be in Iraq.

Just look at how silly that proposition is.

Anyone who has lived the past 7 years knows that Bush was willful about his war in Iraq. He'd been looking for a way in since February 2001. In the late Summer and Early Fall of 2002 Bush and Rumsfeld were taking unilateral steps to engage in a military conflict in Iraq and it was only when the Senate went to him and told him that he really needed to act with a Resolution from Congress and a UN mandate that Bush relented. But Bush would only agree to a non-binding resolution. That is, if he didn't like what the Senate came up with, he would be free to ignore it and have his war anyway.

So the 2002 Joint Resolution was passed directing the President to go to the UN, use the Inspector Regime and if that proved fruitless to end the threat posed by Sadam. This was the exact language from the resolution:

"SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.
(a) AUTHORIZATION.--The President is authorized to use the
Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary
and appropriate in order to--
(1) defend the national security of the United States against
the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and
(2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council
resolutions regarding Iraq.
(b) PRESIDENTIAL DETERMINATION.--In connection with the
exercise of the authority granted in subsection (a) to use force
the President shall, prior to such exercise or as soon thereafter
as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising
such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of
Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his
determination that--
(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic
or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately
protect the national security of the United States against the
continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead
to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council
resolutions regarding Iraq; and
(2) acting pursuant to this joint resolution is consistent
with the United States and other countries continuing to take
the necessary actions against international terrorist and terrorist
organizations, including those nations, organizations, or
persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist
attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.
(c) WAR POWERS RESOLUTION REQUIREMENTS.--
(1) SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION.--Consistent with
section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress
declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory
authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the
War Powers Resolution.
(2) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER REQUIREMENTS.--Nothing in
this joint resolution supersedes any requirement of the War
Powers Resolution.
SEC. 4. REPORTS TO CONGRESS.
(a) REPORTS.--The President shall, at least once every 60 days,
submit to the Congress a report on matters relevant to this joint
resolution, including actions taken pursuant to the exercise of
authority granted in section 3 and the status of planning for efforts
that are expected to be required after such actions are completed,
including those actions described in section 7 of the Iraq Liberation
Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338).
President."

So Bush went to the UN, in December 2002 and started his war, on his schedule that was adopted before ever going to Congress, on March 19, 2003 and in violation of the UN Charter.

Bush showed no hesitation in violating the UN Charter and any other treaty or law necessary to have his war.

And Barak Obama wants to sell the idea that but for Clinton's vote for this Resolution Bush would not have gone to war? Since when has Bush sought permission from anyone, much less Hillary Clinton to make a war?

It is silly season in politics.

Posted by: Beiruti | February 27, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

From the NY Times:

Gotta love it.

For the word-o-philes out there, Obama wins with the word denounce which is more applicable to use when you find someone's positions distasteful.
re·ject -a verb used as an object...
1. to refuse to have, take, recognize, etc.: to reject the offer of a better job.
2. to refuse to grant (a request, demand, etc.).

de·nounce -verb (used with object), -nounced, -nounc·ing. 1. to condemn or censure openly or publicly: to denounce a politician as morally corrupt.

Posted by: CitizenXX | February 27, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

It was not a small thing that Obama would not initially renounce the support of Louis Farakhan and the Nation of Islam.

My Jewish friends will tell me that words do mean something, they can be used for code or any number of things. A rejection of the vile anti-semitic positions of Farakhan is one thing, but why not reject the support. Obama's initial answer was, "look if he thinks I'm a great guy, what can I do about that?"

It reveals much about Obama. There is a vanity there, and an opportunism to take support from whatever quarter at whatever cost. Clinton picked up on this directly and make the point, effectively too, that it is not enough to reject Farakhan's positions, but you must reject him and all that he stands for. Obama tried to make light of it because he was caught red handed with his opportunism. Reluctantly, he gave in on the point.

I know that David Axelrod is heavy in the Obama campaign and that Axelrod is Jewish and Obama rightly said that many from the Jewish-American community are helping in his campaign. This moment surely must have given them all pause about who and what exactly it is that they are backing.

Posted by: Beiruti | February 27, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse


I disagree with Beiruti's point posted at 10:39 AM. In no way do I think Obama is claiming or stating that EXCEPT FOR Clinton's vote, there would be no war in Iraq. That's nonsense. Enabling does not mean that. Enabling means making "possible" or _able_ to do something. I may enable my friend to drink by inviting him to a party, but he/she is the one who decides whether to come to the party, to drink at all, and HOW MUCH to drink. "W" got a nod of approval to go ahead per the vote of a MAJORITY of the Senate. Clinton was just one vote of that majority. IN NO WAY does Obama claim that her ONE VOTE caused the war.

Obama's point is that in THIS instance she used bad judgment; she did not REFUSE to "go along"...

Posted by: steve k | February 27, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Citzen XX:

Too bad Barack HUSSEIN Obama "conceded" that point then (see "Debate Rules" above ; )

Also, re: his links to terrorists, isn't that exactly what you would EXPECT a terrorist to say (maybe with an accent)? Have you guys not heard of that guy from the Weathermen Group?

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2008/02/obamas_weatherman_connection.html

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

It appears to me that to do this right what needs to happen is that a seated politician has to step down from all duties before throwing their hat in the circus ring to run for another office. In other words if Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Obama or any other politician wanted to run for president the first thing that they would need to do is recant their political position so we can continue business as usual while they are running around the country doing nothing to help run our country. You want to run for a mayor ship in a city, then you can't be a seated politician. You have to first, either step down so a replacement can take over your duties or wait till your term of 2, 4 or six years in office is over.
Maybe if all politicians had to step down before running for a different position in a respective governmental agency we could get more done. Congress is just one good example of the candidates doing nothing that we pay them for during the time they are running for another position. I.e. the last 15 months of this extended presidential race. Our taxes are high enough without politicians doing nothing.. I mean they practically do nothing now.
This will level the playing field a little more and if they lose ....then they lose and can start running again for either the same or a different political position. That way we don't have an overlapping person in office and a person running for an office doing nothing but campaigning. Of course this probably makes to much sense. The candidates would hate this because they would have to find a real job if they lost because they couldn't go back to the same old office they probably shouldn't have held in the first place. Wow what a concept ...a government actually running for they people instead of against the people.

Posted by: Richardo | February 27, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

About the war, Obama is more tightly tied to the left, particularly through the support of MoveOn.org to actually pull US troops out of Iraq, regardless of the circumstances on the ground in 2009 if Obama wins nomination and election.

Clinton has the same commitment, but has left herself much more room to maneuver in order to react and respond to situations on the ground next year.

Let us remember and take note of what Bush is doing during this "surge" period. For the Iraqi Sunni tribesmen, Petraus has become the de facto government, the one who brings order. When the Sunni wanted to rid their areas of Al Qaida-Iraq, they did not go to the Iraqi Government, but to Petraus, the real authority in Iraq. Petraus has armed the Sunni Tribesmen and they have fought the Al Qaida. We have given money and weapons to the Sunni without bothering to pass it through the Iraqi Government first.

On the Shiite side, we have a truce with Muqtada el Sadr's Mehdi Army. We are now in the second 6 month truce period. How did we get the truce?? We paid el Sadr. So now he is flush with weapons and with arms.

Sunnis flush with arms and money from the US and Shiites flush with US money and Iranian arms.

Guess what happens when the US leaves? The force creating order, that is, the US Army will be gone. The Shiite and Sunni will engage in sectarian warfare of the kind and type that the region has not seen and which may pull in Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The price of oil today is $102/bbl. At the pump it is $3.50/gallon with predictions that it will hit $4.00/gal by Summer. The Dollar is trading at $1.50/euro.

That is today. In 2009 a major sectarian war in the oil fields will do guess what to the price of oil? Can anyone imagine the risk premium that would have to be paid?

And yet, Obama is tied to a course of having to do the withdrawal, come what may. Clinton is not so tied down due to her wise, what's the word, oh yeah, JUDGMENT.

Posted by: Beiruti | February 27, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Citizen XX:
I only have the Oxford-Union Rules in hardcopy, sorry -- I thought that John FORBES Kerry won his debates in 2004 too -- if you'd prefer, Hillary DIANE Clinton won last night using any formal debate scoring system really: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia-Asia_debate#Scoring
As I said, before, I do not have the hard copy of Barack HUSSEIN Obama's book, so no page number yet (but I think enough people have confirmed the quote is actually in the book -- the issue remaining is if there's enough context). Did you see today LA Times/Bloomberg poll showing John SIDNEY McCain beating BOTH Dem hopefuls?
Posted by: JakeD: | February 27, 2008 10:35 AM

I am really glad that you have a copy, and thanks for the link. I am sure that will help sway the voters on who they should consider the debates winner. Maybe now they will "get real".

As for the Obama book, if you did have the book then you would know that that the context of the quote which you use, much like your use race-baiting use of Sen. Obama's middle name, dealt with his attitude toward U.S. Muslim's if there was a societal backlash against them (due to 9/11 etc.). In essence, he was talking about protecting a group of Americans from attacks against them from those that would do harm to them. Your race baiting ways lend credence to the possible need for such an attitude from an American leader.

I wonder if you would have been for Japanese internment camps. Or, cringe when you see a mixed-raced couple. Or, think that every Arab looking individual is, or knows, an American hating terrorist. But really, you can whine all you want, and attempt to coyly state confusion when people accuse you of being a racist, by your use of Sen. Obama's middle name. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, in assuming that there is intelligence behind your inane comments, and that you know very damn well what you are throwing into the mix by using Sen. Obama's middle name. You fan the flames of racial bigotry, and feed hate and distrust to your fellow backwater rubes.

Posted by: CitizenXX | February 27, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Steve K, I take it that the Obama point souds silly to you too, but this is his point. He used the word "enable". And he says it so that it comes out as an indictment of her as if she were the responsible party for this war. Maybe its just Obama's way of saying things, but this is how it comes out and how his people portray her vote.

If we get back to a rational discussion of judgment, her point is the better one. If two people exposed to the same information are called upon to make a decision and one choses wisely and the other unwisely, then we can say that one has superior judgment.

Is this the case on this Iraq vote?

Obama was at the time a member of the Illinois state legislature. Did he, in that position, have access to the same intelligence reports, the same military briefings as Clinton, who was then a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee?

Many time, looking at matters from the outside, a course of action seems apparant, but when you are presented with what passes as facts and evidence, and you receive warnings from miliary people, that has to give you pause.

At the time, in 2002, looking forward, who was aware or was on notice that a President of the United States, even a Bush, would cook the intel, and would enlist others in the civilian and uniformed military to sell a war by removing the caveats from the intelligence reports? Now we know that he did, but at the time, who could have known.

In hindsight, sure, it was a bum deal, but many things get to be clearer in hindsight rather than in real time. I try lawsuits and hear this all the time from plaintiff lawyers who, after the fact say that the defendant should have known. Well, going forward and in real time, things are not always as clear especially when the President of the United States willfully and for the first time for any President lies about matters of war and peace to the congress.

So I could say that Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, who was exposed to the same intel, the same briefings that Clinton received and voted against the 2002 Resolution, in hindsight, exercised better judgment that Clinton.

But Russ Feingold is not running for President.

Posted by: beiruti | February 27, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

You can see the SNL skit (and read a partial transcript) here:

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/02/24/obamas_bffs_with_press_passes.html

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

P.S. to CitizenXX -- I was for Japanese-American internment camps during war -- but I do not cringe when I see a mixed-raced couple, nor do I think that every Arab looking individual is, or knows, an American hating terrorist. Now I have a question for you: was I being "racist" by using Sen. McCain's middle name as well? If "yes", what is your definition of "racist"?!

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

To Beiruti and others,

On the topic of war, I've spent days digging around for info on Obama, Bush and Clinton. So far I've found a few basic things - Bush and friends were looking for war even when Bush was running for office. Since gaining office the administration's main focus was to go to war (over simplified but true). After a few attempts to get people to agree to the concept, and failing Rumsy and Chen started intense spying and drafting potential yet very threatening sounding problems in Iraq. Then 9-11 happened which practically handed the administration the ammo they needed. Conveniently, on sept 12 of 02 they released a report showing believable danger from iraq. The American people believed the danger (at least 75% of them did). Congress was presented with the "law" that Beiruti beautifully posted. Congress (though many admit they didn't read it closely enough) followed the will of the American People and voted for the bill.

One key note, according to the US Senate website (or maybe it was the libraray) is that the bill was presented with a "as a last resort" explaination.

Another key note is that the republicans are notorious for slipping little side notes into their proposals and taking advantage of the fact that few congress members have the time (or attention span) to read each proposal word for word.

This passing did NOT say - go to war! this said, if it is deemed our only option, go to war. Unfortunately the administration used it as a get out of jail free card and in March of 03 Bush took us to war without any further approval from Congress, the american people, or the UN.

I have started finding (and if you do want to hear the truth you may email me at EKHopper@hotmail.com and I will send you all my references and exact info) information of instances where H. Clinton and others started fighting back about the war as early as 2003. I have found at least one attempt just before Obama joined the Senate where Clinton supported attempts for congress to take back control from the president.

I have also found that Obama joined the senate in 2005 and not once has he sponsored (i'm still checking "co-sponsor) any attempts to withdraw troops, to take away the president's power to go to war with any other countries (afganastan, iran, etc).

Yes, Obama did rally with Jessie Jackson in (i think it was the fall) of 2003 against the war. So far, that is the earliest instance I have found of him being publicly anti-war.

I have also checked his run for the senate. The war was NOT one of the things he campaigned about. As a matter of fact, of the five things he campaigned about the only thing he has attempted to work on in the senate is education. (and it is worth noting he didn't really start doing anything until late 2006.)

Clinton has expressed on many occasions that the war was incorrect. She does not take back her vote, and her statement of "if I knew then, what I know now" is a piece of crap.

However... much of Obama's instances of "flip-flop" and his carefully crafted vague stances on things are exactly that. He is learning as he goes.

Obama supported NAFTA when it first happened and has been quoted in many places doing so. "If he knew then what he knows now" we can see he no longer supports NAFTA.

Clinton supported the NAFTA that B Clinton worked on and that his adminstration helped regulate. By mid Bush years H Clinton was documented in various senate speeches stating NAFTA was a problem and it was in large the US fault because we did not regulate it properly.

On a final note.

C. Rice was nominated by the president for Secretary of State. At that time, Obama did not openly support her. Obama was on the committee of democrats that questioned her about her politics and her plans as Secretary of State should she receive the title. His questions were soft, and mildly supportive. Biden also questioned Rice. He was much more direct and far less supportive. After Rice answered Biden's questions Obama followed up by "explaining" what Rice meant and he was a key figure in helping create an image that made Rice "acceptable." When the senate voted in their executive session H Clinton gave a speech about how Rice was a key figure in the mistakes made in Iraq and how Rice could not be trusted. But that BUSH and Rummsy were even less trustworthy. (see the congress library, it is all there)

CLINTON was ADAMANT that the WAR was an ERROR and a BLATANT abuse of power and MANIPULATION of the American People as well as those in congress.

Eventually, she conceeded that her party (the democrats) though reluctant to accept Rice, believed Rice had learned from her mistakes and had a hopeful future and finally voted in Rice's favor.

To me, that says a lot.

Posted by: Bubba | February 27, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Bubba:

Thanks for your well-thought out post. But, I still don't see how anyone could have been "confused" about the following, clear language:

"The President is authorized to use the
Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to--
(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and
(2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq."

Did she not read THAT either?

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Jake D
You have done what Bush did to the Joint Resolution, namely, cherry picked it for the parts that you want.

As Obama says, words do mean something. Words in a Congressional Resolution mean something, you cannot read a part without taking into consideration the whole. This is what Bush did by lifting the parts that he wanted and ignoring all of the restrictive conditions.

It would be like me passing a law that said:
"You may proceed through a stop sign, after having stopped and looked to see if anyone was approaching the intersection."

Then a person says that the law gave him permission to go through stop signs.

Do you know how far that argument would go in a court of law??

Can we discern the intent of Congress by only lifting out certain phrases?? That is not how the intent of Congress is determined, it is determined by looking at the whole document and as is the case with Federal statutory law, most of the law is not in the granting clauses, but in the conditions attached thereto.

Posted by: Beiruti | February 27, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Beiruti:

That's funny -- you lecturing me on how to read laws -- if you would like to debate whether Bush was authorized to launch an attack against Iraq, feel free to quote any other language you feel is relevant in response to my quote, and we can debate.

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Jake D,
Sure, glad to debate, but I'd like to take the position that Bush was not legally authorized to have his war because the fact is, he was not authorized either by this Joint Resolution which he violated, or by the UN which he ignored.

Do you wish to argue that this resolution amounted to legal authorization for the war??

Posted by: Beiruti | February 27, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Of course I do (I also have a fallback position that the Commander-in-Chief was authorized to launch an attack on Iraq, regardless of the Joint Resolution or -- laughingly -- the United Nations -- of course, I believe the War Powers Act to be un-Constitutional as well, but that's probably enough for now).

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

The resolution authorized the use of force upon a Presidential determination, as set forth in the resolution, and the determinations were manditory they were:

"(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic
or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately
protect the national security of the United States against the
continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead
to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council
resolutions regarding Iraq; and
(2) acting pursuant to this joint resolution is consistent
with the United States and other countries continuing to take
the necessary actions against international terrorist and terrorist
organizations, including those nations, organizations, or
persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist
attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001."

You will recall, at the time of the invasion on March 19, 2003, the UN inspectors had not been prevented from doing their work. Diplomatic efforts had succeeded in securing the inspectors re-entry and they were doing their job. The inspections were sufficient to protect US interests and to insure that Iraq was complying with previous UN Resolutions. The war was therefor not justified in order to accomplish either task.

The second determination that had to be made was that the US had determined that Saddam Hussein had engaged in, planned or was responsible for 9/11. There was never any evidence of this other than the fantasies that existed in Dick Cheney's mind.

So on both conditions, Bush faked it, he circumvented Congressional intent which made his decision to use force unauthorized by the terms of this resolution.

From no better source than Hans Correll, Ambassador from Sweden to the UN and the Under Secretary for Legal Affairs to the UN Security Council, George Bush violated international law by initiating his war in Iraq. I had the good fortune of attending an Interational Law Seminar in Amsterdam at which Ambassador Correll spoke, rather passionately about how disappointed he was that the United States, a Charter member adn founder of the UN would so cavalierly violate the very charter that we helped birth.

The Joint Resolution did not authorize Bush to violate the UN Charter, but this he did and in so doing he violated the terms of the non-binding Joint Congressional Resolution.

Its Bush's war, and actually he should be subject to impeachment for violating US Treaty law for getting us into that war.

Obama is on very thin ice trying to plant this war on Hillary. Very thin ice.

Posted by: Beiruti | February 27, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

If I may go first, there is no need for Congress to use any specific, magic words for a declaration of war -- any more than it must use the word "post road" when exercising its power to do that -- Constitutional powers are defined by effects, and Congress clearly and unambiguously effected a declaration of war with the AUMF quoted above.

YOUR TURN.

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Oh, it seems we are like two ships passing in the night. If I may respond:

Congress clearly can make a declaration of war conditional on any external facts it wants, including a Presidential determination as you set forth. Whether you think the President violated his oath of office by making the required determinations in bad faith, or even whether Congress abdicated their responsibility in failing to hold him accountable for "violating US Treaty law" as you allege is another question, entirely, from whether this resolution amounted to legal authorization for the war.

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

To all who post on here using Obama's full name get over it. Your closed mindedness is showing. You can't argue the facts you attack the man.

Even so, I urge you to keep using his middle name, the shock value will eventually be neutralized because of your over use.

Posted by: Terry UpStateNY | February 27, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Jake D,
I might have beaten you to the starting gate, but that's okay. The War Powers Act I do believe does require "magic words" as you say. The Joint Resolution made specific reference to the War Powers Act and placed conditions on the use of force as authorized by the Act. So I disagree, words do matter in Congressional Resolutions, even non-binding resolutions.

The United States Government is by the constitution limited government. Every Act of Congress must find justification within the terms of the Constitution. Every act of the President, likewise, must find justification in the Constitution.

The War Powers Act was passed pursuant to Article I Section 8. Before its passage, the President would call out the Army in a very ad hoc manner without the magic words. But with the Act, words matter.

Posted by: Beiruti | February 27, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Jake D and others

Yes I believe Clinton probably did read that... and you know what else? In 2002 I was not as jaded and bitter as I am now.

As an elected official and a person that had devoted my life to politics, I would have believed in the president of the united states. I would have done everything possible to beleive we would do things as a last resort. I would have ached with every bone in my body to trust the "intelligence reports" that were presented.

I can not fault her for believing in our country and our government. I can HAIL her for having the strength and passion to stand up and speak out against the president directly during senate sessions.

I can HAIL her for being the ONLY senator to demand answers from the pentagon and FIGHT the pentagon to finally give us truth. (though I'm sure there is still a lot more we don't know).

Other senators could have spoken for the people when American's accepted they screwed up. Others could have made bold and risky political moves and adressed the pentagon directly and publically. They didn't.

I want a president who will fight - not with blood and arrogant force - but with believe, truth and justice.

I want a president who doesn't just say they care, I want one that shows how much they care.

Posted by: Bubba | February 27, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

As a resident of Illinois I can tell you that you need to fact check the "high stakes" label to Obama's assertion of his election to the Senate, he benefited from major mishap by the Ill Rep party to bring in someone from outside the state to run for the position all because the real candidate Ryan had asked his former wife (while they were still married) to go to a sex club this from a divorce transcript. I believe that the party reacted to the core constituency the value voters and asked Ryan to throw in the towel instead of supporting him as the winner of a pretty hotly contested primary, then the party flubbed again and brought Alan Keys here it was the state's repudiation of somewhat that did not represent us and a message that if you do not capture the middle you perish. Noone who is familiar with this race would label it high stakes, except for BO who knew he had to win it in his relentless path to WH.

Posted by: risuena | February 27, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

TerryUpStateNY and others

I don't use his middle name, I fully expect McCain to when the time comes but that is beside the point.

Since you mentioned facts though - I have a neat one for you...

Obama decided to run for senator in Ill. He spoke with the current senator whom at the time was going to run for another office and she encouraged him to run. When her other opportunity fell through, she too ran to be re-elected state senator. Obama's camp took legal action and argued the ligitimacy of the signatures that allowed her to be on the ballot. After sucessfully removing her from the ballot, they didn't stop there, they did the same to all other people running against him. When the voting finally happened he was the only running democrat.

Later when asked if he felt his process was fair to the election process and the people of Ill. His response was "I believe they got a great state senator."

Fact is, Obama has a way with words, with the legal system, and skirting around anything that blocks his path.

Fact is, Bush and his administration was manipulative and very crafty at removing oposition from their path.

Fact is - though one is a democrat and one is a republican, they really are not that different.

please, argue those facts.

Posted by: Bubba | February 27, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Except for a gaff or two, if Hillary had been as poised in past debates as she was last night, she would be ahead of Barack.

Posted by: Shirley | February 27, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Jack D,
It was a conditional authorization, not a card blanche or an unconditional declaration of war. It had very significant conditions, which as you say, Bush violated in bad faith and Congress has not performed its constitutional duty by failing to impeach Bush for his bad faith execution of the resolution.

However, the issue is framed in the context of Judgment. Was it poor judgment to go with this Resolution? Was it poor judgment to believe that Bush would not cherry pick an act of congress? Was it poor judgment to believe that the Pentagon would suppress critical information from Congress? In 2002, in the wake of 9/11, there was a great deal of good will and belief in the good faith performance by George Bush of his duties as President.

It was only by experience events after the fact that the bad faith has been shown, and not all of it has been shown yet, I am sure much has been hidden.

I do not think it bad judgment to believe that a President of the United States would play fast and loose with the law when making a decision to commit the nation to war.

If Obama now says he had information at hand which informed his judgment that Bush would exercise bad faith, and worse, that Bush would violate international law to take the nation to war, then what was the information.

We all would like to know. And if he had it in 2002, why did he not share it with Congress, they would have liked to have such information as well.

Posted by: Beiruit | February 27, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Once again the media never fail to amaze me. I have to concur with other bloggers here about missing the prime opportunities to check out Obama's comments about the Ohio armed services individual.

Additionally, I am very disappointed in the debates held thus far as they have not insisted on direct, specific detailed answers on Obama's political experience in the Senate. What specific bills has he written/supported and at least voted YES for? Specifically what "ground breaking" legislation has he been the cornerstone leader for? He tried to score "points" for the comment about her political experience crossing over into her role as First Lady.. well, what have you done lately Mr. Obama? For that matter, what have you actually VOTED for?

In all respect, I must say that he is a great orator. However, oratory skills do not a president make. And to even ensnare in "silliness" with the remarks about Hillary's aggressive nature is even more insult. She is intelligent; she has experience actually DOING WORK on the many Senate Committees she has served.

And she was humble enough to specifically answer the question about the vote she wished she hadn't made - no waxing on for 15 minutes a la Obama.

Having once had ambition to enter the media industry, I am now reminded as to why I did not. It used to be the primary objective of media to expose the truth and educate the American reader. To ask the questions most people don't ask.. not to collect polls on who's hair looks best, or who seemed "most presidential" in the debate.

So she happens to be a female.. so what?
So her husband served as President before -so what? It seems these facts repeatedly are brought to light in any commentary; however, Rezko and some of the other "creative" experiences Obama has been involved with are quickly swept under the rug.

I trust and hope that Hillary wins this nomination for two reasons:
1) She has the political and Washington experience and aggressive nature required to be in a leadership role;
2) I feel confident she will get any job done that is placed in front of her.

God help us if she doesn't. Four more years of a Bush clone.


Posted by: IllinoisVoter | February 27, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Hillary says re disclosing her tax return as soon as possible that she certainly couldn't get it together before the next primary. Which return? Obama's disclosure was for 2006. She can't go to a drawer and pull out a copy for immediate publication?

Posted by: nick | February 27, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

She must have time to get her tax information together. She had time enough to watch Saturday Night Live didn't she?

Posted by: Kevin | February 27, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Nick

I assumed she was referring to 2007 - heck I assumed that was what the entire topic was about.

She said she would do it. I didn't see if they turned back to ask Obama to do the same, did they?

She couldn't promise it would be out by Tuesday but think about that, are your taxes done? I don't care if she has an accountant, I bet the accountant takes more than a week to do them. As a small business owner, I know how complicated and complex they can get. I can't imagine what it is like as a person in Obama and Clinton's world.

Posted by: Bubba | February 27, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Fact is, Obama has a way with words, with the legal system, and skirting around anything that blocks his path.

Fact is, Bush and his administration was manipulative and very crafty at removing oposition from their path.

Fact is - though one is a democrat and one is a republican, they really are not that different.

please, argue those facts.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
First you failed to post the article you sited. Here it is. So as you cherry pick it other's can read the whole thing and make up their own minds.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-070403obama-ballot,0,1843097.story?page=2

Obama wants transperancy in government it is a big difference than what we have been getting from the 8 years of Bush & Co..

I haven't seen anything as ugly as what Bush used to win the nomination coming from the Obama camp. Give me one example.

Obama talks the talk and he has consistently walked the walk. Why else is it that the people who have dealt with him in the Senate have nothing but good to say about him? And here is an interesting comment coming from McCain's camp.

"A top adviser to John McCain said Wednesday that he will step down from the Arizona senator's presidential campaign if the presumed GOP nominee faces Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., in the general election."

"I would simply be uncomfortable being in a campaign that would be inevitably attacking Barack Obama," said McCain adviser Mark McKinnon in an interview with NPR's "All Things Considered." "I think it would be uncomfortable for me, and I think it would be bad for the McCain campaign."

Posted by: Anonymous | February 27, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Tsk, Tsk, Beiruit -- I was hoping for better from you -- the PROPOSITION for our debate (you even got to pick sides) was:

That This Resolution Amounted to Legal Authorization For The War

I never conceded that Bush operated in bad faith, I said "Whether YOU think [he did] is another question, entirely, from whether this resolution amounted to legal authorization for the war."

If you have nothing further, I will gladly submit to the scoring, per Oxford-Union Debate rules : )

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Bubba | February 27, 2008 12:39 PM

Fact is, Obama has a way with words, with the legal system, and skirting around anything that blocks his path.

Fact is, Bush and his administration was manipulative and very crafty at removing oposition from their path.

Fact is - though one is a democrat and one is a republican, they really are not that different.

please, argue those facts.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
First you failed to post the article you sited. Here it is. So as you cherry pick it other's can read the whole thing and make up their own minds.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-070403obama-ballot,0,1843097.story?page=2

Obama wants transperancy in government it is a big difference than what we have been getting from the 8 years of Bush & Co..

I haven't seen anything as ugly as what Bush used to win the nomination coming from the Obama camp. Give me one example.

Obama talks the talk and he has consistently walked the walk. Why else is it that the people who have dealt with him in the Senate have nothing but good to say about him? And here is an interesting comment coming from McCain's camp.

"A top adviser to John McCain said Wednesday that he will step down from the Arizona senator's presidential campaign if the presumed GOP nominee faces Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., in the general election."

"I would simply be uncomfortable being in a campaign that would be inevitably attacking Barack Obama," said McCain adviser Mark McKinnon in an interview with NPR's "All Things Considered." "I think it would be uncomfortable for me, and I think it would be bad for the McCain campaign

Posted by: Terry Up State NY | February 27, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Jake D
I believe that I have said that it is a conditional authorization for the war.

I have set out what the conditions were.
I have set out that the conditions were not met.

The inescapable conclusion is that with the conditions unmet, the resolution is not an authorization for war.

The logic here seems simple enough.

If you expect me to concede the point that a conditional authorization for war is authorization nonetheless, I do not concede the point. This is Bush logic, not the kind that everyone else uses.

Posted by: Beiruti | February 27, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

P.S. to CitizenXX -- I was for Japanese-American internment camps during war -- but I do not cringe when I see a mixed-raced couple, nor do I think that every Arab looking individual is, or knows, an American hating terrorist. Now I have a question for you: was I being "racist" by using Sen. McCain's middle name as well? If "yes", what is your definition of "racist"?!

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 11:24 AM

JakeD,

Again, your linear thinking does not serve you well. The point of using a middle name is not, in itself, a racist remark or action. However, in these times of fear, which has been propagated by you and your Parties ilk, it is obvious what the action of using his middle name is attempting to illicit sentiments of both fear, as well as distrust, based solely on a persons middle name. Only a person who cannot, or will not, see the larger effect of such actions, could be called foolish and intellectually inept. Your argument is consistently, "What is the problem with using a person's middle name." I have told you what the problem is with such an action. And unless you are the proverbial fool, you know damn well what your use of his middle name is attempting to illicit.

Of course, it makes sense that with you foolish and distracting arguments, about the issues that I, and others have with your commentary, you would continue to not see the point of what I am saying to you.

To answer your question, as to whether I felt you were being racist by using Sen. McCain's middle name, I would say no. To clarify once again for you, it is not the use of a person's middle name which is a racist act, for it is just a way in which to skirt around the reason for such usage. The problem is that the act itself, taken into context with the times that we currently live in, is a blatant attempt to illicit negative feelings, negative thoughts, and negative possibilities that such an Arabic name brings to mind. You can play ignorant of such a fact, but others realize the game both you and some of your Party members play. By pleading ignorance, and confusion as to this, you are the one looking foolish.

"I was for Japanese-American internment camps during war"

Of course you would have been

"...but I do not cringe when I see a mixed-raced couple, nor do I think that every Arab looking individual is, or knows, an American hating terrorist."

Maybe, just maybe, there is hope for you in the future.

Posted by: CitizenXX | February 27, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Citzen XX:

Too bad Barack HUSSEIN Obama "conceded" that point then (see "Debate Rules" above ; )

Also, re: his links to terrorists, isn't that exactly what you would EXPECT a terrorist to say (maybe with an accent)? Have you guys not heard of that guy from the Weathermen Group?

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2008/02/obamas_weatherman_connection.html

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 10:58 AM
===============================

Maybe I have given you too much credit.

Do you even really follow stories? Or, which seems evermore to fact, do you just read a headline (or possibly the initial story) and never follow the story as it develops and on to its conclusion.

Sen. Obama was 8 years old when the Weatherman group did their bombings etc, He received 200usd donation to his campaign from a citizen from...

You know what...get all you facts...read the story...

Hell, the guy was never even convicted of a crime. You're reaching for dirt, and can find only dust.

Posted by: CitizenXX | February 27, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

.

Posted by: . | February 27, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

1. She loses Texas buy 7-11 points.

2. She loses Ohio but 4-7 points.

3. She drops out.

4. Obama/Biden ticket emerges.

Posted by: CitizenXX | February 27, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Bottom line: Barack has a much better chance of defeating John McCain this fall. There is no comparison between Obama and McCain: Intelligent change vs. old guard (militarism, fear, obscene distribution of weath, and hypocracy).
...the time has come. Hillary is vulnerable; the GOP loves Hillery.

Posted by: TLTL | February 27, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Hillary loses Texas and Ohio badly so that the elected delegate gap widens, yep, time to pull up stakes, fold up the tent and start for a graceful move to the exits.

But not yet.

Unlike Obama's rise to the Illinios State House, lets let the people make that judgment, not MSNBC or the blogs. Its still a primary election and if the super delegates are to go the way of the people, lets have them all vote first and then see where things stand.

Posted by: Beiruti | February 27, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

you are correct I did not post the link to the article. I will happily provide all my research on all topics at anyones request if they contact me via email at ekhopper@hotmail.com. I say this because I have more than just one link and more than just one source. But thank you for putting up that link for me.

You'll also notice his attention to the law and passion to provide fair and just representation to the people of Ill. was something he himself questioned. When the idea was first presented to him he wasn't sure it was ethical...he admits he decided to do whatever it took.

As for walking the walk...

his primary points when running for senate were about stem cell research, abortion, gun control, school vouchers, and tax cuts.

looking at his senate records...

stem cell research
res.46 supporting stem cell awareness month was created by him. He did not have any cosponsors to support it. He introduced it 9-17-07 and it is under review.

of 7 senate proposals in the 110th congress he has cosponsored 1.

S.5 was one of them. It was introduced on 1-4-07 and both Obama and Clinton cosponsored it from the beginning. Bush vetoed it.

of 8 senate proposals in the 109th congress he has co sponsored 2.

s.471 was one of them. It was introduced on 2-28-05 and both Obama and Clinton cosponsored it as of 4-11-05. It is what became s.5 of the current congress.

s.1520 was another. It was introduced on 7-27-05, Clinton cosponsored it on 7-27-05 and Obama joined on 7-28-05.

additionally
s.876 was introduced on 4-21-05 and Clinton cosponsored it on 6-15-05.

s.1317 was introduced on 6-27-05, Clinton cosponsored it on 6-28-05 and it was put into law 12-20-05.

Moving onto Abortion:

This is more difficult to quantify so I narrowed it down to introduced bills that were pro choice or pro prevention as those are what Obama said he supported in 2004.


s.1173 freedom of choice act
introduced on 4-19-07 Clinton was a cosponsor from the beginning, Obama became one on 5-11-07. it appears to still be under review.


s.2916
introduced by Clinton 5-19-06 It has 12 cosponsors. Obama IS one of them from the beginning. (I think this became s.1075, but it is unclear.)

s.20
Prevention first act
Introduced 1-24-05
Clinton cosponsored from the beginning
Obama cosponsored as of 2-8-05

s.res.162
Calls on Congress, on the 40th anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut in which the Supreme Court held that married people have a constitutional right to use contraceptives, to take steps to ensure that all women have universal access to affordable contraception.
introduced 6-7-05 and cosponsored by Obama and Clinton from the beginning.


s.1264 Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies Act
Introduced on 6-16-05 Clinton was a cosponsor from the beginning, Obama is NOT one.

s.485
Calls for Congress to: (1) help women, regardless of income, avoid unintended pregnancy and abortion through access to affordable contraception; and (2) support programs and policies that make it easier for women to obtain contraceptives.
introduced by Clinton on 5-22-06. It is co-sponsored by 17 other senate members and is still under review. Obama is NOT a co-sponsor.

s.1075
introduced by Clinton 3-29-07 to prevent unwanted pregnancy and abortion. It is cosponsored by 8 other senate members and is still under review. Obama is NOT a cosponsor.


s.844
A bill to expand access to preventive health care services that help reduce unintended pregnancy, reduce the number of abortions, and improve access to women's health care.
introduced by Clinton 4-19-05 with 2 cosponsors. Obama is NOT one of them.

Obama has not introduced anything of his own to support pro-choice.

Now I'm sure I've already bored you and lost you. I can do the same with gun control, school vouchers, and tax cuts.

I will say, Obama has done a lot of attempts for schools. A rough guess would be about 40% of what he has sponsored is related to schools in one form or another, mostly summer programs and equality.

To address your comment about the man on McCain's campaign. My guess is he is afraid to have a character debate with a black man because the media and public will stop anything remotely racist. Whereas a white woman he doesn't have to worry about making inappropriate or sexist remarks.


Posted by: Bubba | February 27, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Would the Fact Checker like to find the actual effects of NAFTA and share them on this site? I'm finding it hard to understand why manufacturing jobs moving to China has anything to do with NAFTA. Good topic for this blog. Thanks!

Posted by: douglas | February 27, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

It is so obvious that Hillary is asked the questions first so Obama can have time to compose his answers which usually are a repeat of her answers. I have no doubt he would not have known the name of the Russian guy. And why does it infuriate his followers for his middle name to be used? And why is his pastor a fan of Farrikan?
People, where there is smoke there is fire. We better take the rose colored glasses off and demand answers. We need to forget this inspiring popularity contest and elect someone who really can put this country back on track. Honestly, at this point, I don't know who that can possibly be. But, I want to know more about Obama. We know what we have in Hillary and I'm no fan of hers either. And, John MCCain is out of the question. Lord, help us!

Posted by: LKING | February 27, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

LKING

What would you like to know about Obama?

I agree, we've gotten distracted by the rose colored glasses - the racism - the sexism etc.

But what would you like to know about Obama? Most of what I've seen indicates that we don't care 'about Obama' we just care that he is better than Clinton.

Is he really?

www.speakout.com/votematch

I strongly encourage anyone and everyone to go to this link, read each topic and read the definition of strongly support, support,no opinion, oppose, and strongly oppose. Fill out the form and see who your candidate is based on your personal beliefs.

The website is honest and well researched (i continually double check it - and no I am not affiliated with it in any way)

Posted by: Bubba | February 27, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Bubba,
I went to the site and scored as follows:
Edwards 63%
Clinton 55%
Obama 55%

Pretty good test. Neither Hillary nor Obama were my first choice. I have gravitated toward Clinton and not Obama because you seem to have to be a Clinton hater to be an Obama supporter and I do not hate Clinton, nor anyone else.

Posted by: Beiruti | February 27, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

On war resolution important to appreciate context: Gephardt bailed out and joined Bush and forced a collapse of Democratic coalition for a more stringent and restrictive war resolution. We (US)had to have a resolution on use of military force; there is no escaping that reality and Clinton voted responsibly and rightly in that context. The President acted irresponsibly and possibly illegally. Barack on the other hand acted opportunistically and in his usual calculating way. He's preparing for a democratic primary (two years before the election). Should he say he's for the war or against the war in the lead up to a democratic primary? If the war is waged subsequently and goes well (and WMD are found), most people would probably forget his speech or simply chalk it up to being generally pro-peace or that he just did not have all the facts that the folks in Congress had. If the war goes poorly, he appears prophetic, intelligent and courageous. Please. It was a no-brainer and little should be made of his speech or position at that time in that context.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 27, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

You seem really hung up on Obama,finance reform, and public funding. Do you intend to talk about the fact the McCain used the promise of the public funding to get a loan for his campaign when it was faltering and is now trying to back out of that? McCain hypocrisy on this seems much greater and potentially illegal. Obama is clearly playing within the rules and they are set out now - whether you agree with them or not. I am not sure I would forgo what might be the first time in my living memory a money advantage in a presidential campaign for a Democrat.

Posted by: swallow jg | February 27, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

You fact checkers need to check on the "Hill's" response a couple of weeks ago to the question of how she would force citizens to buy/pay for their manditory health care under her plan. I believe she said that if necessary she would "garnish their wages". Don't remember the time/place but am sure I heard it.

Posted by: Osan | February 27, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Beiruti

I love that test. I have loved Edwards for a very long time and it was really difficult for me to pick who to support. That site really does help simplify things.

It surprised me though, when i took it I came out

86% Clinton
80% that person with the Green Party
76% Gravel
70% Obama
65% Edwards

Let me tell you, that was a big SHOCKER!!

just goes to show what a little education can do.

Posted by: Bubba | February 27, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA/BIDEN 2008!

Posted by: john HUSSEIN doe | February 27, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

To comment on this post:
Except for a gaff or two, if Hillary had been as poised in past debates as she was last night, she would be ahead of Barack.

Posted by: Shirley | February 27, 2008 12:42 PM

Hillary has been poised in all of the other debates. She will be ahead of Barack after March 4th.
rosebud68

Posted by: Anonymous | February 27, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

To comment on this post:
Except for a gaff or two, if Hillary had been as poised in past debates as she was last night, she would be ahead of Barack.

Posted by: Shirley | February 27, 2008 12:42 PM

Hillary has been poised in all of the other debates. She will be ahead of Barack after March 4th.
rosebud68

Posted by: Anonymous | February 27, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

The media makes fun of me, just look at SNL. They made fun of me. SNL is the a leading media source, but the people that hate me call it entertainment.

Posted by: Shillary Whiner | February 27, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

I also don't understand why people don't love me. I love people. I have even known some of them away from the campaign trail.

They are sometimes just so stupid. I tell them what they need to know about me, but they like that other guy. It's just not fair.

Posted by: Shillary Whiner | February 27, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

I tell you what I am going to do. I am going to campaign all the way to the end. Why? Because I am a fighter. I know I will be better then that Barack fella. Cause I am passionate about healthcare.

I really don't care what it will do to the party. I should be the nominee, I have worked 85 years - I mean 35 years - and it is my turn.

I put up with Will and his wandering snake oil salesman charm, and damnmit I am owed the presidency.

This is just so very very unfair.

I wish I could really cry!

Posted by: Shillary Whiner | February 27, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Shillary Whiner

You've got to be kidding. Could you possibly go out on a limb here and think for yourself for just a moment.

Senator Clinton does not whine, she does not fake cry, she does not complain about her husband, she does not speak as though the presidency is OWED to her, and she sure as HECK DOES NOT cry foul and unfair every other moment.

How about you, do you know how to stand up and be counted?

Posted by: Bubba | February 27, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh Bubba,

I want to thank you for your support in this very tough campaign. I am a fighter, and I promise you I will (insert desire).

Please donate now to help me with this almost successful race.

Being a woman, I am sure you know how historic this is for us. I need you to stand with me because we both need to put a woman in the White House. I don't want play the gender card, but we both know a woman can "clean house."

Thanks Bubba, your help is greatly appreciated.

Posted by: Shillary Whiner | February 27, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why they say I like NAFTA. To tell the people in Ohio and the country that I liked and supported NAFTA is just a lie. I don't care what quoted me as sating in the past. That was the past, and it should stay there. I have ALWAYS been against NAFTA since I started this race. And to say that now I am for it is just a lie.

Why don't they pick on that Hussein Obama guy? You know what I mean?

Posted by: Shillary Whiner | February 27, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why they say I like NAFTA. To tell the people in Ohio and the country that I liked and supported NAFTA is just a lie. I don't care what quoted me as sating in the past. That was the past, and it should stay there. I have ALWAYS been against NAFTA since I started this race. And to say that now I am for it is just a lie.

Posted by: Shillary Whiner | February 27, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Beiruti:

You are still arguing the "good faith" aspect -- and you have not yet proven that Bush operated in "bad faith" -- trying to recast that argument as proof that the "conditions" were unmet. Regardless, I have no problem submitting this debate for final scoring, per Oxford-Union Rules.

CitizenXX:

Which "Party" exactly do you think I belong to if I am registered Independent? As for supporting Japanese-American internment camps, IIRC, Franklin DELANO Roosevelt (and lots more from the Democratic "Party") supported those too. So, I was not the only one (including several on the U.S. Supreme Court who conceded that the Constitution is not a suicide pact). As for the links to that guy from the Weathermen Group, I admit that no one has proven Barack HUSSEIN Obama bombed a building himself. I was simply pointing out the links (Hillary has similar links through the pardon her husband signed for known terrorists). As for using middle names, I have taken a vow to use middle names for EVERY politician until November -- just so no one can accuse me of trying to single out any particular politician -- my only purpose to to educate people of little known facts like that : )

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

why ms. shrillary whiner, so good to see you again.

Obama supported NAFTA when it first happened and has been quoted in many places doing so. "If he knew then what he knows now" we can see he no longer supports NAFTA.

Clinton supported the NAFTA that B Clinton worked on and that his administration helped regulate. By mid Bush years H Clinton was documented in various senate speeches stating NAFTA was a problem and it was in large the US fault because we did not regulate it properly.

But that's okay baby, I'm sure all these big words are confusing a soft little woman such as yourself.

or perhaps you simply can't hear me over the shouting of your stupid husband and the chanting of those BHO supporters outside your window.

that's okay, i forgive you for your ignorance.

Posted by: Bubba | February 27, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

As for using middle names, I have taken a vow to use middle names for EVERY politician until November -- just so no one can accuse me of trying to single out any particular politician -- my only purpose to to educate people of little known facts like that

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 07:37 PM

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

JackD,

Well, if you are a registered independent, I would have to assume that you are an Independent Party member, whatever that might mean in your case. I believe the only issue I have taken with you is your stereotyping of a presidential candidate in a negative light by using his middle name to attempt to...

You know what I mean. And, if at this point you don't, then so be it.

I do find your new attempt to justify the use of Sen. Obama's middle name as an exercise in educating people to little known facts, to be to say the least, a pitiful and asinine statement.

I am done with this, as well as this issue with you.


Posted by: CitizenXX | February 27, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Bubba,

What a sweet darling you are. I do have a problem understanding big words, which i am sure you can understand why.

I love how you give links to the things you quote as fact. Typical of your kind.

Posted by: Shillary Whiner | February 27, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

William F. Buckley

Posted by: W.Kristol | February 27, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't life be so much simpler if alot of you would just sit back and let things play out. Instead on being on here argueeing with people you barely even know. Just let it be. Someone will be elected come November. Obama. Not a doubt in my mind. Not a single one.

Posted by: Hamilton | February 27, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

CitizenXX:

See you around.

Hamilton:

You certainly have "alot" of confidence in the United States Secret Service. The simple life is overrated.

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 09:18 PM

"You certainly have "alot" of confidence in the United States Secret Service."

===================================

I see you, like your buddy wpost4112, are throwing in the allusions to possible assassination again.

Are you saying that he will be assassinated? Do you know something? Have you knowledge of a plan to assassinate Sen. Obama? Or, are you just throwing such commentary out there to help educate the masses with your little facts?

Please tell us everything you know. Be as clear and concise as possible, with any dates, names, and places as you can. We appreciate your cooperation with this matter.

Posted by: CitizenXX | February 27, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

No (to all your questions).

Posted by: JakeD | February 27, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse


The media needs to address the fact that Obama belongs to a church whose minister, Obama's mentor, Dr Wright has close ties to Farrakhan, whom he nominated for a lifetime Man of the Year award. Dr Wright has traveled to Africa with Farrakhan.

It would NOT surprize me if the Obama camp planted the obama in african garb picture and then blamed the Clinton Camp. That picture sure took the heat off of the Farrakhan endorsement. To all of the Senators backing Obama, do you guys do any reading up on a person before endorsing them. It makes me wonder how you are keeping America SAFE. I will NOT forget anyone who is so UN Patriotic as to stand by Obama.

These video's take a minute to watch but tell us plenty about Obama.

1- Click here- Trinity United Church of Christ
2- Click here: You Tube - Obama Communist Flag In Office!
3- Click here: You Tube - Obama and the National Anthem
4- Click here: Media Matters - Hannity guest on Obama's church: Its "scary doctrine" is "something that you'd see in more like


IF Obama holds Cuba's Flag closer to his heart than ours than he is NOT fit to be our President, Senator, Police Officer of any other Govt. Job.


These video's take a minute to watch but tell us plenty about Obama.

1- Click here- Trinity United Church of Christ
2- Click here: You Tube - Obama Communist Flag In Office!
3- Click here: You Tube - Obama and the National Anthem
4- Click here: Media Matters - Hannity guest on Obama's church: Its "scary doctrine" is "something that you'd see in more like


IF Obama holds Cuba's Flag closer to his heart than ours than he is NOT fit to be our President, Senator, Police Officer of any other Govt. Job.

Posted by: USAalways | February 27, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse

jreno2,

Your sound like a sad and ugly little git.

Posted by: CitizenXX | February 28, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

is it just me or do clinton supporters seem to act just like her. At the beginning i thought she was good. But after seeing how she is running the last month it scares me. This year was the first time that i felt good about going to the polls because of two great choices we had this year but clinton this last month is making my 5 yr old look calm and cool.
That comment she made about getting picked first all the time was unreal. My kid has more pride than that. I not saying she is a bad person but why is she making a big deal out of going first when SHE IS RUNNING TO PRESIDENT. that just baffles me.

Posted by: matthew | February 28, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

matthew:

YOU just made more of a big "deal" than she did of going first -- the point is especially valid though when Barack HUSSEIN Obama seems to always adopt her answer and then add a little more -- here's her entire "big deal" from the last debate:

"Can I just point out in the last several debates, I seem to get the first question all the time -- and I don't mind, I'll be happy to field them -- I just find it curious that I keep getting the first question on all the issues."

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/27/us/politics/27truth.html

Referencing a recent Saturday Night Live skit that portrayed the press as overwhelmingly in favor of Obama, Clinton also joked, "Maybe we should ask Barack if he's comfortable and needs another pillow."

If your candidate can't stand the heat . . .

Posted by: JakeD | February 29, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

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