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The VP Debate: Biden's Distortions

Joe Biden is getting credit for being more “factual” and substantive than Sarah Palin in last night’s debate. He shouldn’t. A good deal of what Biden said was exaggerated, distorted or simply false — especially in his nominal area of expertise, foreign policy.

Let’s start with Iraq. Biden claimed that John McCain was the “odd man out” in his plans for the war, while the Bush administration and the Iraqi government had adopted the strategy of Barack Obama. The truth is just the opposite. The administration and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki are still negotiating about the future of the U.S. troop presence, but according to the latest reports they are close to settling on a target date for withdrawal at the end of 2011. That’s a year and a half after Obama’s 16-month timetable would run out. More importantly, Bush, Maliki, U.S. commanders and McCain all agree that the pullout should be “conditions-based” -- it should go forward only as Iraqi forces are able to take over. As Biden confirmed last night, the Obama pullout is not based on conditions; his theory is that the timetable will force action by Iraqis, rather than the other way around. When he visited Iraq in July, Obama was candid enough to confirm that Gen. David Petraeus, Maliki and leaders of the Sunni militia forces all opposed his strategy. On Iraq, he remains the odd man out.

Biden also charged that the United States spends more in Iraq in three weeks than it has in total in Afghanistan. As Chris Wilson of Slate points out, that comes close to being true only if total U.S. spending in Iraq is compared only with non-military spending in Afghanistan -- and even then it’s not true. The United States spends about $8 billion in three weeks in Iraq, compared with a total of $12 billion in non-military spending since 2001 in Afghanistan. In total, Congress has authorized $172 billion in spending for Afghanistan -- or about 61 weeks of spending in Iraq.

Biden said he could find no difference between McCain and Bush on policy toward Israel, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. He’s right -- there is no real difference. But what he failed to disclose is that there is also no significant difference between Obama’s proposals for those countries and what the Bush administration is doing. Biden denied that Obama agreed to meet unconditionally with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. There he was both right and wrong: Obama did say he would do so in answer to a debate question more than a year ago, but he has since hedged his position considerably. As a practical matter, it’s very unlikely Obama would meet Ahmadinejad if he became president.

Lastly, Biden asserted that both he and Obama had opposed the staging of Palestinian legislative elections in 2005, and had predicted that if they were held Hamas would win. In fact, while Obama signed a letter (with more than 90 other senators) expressing concern that Hamas would participate in the election without disarming, he did not predict the Hamas victory. And Biden did not sign the letter; indeed, he served as an observer at the election that he now says should not have gone forward.

By Jackson Diehl  | October 3, 2008; 12:37 PM ET
Categories:  Diehl  | Tags:  Jackson Diehl  
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Next: The VP Debate: Odd Moments

Comments

I was undecided before the debate, and I am still undecided. The debate was without fire works, Watching Palin and Biden Practice is much more interesting.
http://www.watchdebate.com

Posted by: pastor123 | October 3, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

"Biden claimed that John McCain was the “odd man out” in his plans for the war, while the Bush administration and the Iraqi government had adopted the strategy of Barack Obama. The truth is just the opposite."
Diehl
----
Diehl, did you even watch the debate?
Biden said that they were currently negotiating Obama's withdrawal plan.

Please don't lie, it discredits you and the wapo.

BTW: Maliki was in favor, Bush was in favor AND McCain even said that it sounded like a good plan.

Get your facts straight, liar.

Posted by: JRM2 | October 3, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

In response to JRM2, this is exactly what Biden said:

"Barack Obama offered a clear plan. Shift responsibility to Iraqis over the next 16 months. Draw down our combat troops. Ironically the same plan that Maliki, the prime minister of Iraq and George Bush are now negotiating. The only odd man out here, only one left out is John McCain."

Clearly, Bush is not right now negotiating Obama's plan. It's a laughable assertion.

Posted by: ekimbrough | October 3, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

There are only 2 things wrong with this article, the style and the content.

Posted by: AbolhassanBaniSadr | October 3, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Diehl, I commend you on your article. A breath of fresh, impartial air to the media pro-Democrat frenzy.

Posted by: petersuares | October 3, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Poor Jack -

Still trying to justify his go-go Iraq line after five years. At least the isolationists and "Japan first" folks had the decency to shut up and go away in 1942. Jack is still trying to justify his wrong-headed, hawkish POV.

It makes the Post look stupid, revanchist, and right-wing.

Posted by: Jsinaiko | October 3, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

THere're actually THREE things wrong with this article: style, content, the author.

Where's that famous "liberal bias" of Washington post? This author sounds like a shameless shill for the Capitalists' Socialist Party USA.


Posted by: VMR1 | October 3, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

And Sarah Palin and McCain do not distort? Come on. McCain is so desperate to be president, he is saying anything and everything he thinks will please the public and get him votes.
Palin brings her baby that late at night and she is a good mother? Give me a break - the baby belonged in his crib at home.
And please, I do not want to be referred to as "joe 6 pack" or winked at, I am not a little child.

Posted by: sunitagupta1 | October 3, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure who Mr. Diehl is and what his background is. What I do know is he watched a different debate than I did.

The candidates have already been FackChecked and are being vetted on the internet now by various blogging sites. However, sir, you just are misrepresenting the truth here and worse.

Our democratic election process and people like me deserve better than what you write. You could have written a blogg post that was still thoughtful without the lies. Shame on you.

Posted by: lucy2008 | October 3, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

PLEASE!
I BEG YOU!
Continue to push the war. John McCain and Sarah Palin MUST PROMOTE their support of the war.
IT IS A LOSING ISSUE.
NO DOUBT.
The American people have had ENOUGH.
Also - STRESS THE FACT THAT BUSH IS MAKING SECRET DEALS WITH IRAQ.
WE WILL BE THERE FOREVER.
WARMONGERS.
NEOCONS.
BUSH.
MCCAIN
PALIN
CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THE WAR.
KEEP IT UP.
DON'T STOP.
LOSERS
PATHETIC LOSERS.

Posted by: Tomcat3 | October 3, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

What a laughable bunch of posts here on a logical, accurate article, as usual. The REAL facts are that if Barack Obama said 16 month timetable for long enough, he would, by necessity, have had to be right. Eventually, we will withdraw 16 months from some date. What is clear here is: 1) that if we had followed Barack Obama's 16 month timetable the first time he proposed it in early 2007; we would have lost badly in Iraq, relinquishing the Iraqis and the region to Al Qaeda and Iran, rather than being on the verge of succeeding, and 2) just as Jackson says, while all parties are talking about general timeline for hoped-for withdrawals, all language being negotiated and stated in public by Bush, Petraeus, Odierno, McCain, and al-Maliki is that this timeline will be flexible and subject to conditions on the ground, not FIXED no matter what occurs as Obama's plan is. We STILL never hear any plan of Obama's centered on "winning" the war, only "ending" it. I am a person, that if I had a time machine and could reverse the 27 Democratic Senate votes (including Biden, Hillary, and Kerry to name a few) authorizing the war, I would. I think this has been a mistake in hindsight, but since we don't have a time machine, there is no reason to now snatch defeat from the jaws of victory that has been so costly attained.

Posted by: fredgrad2000 | October 3, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

To be honest I do not think it was a good debate at all. Except for 2 things , one The governor of Alaksa saying the part as to I will answer the questions as long as I have notes that tell me what to say part and if my notes dont say what my answer is I will get to my talking points, maverick, change and dont look at what the republican party has done in the last 8 years, why look at the past.?
2 Biden was a wooz, he could have told her that the least this country needs is another Republican Governor with a history of cronyism, employing friends and neighbors to jobs they are not qualified to do, and that even pronounces nuclear just like the former Governor of Texas.
A Republiocan Governor that is not ready to be a Commander in Chief, is just another Bush with lipstick. I would have also said that the Republicans have had 2 terms to better our future and instead they have diminish our quality of life.
I would have said that some parts of this country have a 3 strikes laws for crimes.
We can not afford to give the Republican Party another at bat. Bad enough what they are leaving behind for the democrats to clean up. We can not affort another third strike.

Posted by: ennn | October 3, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

What are the Bush apologists going to do after he leaves office? To twist the McCain question into something relevant: they wont even admit that invading Iraq was wrong (or even criminal)? More than half the voters in America knew what would happen if baby-Bush was installed in power. It was even worse than they imagined. Until the right-wing nut, Bush apologists, beg for forgiveness... they're a waste of ink.

Posted by: thebobbob | October 3, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Didn't have any major issues with Palin before last night?? Her VP acceptance speech was very poised but in the debate last night she really seemed to lack a lot of qualities that a national candidate needs to encompass.

Here's a Republican blog that really questions Palin's position on the ticket and suggests that she's hurting McCain.
http://www.greenfaucet.com/blogs/hanlons-pub

Also includes the Katie Couric video about the newspapers Palin reads.

Priceless.

Posted by: macebruce | October 3, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

OK, fredgrad2000 -- describe exactly what would constitute "victory" in Iraq.

Would it be that sectarian violence was back to pre-war levels? Would it be that the Iraqi economy is back to pre-war levels? Would it be the presence of al-Qaeda in Iraq is back to pre-war levels? Hmmm... sounds like we could have just not had the war, and everything would STILL BE at pre-war levels.

And just what about this "victory" that you so devoutly wish for would be worth the lives of over 4,000 Americans, several hundred thousand Iraqis, the complete and utter loss of America's moral, political, economic, and military standing in the world, the collapse of the American economy (is it just coincidence that the proposed $700 billion bailout is almost exactly the same amount as we have spent in Iraq [so far]?), and the shredding of the Consitution -- to name just a few "unintended consequences"? What exactly will this so-called "victory" give us?

You and your fellow "victory"-obsessed mates seem to have forgotten the First Rule of Holes: when you're in one, stop digging.

Posted by: DavidinNYC | October 3, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Diehl, you are lucky to have the good fortune of being provided with a platform to offer your opinions. With all due respect, I must urge you to take a class in critical thinking and analysis, as your display, or lack thereof, of these capabilities is rather self-demeaning.

I hope one day I will read a more substantive commentary that is founded on actual analysis and critical thinking. I presume that you are a university educated man, and as such, you have poorly represented the quality of the American tertiary education system.

I don't think that any of your attempts to make relevant points whether placed in the context of the debate, the election or the country, warrant a response from anybody who has taken the time to think critically and analytically about these same points.

Indeed, you must be greatful to even have a platform that allows your opinions to be read.

Posted by: 221BBakerStreet | October 3, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

The debate was amazing ! Palin rocks! I loved her positive outlook supported by the stress of her actions as a proven reformer!

Posted by: dinainva1 | October 3, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Diehl, you're a Journalist for the Washington Post - how in the world can you dig into Biden when the Palin doesn't speak English?! The woman can't even construct a sentence. Honestly, I don't follow her when she speaks and I do not like being led down the Primrose Path when this country's toughest issues are just a few heartbeat away from being in the palm of her hand.

Run a fact check on Palin if you want to get technical.

I will not be voting for this woman just because we share a chromosome. Republicans are playing a dangerous game with Pawn/Palin and I will not be participating in it.

Posted by: ohhellno | October 3, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

The authors premise is bogus. Big story is there now are timetables. Bush used to reject that categorically. The dates were extended to help McCain during the campaign. Reports are the Iraqis wanted something much closer to Obama. And he has said conditions are a factor.

Jackson sounds to me more like a political partisan than a journalist.

Posted by: s_clark | October 3, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"Biden denied that Obama agreed to meet unconditionally with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. There he was both right and wrong: Obama did say he would do so in answer to a debate question more than a year ago"

Biden was completely correct. I'm afraid Mr Deihl is perpetuating a common misunderstanding.

Obama said he would meet with the leader(s?) of Iran. He did not say Ahmadinejad. Obama and Biden have both pointed out in the debates (as well as before) that Ahmadinejad is not the relavent leader.

At the CNN debate a picture of Ahmadinejad was put on screen and Obama perhaps can be faulted for not making the distinction at that time (not clear he saw the picture, either). On another occasion a questioner asserted that he said he would meet with Ahmadinejad and then followed with a question. Again, Obama, perhaps could have taken the time to correct the assertion. But any such time taken, IMHO, would have been a time consuming distraction.

Folks might complain that this is all careful "parsing", but careful "parsing" is a great part of diplomacy.

This was researched by Joe Klein at Time in May :
"On Friday, I promised to check into whether Obama had ever said that he would negotiate--specifically, by name--with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Indeed, according to the crack Time Magazine research department and the Obama campaign, he never has. He did say that he would negotiate with the Iranian leadership--but, on matters of foreign policy and Iran's nuclear program, the guy in charge is the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei."

Posted by: ghot | October 3, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

1. We aren't talking about Biden because Palin put herself in a hole so big that success for her was not showing up and drooling all over herself. So now the story is how you would talk to a three year old writing her letters: "Good girl! You are such a big girl debating and saying things in complete sentences. You win! Yay for Sarah. Everyone say yay for Sarah!"

2. We could discuss Palin's facts if she had provided any. Instead she ignored questions and ran through her stump speech like a robot.

Posted by: mnander2727 | October 3, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

It's entirely fair to point out misstatements by any and all candidates, regardless of party. Some of the comments here seem to suggest that to do so implicitly endorses the other side. Well, that's silly.

I stay as far away as I can from campaign speeches and debates, because the only clear-headed position to take on them is to assume that both/all participants are lying through their teeth. One should not be surprised to come away from such events knowing less about the candidates than before.

Anyway, Palin is untouchable - by which I don't mean she can't be beat. It's just that no matter what she does, the Faux News, freeper koolaid drinking set will claim it as proof of success. Completely disconnected from reality.

Posted by: jamshark70 | October 3, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

If Maleki drags the talks out until January, well, we may be leaving sooner than anyone thinks.

The UN agreement only allows our troops through the end of this year.

Our troops could be coming home if Maleki can keep it up.

Posted by: wayoffbaseguy | October 3, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

McCain didn't know the difference between Sunni and Shia.

McCain visited a Baghdad market under heavy and pronounced the security situation improved.

McCain sang, "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran."

Bush's unilateral approach in his first term has given way to diplomacy with some of our most despised enemies in his second term.

Palin doesn't have two ideas to rub together for warmth in the arena of foreign policy.

Bush and Malaki are working on a timetable for U.S. withdrawal.

Obama correctly opposed an illegal war of choice against Iraq.

Obama was out in front in calling for diplomacy.

Obama was out in front in calling for a timeline.

Gobama!

Posted by: spotfoul | October 3, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Jackson, where you actually watching the same debate as the rest of the United States? Because if you noticed, whenever Palin could not answer the topic at hand she was forced to revert back to a previous topic or a topic not even mentioned. The reason being is that Palin only knew what her people taught her and nothing else. She often referenced her time as a governor and that is not substantial experience to even mention especially in comparison to Biden's 27 years in public office. Palin is not ready for the responsibility of Vice President or President. If anything, she would just be a puppet to lobbyist and interest groups because she doesn't know what she is talking about.

Posted by: vigkid3 | October 3, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Meant to say, "McCain visited a Baghdad market under heavy guard and pronounced the security situation improved" in my previous post.

Posted by: spotfoul | October 3, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Diehl you lying piece of excrement. Your partisan shilling doesn't fool anyone with an Internet connection and ability to conduct a Google News search. Here is a verbatim quote from an Interview al-Maliki gave to Der Spiegel magazine in July.

"Last July, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said U.S. troops should be out of Iraq “as soon as possible” and endorsed Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-IL) withdrawal plan. Obama “talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right time frame for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes,” Maliki told Der Spiegel magazine.

Days later, as Obama wrapped up meetings with Iraqi leaders in Baghdad, Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh reiterated his government’s stance, saying “the end of 2010 is the appropriate time for the withdrawal.”"

Of course, Bush tried to pressure him into changing his tune "A US government spokesman said that the White House has spoken with Maliki following the SPIEGEL interview."

A Baghdad government spokesman, Ali al-Dabbagh, said in a statement that SPIEGEL had "misunderstood and mistranslated" the Iraqi prime minister, but didn't point to where the misunderstanding or mistranslation might have occurred. The New York Times pointed out that al-Dabbagh's statement "did not address a specific error." CBS likewise expressed disbelief pointing out that Maliki mentions a timeframe for withdrawal three times in the interview and then asks, "how likely is it that SPIEGEL mistranslated three separate comments?

Posted by: flyfishchef | October 3, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Fredgrad2000: "1) that if we had followed Barack Obama's 16 month timetable the first time he proposed it in early 2007; we would have lost badly in Iraq...". Lost?
I guess if you want to frame it as looser and winners, we've already lost and the cost is overwhelming. We lost the last unjust war we pushed ourselves in and we're loosing this one as well. We've LOST 4,500+ service men and women and we've LOST countless Iraqi lives. Yet, to think about this in such black and white terms doesn't enable us to manage this situation or any situation with thoughful consideration. I believe Obama has the capacity to do that and I believe Biden will help him get it done.

Mr. Diehl, if you want to play around with what Biden said last night (at least he answered the questions and didn't make up his own rules), then why not focus on both candidates? You're willingness to open fire on Biden shows you're inability look at both sides. Shame on you and shame on the wpo for spewing your garbage.

Posted by: PleaseChange | October 3, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

First, the Bush administration, though it considers a 2010 withdrawal, is implementing a similar strategy than that of Obama - give the country back to their people. And that is what Biden and Obama have implied, while McCain refuses to even consider a 2100 withdrawal! I would like to know what winning looks like for McCain. He says that we will leave Iraq in victory. What is victory. When everything is perfect, no violence and complete surrender of the opposition. NEWS FLASH! That will not happen - every country on the globe, for as long as each has existed, has never been conflict free - even the US now is in conflict because of what is happening. The Iraqi government has an 85 billion surplus, several hundred thousand trained by our military, and the basis of an emerging democracy. They are ready to start governing themselves, but if we do not push them, and continue to do the difficult, dirty work, then they will be more than happy to let us spend our money and lose lives. As far as being concerned about Hamas participating, I think that is pretty clear - the concern is that they would gain control, and they did. Just because it wasn't put in the same words as you would like them to be, that doesn't mean it's not true. Finally, why didn't you mention the fact that Palin, though twisted a few facts herself, also refused to answer questions by formulating her own? That deserves an article more than the issues you used as base. It would have been better if she had just stood there and read off McCain's stance on the issues from their web site - believe me, no reasoning or arguments went through her head all night, just memorized passages that she manages to almost not screw up.

Posted by: LMRB | October 3, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

McCain can explaining what winning in Iraq mean because, for his purposes, it doesn't exist.

Posted by: PleaseChange | October 3, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Oops. didn't proof.

McCain can't explain what winning means in Iraq because, for his purposes, it doesn't exist.

Posted by: PleaseChange | October 3, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

John McCain is a national war hero. Neither Barack Obama nor Joe Biden have any military experience, and America needs a Commander in Chief that has military service at this extremely critical time in America's history. It is crucial that America elect a President that has 1) unwavering support for our troops on foreign soil and does not flip-flop on issues of support for the war, 2) an advantage over his opponents understanding war strategies and tactics, and 3) unequivocal and undeniable sacrificial service to our country and confidence he will finish the job in the middle East. 4) Has built trust--I, like Lynn Forester de Rothschild, a prominent Hillary Clinton supporter and member of the Democratic National Committee’s Platform Committee, is endorsing John McCain because she doesn't "trust" Mr. Obama.

The times demand and mandate a strong and confident President that has the experience and the unwavering ability to fulfill the role of our country's Commander in Chief!

Posted by: marchino | October 3, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Last night in Palin, I saw a Governor, who feels herself above the law. McCain, knowing that she is under investigation, tabbed her VP. He showed atrocious judgment, the thuggery aspect of his character and that he learned zip from the Keating affair. He has interfered with a State investigation and injected D.C. politics in order to influence its outcome. This is the guy, who is saying that he is the one to change Washington. Fool me twice. It occurs to me that, if elected, they would further politicize the justice system on the order of Alberto Gonzales. The laws are something that others should follow, not them. With McCain, folks with "boots on the ground" in Iraq should be given deference. In Alaska, though, he just ran over State officials who have "boots on the ground" and knowledge of their own affairs. The Senate must DO ITS DUTY, investigate McCain and censure him if warranted. We are seeing a bad precedence being set. It should not be allowed to stand.

Posted by: vmonroe_valnesio | October 3, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I was surprised that Gwen Iffel or Joe Biden didn't jump all over Palin's comments on climate change.

Palin is suing the EPA for designating the Polar Bear as endangered by climate change.

Then, Palin not only promotes drilling in Anwar, but in Bristol Bay, home of 60% of the sockeye salmon in the world, and the heart of Alaska's fisheries.

That's part of the 20% of offshore oil the oil industry wants... areas in fisheries, like Georges Banks on the East Coast.

She's not a brown noser, she's a black noser, as she is so far up the oil industry's

As far as windfall profits, it was the legislature, not Palin that forced the windfall profits tax on the oil industry. They had fought for it for ten years, but the profits have been so high the last five, there was no way Alaskans weren't going to get a bite. Alaskan's got a $3,200 check from the oil industry as a result and Palin, despite her ties to the industry, couldn't veto it.

McCain - not stable (mental or physical)
Palin - not qualified

Posted by: wayoffbaseguy | October 3, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Last night in Palin, I saw a Governor, who feels herself above the law. McCain, knowing that she is under investigation, tabbed her VP. He showed atrocious judgment, the thuggery aspect of his character and that he learned zip from the Keating affair. He has interfered with a State investigation and injected D.C. politics in order to influence its outcome. This is the guy, who is saying that he is the one to change Washington. Fool me twice. It occurs to me that, if elected, they would further politicize the justice system on the order of Alberto Gonzales. The laws are something that others should follow, not them. With McCain, folks with "boots on the ground" in Iraq should be given deference. In Alaska, though, he just ran over State officials who have "boots on the ground" and knowledge of their own affairs. The Senate must DO ITS DUTY, investigate McCain and censure him if warranted. We are seeing a bad precedence being set. It should not be allowed to stand.

Posted by: vmonroe_valnesio | October 3, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Democrats for John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008

Posted by: hclark1 | October 3, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Diehl must have been so bedazzled by Palin's beauty queen looks and folksy charm that he didn't pay close enough attention to what the candidates actually said. But he's not alone. The post-debate commentators gave Palin way too much credit just because she didn't self-destruct a la the Couric interview. Haven't we had enough of "setting the bar too low" and then deeming anyone who can make it over qualified to lead. Just look at the last 8 years.

Posted by: minimlst | October 3, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

marchino: Military experience in a time of war is not a bad thing, I'll admit. Still how are we supporting our troops right now? How are you supporting our troops right now? We have a back door draft where troops have completed their service time and are being told that by Presidential order, they are not being relieved of duty and pulled back into the military to be shipped off again (stop-loss?). Military personnel are getting sent to Iraq over and over again. Is this how we support the men and women who serve in our military -- our treasures? I think there is a serious misunderstanding of what it means to stand by someone and support them. Instead of having a warrior in office who thinks war is good, I'd rather have someone who will not overreact and put our troops in harm UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. Bring them home.

Posted by: PleaseChange | October 3, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

One man or women don't cause change.

Biden, Obama and McCain are all part of the bunch that could have done something about this financial crisis. It is not just greedy fat cats on wall street it is also the greed of Congressmen and Senators.

Don't understand why everyone is getting so worked up over this... You will not be any better off then you are today no matter WHO is elected. The ones that are making out $$$ wise are the politicians and the media.

Also the word Maverick is stupid... please stop using it. The last time that word was cool was when it was the name of a tv show.

Posted by: cruizerstylin | October 3, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

cruizerstylin: While it might not make a difference in terms of $$$, at least in the immediate future, there are other reasons to be concerned with the outcome of this election. War (or as McCain has suggested "War and more wars...," the Supreme Court (as at least two justices will either die or retire), the idea of Hope (which I get from Obama when all I get from McCain is dread. I could go on, but perhaps you get the point. It's not like you haven't considered these topics, right?

Posted by: PleaseChange | October 3, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Yawn.

Politicians lie every now and then. They exagerate and distort the truth ALL the time. It's what they all do, Dem and Rep alike. I don't like it and I don't excuse it, but it seems I can't change it.

So what do we have left then, as voters who want honesty? Well, we vote for the ticket that seems to be lying the least... we vote for the ticket that seems to be ''less'' dishonest.

Yes, Biden stretched facts. So did Palin. Let's not forget that Palin said that current troop levels in Iraq are now lower than pre-surge levels (lie). Palin said that McCain's health care tax cut was budget neutral (lie). On and On, you get the picture.

If you sum up all the whoppers (lies) told by both tickets over the last few months, it appears that there is deceit on both sides, but that McCain is telling about twice as many of them and often more egregious ones. This does not make Obama honest. It just makes McCain more dishonest.

In the end, it appears we don't get to vote for a straight-up honest ticket this election. Bummer. So what else should we vote on?

We could say that the GOP has seriously f'd up the economy and our national standing in the world, so let's give the Dems a shot, which means maybe I vote for Obama.

Or, we could say we should vote for the least dishonest of the two tickets, in which case I vote for Obama.

Or we could say we vote for the president who has been the most true to his own family, in which case Obama wins, since the worse he has done is flubbed an anniversary celebration number. McCain cheated on his disfigured 1st wife (Carol)with multiple women for 5+ years, then he divorced crippled Carol so he could marry Cindy, a rich hot babe 18 youngers than him. Did McCain do that?? Yup.

Or, we could say that we vote for the ticket who has the fewest ties to felons and crazy religious zealots. You can say that Obama had a crazy-thinking pastor, but so did Palin, with the laying on of hands and talking in tongues and other weird stuff. So it's a tie between who has crazier religious people near them. As for felonies, Obama has Rezko, but McCain has Keating and in the Keating affair, McCain actually used his congressional power to help turn the government radar off of catching Keating. Obama certainly had gains he enjoyed from being supported by a powerful guy who turned out to be a felon. But at least Obama did not use any of his political power to help Rezko cover up any of Rezko's felonies. McCain DID do this for Keating and McCain was formally admonished by the ethics committe for it, too. Advantage Obama.

Or, we could say that we vote for the smartest person who is the coolest and calmest under pressure, in which case I vote for Obama. McCain is a teapot waiting to explode, it seems from recent events. And one day he says economy is okay and a day later he says economy is so bad he has to halt his campaign and cancel the debate. Whaaat? The economy did not change that much in two days. Obama is smarter and cooler under pressure. So I vote for Obama.

I'm not drinking any koolaid, cuz there are things I don't like about Obama. But in my book, McCain is much worse than Obama, so I vote for Obama.

Write all the columns you want that point out Biden's exagerations while ignoring Palin's exagerations. Most Americans know better.

Posted by: ProudAmerican1776 | October 3, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

What all you Dems fail to admit is that the "deregulation" line that was so oft used by Biden last night to cast blame on McCain for the housing meltdown was in fact deregulation by the Clinton Administration and continually supported by Dodd and Frank.

Don't believe me - here's the link to the NY Times article that discusses it in more detail: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A03E6DF143DF930A25752C1A96F958260

Further, when challenged on this in 2005 by John McCain - again, here's the record: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/record.xpd?id=109-s20060525-16&bill=s109-190

Barney Frank has consistently tried to loosen leading regulations and has forcefully opposed those who would caution against such practice by calling them bigoted. Let's remember that he's only the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee - but no - he's got no blood on his hands from any of what is going on, right? It is all "W's" fault. OK, sure.

Furthermore, both Obama and Barney Frank both were listed in the top 25 recipients of campaign contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and they both are hypocrites. Obama is number 3 on the the list and Barney Frank is 16. Here's his quote from 9/10/2003: "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not in a crisis." No, he stated that the federal government should be doing more to help low income families qualify for housing. Now, I ask, where do we see the foreclosures coming from? Yes, it's from the same families who wouldn't have qualified if not for Clinton, Dodd and Frank.

This is an absolute joke.

I'm the first to say that this Bush administration sucks. But, let's not forget that the democrats aren't innocent here. Not at all.

Banks were encouraged by the Clinton Administration and by Congress to open up lending to drive economic growth. It worked. Too good. This led to the greedy, predatory lenders who have sucked us down this hole. Remember, Fannie and Freddie fell first.

For all of you who think that Obama is going to solve this problem. Let me state that Obama will only make this worse. Let's keep borrowing to bail everyone out they say - sure sounds good now - but eventually someone's got to pay the piper.

That will be you and me and skyhigh taxes to go around for all.

So keep it up, Omamaniacs, those who came to help you by a house that you got foreclosed on are the same that are saying there going to get you out of this mess. Great.

I hope to God that Obama doesn't win, there's just too many people that are drinking the KoolAid here. Please examine the facts on this and you'll be amazed.

I'm not 100% behind this clip - but it is pretty spot on with how this all started and who is REALLY to blame: http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=VgctSIL8Lhs

Posted by: jkirsch1 | October 3, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Maarchino you said "John McCain is a national war hero." Very true Anyone whose suffered through the torments inflicted by being made a POW in a country that is a non-participant of the geneva convention. hmm I wonder if that makes the prisoners in Gitmo war heros.

You said "America needs a Commander in Chief that has military service at this extremely critical time in America's history." The last presidents with Naval Experience were Jimmy Carter (USNA '47. He was 59 in his class. comapred to Mccain 800+ out of 880+) and Richard Nixon USNR WW2. didn't help them. I am a USNA alumnus of 1975 and would not think of being CINC.

McCain was an A-4 pilot. Not a squadron commander, not a ship commander. He also has no experience in command. His statements about being willing to talk to Hamas then later denying, and his telling lies about his opponents has shown me he forgot everything he learned at the academy about honor.

Posted by: joeller | October 3, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Come on boys, time to finish your plate of meatloaf, get a job, and leave Mom's basement.

Posted by: hmgcpa52 | October 3, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse


It's not "a breath of fresh air" to see an article like this. It's just plain-old journalism, just like it's not "liberal bias" when a story accurately reports negative facts about Republicans.

Good journalism, like that seen in the Post, isn't always going to confirm your prejudices like Hannity does.

Posted by: sacomment | October 3, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

It's a shame the analysts have to lie themselves - yes, I used that word LIE - about what Biden said when we all can research the exact words online just by watching a video of the debate.

Very. Very. Sad.

Biden only won in that Palin did not meet the bar for being President. And that is the job of the VP - to be President - which even positive actuaries have to admit is at least a 25 percent chance (and in two terms would be more than 50 percent), but that is likely an even higher risk.

And that, quite frankly, as it is avoided by the media, is not good.

Posted by: WillSeattle | October 3, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

If Governor Palin knew more about these issues, should could have called Biden on them. Alas, her handlers couldn't develop talking points for her to memorize.

Posted by: SteveIowa | October 3, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

The time is now!
To remind Americans that Barack Hussein Obama is just another politician that will do or say whatever it takes to fulfill his political ambitions. Barack is calculated and methodical about hiding his true convictions and intentions, and uses deception to get elected.

The time is now!
For Americans to remember Barack Hussein Obama’s intimate 20 year relationship with the Priest of Hate, Jeremiah Wright, who blessed Barack and Michelle marriage and baptized both their daughters. AND, to remember the hideous videos of Jeremiah Wright’s congregation which included the Obamas, damning America with bombastic joy, after the Muslim’s criminal attack on America on 9/11.

The time is now!
For Americans to remember how Barack's Priest of Hate, Jeremiah Wright used his tax-exempt church to exercise a radical political agenda, and how he refers to Israel, as well as America, as a "racist" State. Barack's religious leader, Jeremiah Wright believes that the true 'Chosen People' are the blacks; and that black values are superior to middle-class American values.
 Indeed Barack's Priest of Hate, Jeremiah Wright is a black supremacist.

The time is now!
To remind Americans that Barack Hussein Obama wants to be president to implement Jeremiah Wright’s dream of a black supremacist society in America.

The time is now!
For Americans of all political parties to come together to preserve the future of the country we love and have always been proud of, by voting for a True American Patriot and War Hero who risked his life for our country:
John McCain for President of the United States of America.

Country First!
Americans for John McCain/Sarah Palin

Posted by: Manolete | October 3, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Don't fool yourself, as I used to fool myself. Before 2000, I thought that one person, the president, couldn't make that much of a difference, and the election did not matter that much. I was wrong, dead wrong. Eight years later, we have what we have, and much, if not all of it come from the fact that George is President at the moment. Noone but GW Bush senior's son would have pushed to go into Iraq to "finish the job" - cooler heads would have prevailed. And the dependence on oil that we all share would have been offset by more pragmatic alternative energy research - if we had done that 8 years ago, we'd be much better off right now.

And to the Dems that vote for McCain - why do you pretend to count yourself as part of the Democratic party - clearly you are voting against your party.

Good luck to all of us, especially if McSame wins - he will make a poor difference, much like Bush has.

Posted by: Michael_A1 | October 3, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Diehl seems to have an even harder time getting his facts straight than Sen. Biden. Biden should have said 4 weeks in Iraq = six plus years in Afghanistan.

Regarding Diehl's assertion that Obama's deadline would be 16 months of the new negotiated deadline of 2011 let's look at some simple facts:

1. Our military action in Afghanistan started well before our actions in Iraq.

2. Al Qaeda was in Afghanistan not Iraq.

3. We have spent over 4 times the resources in Iraq than in Afghanistan.

4. We have not won in either country.

5. Afghanistan and Al Qaeda are now in Pakistan.

6. John McCain and Bush said that we would be out in a year or less.

7. And Diehl is grossing about Obama possibly being off by 1.3 years in getting out of Iraq.

Give it up.

Posted by: JedG | October 3, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse



I believe that plain can't be good governor for any of the states of Washington , New York , California ,etc than lead the United States of America if John McCain win then any accident happen to him or if he die or loose his brain .
I am asking John McCain.
Dear Mr. McCain can Sara Plain lead the country of the United States as the President of the United States if any thing happen to you ?
If no. Why did choose her from the people of the United States ? Didn't you get an other person ?
Do you love the United States or you are a selfish who want only to be a president ?
Why you did that ?
Only to get the votes ( voices ) of the women . Isn't it ?
Gabraeal
gabraeal@gmail.com

Posted by: gabraeal | October 3, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse



I believe that plain can't be good governor for any of the huge states of Washington , New York , California ,etc than lead the United States of America if John McCain win then any accident happen to him or if he die or loose his brain .
I am asking John McCain.
Dear Mr. McCain can Sara Plain lead the country of the United States as the President of the United States if any thing happen to you ?
If no. Why did choose her from the people of the United States ? Didn't you get an other person ?
Do you love the United States or you are a selfish who want only to be a president ?
Why you did that ?
Only to get the votes ( voices ) of the women . Isn't it ?
Gabraeal
gabraeal@gmail.com

Posted by: gabraeal | October 3, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Manolete wrote:

"Jeremiah Wright refers to Israel, as well as America, as a "racist" State".

I've got news for you Manolette, Israel is a racist state. Israeli Arabs - not Palestinians but Israeli Arabs living in Israel proper not Gaza or the West Bank - are treated as second-class citizens and have far fewer civil rights than Jewish Israelis. That is racist by any definition of the term.

Posted by: flyfishchef | October 3, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Interesting -- It seems to me that I recall that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki made the unforgivable mistake of agreeing with Obama. then someone from the Bush administration made a quickie visit to Maliki and he backed off.

If you're going to report the facts, it would be nice if you included that one.

Posted by: Mysticalsister | October 3, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Ok, a year and a half later is what your quibbling about with Obama's withdrawal plan? LOL--if we hadn't rushed to war over deliberately falsified evidence, we wouldn't even be there NOW, how many years later?
Obama didn't want to go there in the first place, and he's got the truth on his side at this point. Get the U.S. out of there now and Iraq needs to spend what is essentially our money to either grow a government or let the people decide.

Posted by: SYWanda | October 3, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

ProudAmerican1776: Thank you very much for stating a complicated issue in such simple way. I can only hope people get it ;-)

Posted by: PleaseChange | October 3, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Manolete: Step away from the keyboard and watch a little more Rush.

Posted by: PleaseChange | October 3, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

The Boston Globe has confirmed that Barack Obama reiterated once again his determination to meet Ahmadinejad "without preconditions." Obama first adopted this stance in July 2007, when he was asked in a debate whether he would agree to meet the rulers of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea without preconditions and promptly answered: "I would." His website reinforces that message, promising "direct presidential diplomacy with Iran without preconditions." During Friday's debate, Obama claimed that even Henry Kissinger, a McCain adviser, "just said that we should meet with Iran - guess what - without precondition."

So, there is ample evidence of his desire to meet with noone other that Ahmadinejad, and not the theocratic rulers, and Joe Biden said last night.

Posted by: marchino | October 3, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

"Biden denied that Obama agreed to meet unconditionally with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. There he was both right and wrong: Obama did say he would do so in answer to a debate question more than a year ago, but he has since hedged his position considerably."

Actually, Biden's just right on that. In July 2007 Obama said he'd meet without PREconditions, not without any conditions. "Without preconditions" does not equal "unconditionally, without conditions". It just means without preconditions. The 'pre' part does actually mean something!

Posted by: aengil | October 3, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Obama has *never* said he would withdraw troops unconditionally. He is *constantly* emphasizing the need for responsible disengagement.

Until Maliki shocked them by saying he favored a withdrawal timeline similar to Obama's, both Bush and McCain were claiming that *any* timeline was tantamount to surrender.

Diehl, you are a baldfaced liar.

Posted by: synykyl | October 3, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

If half the hair-splitting posts here are true, then Biden beat Palin at her own lying game. Good for him.

Posted by: danigo | October 3, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

marchino: Yes, Obama has said he would meet with (at least) some of these people without pre-conditions. Obama has articulated his position and perhaps some people have filters that prohibit them from hearing him. Pre-conditions means he is not going to wait for them to meet all our requirements to talk. The decision to talk is to avoid escalation. It's called diplomacy. Something the Bush administration is just getting around to. As much as I disliked Reagan's policies, it seemed to work for him as well. Even JFK tried it and Nixon sent Kissinger to China. Again, all of this to avoid escalation and avoid war. It's our best bet.

Posted by: PleaseChange | October 3, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

If Mr. Diehl were running for VP, I guess these points would have been discussed. Isn't that what debates are supposed to be about?

On the other hand, Governor Palin is incapable of listening or responding to someone else. That's was crystal clear from last night.

Posted by: amaikovich | October 3, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Jackson Diehl you don't have a clue what you are talking about. But I have a suggestion for you, why don't you take your partisan political propaganda and shove it straight where the sun don't shine! Biden is twice the man you will ever be.

Posted by: xtreme_kokopelli | October 3, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Diehl, you didn't even watch the debate, did you!

What a silly, stupid column.

Posted by: laserbeam | October 3, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Could someone get these people a Cliffs Notes version of the just war theory? This...thing... we are in is not a war. (Constitutionally, congress must "declare" war on an entity, be it a government or a nation. "Terrorism" is a concept. I dont think you can wage war on a concept.) The just war theory, which started out as a Roman code of conduct in times of war. (You'll like it, I promise, its roots are very Christian) It consists of several points on how and when wars can be waged. Included in the theory is the idea that wars must be formally waged (reflected in the constitution, see above) against an entity. Each party must a) wear uniforms such that they can be recognised as the enemy and not mistaken for civilians; and b) cannot involve the civilian population in the war. This includes taking civilian hostages, damaging or destroying non-military infrastructure and targeting civilians in attacks. Now, I realise that the 'liberal' media is anything but, but I dont get the sense that any of these things are happening; the Iraqis have no formal military, much less uniforms, and women, children, the elderly are carpet bombed on a daily basis, not to mention the infrastructure.

Conflict has historically been a necessary aspect of being human. The conflicts we see today have been stripped of all humanity. With the push of a button a young person who cannot drink legally can kill thousands of people then go for lunch without a second thought. We have become so removed from our conflicts that we are no longer willing to pay the physical price of war. Without this proximity, without seeing the results of our actions, there is nothing stopping us from destroying worlds.

Posted by: ovlov81 | October 3, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Wait, this is a joke, right?

One candidate offers serious, detailed, responsive, and pointed recitations of fact - and occasionally misspeaks. The other candidate announces she will not be bound by questions she doesn't want to answer, offers rehearsed platitudes that she apparently doesn't grasp fully, including a laughable explication of vice-presidential powers, simply refuses to answer questions, and punctuates her comments with embarrassing colloquialisms and sub-professional winks. And Diehl chooses to critique the former's misstatements?

You are a clown, Diehl, no doubt the punch line in every watercooler conversation at the Post, and I will never waste another moment on anything your write.

As of now, I'm boycotting any dealings with SAP and Blackberry (your sponsors).

Posted by: timmy126 | October 3, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse

It's Dielh who is distorting the facts. Malicki has said Obama's plan is good, Bush got him to extend pull-out date. Also, Iraq wants full pull-out, including trainers and air support by 2011, Obama's date was only as to groung combat troops.

Posted by: dcwsano | October 3, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Stein--as you say, the Iraq timetable is still under negotiation--you should have left it at that--the point is we're talking timetable now and Obama was a leader for that before Maliki, Petraeus and Bush got on board with it. McCain is still the odd man out, fantasizing about victory in Iraq, no matter how long it takes.

Posted by: phughez | October 3, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Diehl accuses Biden of being wrong on the facts only to quibble with his opinions. Scary that he can't distinguish.

Posted by: jhbyer | October 3, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Diehl,
Why don't you look for another job. This one is obviously too big for you. Your mind can't grasp current realities.

Posted by: marabunta | October 3, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

For me the most concerning contradiction of Biden was when he said that he doesn't have the stomach for genocide in Darfur (wow, there is a bold statement), but then supported Obama's plan for an unconditional withdrawal in Iraq. Biden, when he was running for President, believed that Obama's plan was naive, but now he seems to think that its appropriate (even though such a move itself could lead to genocide).

The second serious Biden contradiction came when he talked about Iran. Biden says about Iran, "they are not close to getting a nuclear weapon that's able to be deployed". Then later he says, "And speaking of freedom being on the march, the only thing on the march is Iran. It's closer to a bomb." I'm not sure what he really thinks here; are they close to having a bomb or not? He can't have it both ways.

Posted by: lstm1 | October 3, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

One more correction. The continued reference to McCain wanting $4 billion in tax cuts for Exxon is truly inaccurate. McCain wants a cut in corporate taxes to make the US more competitive, as noted in FactCheck. That would result in tax cuts for Exxon Mobile (but not $4 billion worth). But it would also result in tax cuts for every corporate entity.

It is too bad that Biden is proving himself not only to be a plagiarist, but an inaccurate plagiarist at that.

Biden should be forced to correct himself; its too bad Palin appeared completely unable to respond to Biden's factual inaccuracies.

Posted by: lstm1 | October 3, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

fredgrad2000 says it's clear that if we had left Iraq already as Barack Obama wanted, it would have handed victory to Al-Qaeda. But if it had been clear we were committed to leaving Iraq as soon as possible, the Sunnis would have revolted against al-Quada earlier that they did. Without the Sunni revolt against al Qaeda it's not at all clear the surge would have worked. With a US commitment to leave as soon as possible, instead of the Bush regime's commitment to building huge permanent military bases in Iraq, it's not clear we would have needed a surge. A US commitment to leave would have made a big difference in how Shiite militias treated us as well.

Posted by: newageblues | October 3, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

I think I'll start praying right now and will n0t stop as the world must be ending: THE WASHINGTON POST IS ACTUALLY REPORTING THE ACCURATE NEWS AND NOT SPINNING IT FOR RED OBAMA. TRUE:Is anyone aware that young Obama's mentor was a communist. You'll really love it when the government takes control of our newspapers and media (well, it will almost be the same as it is now) takes control of jobs we can work in, takes control of our lives and renamed our nation The Socialist States of America.

Posted by: love234america | October 3, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Nice article. The Post has a shred of intelligence afterall. Joe Biden made SO many mistakes it was outrageous! He's been around for decades and still gets befuddled. Most of the comments here have a hint of desperation. Boo hoo.

Posted by: Gina4 | October 3, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

this is not good journalism. guised as being objective but with a very transparent slant....and to what end? nit picking...sarah palin and john mccain should not ever be anywhere near the white house. they are simply, neither one, qualified to lead this country.

Posted by: rayreyns | October 3, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

More dog nuggets out the wrong end from Jackson "Not the Real" Diehl.

Yawn.

Posted by: krm13 | October 3, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

I see a lot of logic errors with the "conservatives" when it comes to denying a deadline for getting troops out. How do you 'win' a war on a method of combat - terrorism? It's impossible. The whole "War on Terror" term sounds ludicrous. You can take out a list of individuals, you can "stabilize" a region and keep it under a certain amount of control, you can make deals with foreign governments for your favored corporations' profits.
Both parties are off the mark right now. The Republicans want to extend the occupation of Iraq indefinitely. That will cost us trillions more before we finally end up going home. The Democrats think we should give people houses when they haven't earned them. They think government can somehow magically keep an economy from doing what it does automatically. Both have their heads way up their asses and are completely out of touch with what is important to the American people.
How does any of that put food on our plates, educate our children, pave our roads and build our bridges, or keep jobs in America? They're exporting our cash, plain and simple. The bailout was yet another backdoor tax, using their favored banks as a place to put our money.

Posted by: diginess | October 3, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Good thing it wasn't Sarah Palin who became all emotional and holding back the tears ... the bias, sexist media would have trashed her!!! As it was, all they can come off with is how "cheerful" she was ... Is that the sexist opposite of "shrill"? Joe Biden showed himself to be one angry, bully of a VP and all the media is talking about is that he didn't make any serious gaffes! Analyze HIS body language! One angry guy who is reduced to tears when he talks about his past personal life - like, I said, good thing it wasn't Palin who got teary-eyed or it would be Front Page news from now until the election ... and it also looked like Biden forgot that he was not the one running for president when he would get all worked up ... How he - Biden - did this and he - Biden - did that to save the world and ... oh, yes, and what's-his-name, Obama, yeah, he'll save the world too. That's not exactly what Biden thought when he was debating Obama, but I guess landing the VP nomination brought him around to the sexist, bias, pandering racists point of view of the Obama supporters and liberal news media. Biden is a lackey of the Democratic Party.

Posted by: MerryJaine | October 3, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Facts are important Biden, so is the truth. You can't just make stuff up and get away with it.

Thank you Diehl (along with many others) for pointing out Biden's obvious mistruths for those of less intelligence.

Posted by: cd23 | October 3, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: VMR1 | October 3, 2008 2:03 PM
Where's that famous "liberal bias" of Washington post?

Check all of the other articles about the debate on the home page of the WaPo. That's where you'll find them.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | October 3, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Palin said that there were fewer troops in Iraq now than in 2007 and that is false. There are approximately 15,000 more. I appreciate your input on Biden, but What about also fact checking the hockey mom? After all, she had her facts handed to her to memorize. The least she could do would be to memorize the truth.

Posted by: goheidigo | October 3, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

The Post should put Mr. Diehl out to pasture.

Posted by: JohnDennis1 | October 3, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Maliki only considering 2011 after CONSIDERABLE pressure from Bush's people who were understandably worried about the date coming in too close to Obama's proposal. Keep splitting hairs, eventually you'll go bald.

Posted by: listenbutt | October 3, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

You are a clown, Diehl, no doubt the punch line in every watercooler conversation at the Post, and I will never waste another moment on anything your write.

As of now, I'm boycotting any dealings with SAP and Blackberry (your sponsors).

Posted by: timmy126 | October 3, 2008 7:44 PM
______________________________________

What a tool!

Posted by: Gina4 | October 3, 2008 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Good journalism, like that seen in the Post, isn't always going to confirm your prejudices like Hannity does.

Posted by: sacomment | October 3, 2008 4:36 PM

No, it always is going to confirm YOUR prejudices, being a one sided liberal sounding board.

Posted by: Gina4 | October 3, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

How many of the regular to this board are on the Obama Payroll? Be honest, please.

Posted by: scvargas1 | October 3, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

I could care less what Petraeus, Maliki, etc. want - I want out of this stupid, pointless war. And Obama will get us out of it, and quickly. Simple point and irrelevant "facts" will not change my opinion on this.

Posted by: spatula | October 3, 2008 11:03 PM | Report abuse

To the author,

Thank you for helping us concerned Americans make better decisions. I know you are stating the facts correctly, as far as we they have been reported. I read the press with an independent mind.

A remarkable weakness of the debate between Biden and Palin was that Biden presented Obama as an excellent predictors, almost a Messiah, someone that foresaw the future perfectly, while Palin not have sufficient information at hand (or was not properly prepared by her assistants) to make him explain better his facts. That was not her fault, however. It speak badly of Biden and Obama because exaggerate the facts.

Posted by: scvargas1 | October 3, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

To Michael_A1:

I remember people (Nader?) saying that "it didn't matter who was president" after Gore lost the Supreme Court vote (after winning the actual election both in popular and electoral votes). You are right - it mattered incredibly.

Imagine how much better off we would be now if it had been Gore in office the past eight years? [cue dreamy music...] No war in Iraq, high American standing in the world, alternative non-carbon emitting energy sources developed and the US nearing energy independence (in only eight years), probably no 9/11 and no loss of civil liberties, no torture, no Wall Street collapse, balanced budget, happy people.

Please realize that McCon and Pain and the Republican party got us into the unbelievable mess we are in. Rewarding them with the presidency, or for that matter any elected office, amounts to foolishness at the least and national suicide at its worst (fool me once, shame on me...).

Posted by: spatula | October 3, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

A thief believes that everybody steals and a liar accuses everyone of lying. Why does the Washington Post keep Mr. Dielh, a notorious liar, as an editorial writer? Why doesn't Dielh stick to writing about Venezuelan politics which most people in the States cannot check for veracity? Not that I like Mr.Chavez one bit, but Jackson Dielh keeps calling Chavez a dictator, when he has received more votes than the oposition in each election he has run for president. Compare those results to the 2000 and the 2004 elections in the US that resulted in "victories" for Bush. I hope that, come January 19, 2009, somebody starts an investigation of lost and stolen ballots during the Florida 2000 and the Ohio 2004 presidential elections.

Posted by: castro714 | October 3, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: spatula | October 3, 2008 11:18 PM

Please realize that McCon and Pain and the Republican party got us into the unbelievable mess we are in.

Wrong, Spatula. The Democrats, extremist Islamists, and people like you got us into this "unbelievable mess". The grown-ups, Republicans, have been trying to get us out of it and I aint going BACK to liberal wacko land!!

Posted by: Gina4 | October 4, 2008 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Please don't embarrass yourself, Joe Biden has forgotten more about Iraq than you will ever know. So, just stop.

Posted by: childressp | October 4, 2008 2:17 AM | Report abuse

i spell 'taters, p-o-t-a-t-o-s. my neighbor spells it p-o-t-a-t-o-e-s. we still like 'taters.

biden is still eons ahead of palin on the foreign policy front. palin could have used your "nuances" in the debate on thursday instead of the winks and nods.

can we move on now?

Posted by: glenknowles | October 4, 2008 6:34 AM | Report abuse

How strange it is that Bush never even thought about negotiating an end to US involvement in Iraq until Obama began winning Primaries. He knew the American people were agianst the war years before then.

McCain IS the odd man out, even if no one trusts Bush and Cheney to fairly negotiate American interests in any event, McCain is still the only person supporting endless war in Iraq. I wish just one reporter would stand up to him and point out that his pet 'THE SURGE' was two pronged, we would provide the over for the Iraqi people to form a united government... They failed, 'THE SURGE FAILED'... and its time McCain admitted it. The moment we stop making payments to those war lords, its on again in Iraq and he knows it.

I hope your editors have given you five days to think of how '...a good deal...' of Biden's statements in the debate were "... exaggerated, distorted or simply false.

You've used less than five minutes of a 90 minute debate for two examples that you surely did not understand very well.

Posted by: dutchess2 | October 4, 2008 7:12 AM | Report abuse

Uh oh, looks like the Washington Post is infected with a bunch of Obama-bots upset that anybody would question their "foreign policy expert" who doesn't keep aware that elections were held in Gaza not the West Bank along with living in the alternative universe where Hezbollah was driven out of Lebanon??

Most likely, because like Obama, Biden has spent all of his time running for office instead of actually working or doing his d*mn job. Maybe if Obama's subcommittee had actually ever met, Biden wouldn't be so ignorant, maybe he was rewatching FDR's TV address to the nation in 1929!!!! Brilliant!

Look, Biden was just working in the Obama mode of taking any position, the more outrageous the better, after the fact about what he said or advised at the time despite reality knowing that his buddies at CNN, NBC, ABC and MSNBC would cover for him.

Posted by: LogicalSC | October 4, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Wow....the sheer ignornace of those whome think "Bush and the Republicans" got us into this mess and now some how Pelosi, Banrey Frank and Obama can get us out-is that correct?

That some how Obamahood can steel from those whom earn their money and give it to those whom sit on their butts will makes this country better off? LMAO.....does any else seriously not see what is wrong with this scenario?

Let us do some quick fact checks:

Where did Obama's housing for the low income citizens of his city get him?

**They are inhabitable, but he knows the economy?

What about his ties to ACORN and the failures of Fannie and Freddie?

**He paid ACORN $800,000 to "get-out-the-vote" to ACORN who has several employees in federal prisons for voter fraud as well as many criminal court precedings pending in over 12 states and many more still under inverstigation.

We need not forget that he was the SECOND highest senator awarded funds from these two corrupt entities (ENRON Sounds about right in order to describe them), yet he has only been in the senate what, 3-4 years and 2 of those he has been running for president.

Some may say this doesn't matter all in the name of futhering their agenda no matter what the costs, but Obama's to Rezco (sp), Ayers, Rev. Wright and many others?

***There is something to be said about the company you keep and if the company he has kept for the past 20 years does not raise flags for those whom may currently support him, just wait for the "I told you so's" should he become President.

What about his wife, Little Mrs. Happy Obama-Please do keep in mind that this first time this woman has ever been happy with America was less than a year ago. Here disertation at college was full of hate and her speeches at good old Rev. Wright's church would someup the word "HATE SPEECH" to be put politely.

I merely bring this up because should Obamahood become President, she would then become Frist Lady-she will then be speaking to all walks of life including our children-imagine that "HAPPY GO LUCK" no hateful speech at your childs school!

Both parties have their issues and both parties have thier pasts, but if we merely look at the past 15 years and everything each candidate has stood for, or not and the people they are in bed with, I really think that just a pinch of common sense would clearly show that Obama is more dangerous than he is helpful to this country.

I suppose those whom are still sitting on the fence and trying to decide which way to vote, Independents like myself (although I had zero issues deciding after Obama's past came out when he was battling against Hillary) just remember this:

For those whom say that there is nothing wrong with Ayers because the bombings he did against the Pentagon and nother buildings took place decades ago and he has not done anything since-I merely point to his recent comments: We did not do enough!

Really? And we are okay with our President "hanging out" and "doing business" while possibly running our country?!

For those whom want to bring up the Keating incident-Not only was McCain merely a person of question, but a DEMOCRAT found him to have ZERO connections and took him off the list of people of interest or suspects. (FACTCHECK that please)

PS.....It looks like good ole Rezco is turning on other dirty politicians in exchange for a lighter sentence-----this might do some people a little good to know that some of the people expected to be arrested in the very near future are also tied to Obama!

Posted by: UNPoliticallyCorrect2008 | October 5, 2008 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Now here's someone who is comfortable with his head buried beneath his armpit,maybe he's enamored with the fallacy that Palin winked at him like Rich Lowery did, and he needed to check his pheromones. I wonder if he moan's a lot?.

Posted by: nightslider | October 5, 2008 3:36 AM | Report abuse

In the end, I was disappointed with all candidates, all of whom now seem to have become populists. Will the country please produce a candidate who can tell us the truth?

There are 3 entities responsible for the current economic crisis. Number 1 are those people who bought houses they couldn't possible afford, assuming that when the variable rate mortgages starting rising, they could sell for a hefty profit. Sorry America, but these are not the greedy wall street con artists; they are the person you see in the mirror every morning. Politicians should stop portraying main street as the victims and wall street as the greed mongers.

Number 2 are those mortgage companies on main street who were anxiously selling to stupid Joe Six Pack. These companies were so anxious to make their profits, that they never worried about explaining contracts to their clients (just sign, sign, sign). For the most part these were greedy small companies that had no interest in assuring that their clients could actually afford what they were buying. They didn't need to worry, because they knew they were going to quickly resell those mortgages to big companies on Wall Street.

Finally number 3 are those on Wall Street who bought up all these bad loans, figuring the party would last forever. They should have known better; if Wall Street should know anything it is that whatever goes up usually also comes crashing down.

We might also add a 4th entity, which is the Congress and the President in 1999 who signed into law the deregulation of the banking industry. However, even Bill Clinton says that deregulation is not responsible for the woes on Wall Street.

Whether its Biden or Palin, Obama or McCain, the populist message continues to be the same. America, you aren't responsible for the mess we are in (yes, you people who bought million dollar houses with a $50K salary; you are victims!). The reality is very different from this populist stupidity.

Posted by: lstm1 | October 5, 2008 5:40 AM | Report abuse

That Bush is considering a time table at all is contrary to McCain's view that no time table be set, the previous position by Bush. Is it not Maliki that wants the time table most of all because he thinks that too much US presence is causing a detrimental effect as does Obama. That puts McCain on the outside. The general wants as much latitude as possible, that's understandable. Sunnis still wary of Iran influence but are now being absorbed into Iraqi army so we will see.

Posted by: bwcolq | October 5, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Wrong, Spatula. The Democrats, extremist Islamists, and people like you got us into this "unbelievable mess". The grown-ups, Republicans, have been trying to get us out of it and I aint going BACK to liberal wacko land!!

Posted by: Gina4 | October 4, 2008 12:58 AM

Don't know what rock you've been hiding under, perhaps the one residing on the floor of the Sewage Treatment plant in your neighborhood, perhaps that would explaine the maxi pad, glued up side down on top of your head,
We ghave had a Dofus for a president for 8 years, a house of Representatives controled by incommpetent repukes for 6, and the same goes fot the Senate, what part of ignorance that you display can even begin to equate that the Dems are remotely responsible for the mess that we see?
Ah yes the Nooksack Nannie "Pipeline comfort girl" and her Partner McSPittles says it so, hmmmmmm the detritus to the the Rove philosophy has lurched forward with a minimal contribution for dissemination to the masses, and their dim bulb intelligence reflect the intensity of their efforts to postulate lies and distortions, and surprising enough they absorb it, and embrace it, what a shallow and conflicted world of hate they live in.

Posted by: nightslider | October 5, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

RNC to File FEC Complaint on Obama Fundraising Practices
By Matthew Mosk
A lawyer for the Republican National Committee today said the party will ask the Federal Election Commission to look into the source of thousands of small-dollar contributions to the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama.

The RNC is alleging that the Obama campaign was so hungry for donations it "looked the other way" as contributions piled up from suspicious, and possibly even illegal foreign donors.

"We believe that the American people should know first and foremost if foreign money is pouring into a presidential election," said RNC Chief Counsel Sean Cairncross.

Cairncross alleged there was mounting evidence of this, and cited a report in the current issue of Newsweek magazine that documents a handful of instances where donors made repeated small donations using fake names, such as "Good Will" and "Doodad Pro."

The Newsweek report says that earlier this year the Obama campaign returned $33,000 to two Palestinian brothers in the Gaza Strip who had bought T-shirts in bulk from the campaign's online store -- purchases that count as campaign contributions. The brothers had listed their address as "Ga.," which the campaign took to mean Georgia rather than Gaza.

"While no organization is completely protected from Internet fraud, we will continue to review our fundraising procedures," Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt told the magazine.

At the heart of the RNC complaint is a federal fundraising rule that lets campaigns accept donations under $200 without itemizing the names and addresses of the donors on its campaign finance reports. The rule was intended as a matter of practicality -- it did not seem reasonable to ask a campaign to gather that information from every five-dollar donor.

But the Obama campaign has raised more than $200 million this way, a staggering sum for donations that will not be subjected to outside scrutiny.

Obama campaign aides said today that a number of steps have been taken to safeguard against foreign or illegal contributions coming in in smaller increments. The measures include: requiring donors to present a passport at fundraising events held for Americans overseas, ending contributions to the Obama Store from contributors with addresses outside the U.S. or its territories, and requiring donors to enter a U.S. passport number when contributing via the Americans Abroad page.

"When we were made aware of an ad for a Nigerians for Obama fundraiser in a Nigerian paper, our attorneys sent a letter to the paper making it clear the event had nothing to do with our campaign, and that we would not accept contributions from the event," one Obama aide said.

And aides note that Sen. John McCain had his own foreign fundraising issues, having been forced to refund about $50,000 in donations solicited by Jordanian Mustafa Abu Naba'a, who was raising money on behalf of one of McCain's top Florida bundlers.

Posted by: DrRevere | October 5, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

RNC to File FEC Complaint on Obama Fundraising Practices
By Matthew Mosk
A lawyer for the Republican National Committee today said the party will ask the Federal Election Commission to look into the source of thousands of small-dollar contributions to the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama.

The RNC is alleging that the Obama campaign was so hungry for donations it "looked the other way" as contributions piled up from suspicious, and possibly even illegal foreign donors.

"We believe that the American people should know first and foremost if foreign money is pouring into a presidential election," said RNC Chief Counsel Sean Cairncross.

Cairncross alleged there was mounting evidence of this, and cited a report in the current issue of Newsweek magazine that documents a handful of instances where donors made repeated small donations using fake names, such as "Good Will" and "Doodad Pro."

The Newsweek report says that earlier this year the Obama campaign returned $33,000 to two Palestinian brothers in the Gaza Strip who had bought T-shirts in bulk from the campaign's online store -- purchases that count as campaign contributions. The brothers had listed their address as "Ga.," which the campaign took to mean Georgia rather than Gaza.

"While no organization is completely protected from Internet fraud, we will continue to review our fundraising procedures," Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt told the magazine.

At the heart of the RNC complaint is a federal fundraising rule that lets campaigns accept donations under $200 without itemizing the names and addresses of the donors on its campaign finance reports. The rule was intended as a matter of practicality -- it did not seem reasonable to ask a campaign to gather that information from every five-dollar donor.

But the Obama campaign has raised more than $200 million this way, a staggering sum for donations that will not be subjected to outside scrutiny.

Obama campaign aides said today that a number of steps have been taken to safeguard against foreign or illegal contributions coming in in smaller increments. The measures include: requiring donors to present a passport at fundraising events held for Americans overseas, ending contributions to the Obama Store from contributors with addresses outside the U.S. or its territories, and requiring donors to enter a U.S. passport number when contributing via the Americans Abroad page.

"When we were made aware of an ad for a Nigerians for Obama fundraiser in a Nigerian paper, our attorneys sent a letter to the paper making it clear the event had nothing to do with our campaign, and that we would not accept contributions from the event," one Obama aide said.

And aides note that Sen. John McCain had his own foreign fundraising issues, having been forced to refund about $50,000 in donations solicited by Jordanian Mustafa Abu Naba'a, who was raising money on behalf of one of McCain's top Florida bundlers.

Posted by: DrRevere | October 5, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

I heard McCain say in the last debate that Obama would not say the word VICTORY. If we are victorious in the Iraq so called war, then why are we still there being killed. The Iraqis don't want us there any longer and want us out in 16 months per Maliki, by the way, just exactly what have we won if this VICTORY is the case? And if there is no timeline as McCain wants then how long is this VICTORY to go on?

Posted by: safmmail | October 6, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Hey JRM2:

Is Obama really currently negotiating a withdrawal plan? Isn't that like... unconstitutional or something????

Posted by: Dagney | October 6, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

The Video that could cost Obama the election - Barack Obama and Raila Odinga

You tube video of Barack Obama in Kenya supporting his cousin militant terrorist Muslim Raila Odinga, the election and violence afterwards.

FINALLY, someone else picking this up.

We can see where Obama comes from. We can see who he really is.
This POS can’t win without cheating and ACORN.

I’m not trying to scare anyone, just make you hoppin’ mad.

Obama's Communist cousin Odingo and his ethnic cleansing of those that didn’t vote for him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8QcpdUtxNQ

Posted by: DrRevere | October 6, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

McCain in the Vanguard of Mortgage Reform?

Palin said that McCain had "sounded the alarm" on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac two years ago.

Palin: We need to look back, even two years ago, and we need to be appreciative of John McCain's call for reform with Fannie Mae, with Freddie Mac, with the mortgage-lenders, too, who were starting to really kind of rear that head of abuse.

Palin is referring to a bill that would have increased oversight on Fannie and Freddie. In our recent article about assigning blame for the crisis, we found that by the time McCain added his name to the bill as a cosponsor, the collapse was well underway. Home prices began falling only two months later. Our colleagues at PolitiFact also questioned this claim.

http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/factchecking_biden-palin_debate.html

Posted by: wunderwood | October 7, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Guilt by association is an ugly thing. I wish Republicans would stick to the issues and crawl back out of the gutter this time.

IF REPUBLICANS WANT A MUD FIGHT, THEY WILL GET A MUD FIGHT.

When they are ready to talk about how to fix this mess we are in, we will call off the dogs and sit down to business. But as has been said before: We won't throw the first punch but we will throw the last one.

Posted by: wunderwood | October 7, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Maliki Tries To Walk Back His Comments On Obama's Withdrawal Plan
==========================================
Obama is pleased, but McCain certainly is not. In an interview with SPIEGEL, Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki expressed support for Obama's troop withdrawal plans. Despite a half-hearted retraction, the comments have stirred up the US presidential campaign. SPIEGEL stands by its version of the conversation.

Comments made by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in an interview with SPIEGEL (more...) published on Saturday have stirred up the campaign teams of both Barack Obama and John McCain this weekend. And late on Saturday, Maliki tried to distance himself from the statements, saying his comments were misunderstood.

Read the whole story here.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,566914,00.html

Posted by: wunderwood | October 7, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

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