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Morning Fix: The Obama Nobel speech examined

1. President Obama's Nobel Prize acceptance speech -- delivered in the wee hours of the morning on the east coast -- was missed by many except the earliest of risers. And yet, it is one that will echo throughout the remainder of his first term in office and into his reelection campaign in 2012 as a framework for how he views the world and America's role in it. Here's a look at a few critical passages from the speech: 1) "Wars between nations have increasingly given way to wars within nations." 2) "I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people." 3) "To say that force may sometimes be necessary is not a call to cynicism -- it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason." 4) "I believe that force can be justified on humanitarian grounds, as it was in the Balkans, or in other places that have been scarred by war." 5) "We can acknowledge that oppression will always be with us, and still strive for justice. We can admit the intractability of deprivation, and still strive for dignity." ALSO READ: Dan Balz's thoughtful Take on how Obama's Oslo speech perfectly sums up the difference between campaigning and governing.

2. The Fix, forever on the lookout for rising political stars (heck we even have a feature called "The Rising"), was intrigued by the finding of a new National Journal survey of political insiders and also for political insiders regarding the which members on Congress have the brightest futures. For Democrats, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner was at 13 percent while Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz received eight percent. Warner, who inexplicably ended a promising bid for president in late 2006, is expected to be a candidate for that office in 2016. DWS, as we have taken to calling her, is widely seen as a potential chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in the short run and a potential Speaker of the House in the long run. For Republicans, South Dakota Sen. John Thune was the choice of nearly one-third of then sample while House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) placed second with 20 percent. Thune is gaining buzz as a potential 2012 candidate -- call it the Brooks/Fix effect -- and, if he decides not to seek that office, as a major player in the Senate. Cantor is regarded as the Republican House member with the most potential on the national stage although we hear very good things about Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan and California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, a budding political savant. (Interestingly, among "congressional insiders" in the NJ survey, McCarthy was seen as a rising star by 25 percent of those polled while Ryan placed second with 21 percent.)

3. Ohio, perhaps the swingiest of the swing states at the presidential level (with apologies to Florida, is tough sledding for Democrats at the moment, according to a new Rasmussen Reports survey. Former Rep. John Kasich (R) holds a 48 percent to 39 percent edge over Gov. Ted Strickland (D) while, in the open seat Senate race, former representative Rob Portman (R) sits at 38 percent to 36 percent for Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher. Both Strickland and Fisher held leads over their respective Republican opponents earlier this year but as the state's economy has continued to struggle, the mood of voters has soured toward Democrats. In the Rasmussen survey, 46 percent of Ohio voters approved of the job being done by President Obama while 50 percent disapproved. Ohio may be the best political petri dish in the country to judge where the two parties stand next year. In addition to competitive races for Senate and governor, at least four Democratic-held House seats -- the 1st, 15th, 16th and 18th -- are expected to be seriously contested.

4. In a sign that he is (finally) aware of the danger posed by former state House speaker Marco Rubio's (R) candidacy, Gov. Charlie Crist (R) has begun to attack the former Florida legislator's record on fiscal issues as insufficiently conservative. When Rubio told the a local TV station that he would have accepted at least some of the money offered the state by the federal government on Thursday, Crist's team pounced -- pointing out that Rubio had previously bashed Crist for accepting the federal dollars. Andrea Saul, the newly installed communications director for Crist, promised more where that hit came from. "Time and again Republican primary voters in Florida will begin to see the real Marco Rubio, and we are confident they will ensure Charlie Crist is the next Republican nominee," said Saul. Crist's aggressiveness toward Rubio is a significant strategic shift from earlier this year when the popular governor ignored the upstart in their Senate primary fight. Crist is never going to be the darling of the conservative movement -- in Florida or anywhere else -- but the key to a primary victory for the governor is proving to the activist base that Rubio is not who he say he is. These attacks on Rubio's fiscal conservative bona fides are the start of that campaign.

5. Could Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) be the next Senator from California? Charles Feldman, a former television correspondent, floats the idea in a piece on the Huffington Post in which he speculates that Villaraigosa would be the obvious choice to step in if Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) runs for governor in 2010 or decides to retire in 2012. Democratic Senate insiders tell the Fix that it is very unlikely that Feinstein will give up her coveted perch as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee to pursue a potentially bruising race for governor next year. Could she retire in 2012 when she will be 79 years old? Absolutely. But, a quick look around the Senate shows that it is not exactly filled with spring chickens. Twenty-three Senators are 70 or older, three are 80 or older and one -- West Virginia's Bob Byrd (D) -- is 90 or older. (Byrd is 92.) So, if DiFi does decide she wants to stick around in 2012, she would be far from out of place in the senior Senate.

6. Endorsements are flying fast and furious in the Kansas Senate Republican primary as Reps. Todd Tiahrt and Jerry Moran seek to out-conservative one another via their surrogates. On Thursday, Moran won the endorsement of former senator Jim Talent (Mo.) who touted his former colleague's "proven record of supporting small business, tax relief for working families and fiscal responsibility." Talent joins Sens. John Thune (S.D.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), Mike Johanns (Neb.), John McCain (Ariz.), Jim DeMint (S.C.), and Richard Burr (N.C.) in supporting Moran. Not to be outdone, Tiahrt rolled out a series of conservative endorsements from, among others, Morton Blackwell, a Republican National Committeeman from Virginia and Colin Hanna, the president of the conservative interest group Let Freedom Ring. "Todd Tiahrt will be a great conservative addition to the U.S. Senate," said Blackwell about his endorsement. In truth, both Moran and Tiahrt have strong conservative voting records and it may be difficult for either man to label the other as a moderate. The stakes couldn't be higher, however, as Democrats have no serious candidate and Republicans haven't lost a Senate race in the Sunflower State since 1932.

7. Sean Harrison, the man who guided Barbara Comstock (R) to an upset victory over Virginia state Del. Margi Vanderhye (D) earlier this fall, has signed on to serve as campaign manager for state Sen. Robert Hurt's (R) challenge to freshman Rep. Tom Perriello (D). Prior to Harrison's work for Comstock, he served as a field operative for the Republican National Committee's coordinated campaign in the Commonwealth. Of the move, Comstock said: "Robert got the number one draft pick for campaign managers in the 2010 cycle." Hurt is being touted by Republicans as one of their premier recruits although he faces a primary fight against a crowded field. Perriello, who ousted Rep. Virgil Goode (R) by 727 votes in 2008, is among the most vulnerable incumbents in the country thanks to the swing nature of the Southside district and his twin votes in favor of the president's cap and trade and health care proposals. If Hurt beats Perriello under Harrison's guidance, the young operative will be a hot commodity for GOPers looking to run statewide in the Commonwealth in 2013.

8. The Fix chats live today from 11 a.m. to noon. We call it, creatively, the "Live Fix." Be there! (Or, if you can't be there, submit a question in advance.)

9. Love political trivia? Missed "Politics and Pints" -- the Fix's inaugural trivia night in D.C. earlier this week? Don't let it happen again! Send an email with "Politics and Pints" in the subject to chris.cillizza@wpost.com and we will make sure you know the who, what, when, where and why of the next "Politics and Pints" event.

10. Ever wonder what former Alaska senator Mike Gravel, whose angry rants entertained and appalled during the slew of Democratic presidential debates in 2008, is doing these days? Apparently the answer is handicapping the 2012 Republican presidential field with none other than Politico's Jonathan Martin. Gravel, who has a mustache(!) now, told Jmart that he believed former Alaska governor Sarah Palin (R) would run in 2012, adding: "She's going to surprise a lot of people."

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 11, 2009; 6:24 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Fix Poll: The worst campaign of 2009?
Next: Friday Governors Line: Change is the new normal

Comments

So much for "stick[ing] to the issues".

Posted by: JakeD | December 12, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

You are way too concerned with what everyone else writes - you are way too concerned about opposing everything that you might not agree with.

==

This is a political blog, not a tampon commercial.

Don't address me, I am not interested in anything you might have to say.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 12, 2009 2:27 AM | Report abuse

GoldAndTanzanite

If you really want to improve this board, stick to the issues - write your own stuff out.


You are way too concerned with what everyone else writes - you are way too concerned about opposing everything that you might not agree with.


Leave others' opinions be - you don't have to comment on everything and slam every little comment you don't like


Just state your opinion - stop referring to other posters - stop taking issue with the things they say - don't try to start fights, which you appear to do all the time.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 12, 2009 2:20 AM | Report abuse

@nodebris - Do tell more. What's failblog?

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 12, 2009 2:09 AM | Report abuse

Someone ought to post the comments below on failblog.org.

Posted by: nodebris | December 12, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Just as soon as you quit calling be "racist swine" with a blow-up wife, etc. etc.

==

I already told CC I'd obey his wishes if he's giving out the straight uncut dope. If that's true then you and zouk will shortly be banned and there will be no provocation to respond to, save by the occassional drive-bys like armpeg who are all too over-the-top to take seriously anyway.

If it's just more scolding and you two will continue to get a pass, I won't care if I do get banned because this place is pretty much unreadable once you two start in.

As for you getting called a racist, well, stop posting ugly racist swill and we won't have any problem, now, will we. But you won't, because that's who and what you are.

Finally, you've made your own bed posting so many falsehoods here, you have no right to expect anyone to believe the florid details you post about your life. I don't have a lot of intimate experience with women but I certainly have a lot of women friends and women are a lot more candid and confiding with men when there isn't a looming sexual dimension, and I cannot imagine for the life of me someone with your exhibited maturity and temperament ever finding someone so self-loathing as to make you a member of the couples' club.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

be = me

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Just as soon as you quit calling be "racist swine" with a blow-up wife, etc. etc.

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

At the very least you called "37thand0street" a creep.

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Not taking the bait, Jake.

That apology and bowing stuff comes from the Palinite crowd, the chest-beating "America First" creeps. It's just more dog-whistle and it reflects an arrogance that we Americans rejected a year ago November.

Obama has achieved more with respect than Bush ever did with arrogance and he's had only one year to do it.

Anyway, you can criticize me all you like, I certainly don't respect you enough to care. Just leave my family out of it, and leave my lover out of it. I don't give a crap if we get along or not. My opinion of you, your intellect, your veracity, your morality, could not possibly go any lower.

And oh, stop calling me a pedophile.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm never going to agree with you. For instance, we'll have to disagree whether calling someone here "contemptible" and guilty of "loathsome jingoism that only teabaggers believe in", further claiming that their words are "creepspeak" qualifies as name-calling. Luckily, for me, you are not the ultimate arbitor of that issue on this blog.

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Need a little work on your reading comprehension, Jake. Try not moving your lips while you read.

"Civility" doesn't mean we all agree with each other all the time, nor does it mean that we have to ignore the context of canned recitations of canned positions.

Deal.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm not criticizing you, but I am fairly confident that calling someone else -- who IS posting here and not a public official, as far as I know -- contemptible and guilty of loathsome jingoism that only teabaggers believe in, claiming that their words are "creepspeak" (or as WillSeattle claimed on the latest thread: "they don't know how to edit things, cause their brains are filled with tea bags") qualifies as name-calling. As always YMMV.

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

You have a long way to go to clean up your own act Jake before you're in any position to criticize anyone else's posting.

When I first started reading this thing you were already locked into about six posts, and after all this time you're still doing the same six posts. Two about how much you hate Obama, the rest about you. Not a solitary actual point in a single one of them, just trolling the blog looking for attention and trying to start fights.

You can drop the birther BS anytime you like, but next time you feel like using one of my posts as a vehicle to suck up to our gracious host how about you just spit out the window instead. I'm not interested.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Careful, GoldAndTanzanite. Our gracious host has requested that we all "[a]ct civilly" and stop the name-calling : )

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Obama's outreach has been a disaster

==

He's already done better in one year than Bush did in eight. Russia and China are on board with sanctioning Iran, achieved by diplomacy ("bowing" in creepspeak) and respect ("apologizing" in creepspeak) where Bush only knew how to admire himself in the mirror for bein' "tough" an' droppin' his Gs.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

GoldAndTanzanite


Obama was talking about MAKING WAR, NOT MAKING PEACE - for about half the speech.


The Iranian situation is relevant.


Obama's outreach has been a disaster - especially when Obama did nothing during the demonstrations when people were getting shot in the streets.


Naive is what it's called.

For a Peace Prize, the Nobel Committee blew it -


For a speech about MAKING PEACE, Obama blew it.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 11, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

It is amazing that for a Peace Prize, he spent half the speech talking about war.

==

Were it not for the reality of war there would not even be a word for peace.

It'd be kinda weird if war *wasn't* the central topic of the speech.

And give the "apology" and "bowing" stuff a rest, that's dog-whistle for a contemptible and loathsome jingoism that only teabaggers believe in. America is ONE COUNTRY, one among many, and we'd better acknowledge that if we ever want anyone else to pony up the troops for our next invasion and occupation.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Obama's speech was a whole lot different from what we have seen in the past.


It is amazing that for a Peace Prize, he spent half the speech talking about war.


Was he talking about war - or peace. The speech still had the tone of a lecture - like he is educating us.


Obama clearly has learned something over the past few months - his positions have changed dramatically since he had to think-through endorsing a Surge - the very strategy that George Bush embraced.

It is sad that we have to say Obama's speech was an improvement because he did not apologize for the US this time.


It is sad that we have to say his conduct was better because we did not see him bow to the King of Norway.


The country still has reason for concern with all this on-the-job-training that Obama has gone through - I'm not sure yet that he understands how important the economy and jobs are - and the rest of his agenda HAS to reflect that.

Overall, the Nobel Prize has hurt Obama - it has deflated Obama because people are now looking at him more realistically.


The pictures yesterday looked a little silly - with even Obama agreeing that the award probably should have gone elsewhere - for an actual accomplishment.


Ironically, Obama did touch upon his Iranian policy, which is in shreds - in a way, the reasoning behind giving him the award is grounded in Obama's attempts at outreach to nations like Iran.


Obama's Iranian policy is clearly not working, which undercuts the reasoning for the award.


Irony is just not something that leads to truth in Oslo - with a Peace Prize going to someone who clearly has no accomplishment - and with a Peace Prize going to someone who has just ordered a major escalation of a war.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 11, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

If Crist's only tact is to go after Rubio's hypocrisy then he may as well concede now. Calling a Republican for hypocrisy is about as meaningful as criticizing a cat for having cat food on its breath. Of course Rubio is going to say one thing and do another, where the hell has Crist BEEN for the last 30 years?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry, leapin. There will be no further "name calling" on this thread : )

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

BO, NPP winner, showing up at the oval office for two weeks and notifying the world of pre-surrender, will be defeated unless he declares himself tyrant for life.

==

"Pre-surrender" refers, I guess, to not vowing to keep American troops in Afghanistan until the sun dies. You really think that would be a good idea, even if we could afford it?

"Surrender," how dated and pompous.

And the "tyrant for life" thing is just ridiculous paranoia. Adjust your tinfoil.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

No, The EuroComs have spoken

==

Sour grapes

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite
--------------------------------

E-Gore, NPP winner, was defeated by GWB.

Jimmy C., NPP winner, was defeated by RR.

BO, NPP winner, showing up at the oval office for two weeks and notifying the world of pre-surrender, will be defeated unless he declares himself tyrant for life.

Posted by: leapin | December 11, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

No, The EuroComs have spoken

==

Sour grapes

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama: Nobel Peace Prize

George Bush: worst president ever

History has spoken

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite
----------------------------------------
No, The EuroComs have spoken

Posted by: leapin | December 11, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Obama was also name White House Employee of the Month

==

Barack Obama: Nobel Peace Prize

George Bush: worst president ever

History has spoken

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Obama was also name White House Employee of the Month

Posted by: leapin | December 11, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

So, you ADMIT that the poll was not just "44% of the readers of a partisan Republican site"?! LOL

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Well considering that McCain got 46% of the vote, this hardly comes as the "shock" you so earnestly want. With so many Obama decisions in controversy this spurious poll indicates that nothing has changed since a year ago November.

Nice try, though.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Wrong again. Politico.com is simply reporting the Public Policy Polling result from a NATIONAL survey of 1,253 registered voters (including Democrats) conducted from Dec. 4-7, 2009:

http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/PPP_Release_National_1209.pdf

Nice try though.

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

No, 44% of the Politico readership thinks so. And if only 44% of the readers of a partisan Republican site want the former Republican back in office then you may as well get used to going to your grave without ever seeing a Republican president again.

Which is good for America, since Republicans can't govern.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Well, that's YOUR opinion. 44% of us think the improvement would be GWB back in the Oval Office.

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

No, the big improvement is that Bush is gone and Republicans no longer have access to the levers of power, and America can begin to recover from eight years of national disgrace under Republican rule.

Whether or not we can recover from the economic damage of eight years of free market follies remains to be seen.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Since that went from 23% to 44% it's a big improvement though.

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

A politico poll showing fewer than half want Bush back? Republicans are in even more trouble than I thought.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Apart from speeches, how about this SHOCK POLL?!?!?!

Perhaps the greatest measure of Obama's declining support is that just 50% of voters now say they prefer having him as President to George W. Bush, with a shocking 44% saying they'd rather have his predecessor back.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/1209/Bush_closes_the_gap.html

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Have a great weekend, ZOUK : )

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Back to the topic of examining OBAMA's (not GWB speeches or anyone else's) Nobel "Lecture":

Does anyone other than GoldAndTanzanite or nodebris have any comment on the following lines?

As Dr. King said at this occasion so many years ago, "I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the 'isness' of man's present condition makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal 'oughtness' that forever confronts him." Let us reach for the world that ought to be -- that spark of the divine that still stirs within each of our souls.

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the nutjobs plan on camping out on this thread for the duration.

another flushed blog.

I expect Cilizza will interdict with the usual pleadings to the incorrigible moonbat twins of CF8 and the looness who's name is not to be spoken.

what a waste.

Have fun kiddies. I am off to NY for my Broadway thing. Enjoy your cubicle Ped! don't let the red letters get ya! and by all means be sure to lie on your timecard about what you have been up to. you need a bail out as bad as everyone else. you could call it Cash for Crazies. And the benefit is that the price is so low. What a deal; paying an old, brain addled tempramental slouch the same as a bright 20 something. but getting nothing in return. typical liberal program you see.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 11, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Gravel, who has a mustache(!) now, told Jmart that he believed former Alaska governor Sarah Palin (R) would run in 2012, adding: "She's going to surprise a lot of people."

==

She's not going to surprise anyone. Almost three quarters of Americans regard her as unfit for public office, and a majority already has so low an opinion of her that hardly anything she could say or do could lower it any further.

When her father revealed that she dropped out of her classes in Hawaii because she didn't like being around Asians, it hardly made a ripple. The people who can't stand her couldn't think any less of her and the people who like her don't see anything wrong with her bigotry.

Gooble gobble one of us.

Let her run for President. Sixteen years of Democratic presidents would be a good start.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Not only did Bush appeal to "reason" in several speeches, but he repeatedly pointed out that "even the most noble ends" do not justify any and all means. Once again, that's what speech writers do.

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I do note the following from a different thread:

"Those who think Obama earned this "peace" prize should agree all modern presidents should have received a nobel too.

Now, let's start with Nixon, he ended the Vietnam war, forget the hundreds of thousands killed, he brought "peace" to Vietnam.

Then there's Carter, who should have received his nobel for not being Nixon.

Reagan should have received a nobel for stimulating the economy with a huge military arms race.

Bush I, for winning a war to make the world safe for gas guzzling cars.

Clinton for, well there must be a reason somewhere.

Bush II and Cheney, for toppling the Taliban and Hussein.

Obama is entitled to his nobel, if we agree the others are too."

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | December 10, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

"To say that force may sometimes be necessary is not a call to cynicism -- it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason."

==

Can you imagine Bush the Lesser speaking a line like that? He'd never even mention reason, the closest he could come to that would be some chest-beating about what a tough li'l monkey he was.

"tough choices."

"bring em own"

I completely disagree with the decision to escalate in Afghanistan and I am donating to congressman who intend to block funding, but at least Obama is an adult. I'd rather disagree with an adult than have to endure a vain moron.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Ben Pershing recaps reaction to Obama's "Lecture":

In case you haven't heard, Obama accepted the peace prize even as he ordered an intensification of the war in Afghanistan. This was real irony, not the fake Alanis Morisette kind. The Los Angeles Times writes that Obama used "a ceremony honoring the pursuit of peace to lay out a moral justification for war." The New York Times editorial board says he "returned again and again to Afghanistan, arguing that the war was morally just and strategically necessary to defend the United States and others from more terrorist attacks."

Like some other observers, Jake Tapper thinks the speech "was nothing short of the Obama Doctrine -- the most comprehensive view we've been offered yet of how the president views foreign policy -- and how he sees himself within the pantheon of world leaders." The Wall Street Journal saw in Obama's "embrace of armed might in the service of a 'just war,' a sharp change in emphasis from his past rhetoric criticizing the foreign policy of the Bush years." Is Obama really in the midst of a foreign-policy metamorphosis? Robert Kagan thinks so: "Something about this Afghan decision, coupled perhaps with events in Iran, has really affected his approach. I don't know what to say about an 'Obama doctrine,' because based on this speech, I think we are witnessing a substantial shift, back in the direction of a more muscular moralism, a la, Truman, Reagan."

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Hardly a comment on the Obama speech save the usual predictable teleprompter screeches from the trolls.

Even among those who usually stay approximately on topic the outrage of printing Palin's "op-ed" prevails. Commentary in the metapress is universally damning of WaPo's execrably irresponsible move, printing something purportedly written by a revealed liar and unapologetic champion of ignorance.

The woman who regards education as spinelessness writing about science? Someone should go to prison for that.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Whisht!

Well now I know not just what the St. Ben's nuns yelling at me meant, I know its provenance.

I am a native of once tiny St Joe MN. We got our gas at Krebsbachs one of the Stearns County ('Lake Wobegon') names Garrison Keeler made famous.

Like everyone else then (there was no alternative) I spent grades 1-4 at the Benedictine convent school, just a few miles down the road from St. Cloud, before the freeway changed everything. This time of year we'd all freeze to death watching the Johnnies.

Whisht! It is funny how many memories still exist, all they need is a cue.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 11, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

In a MN Post news summary, there's some discussion of Rep Bachmann's ongoing habit of making factually vague statements about various policies. What is most interesting though is the report that some GOP insiders are allegedly looking to downplay her and some of the other extreme voices in that party:


"This kind of talk is famous for angrying up the blood of liberals, but it sounds as though Bachmann isn't exactly doing herself any favors with fellow conservatives: Paul Schmelzer of the Minnesota Independent [ http://minnesotaindependent.com/51638/bachmann-palin-steele ] points out that the National Journal has a forthcoming survey of GOP political insiders saying that Bachmann is at the top of the list of people they want to shut up. Now, she's not at the very top, but that's partially because she's part of a five-way tie: She shares the slot with "Glenn Beck, Iowa Rep. Steve King, Sarah Palin and Georgia Rep. Tom Price." It's also partially because there is one person Republican insiders are seemingly especially keen to have muted: 28 percent of the insiders polled wanted Sarah Palin to whisht, as the Irish say (for those not familiar with Irish, in Yiddish they are looking for Palin to sha, shtil, and makht nisht keyn gerider.)"

http://www.minnpost.com/dailyglean/2009/12/11/14222/intolerance_surfaces_--_again_--_in_st_cloud


I'm curious to see whether that Nat'l Journal survey sees the light of day...

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 11, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

This will look very bad if she doesn't show up. But it will hurt her with supporters if she does. Oh, dear.

'According to the Hamilton Spectator, Sarah Palin has been contracted to speak at a fundraiser for the Juravinski Cancer Centre and St. Peter’s Hospital in Canada. “This is quite the coup,” said Gabe Macaluso, an organizer for the event.

Palin might be surprised to learn that the hospital she is fundraising for runs counter to her professed beliefs:

– St. Peter’s Hospital is a public hospital within the national Canadian healthcare system. In Palin’s worldview, universal, government-insured health care is “socialism.”

– St. Peter’s Hospital performs abortions. Palin, a staunch anti-choice zealot, has protested outside of abortion clinics and has refused to denounce abortion clinic bombers as terrorists.

– St. Peter’s Hospital, through its Centre for Studies in Aging, offers “advanced directives.” Palin tried to derail health reform earlier this year by falsely labeling advanced directive reimbursements as “death panels.”

Posted by: drindl | December 11, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure how much "trouble" this latest poll shows for Gov. Strickland here in Ohio, but it'll be interesting to see how he responds to it. This is the first poll I've seen that puts John Kasich at a statistically significant lead, thanks in large part to declining support for Strickland -- but much of that decline is among Democrats, who are unhappy with Strickland's refusal to even consider raising taxes to pay for the state budget shortfall. Republicans have been trying since before Strickland even took office to paint him as a tax-and-spend Democrat, and Strickland is pretty dedicated to proving them wrong. That's upsetting a lot of Democrats and liberal-leaning moderates, who think he should be worrying more about the state and less about his re-election chances, now -- but come election time, those voters aren't going to go for Kasich unless he demonstrates a tremendous aptitude for policymaking that he hasn't shown yet.

Strickland, for his part, hasn't even started campaigning yet, for what that's worth. Though how effective he'll be as a campaigner is yet to be determined; his opponent in 2006 was Ken Blackwell, who couldn't have beaten a Skeletor action figure and who got crushed by Strickland on Election Day. Kasich has potential for a decidedly larger appeal than Blackwell had.

Posted by: GJonahJameson | December 11, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Sadly, having wanted Obama (over McCain & Palin, and I still can't say I'd want THEM), he has, IMHO, turned into Bush-lite Version 3.0 and nothing more than that. Say one thing, do another.

Arrogance.

Deception.

BETRAYAL.

Posted by: rm8471 | December 11, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Time for the Live Fix!

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

"Palin has no credibility for scientific insight, but is holding the banner for a substantial fraction of the Republican party."

Damned with faint praise,
with a fine turn of phrase.

Thanks for the morning chuckle.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 11, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Blade -- op ed or news, should a media outlet with any hopes of maintaining credibility publish a piece that is riddled with inaccuracy? It's irresponsible to misinform and propagandize the public. There are also conflicts of interest, such as her and her family's ties to the oil/gas industry, which were not disclosed, and should have been.

Newspapers do one thing, press releases another. Palin's piece, as was noted in other media, was nothing but an unedited press release. Even Post employees are embarrassed about it.

Posted by: drindl | December 11, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

BTW: Mike Gravel did NOT cite to Ronald Reagan.

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I heard an interesting discussion with Charles Krauthammer last night on WTOP. He naturally spent plenty of time bashing the last 2/3 of the speech, but gave Obama plaudits for realistically stating the need for force.

I don't think he'll lose that many on the left. Consider the 2008 election. We had plenty of activists angry about Congress's failure to end Iraq, let alone Afghanistan. What happened in the elections? More Democrats.

With regards to the Palin editorial, one should be able to separate the editorial page from the reporting page. George Will has written similarly slanted editorials and been hit for inaccuracy. As any action to inhibit climate change will require political actions, politicians on both sides will and should weigh in on this issue. Palin has no credibility for scientific insight, but is holding the banner for a substantial fraction of the Republican party.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 11, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

shrink2:

Obama actually noted a different Reagan legacy during his Nobel "Lecture". You should read it (first link in the thread you are supposedly commenting on).

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

People who think Palin is going to surprise a lot of people always cite Reagan as a right wing candidate utterly discounted, until he won.

Problem is, though neither of them are/were educated or emerged from auspicious political careers, Reagan was battle hardened by Hollywood then the crucible of Cali politics. Palin is soft (easily hurt, she personalizes everything) and reactive because she still no real experience in politics. He knew how to pick fights. Palin will fight any battle at the time and place of her critics choosing.

More important, Reagan was an actor, he knew he was an impostor and he was proud of it, unapologetic in his role learning and endlessly repeating his lines. His one autistic formulation, his legacy "idea" was Stars Wars.

Palin on the other hand thinks she can think and she is busy try to prove her mental mettle. Better get used to wincing, cringing and eye rolling Palin fans, she isn't going to surprise anybody.


Posted by: shrink2 | December 11, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

"Shortly after the op-ed was published online, Post media reporter Howard Kurtz tweeted that his paper was being "ripped for running Palin op-ed." Kurtz highlighted a blog post whose author refused to link to the op-ed because "[t]hey shouldn't be rewarded with the clicks, which is pretty much what this is about, I figure."

Politico's Ben Smith wrote on Twitter that it "struck me as slightly odd [that the Post] published an expanded version of her Facebook piece." ."

The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder-- "Her boycott call is like a video press release," he wrote. "She's looking for a way to inject herself into this and found it." Ambinder published a critical "annotated" version of Palin's piece, noting at the onset, "Once again, the Washington Post has given Sarah Palin the chance to harness herself to the political story of the hour."

The response to the op-ed was even more critical from science writers. ScienceBlogs.com's Tim Lambert chose to headline his piece on Palin's op-ed: "The Washington Post can't go out of business fast enough." He pointed out that the Post's own reporting contradicted claims made by Palin in the op-ed. "The Washington Post simply does not care about the accuracy of the columns it publishes," he concluded."

Big blow to their credibility.

Posted by: drindl | December 11, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Sure, drindl, they "can". For instance, detonating every nuke we've got would give those remaining a nuclear winter.

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Anybody can say the right words that make specific interests happy. And in a long speech, it is easy to put together multiple different perspectives that may be contradictory, as long as there is a few sentences between them, you can get away with it. Everybody feels good and fuzzy, everybody gets an idea or two that makes them feel better.
But what is the whole package? A stew of philosophies.
A claim of pragmatism ("see, I can hold opposite ideas in my head, like an intellectual") that rings hollow because of all the claims of idealism...
Another speech, another set of boilerplate phrases, poll tested to sound good.
If you hire writers to say the right things that please the most people, then you can sound good speaking at a podium. It no longer means much in this age of advertising and PR.
Like the "race speech" and the "Cairo speech", this is another load of hackneyed phrases and the same old politician speak. But some folks are so in love with the IDENTITY of the speaker that they buy this stuff as something tangible..

Posted by: johnL1 | December 11, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

CALLING BOB DYLAN: REPORT TO OBAMA WHITE HOUSE ASAP

=== URGENT TO POTUS via WH staff / Gibbs, Axelrod, Emanuel, Jarrett ===

Please summon Bob Dylan to the White House, stat, to sing this song to you in person:

"Oh the First World War, boys / It closed out its fate / The reason for fighting / I never got straight / But I learned to accept it / Accept it with pride / For you don't count the dead / When God's on your side.

"But now we got weapons / Of the chemical dust / If fire them we're forced to / Then fire them we must / One push of the button / And a shot the world wide / And you never ask questions / When God's on your side."

POTUS / FLOTUS / MEMBERS OF CONGRESS / PUNDITS:

LISTEN! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbw2GD0t3T4

• Personal to Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen: Re-record this song in a video, post it to YouTube, and make it viral. The times they are a-NOT changin' and someone needs a wake-up call.

***

OBAMA WRONG: U.S. DOES TORTURE -- ITS OWN CITIZENS, SAYS VETERAN JOURNALIST

• Regional Homeland Security- administered fusion centers use a nationwide microwave/laser radiation "directed energy" weapons system, employing cell towers and satellites, to silently, invisibly torture, impair, physiologically and neurologically subjugate unconstitutionally "targeted" Americans and their families -- an American genocide hiding in plain sight.

http://nowpublic.com/world/obama-wrong-west-point-u-s-does-torture-its-own-citizens
http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america OR (if link is corrupted): NowPublic.com/scrivener re: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | December 11, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

'the Brooks/Fix effect "

Fancy to be a kingmaker, eh?

Well, we all knew you were pumping up Thune, who has the charisma of a lox.

Posted by: drindl | December 11, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse


The WaPo has become the butt of jokes from other media sources after publishing the laughably dishonest editorial by Sarah Palin. Seems they didn't bother to check on her past utterances on the subject, and now realize she constantly contradicts herself on the subject, depending on who is telling her what to say, because she doesn't have any idea what she''s talking about:

"The Washington Post published a “falsehood-laden” op-ed by Sarah Palin attacking the science underpinning climate change. In her piece, Palin cast doubt on the science of global warming, stating that she “recognize[s]” global warming as merely “cyclical environmental trends” that are unrelated to the burning of fossil fuels. Responding to Palin’s misinformation about climate change science, Al Gore said yesterday:

The deniers are persisting in an era of unreality. The entire North Polar ice cap is disappearing before our eyes. What do they think is happening? [...] It’s a principle in physics. It’s like gravity, it exists.

In turn, Palin responded on her Facebook, writing incredulously:

However, he’s wrong in calling me a ‘denier.’ As I noted in my op-ed above and in my original Facebook post on Climategate, I have never denied the existence of climate change. I just don’t think we can primarily blame man’s activities for the earth’s cyclical weather changes.

Both claims — that she’s never denied climate change and that she’s always doubted anthropogenic causes — are untrue. As early as last month, she was indeed denying the existence of climate change. Unable to understand the science, she asked Rush Limbaugh: “Are we warming or are we cooling?” And merely 15 months ago, Palin told voters during the 2008 campaign that human activity is contributing to climate change:


PALIN: I belive that man’s activities can certainly be contributing to the issue of global warming and climate change."

Posted by: drindl | December 11, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

For instance:

"Those who think Obama earned this "peace" prize should agree all modern presidents should have received a nobel too.

Now, let's start with Nixon, he ended the Vietnam war, forget the hundreds of thousands killed, he brought "peace" to Vietnam.

Then there's Carter, who should have received his nobel for not being Nixon.

Reagan should have received a nobel for stimulating the economy with a huge military arms race.

Bush I, for winning a war to make the world safe for gas guzzling cars.

Clinton for, well there must be a reason somewhere.

Bush II and Cheney, for toppling the Taliban and Hussein.

Obama is entitled to his nobel, if we agree the others are too."

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | December 10, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Back on topic, did anyone else read Dan Balz's thoughtful Take on how Obama's Oslo speech perfectly sums up the difference between campaigning and governing?

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Since our course on the wars is set, though the outcomes are not and the health industry stimulus bill is going to pass and look a lot like the Senate bill does now, everything depends on the economy.

All agree the critical outcome indicator of this crisis is now job creation. People work, we get out of debt, they don't, we dig a deeper and deeper debt hole until the value of the dollar is lost, no longer ours to control. A debased currency is an economic catastrophe from which many nations/empires have never recovered.

Krugman today correctly appreciates the gravity of the problem (by now, who doesn't?), but his idea about the Fed buying up to two trillion more troubled assets is crazy. He says, "Such a program could do a lot to promote faster growth, while having hardly any downside."

Nonsense. For example, promoting greater riches for speculators does not necessarily translate to American workers becoming more competitive. The downside is pretty obvious and it is not the straw man of 70s style inflation. It is a lot more serious than that.

It is off topic, especially if I went on to get after Krugman and Bernanke in the same post, so I'll just say, we are hanging in the balance.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 11, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Do you think any hard left activists will abandon Obama for defending the merits of WAR during his PEACE Prize speech, and where are the Code Pink / anti-war protesters when you need them?

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

You might want to be careful about the polls you quote, CC. Fox polls, for instance are notoriously unreliable and phony.


"Recently, Fox News has declared their intention to crack down on distortions, false statements and other such violations of proper journalistic behavior. They might not be off to the best start, though, with the new Fox News poll, containing an amazingly loaded question.

To be specific, here's what the poll asked: "What do you think President Obama would like to do with the extra bank bailout money -- save it for an emergency, spend it on government programs that might help him politically in 2010 and 2012, or return it to taxpayers?"

The basic assumption here, of course, is that the only reason Obama would want to spend money on the economy is to use the cash as a sort of political slush fund -- not simply saying that one disagrees with spending the money or thinks it's a bad idea, but that it is inherently illegitimate -- while saving the money or cutting taxes have purer motives."

Posted by: drindl | December 11, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Obama gave a great speech?

Was it on a telepromter?

Posted by: tru-indy | December 11, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

"Looks like Ohio is stampeding for the exit from liberal governance. The rest of the country is expected to follow. We Americans do not like mediocrity and failure."

Except, of course, for Republican mediocrity and failure -- Americans seem to love that!

Posted by: JPDupre | December 11, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Good point, snowbama (more on the "Lecture" below). As to Mr. Cillizza's final point, I think Palin will run against Obama too. While she has some downsides, the choice for me at least would be clear. Here's to hoping we can all discuss that hypothetical choice in a civil manner.

It's no secret that I think Obama should have turned down the Nobel Peace Prize (and one reason is the reality of having to send 30,000 additional troops to WAR one week and pick up a PEACE Prize the next). All of those reasons are linked in yesterday's Morning Fix thread. Since he didn’t turn it down, the Nobel gold medal / cash prize legally belong to the U.S. Treasury. Now for the substance of the speech (aka "Lecture").

After spending three hours yesterday reading every Nobel Peace Prize "Lecture" / acceptance speech ever given, no other recipient argued the merits of war. Obama did. He also said today that every human being has a "divine spark" within them. For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of Obama.

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Why is all the good news about Obama strictly about what a great speech he just made?

Does this guy ever actually DO anything?

Posted by: snowbama | December 11, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Ohio is stampeding for the exit from liberal governance. The rest of the country is expected to follow. We Americans do not like mediocrity and failure.

Posted by: snowbama | December 11, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

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