Obama Consistent Despite Criticism From Political Radar

Journalists love to play “gottcha” but in this case the criticism of Barack Obama from Politcal Radar doesn’t hold up. They write:

In a pre-debate interview with a columnist for the Miami Herald, Obama said that he would meet with Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez but he stipulated that he would only do so “under certain conditions.”

“Under certain conditions, I always believe in talking,” Obama told the Miami Herald’s Andres Oppenheimer. “Sometimes it’s more important to talk to your enemies than to your friends.”

This is totally consistent with the statements attacked by Hillary Clinton. I never interpreted his response during the debate to mean he would speak to anyone and everyone without any conditions what so ever. Often heads of state refuse to negotiate with others because they have stringent preconditions that the other must make concessions before they are even willing to meet. I interpreted Obama’s comment as being open to discussion without setting such preconditions as to the outcome of the negotiations before a meeting even takes place. It is absurd to think that Obama would agree to meet without any conditions at all. His statement that “Sometimes it’s more important to talk to your enemies than to your friends” is consistent with his more recent statements.

While Obama has been consistent, I’ve also noted that Clinton came far closer to Obama’s condition back in April than she did during the debate. Clinton also sounded more like Obama when interviewed by Keith Olbermann in January:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENQxZGk1XQ4]

So much for Hillary Clinton’s claims that Obama’s views are “irresponsible” and “naive.”

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8 Comments

  1. 1
    Howard Wolfson, Jr. says:

    This is exactly the right interpretation. But unfortunately, the pro-Hillary MSM will continuet to tout her as the “frontrunner” even though Edwards is leading in Iowa, Obama is poised to take New Hampshire, and together Edwards and Obama will rob her of South Carolina. Three losses in a row does not spell “inevitable.” Here’s to Hillary going down in flames, the realist-Henry Kissinger-doppleganger that she is. This woman is not even a liberal. She’s a crypto-fascist in a pink jacket.

  2. 3
    Ulises Jorge says:

    Were you in the kitchen when Obama answered that question? Why are you saying that you “never interpreted his response during the debate to mean he would speak to anyone and everyone without any conditions what so ever”?

    That is exactly what he said. The question specifically asked if he would meet with Hugo Chavez or the leaders of North Korea, Iran, Cuba and Syria “without preconditions”. His first words when answering that question was “I Would”.

    So now you are saying that was not what he said?

    Ulises Jorge
    San Juan, PR

  3. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    Ulises,

    Exactly. The question was “without preconditions.”

    When speaking of diplomacy, that has a different meaning than “without conditions.” Comparing the two questions, Obama answered each correctly.

    One problem with the debates is that candidates have to give quick answers and there is no back and forth to clarify what they mean. This is provided in an interview, where Obama made his views clear, which were consistent with opposing preconditions.

    Howard,

    Cryto-fascist is going a bit too far.

    I agree her winning is not inevitable. This isn’t so much pro-Hillary bias from the MSM but a characteristic of their limited horse race journalism. If a different candidate had a similar lead in the national polls they would be billing them as the front runner.

    I also don’t think it is certain that Edwards will win Iowa. He’s in a position much like Lieberman in 2004 where he started doing well due to name recognition from 2000 but collapsed. Edwards is in a better situation as he wised up and changed his view on Iraq, but I still doubt he’ll go far. Even if he wins Iowa, he might not get a bounce considering how much time he has spent there since 2005 and is expected to win there. Still, I agree that if Clinton is denied early victories it woud still be harmful to her chances.

    Haste,

    Good video. Clinton has been both inconsistent on her views, and unfair to Obama in her attacks on his statement.

  4. 5
    Ulises Jorge says:

    Ron,

    I failed to point out that I was talking about the answer to the question in the CNN/Youtube debate. It was Obama answer to that question that started this debate, because it is a glaring example of Obama’s inexperience.

    Was he caught off-guard during the debate as you seems to imply? Could be. Obama is indeed an inspiring speaker, I’ll give him that. But I do want to know if that’s all there is, because as he said in answering that question, those countries may pose a real danger to us.

    Now, I don’t want detailed policy papers about what he’s going to do if elected about foreign relations, health care, illegal immigration or any other issue. But being that he has the least amount of experience among the candidates, he needs to do a better job in convincing people that his other qualities would compensate for that.

    So far he’s not doing it.

    Best regards,

    Ulises Jorge
    San Juan, PR

  5. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    Ulises,

    I don’t agre that Obama’s answer displayed either inexperience or that he was caught off guard. There was a flaw in Clinton’s answer, and Obama pounced upon it. Despite his lack of experience, Obama showed that he had a better understanding of the issue than Clinton, and that Clinton has been pandering to the right wing in her attempts to look like the centrist candidate.

    Sure, ideally Obama could have said more, but he has also made hs position clear in other interviews. Back in 2003, John Kerry probably would have gone into a long discussion which included the distinctions between conditions and preconditions. I would have loved the answer, and most viewers would have fallen asleep. The right wing noise machine would have selected out the parts they wanted regarding no preconditions and ignored any statements about having conditions.

    You are also incorrect in saying “as the least amount of experience among the candidates.” If we give Hillary Clinton for her years of experience before being in the Senate, then the same should be done with Obama. Obama has years of experience in the state legislature, as a community organizer, and a professor of Constitutional law. This gives Obama far more experience than John Edwards, and more than some of the Republican candidates.

    I would prefer that Obama have more experience in the Senate, but we must choose among the candides we have. I’m also looking closely at Richardson, who is one of the most experienced candidates running.

    Obama ran before most expected, but I can’t blame him for jumping in at the time when there was so much excitement about him. He couldn’t count on this continuing for four or eight years and it made sense for him to run now. While experience is of value, the principles one holds and the wisdom they show are also of value. On issues such as health care and the war, Hillary Clinton has made serious mistakes while Obama had better ideas despite his lack of experience.

  6. 7
    Michael, Des Moines, Iowa says:

    A few days ago, the Cinton campaign called Obama ‘Naive’, accusing him of agreeing to meet with rogue leaders without relevant spadework.

    Then they bring up an article where he actually indicated he would use spadework: “Under certain conditions, I always believe in talking,”

    Someone in the Clinton campaign needs their head examined or their panic will give them a heart attack!

    They started this whole row. They just didn’t think Obama will fight back. They thought his politics of hope meant cowardice. BIG MISTAKE!!!

  7. 8
    Carrington Ward says:

    The following gives a nice recap of the debate, and suggests why Hillary counter-punched from her back foot.

    She did manage to submerge one of the money-lines of the debate…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHY1rtmIovk

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