Saturday, May 10, 2008

gotta break through!!!

I think it's fair to say that the media is going to form a protective wall around their candidate, Sen. Obama, from now until. . .well, probably until such time that he dismantles the independent media. I'm not saying that he'll necessarily GO that far, but. . .well, we don't know for sure, now do we? It's so hard to figure out what this guy stands for, because if you wait long enough, he'll backtrack on just about everything he says.

Take, for example, what one of his senior foreign policy advisors said today (as reported at the NYT website):

But Dr. Rice said that this was not the case for Iran or any other so-called “rogue” state. Mr. Obama believes “that engagement at the presidential level, at the appropriate time and with the appropriate preparation, can be used to leverage the change we need,” Dr. Rice said. “But nobody said he would initiate contacts at the presidential level; that requires due preparation and advance work.”

NEVER YOU MIND that Obama has said publicly at least twice and had posted on his website that he "supports tough, direct Presidential diplomacy with Iran without preconditions." I don't know what Rice (not Secretary Condoleeza, by the way, this is Dr. Susan) finds different between "advance work" and "preconditions", but Obama clearly meant that he would talk with Ahmadinejad without the Iranians needing to offer any carrots to make the talks happen; Rice is apparently talking about logistics. Her parsing of the words is a distraction, meant to let Obama walk away from one of his most naive positions he's held this campaign.

Not that the Obama camp knows anything about distractions.

AND AS EASY AS IT SHOULD BE to get the Senator to clarify what he actually means regarding a sit-down with Iran, we can trust that the media isn't going to do it.

But McCain can. It just needs to be packaged in a way that lets him maintain his "high ground" while still making the point. You see, McCain will still draw media attention--it's just got to be done in a manner in which he will allow himself to speak. And merely pointing out the contradiction isn't enough--it will be white-washed by the media, and labeled as a "smear" by Obama's camp.

No, it needs to be something better. And while I think about the proper avenue to bring this positional flip-flop vis-a-vis Iran by the Obama camp to the light of day in a format acceptable to McCain, I'm happy to report that I've already come up with a way around the media interference for yet another Obama "nuanced position".

Sen. Obama signed a pledge last year to accept public funding for his Presidential run if he became the nominee.

That was last year. This year. . .well, he's re-defined "public financing".

Obama in 2007: "My plan requires both major party candidates to agree on a fundraising truce, return excess money from donors, and stay within the public financing system for the general election. . . If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election."

Obama in 2008: "We have created a parallel public financing system where the American people decide if they want to support a campaign they can get on the Internet and finance it," he told donors at a Washington fundraiser Tuesday night. "And they will have as much access and influence over the course and direction of our campaign that has traditionally reserved for the wealthy and the powerful."

"Parallel public financing system". In other words, not THE public financing system that his plan of last year required the major party candidates to stay within.

Gosh, last year. . .that's so long ago in Obamanation.

SO we have hypocrisy here, right? How for McCain to attack this?

This one is actually pretty easy. Again, don't just point out the contradiction (that's so 2004, and McCain has already done that), but make it part of a message. Something like this.

"Obama has said that he wants to help our economy out. Yet he refuses to accept public financing for the upcoming general election. Let's make perfectly clear what his decision is here: He has money available to him that is there for his taking without imposing on the electorate in any way, shape or form. And it's a fair amount of money. It's the same amount as I will have in this public-financing system.

"But Obama doesn't want that money. Obama wants YOUR money. He wants your money to fund his plans. He wants to take money away from you and put it into his coffers.

"This is more than a contradiction of what he wrote about as recently as last fall. This is more than a total about-face on the issue of public financing for the general election.

"This is about Obama wanting your money. And I've got news for you: it isn't going to stop with the general election.

"Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress will keep coming for your money. They'll keep coming for more money to fund their "parallel" programs.

"I have great fear when I think of what other "parallel" activities might be rationalized by an Obama administration. And you should, too.

"Because just like in this "parallel" public financing program that he talks about, there is only one person paying the bills: you.

"And there's only one person regulating the parallel programs. And I've got news for you: it's not you.

"And I happen to think that ALL of us have better things to do with our money than to contribute it to a politician who already has plenty of money available to him.

"Sen. Obama, if you want to help stimulate the economy, do one of the most fundamental things that you have direct control over: let people keep money in their pockets. Accept public financing now. We'll be a better country because of it."


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